Blumenhofer Acoustics Fun 13 loudspeakers

28.10.2012..

The Blumenhofer Fun 13 are very peculiar loudspeakers. They have a slender and tall shape with a quite frivolous 5” yellow driver placed below the tweeter. The tweeter instead is more normal and composed. It is lightweight with no holes at sight, back clamps, three adjustable spikes, and monowiring connectors. A mix of aesthetic sobriety and technical eccentricity, all in all engaging. Where is the secret then, if we consider also the price of 2,400.00 euro? In my opinion and from the technical data I have found on the company’s website, the secret lies in the loading of the small woofer, a Tapered Quarter Wave Tube, or rather a TQWT, alias Voigt Pipe from the name of its inventor. Basically, an angled tapered horn that uses twice the length of the speaker, turns down internally and emerges through an opening, without any bottom. The driver is not placed on the top of the horn, but at about 1/3 of the length of the port. Such loading, although not very diffused, has a remarkable consideration among technicians. In brief, it consents the application of very small drivers to get satisfying performances also in the low range, and with advantages in terms of velocity and precision given by the small dimensions of the diaphragms.

It has to be seen if the name Fun reflects the real nature of these speakers, proudly made in Germany in all their parts.

Blumenhofer Fun 13Concerning this aspect, there are no protective grids and it is easy to notice the good manufacture, with well-made real wood veneers and very good connectors. The spikes are not excellent, though, but functional. The components of the crossover, placed behind the tweeter, are valuable and the design is quite complex. The two drivers are both made by Eton, a German manufacturer located close to Blumenhofer, near Munich. The tweeter has a rear cylindrical closing box to avoid any interference with the horn loading. The midwoofer has a multilayer diaphragm, apparently not very thin. In the initial stage of the horn and partly up to the top folding, there is a certain quantity of soundproof material.

 

Let us talk now of the listening impressions. Also here, the Fun 13 have some peculiarities. First, they need well-attached supports. Therefore, pay attention in tighten the screw nuts of the spikes and the screws of the drivers.

The best solution for me is to collocate the loudspeakers with a crossing of the emission line at about half meter forward with respect to the listening spot.

 

Bear in mind that these speakers need some time to adapt to new amplifications or cables also after the run-in, which takes at least thirty-forty hours to get a satisfying performance. Before the run-in, the low range seems to wander a bit everywhere with quite disconcerting effects. After the burn-in the low range was fine, absolutely unexpected for such a small driver. Rather clean, not abyssal but well present. This is a strong point for the performance of the speaker, although there is a lack of coordination with the mid range in ruling velocity and reactivity. Anyway, the entire sound spectrum is well covered with a remarkable sensation of completeness and global velocity. Maybe some homogeneous energetic coherence is missing on all the frequencies range with some predilection for the mid bass and some attenuations on the very high frequencies.

 

Adequate dynamics mostly on the low part of the spectrum. I have made some efforts in trying to find the best synergy with the amplification and get the most convincing performance. First, I have tried the Sonus Mirus preamp with the 120 W Thomann TA 450 power amp, but it was not satisfying.

Too many muscles, a sense of congestion, little refinement, an evident waste of energy. The TA2022 AAAVT was energetically more suitable but a bit unbalanced in the top range. It often took with the female voices impervious paths, not very pleasant, I mean sibilant. The EL84 tubes of the Yarland M84, although energetically more than sufficient, seemed faintly dark, less squirming than usual, a little heavy.

 

Finally, as often happens with quite efficient speakers, I have found the most balanced solution with the usual powerful small Trends Ta 10.1 in power amp configuration, connected with QED Silver Special 25th Anniversary power cables. I must say, in conjunction with the mentioned Sonus Mirus preamp, a great outcome at affordable prices, also considering the accommodating character of the Fun 13 in terms of amplifying power. Rarely, I have listened to brasses so beautiful, lucid, full and convincing as happens with this composition of electronics and loudspeakers. The sax record of the veteran Vittorio Gennari is rich of harmonic nuances. The minimalist but very intriguing trumpet of Miles Davis’ In a silent way is never drilling and is accompanied by the sound floor of the monstre Zawinul, Hancock and Corea’s keyboard trio. Slightly less well, the classical music, like in the Dvorak’s concerts for violin and violoncello, with a clearly perceptible image in the three dimensions, but more restricted as for the reference – however quite difficult to equal – that is composed by the Magneplanar MMG with the external tweeter. The tonal performance is less linear, with instrumental bands more evident, like bass brasses, violoncellos and double basses and with a feeling of less air on the top. If compared with the Maggies, there is a more “fun” setting, with some accentuations of the mid bass, but not exaggerated and very enjoyable, with the right amplification, if you like the kind. Therefore, the answer to the initial question is yes, and in this case nomen omen.

 

Recap. A very particular floorstander capable of surprising and amusing, and of giving a classy sound, unexpectedly big, rhythmical and deep if compared to its physical features. Not the most linear and homogenous of the sounds and, besides, in a price range where the competitors are many and very seasoned. To suggest to who loves a warm sound or needs energy or an “entertaining” effect on components without own warmth. It matches very well with good amplifiers havingTripath 2024 chips, like the mentioned Trends Audio; to signal also the great skills of efficiency and driving easiness.

 

 

Selection of listened music:

Miles Davis, In a silent way, CD Columbia/Sony

Vittorio Gennari, The sound, CD Red Records

Ana Caram, Solidao, CD Chesky

Dvorak, Concerti per violino e per violoncello, Ruggero Ricci e Zara Nelsova, Walter Susskind dir., Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, CD Brilliant

The Who, Tommy, LP Polydor

 

Official technical specifications:

Frequency range: 50Hz-20kHz ±2dB

Woofer: 130mm/5"

Woofer membrane: Hexacon and Kevlar Sandwich-Membrane from Eton

Bass Cabinet: Floor ported quarter wave lenght bass horn

Cross over frequency: 3.000Hz

Tweeter: 19mm silk dome

Tweeter membrane: Silk

Max power input (RMS): 80WRMS

Efficiency: ~90dB

Impedance: 8ohm

Dimensions: 1.110x270x290mm / 43,7x10,6x11,5inch (WxHxD)

Weight: 10kg

 

Official Italian dealer: to Hi-Fi United website

Official current price in Italy: 2,400.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Fabio "Puzzled" Barbato's system

 
by Fabio Barbato
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