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This review first appeared in the January 2012 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Blumenhofer Fun 13 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 - Ed.

Reviewer: Ralph Werner
Sources: Luxman D-05, Logitech Squeezebox 3, Readynas Duo, Benchmark DAC1 USB, Acoustic Solid MPX, Phonotools Vivid-Two, SME M2 12", Denon DL-103, Ortofon MC Bronce, Zu Audio DL-103, SAC Gamma Sym
Preamplifier: Octave HP300
Power amp: Electrocompaniet AW180
Integrated amplifier: Denon PMA-2010AE
Loudspeakers: Ascendo System F, Thiel SCS4
Review component retail: €2.400/pr

About a year ago we put the ca. €9.000/pr two-way bass reflex box with treble horn called Genuin FS3  from Bavarian Blumenhofer Acoustics through its paces in these pages. Today’s Fun 13 comes from the same maker and it too sports a horn, albeit for the lower rather than upper frequencies. Huh? Given the very slim width of this reasonably tall tower speaker with the tiny yellow woofer, a bass horn didn’t seem part of the €2.400/pr bill. The Fun 13 is the newest entry-level model of the Bavarians and by far the cheapest way to get into their catalogue. ‘Made in Germany’ continues to be true. Neither cabinet nor final assembly are outsourced to cheap-labor countries. Everything is done in "them Western woods of Augsburg" as marketing director Andrea Vitali claims proudly. That too was surprising. What then gives with today’s assignment?

As with all models from this firm, the Fun 13 is a pure two-way. The 19mm soft dome tweeter and 13cm three-layer Hexacone/Kevlar sandwich woofer are from German house Eton ‘round the corner from Blumenhofer in Neu Ulm. The company claims no special modifications to these transducers. Staring at the woofer I kept wondering whether I’d ever seen such a small unit in a floorstander. Even the petite Neat Motive SE2 had sported bigger if I recall correctly. And she didn’t make 80cm in height whereas the Fun 13 stretches to a more grown-up 1.1m. Though a mere 17cm wide to appear slim indeed, the greater depth does make for a reasonably mature box. It’s simply one with a beer-can wooferlie…

You could argue that appearances here tell merely half the truth. After all this is a bass horn. Its opening also called mouth represents a quasi virtual membrane of about 300cm². It additionally faces the floor to increase efficiency over its operative pass band (50 – 400Hz).

Technically this makes for a quarter wave horn. The rear-firing Eton woofer energy is sent floorward through a 2-meter long continuously expanding opening like any other rear-loaded horn, albeit without pressure chamber to allow for the narrower profile of the cabinet. Basically the Fun 13 bass horn is nothing but an angled board inside a long-ish box. In theory it’s nothing much. In practice however it has to work to justify itself.

Unlike their usual habit, this Blumenhofer cabinet is 19mm MDF. To hit the intended price point, the red pencil had to erase Birch ply not merely due to material costs but labor. MDF assembly and finishing is simply faster. And time is money as they'll have you know.