This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

This review first appeared in the December 2010 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Blumenhofer Genuin FS3 in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Blumenhofer Acoustics- Ed.

Reviewer: Ralph Werner
Sources: Analog – deck - Acoustic Solid MPX; tone arms - Phonotools Vivid-Two, SME M2 12”; pickups - Denon DL-103, Ortofon MC Rondo Bronce, Zu Audio DL-103; phono pre - SAC Gamma Sym; digital – deck - HIFIAkademie cdPlayer, Luxman D-05 ; Computer & Co - Logitech Squeezebox 3, Readynas Duo NAS-Server, HP Notebook; DAC - Benchmark DAC1 USB
Amplification: Preamp - Octave HP300 with MC phono; power amp - Electrocompaniet AW180; integrated amps - Denon PMA-2010AE, Lua 4040 C
Loudspeakers: Ascendo System F, Thiel SCS4
Sundry accessories, cables and racks
Review component retail: €8.900/pr

Not flowery! During our factory tour of Blumenhofer Acoustics (blumen are flowers in German - Ed.) we developed a fine appreciation for the R&D and manufacturing processes of boss Thomas Blumenhofer as well as his general loudspeaker headspace. Naturally we also sampled the Bavarian lineup. While this stimulated appetite it could of course never make up for a formal test in our own space, with our own electronics and in comparison to familiar reference speakers. This we follow up today with Blumenhofer’s Genuin FS3 two-way floorstander.

If we disregard the 5-figure Clara Luna flagship below, the current catalogue of this firm from near Augsburg includes five models divided over two lines - Fun & Genuin. Both offer two-ways with treble horns exclusively. The difference lives further down in the bass. The Fun models use back-loaded horns, the Genuins bass-reflex loading.

As to why, the triplicate reasons are very pragmatic. 1/ Everything else being equal, the construction of a bass-reflex box is less involved than a full horn. This allows for a lower retail price. 2/ The Genuins are even less critical with setup; and 3/ not everyone relates to the sound of a bass horn. Some prefer a more conventional vented alignment (not that this has prevented Tom Blumenhofer to bestow upon the Genuin FS 3 a somewhat unorthodox port).

Tech matters: The Blumenhofer Genuin FS3 is 26cm wide, 42c deep and 99cm tall including the long spikes. That’s just medium in size and according to my girlfriend a super beau box. Relative to stature, the 35kg weight seemed high. Chief contributor is the all-around use of 25mm Birch ply.

Fit & finish are first rate. Seams are tight, nothing gives and the enclosure conveys a whiff of fine handcrafted wood-shop charm. Perhaps that’s due to the overriding solidity. Or CNC be thanks, the perfectly executed edge treatment which reveals the Ply layers. Or the fact that hand-oiled surfaces are much more pleasant to touch than lacquers. Whatever, the Genuin FS 3 is both speaker and fine furniture.

A laudable detail? The three-point floor interface includes two top-adjustable rear spikes. Somebody thought this through before jamming spikes into the bottom plate like everyone else does. This forethought didn’t extend to the very closely spaced bi-wire terminals however. The distance between hi/lo sockets is greater for a reason though – they bracket an impedance correction jumper (active when inserted).

This jumper flattens the resistive curve in the crossover range to potentially benefit especially valve amps. An RLC branch in the crossover handles this job. The filter network occupies a sealed sub chamber beneath the woofer to be isolated from its backpressure. This reduces concomitant microphony effects. The crossover is built up point to point on an MDF plate. It separates the drivers at 1.2kHz with 12dB/octave slopes.

The 8-inch mid/woofer is a joint effort with Ulm driver maker ATE. Its signature detail is the patented sandwich membrane of paper skins divided by a hard-foam central core. This mid/woofer operates in a 35-liter volume and communicates with the outside world via port. The latter’s unique feature isn’t so much the rectangular shape but being designed like a miniature horn.