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Discussion Starter #1
We had the BOSE in our recently departed Boxster S and now have the Burmester in our new to us C2s cab. I just spent 1260 miles in each and thought I'd share a few observations. Note that I can't comment on Burmester in a 981 or BOSE in a 991.

I'm an A-V hobbyist with a fairly sophisticated home set up. Over the years some folks smarter than I am taught me how to listen critically so I think I've earned the right to comment. I've posted a number of times here and on another forum about the BOSE sound quality in the Boxster. It is quite good if one uses good quality source material, takes the time to RTFM, and then invests in tinkering time to get the audio adjusted properly for each input. Still, with Burmester's reputation and some brief listening sessions at a couple Consumer Electronic Show visits I had high expectations. I'm also a fan of the mid-high speaker design based on the Heil Air Motion Transformer - a folded tweeter design. My observations once again assume quality source material. I use Apple Lossless Compression on an iTouch. I will probably move to USB-based streaming to avoid using the iTouch DAC.

1. I've been listening in both "direct" and surround modes depending on the content. I wish they had an adjustment for the amount of surround; it's not rocket science and many high end PrePros offer such adjustments. I find that some source material is a bit bright in surround mode and I have to back off the treble one or two ticks down from flat. In direct mode I have to kick the treble up a tick or two.
2. Bass - I had to back the bass down two ticks in any mode. The bass is tuneful, solid, and undistorted up to ear-bleed levels in the music playback. The Burmester bass is tighter and more accurate but can be overpowering on some material.
3. Accuracy and soundstage - the Burmester is clearly superior in accurate reproduction, soundstage width and depth, and overall musicality. The difference to me is not subtle - you can hear the subtleties in the music that weren't apparent in the BOSE.
4. Volume/distortion - the Burmester has more headroom in both the amp and the speakers before the system distorts.
5. The Burmester will sound worse than the BOSE or other audio options if the source material is crappy (e.g. 128k MP3) because it is more accurately reproducing what's in the source file (or isn't there in the case of a lot of iTunes content, especially if it is older material).

Note that while there is some masking by road noise (depending on speed, road surface, top up or down) these audio characteristics aren't something I heard only while parked in the driveway. They are apparent while driving.

I wish Porsche and Burmester had enabled a bit more adjustability in the system, but as good as I think the BOSE can be (e.g. equivalent to the BMW Harmon-Kardon) I think the Burmester is second only to the Mark Levison we had in a past Lexus LS4xx series. The only drawback I've found is that with the available accuracy I'm often adjusting the settings to make up for the differences in sound engineering on each album. (For Pandora Premium and HD FM I just ratchet back the treble a notch or two; AM is for occasional news or a sports broadcast and I don't go near satellite radio any more.). Overall it a very capable system with noticeably better performance if you care about that sort of thing!

The Burmester was part of the original build on this CPO cab - so would I have spent the additional $2K+ if I was doing the spec and spending my own money? Yes for sure for me, I'm purchasing for the long run but I probably wouldn't if I turned cars every 2-3 years or if it was a lease.

I hope this is of some value and thanks for reading.
 

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Thank you for the review and comparison. It is interesting to know you can hear the quality difference even while driving.
 

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i've got a burmester system in my porsche as well.
are there any suggestions you can give as to just getting more volume out of the system? it seems like it stops with the volume at a certain point and just gives more bass instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i've got a burmester system in my porsche as well.
are there any suggestions you can give as to just getting more volume out of the system? it seems like it stops with the volume at a certain point and just gives more bass instead.
Wow! I've had the volume WAAAY louder than I would ever listen (by accident). Were you listening from an i-device? The reason I learned the hard way was I had been listening to a book on tape from my iPad not realizing that I had the iPad volume set low. That meant I had the Porsche volume set high. When I changed sources I about blew my ears to shreds. Do you have the speed-dependent-adjustment off? Those are the only two things I can think of because I get all kinds of volume.
 

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Great write up. I also have Burmester and, hands down, think it was well worth it. For my BGTS, the system works very well top up or down. i fully agree that I am adjusting the treble and bass a lot. The system is a little bass heavy, but with the top down it islets to be in excellent balance. Besides, that what the adjustments are for. I also go -1 on the fader so that I can hear the behind the seat speakers a bit more. The backs of my seats are against the rear compartment wall, so it seems to make sense. I also fully agree that Sat radio sound is HORRIBLE, certainly not a renew when my three month trial is up. FM HD and CDs sound really good.

Bottom line: I think the Burmester is awesome. Yeah, some minor minor coulda done this, coulda done that, but it is pretty close to perfect in my opinion.

P.S. This system isn't loud, it's F'N LOUD!!!!!!If you do not think this system is loud enough, you need to see a hearing doctor and check if everything is ok. I had somebody two towns away call the police because it was too loud! Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
A brief update.

I installed a ProClip for my new iPhone 6+ on the passenger side of the console and ran the Apple connector cable in a channel that exists on the backside of the console side panel, then fished the cable through to the glove box and plugged it into the USB port. Spotify has a special right now at $0.99/month for three months for their premium service at 320kbps. The sound quality is noticeably better than Pandora premium which I learned isn't the highest bit rate on mobile devices! I think I might still prefer the mixes on Pandora "stations" vs Spotify's new radio feature, but the quality is definitely better (I am also using the trial in my home Sonos systems).

Today I was on Seattle freeways with the top down, windows and windscreen up and I was enjoying well reproduced music with bass I could actually hear at 60+ (on some cuts - we're still dependent on the skill/quality of the producer and sound engineers). If you're set up properly you should invest the $3 for the 3-month trial. Spotify is waaayyyyy better than satellite and cheaper based on normal monthly rates.

Enjoy!
 

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I decided to ditch satellite radio and rip my CD's. My PC is Windows 7 with iTunes and my phone is android (Samsung S5). Can you suggest how I can best rip the music from my CD's?

For background, it took me a long time to give up my records and move to CD's. I finally found a single CD player that set me back $1,000 used that sounded almost as good as my records. I now have a Sony C555ES playing through a Harmon Kardon receiver that sounds OK.

CD's played in the car sound OK so all I'm looking for is to be able to play music that I've ripped from my CD's to sound almost as good. Do you have any suggestions? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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For those around Boston, I would be curious to do some measurements on those two. You would walk away with a frequency curve that allows you to start adjusting EQ from something measured.

I did it for some BMW, it really helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I decided to ditch satellite radio and rip my CD's. My PC is Windows 7 with iTunes and my phone is android (Samsung S5). Can you suggest how I can best rip the music from my CD's?

For background, it took me a long time to give up my records and move to CD's. I finally found a single CD player that set me back $1,000 used that sounded almost as good as my records. I now have a Sony C555ES playing through a Harmon Kardon receiver that sounds OK.

CD's played in the car sound OK so all I'm looking for is to be able to play music that I've ripped from my CD's to sound almost as good. Do you have any suggestions? Any help would be much appreciated.
I have a Mac Mini I use for ripping. I'm using a SW product called XLD. The website is X Lossless Decoder: Lossless audio decoder for Mac OS X It's the X Lossless Decoder for Mac OS X. It is freeware with a PayPal donation option. Apparently widely known and used. I've ripped my entire collection into FLAC. I'm going to transcode FLAC into a 320kbps Apple format so the PCM can read everything (it doesn't "do" FLAC or Apple Lossless). 320kbps seems to be "good enough" for car audio - even Burmester.

Good luck!
 
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