I've heard the B30 with the 911 it was very nice.
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First, I would like to disclose that I am an authorized Burmester dealer and have been for some time.
Your question is a good one. While the price points of the 961 MK3 and the B30 are relatively close, the speakers actually have quite different "characters".
The 961 Mk3s are a bit more of a finesse speaker with the ability to exploit subtle textures and microdynamics extremely well. The B-series, by contrast are more of a "macrodynamic power house" speaker, well equipped for rock, and loud play. This is not to say that the B30 is not good with low level detail, it's just different.
Both speakers will perform at high levels with your 911 and will not concede any ability to play with extremely low distortion levels at any volume. Frequency response will be comparable (perhaps a slight edge to the 961 in Bass). Both still also carry a distinct Burmester clarity of sound.
Basically, the 961 is a tad warm of center compared to the B-series while the B-series is a tad cool/forward of center.
We have compared these speakers extensively in our Classic and Top Line systems, should you like further insight. I hope this has helped.
Auravis Systems LLC
Draper (SLC), Utah
Thank you. This is exactly what I am looking for. Can you clarify more though, since it's hard to walk into an audio store that carries Burmester stuff?
When you say "perhaps a slight edge to the 961 in Bass", do you mean that 961 has a better bass response and hits lower and deeper? or do you mean that the 961 has more resolution in terms of bass?
Which one of the 2 can handle a bigger room?
My music preference is.... well... a bit of everything but I would say 40% vocal jazz, 30% instrumental jazz, 20% modern music (hip pop/pop/r&b), and 10% classical. Which one would you recommend?
I can get B30 or 961 now.... but I am tempted to go straight to B50 lol but... that will have to wait until 3 months later (or 6 months for B80). Sigh... I think both B50 and B80 are worth the wait, but they require a bigger space....
And then.... the real dilemma is.. Replacing my 051 +061 with 089 as a digital pre-amp to drive 911, or replacing 051 only with 088 as a full function pre-amp.... So... is 089+911 better than 061+088+911? I only wish there are more dealers so I can listen for myself instead of asking around.
I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Interestingly enough, I was at RMAF, in great part co-marketing Burmester's new 100 Phono Preamp for the show. You would be interested to know that the Top Line system was in play with the B30s. That said, I spent a great deal of time listening in a different environment than my own.
Given the room and the 911Mk3 amp used, I might have to say that the B30s bass was better than I had heard it in my A/B testing with the 961. The B30s are quite remarkable, but I would still give the advantage in "refinement", texture, and subtle accuracy to the 961MK3.
As I do with most expensive gear, I would strongly recommend hearing them as well as dealing with a dealer that will provide you with comprehensive advice, no risk purchase policy, an upgrade program. As is the case with several of my lines, my clients usually have the desire to move up the Burmester line as they can afford it over a long period of time. Frankly, the client who can purchase a Reference Level Burmester system are relatively few and far between.
That said, as you are aware, there are very few of us Burmester dealers across the US. Please feel free to contact me to discuss arrangements in which you could demo the Burmester gear, depending upon where you are located.
Back to your questions....
I would say that regarding the quality of Bass (i.e. resolution and accuracy of bass vs extension) with your music breakdown, that the 961 would win out. Both will accommodate large rooms.
Retail price points for the speakers being discussed are:
The B30 shares more with the B20 and B25 while the 961 shares more character and design with the B50 and above.
The B50 elevates performance substantially over the B30 & 961, (as well it should given the price substantial price jump) All three are going to perform extremely well in most spaces, but I would not necessarily rule out the B50 because of the potential for over powering your room unless it is quite small. It would be more a question of price/performance. The B50 yields much of the B80/B100 magic and will be more capable of expressing all that your 911 amp is capable of.
What size is your room?
Finally regarding your electronics question. I have the 061 and the 089 on my floor. I display the 061 with a pair of 035s. I have also had the 089 with the 088 and 911, as well as directly with the 911Mk3.
This one's far easier than the speaker discussion. As good as the 061 is, the 089 is truly in a completely different league and will far outperform the 061/088/911 simply run directly through the 911. Adding the 088 (presumably at a later date, actually raises the bar again, but more subtly unless one needs the extra inputs of the preamp.
Again, give the complexities of these combinations, the considerable investment and added room/gear considerations that we had not gotten into, I would strongly suggest that you give me a call so that we can discuss your system objectives in more detail.
Auravis Systems LLC
Draper (SLC), Utah
Thank you. Can I please have you name so I know who to speak to when I call? in addition, do you ship to NJ? I might end up in Hong Kong in the next 6 months, nothing is definite. Right now, I can only afford either 089 or B50 (I have audition B30 and B50 during my trip to Taiwan, so... B30 is out of the question)
in addition... regarding room..... I am currently deciding between moving to NY or HK. That would of course depending on which offer I get. Regardless, I am determined to upgrade my speaker. What's the minimum size of my listening room if I want to get B50. I understand that B50 must be placed at least 2.5 meters apart. So.... would 3 meter be wide enough for B50 or do I need at least 3.5 meter? It's just silly that I am shopping around for a place to rent solely due to whether or not the room can accommodate my speakers...