This is a syndicated and translated report from's March 2010 issue which can be read in its original German version here - Ed.

By way of answering how loudspeaker house Blumenhofer began, the gent of the same name pointed casually at the large bookcase in the rear of his listening space which is filled with numerous vintage audio treasures. One shelf contains an old Philips 712 [upper right, below].  The story goes that lightning struck the home of 13-year old Thomas Blumenhofer to send an old valve radio up in smoke. Papa exploited the opportunity to finally acquire a proper receiver—the very one on the shelf—and while at it, a nice DM3.000/pr of speakers. That was a quite princely purse in those days. Blumenhofer Jr. apparently was a very curious teenager. He veritably itched to experiment. He thus couldn’t fail to notice that the drivers in the incinerated radio were still functional. So they quickly ended up stuffed into some cardboard-y box before calling a showdown in the parental living room. When junior’s DIYers pushed dad’s pride & joy proppa boxes into second place, Thomas connected with a lifelong passion for speaker design he's not relinquished since.

He's of course long outgrown cardboard boxes which eventually gave way to today's centimeter-thick Plywood affairs. Never mind that today’s Blumenhofers aren’t boxes in the traditional sense, particularly the heavy artillery of Genuin FS1 and Clara Luna when you factor driver arsenal, sheer fighting weight and price tags [from €35.000 to 95.000/pr respectively - inner and outer speakers, lower left above].

Fairaudio was thus traveling. Into the woods. The Western woods of Augsburg dubbed Die Stauden to be precise. That’s where Blumenhofer Acoustics has lived within eyesight of the parental home for a solid half century already and surely not just for convenience sake— obtaining a commercial building permit inside the State Park Stauden involved many years of red-tape bureaucracy—but a love of the land.

Thomas Blumenhofer needs the peace and quiet to get creative. And, he can also crank it up without bothering the neighbors. Standing on the small hill that supports his house, the quietude of the setting was certainly tangible.

Meanwhile facing the Clara Luna with its top-heavy 38cm Japanese TAD midrange driver and an 800-watt 46cm active sub dispelled any potentially lingering doubts about getting loud

Those were all good reasons to leave Berlin Walkertshofen and learn more about this company which I'd thus far only encountered during trade shows. I meant to check out on-site production, sample the entire speaker oeuvre and speak to the boss and chief designer.
Blumenhofer - horns and hand labor: Four plus three makes the resident team as in, boss Thomas Blumenhofer responsible for loudspeaker design and his wife Kreszentia Blumenhofer in charge of bookkeeping, shipping logistics and more. In production, Herr Ulkert runs the woodshop, Herr Bammer handles assembly, installation and repairs. Two of the external subcontractors cover machining and electronic sub assemblies. Finally there’s marketing manager Andrea Vitali [2nd photo above - Ralph Werner flanked by Vitali and Blumenhofer). Making the rounds armed with my camera, Herr Ulkert was busy routing the parts for the Geniun FS3 horn.

Precision saws first trim the Plywood stock to size, then the CNC router shapes the panels into the desired geometries. How those puzzle pieces will come together seems vague until Herr Bammer assembles them all in the adjacent room.

Bammer also wires up the crossover networks in classic point-to-point manner. One goal is to conserve space and omit flying leads which "Thomas doesn’t like to see". It’s this type of little detail captured in passing that makes factory tours so interesting.
Crossing paths with a Genuin FS3 sideways on a wheeled chair, I spotted the lower cavity to learn that it contains the network "which really doesn’t belong in the main enclosure" to think to myself, "very sensible". While more labor-intensive, this approach moves the sensitive crossover components out of the bass-reflex pressure zone and shields them from microphony effects.

What photos of course don’t convey properly is the precision and material density involved in this type of furniture crafter's approach. To describe it in words at length here isn’t the proper place. Hence I’ll simply say that handling a 5cm thick Ply hardwood baffle in person is quite impressive and instructive.

Or how about needing a bass reflex but hating the cheap plastic tubes so ubiquitous in even expensive speakers? Blumenhofer rolls their own which end up looking more like a horn and are made from MDF.

As interesting as Blumenhofer’s production ground floor was, upstairs wasn't chopped liver either. Beneath a vaulted ceiling sprawl an estimated 150 square meters for an auditorium of the bigger kind; including a few not so small speakers. Here we settled down to listen, chew the fat and wash it all down with java.

Right photo: Old Genuin FS4 version to right, left the new Fun 17.