Brodmann Festival FS Stand mtg speakers w/ custom stands - piano black

BM 01 FS
NZ$ 7,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Brodmann

"Simply Achieve Perfection"

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Brodmann speakers are hand-built (including the cabinet) in the same factory where they create their world famous concert grand pianos and finished to the same high standard . The music they present is so real and natural that conductors, musicians, singers, recording engineers etc choose Brodmann speakers to practice and record with because they say they are the closest they can find to presenting music naturally, who is going to argue with them, if anyone knows its them, its the reason I bought this unique brand to NZ.

Festival Stand mtg was designed for advanced listening. The Festival FS is proof that optimal design need not be spatially overwhelming to leave a lasting impression.

On one of the occasions at CES I was in the Brodmann room a Recording Engineer came and bought a pair of their new Festival FS stand mounting speakers, when I asked why Brodmann amongst all the rest at the show, his comment, "I have been looking for 3-1/2yrs for speakers that gave me what I know music sounds like, I have been playing my recordings throughout the show and Brodmann speakers are the first to give me what  I know is true to the real sound, so I am buying them today."  What better acclamation or higher praise do we need than that for a loudspeaker?

Thrax Audio/Brodmann Acoustics @ CES - Key Kim - A Key witness to a Great Sound -
The elegantly finished Brodmann FS monitor loudspeakers were driven exquisitely by Thrax Audio of Bulgaria. The Thrax Audio Heros mono amps utilize a two-gain stage design using a single tube at the input stage. The Dionysos preamplifier uses a single gain stage with zero feedback and also utilizes a single triode tube at its input (review in works). The MaximinusDAC boasts a universal DSP controlled 32-Bit/38 kHz discrete resistor ladder DAC.The sound was very natural sounding and it was smooth, rich and lively.

Festival series: A New Passion

Our new Festival series introduces a speaker system whose quality seamlessly matches our VC Master series. Combining Brodmann’s traditional values with fine design and materials, the Festival series offers an excellent first step into the audiophile world of high-end sound. No comparable speaker system offers a listening experience so close to your favourite artist’s actual performance.  

The Festival models benefit from a number of technical innovations such as Brodmann‘s new Sound Rod Technology first introduced on our Joseph Brodmann Signature series. The result is incredible sound performance. Behind the timeless elegance of our Festival speaker systems lies impressive knowledge of the complex patterns of acoustics.  The woofer/mid-tone drivers are mounted at the sides of our floor-standing models. This aids the sound and keeps the design beautifully streamlined. The tweeters are our own development in the principle of an electrodynamic chassis. They achieve a free and lively reproduction unequalled by other comparable systems.  

At Brodmann, no detail is too small or unimportant. We produce the crossover filters manually and offer matching cables that meet our high standards. All components of our speaker systems are sensitively and carefully tuned to each other as well as the available accessories we’ve either handpicked or produced ourselves. This helps us ensure the kind of listening experience we all look for but find so rarely: one full of perfect calmness and relaxation where the music is the only thing we notice. 

In a rapidly changing world, it’s important for us at Brodmann to remain true to our experience as well as innovation. We make every speaker system by hand from the finest material and with love for the detail. We refuse to compromise. A distinct passion for music and for instrument making defines our role as a trail-blazer of sound in the audiophile sector.  

Our Festival series is where innovative design meets exceptional performance and value. Our standard is set by you, the customer: how you live today, how you decorate your home, how you listen to music.  

In an ideal world, we would listen to our favourite music live: in a jazz cellar, in a philharmonic concert hall, in a stadium. With each speaker from our Festival series, you can have a live music experience whenever you desire, day or night. 

The Austrian company, Brodmann Acoustics, has a background in piano manufacturing as well as sound engineering, and the FS speakers have a unique and interesting design: 8-layer piano lacquer works to stiffen the speaker’s wood enclosures while dried oak sound rods are situated in front of the speaker’s side-firing drivers for dispersion. The cabinet is completely empty; it uses no dampening.

Brodmann Acoustics was showing off several speakers at the show over the weekend, paired with some wonderful gear from Electrocompaniet.  The 8 Ohm speaker, well-matched with Electrocompaniet electronics, threw a lovely wide soundstage well behind the speakers. Most impressive was its ultra-warm, dynamic, and open sound. I found the sound alive and quite balanced.

I did get treated to a lengthy discussion about what makes them different, however. First, there’s no internal bracing at all. “Why would you stuff a Stradivarius with damping material?” was the line I remembered. I ventured that vibrational energy might not be conducive to good sound, at which point I was told that not all vibrational energy is bad. While the cabinet itself is entirely inert, I was told, there is a twist. Namely, the precisely mounted side panels — easiest to see on the burled-veneer units, below. These panels are mounted precisely at 4mm from the main cabinet — and will resonate during playback. Interestingly, they’re said to act as a woofer, greatly increasing depth and the quality of the tone. I was also told that the discovery itself happened quite by accident, but happily one that was replicable and applicable.

While the actual explanation on why this works is entirely beyond me, I have to offer this: whatever it was, these speakers had some of the best, most inviting sound at the show. And the little speakers on the side, the $4k Festival FS, not only filled the room with deep, moving music, they struck me as simply incredible. The sheer size, scope and depth of the image they threw completely belied their size. In a word? Enthralling. And they’re my second nod for Best in Show. Fantastic speakers. Just fantastic.

Specifications

Reviews

Testimonials

Videos

Specifications

Type: 2way plus HornResonator 
Fréquency response: 55Hz - 20,000kHz ±3 dB 
Power: 25-80W 
Nominal impédance: 8 Ohms 
Efficiency: 91 dB 
Color: Black piano high gloss 
Size : 952H x 276D x 202W 

Reviews

I consistently found them both enjoyable and highly informative, despite their small size
Paul Messenger

Brief:
.... the FS has a whole slew of compensating strengths – notably superior imaging and dynamic expression, plus fine overall neutrality and low coloration, all put together in an exceptionally discreet and beautifully finished package. Ultimately, the Brodmann FS might appear to be a rather strange brew in several respects, but it actually works remarkably well sonically speaking, and is decent enough value for money to boot. +

Extended review:
Some eight years ago I had the considerable pleasure of playing around with some decidedly unusual loudspeakers designed by Hans Deutsch that had appeared under the famous name of veteran Viennese piano maker Bösendorfer. The trouble with famous names – and in the rarefied world of piano makers only Steinway arguably outguns Bösendorfer – is that the name can become more valuable than the operation itself, so I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear that Yamaha had purchased the Bösendorfer company at the end of 2007. Since Yamaha has long had its own loudspeaker division, the Bösendorfer loudspeaker range was quietly shelved.
 
Happily, Deutsch’s intriguing designs re-emerged a couple of years back, under the banner of another Viennese piano brand. Brodmann may not be as well known globally as Bösendorfer, but in fact the latter’s founder, Ignaz Bösendorfer, started out as Brodmann’s apprentice, so historical precedents are firmly in place. The Brodmann loudspeaker ranges certainly do show similarities to their Bösendorfer predecessors, but Deutsch has also taken advantage of the change to incorporate a number of detail improvements
 
My previous familiarity with Deutsch’s speaker designs had been two floorstanding Vienna Classic (VC) models, so on this occasion I decided it would be interesting to try the FS stand-mount. This is part of the Festival series, which costs rather less than the VC models previously encountered, and is effectively the company’s least costly model at £2,500/pair.
 
One key factor that distinguishes all of Deutsch’s designs is that wooden panels are deliberately attached to the enclosures in order to act as ‘sound boards’, reflecting the piano making heritage, while the undamped enclosure walls are also expected to add a degree of resonance to the overall sound. The FS design is different in other respects too, for example using a relatively small bass/mid driver mounted on the outward side panel.
 
Somewhat paradoxically, although the S in FS apparently stands for ‘shelf’, the brochure illustration in fact shows a partnering £349/pair stand, and this was supplied as an essential and integral part of the package. It’s also specific to this loudspeaker because the ‘sound board’ used in the FS is located in the base, so the underside ought to be left unobstructed. The stand is therefore an asymmetric affair. It consists of a modest size but substantially mass-loaded base tapped for 6mm spikes; a single 15x450x175mm (WxHxD) vertical pillar in folded pressed steel is used, offset to the same side as the main drive unit. The top consists of an open rectangular frame in shaped pressed steel, into which the speaker securely sits. Such a stand has fine fore’n’aft rigidity, but offers very little impediment to lateral movement, which is probably how it should be.
 
The tweeter here is mounted on a very slim front panel, and is left naked and visible. The side-mounted main driver is somewhat recessed and the speaker comes with a rather hefty grille, consisting of a series of diamond- section vertical slats that actually cover the face of the driver, and apparently have only a modest diffusing effect. The stand package contains some more grilles, similar in construction and appearance but here extended downwards in order to cover the outside of the stand’s vertical strut. These grilles are essentially cosmetic.
 
With its side-mounted bass/mid driver, the speaker proper has an unusual shape, and is beautifully finished in ‘real’ piano lacquer black on the four visible faces. It’s a very slim 202mm when viewed from the front, but is nearly a metre tall (actually 952mm, hence the modest stand height) and is 276mm deep. One might assume that the total height of speaker and stand might place the tweeter around seated ear height, which is usually desirable; not so here, as the tweeter is roughly halfway up (or down) the front panel, so sits rather low down. Due in no small part to the enclosure’s decidedly substantial build, I’d estimate the internal volume is a modest nine litres.      

Although initial inspection failed to reveal any kind of port, suggesting that the FS might be a sealed-box system, in fact the impedance trace indicates something very similar to port-loading, though Brodmann describes its particular arrangement as a ‘horn resonator’ rather than a port, and claims it has more of a low-pass than a resonant characteristic. Whatever, its output is exceptionally well hidden, and actually comes from the slot that separates the ‘sound board’ from the speaker proper. Presumably placing the speaker on a shelf will therefore completely block this output, while placing it on its stand also modifies its output somewhat, as the same slot is also used to locate the speaker on its top plate.

 
I took impedance traces under all three conditions, the stand-mount version showing nicely balanced ‘twin peaks’ either side of a dip centred on a relatively high 88Hz. The trace looks conventional enough, showing minima at a very respectable five ohms and a minor ‘wrinkle’ around 250Hz.
 
Like the enclosures, the two drive units are both apparently hand made in Austria. The main bass/mid driver uses a relatively thick paper/Manila cone roughly 100mm in diameter, while the tweeter here has a 25mm silk fabric dome. A solitary pair of high quality terminals feed what is presumably a very simple crossover network, as it’s quoted as 6dB/octave at 2kHz. The low-pass ‘horn resonator’ output rolls off at 4.5dB/octave above 130Hz.
 
Based on far-field in-room traces, the sensitivity measures around 87dB. There is no low (sub-50Hz) to speak of here, which is hardly surprising in view of the ingredients, but the overall response trend is rather unusual on two counts. First because it emphasises the upper bass (100-220Hz) rather than the mid-bass (50-100Hz), which is at least unusual; secondly because it doesn’t seem to follow the normal pattern of variation with positioning.
 
Best bass alignment under my conditions was arguably with the speakers well clear of walls, and while this still left the zone below 100Hz rather lacking and the octave 150-300Hz rather strong, above that frequency everything looks quite tidy and very well controlled, albeit a little lean through the upper midband (400Hz-2kHz), and a little strong (relative to the norm) through the main treble (2-7kHz). Despite the side-mounted main driver, integration between the bass/mid unit and the tweeter appears effectively seamless; an added bonus is that any unwanted above-the- crossover-point main driver output will be directed well away from the listening zone.
 
The story so far is certainly interesting enough, but it’s no substitute for actually listening to a loudspeaker, and here the FS really turns up trumps. Such a small loudspeaker is bound to have some limitations in bass weight and extension, and these are obvious enough in practice, but any upper bass excess does seem to be perfectly innocuous and acceptable, while the overall coherence and dynamic expression are both exceptionally impressive. And despite a balance and character that’s essentially ‘warm’, there seems to be no obvious voice ‘chestiness’, probably thanks to this speaker’s fine speed, timing and freedom from timesmear. Indeed, vivid and realistic voice reproduction is a major plus.
 
Imaging is notably superior, combining good central image focus with a fine impression of spaciousness and a complete freedom from boxiness. A degree of phase accuracy was demonstrated by their ability to throw phantom images well outside the front soundstage when replaying a movie stereophonically. The only thing that’s missing is the sort of deep bass weight that adds an impression of ambience and scale to the proceedings.
 
I spent some weeks listening to these Brodmann speakers, and I consistently found them both enjoyable and highly informative, despite their small size and limited bass. In my relatively large (4.3x2.6x5.5m) room their small size and limited bass extension did represent a significant limitation with some types of music, but that is really the only significant criticism. In a smaller room this might well be less obvious, and the FS has a whole slew of compensating strengths – notably superior imaging and dynamic expression, plus fine overall neutrality and low coloration, all put together in an exceptionally discreet and beautifully finished package. Ultimately, the Brodmann FS might appear to be a rather strange brew in several respects, but it actually works remarkably well sonically speaking, and is decent enough value for money to boot. +
– notably superior imaging and dynamic expression, plus fine overall neutrality and low coloration, all put together in an exceptionally discreet and beautifully finished package.
Paul Messenger

Breif summary:
Imaging is notably superior, combining good central image focus with a fine impression of spaciousness and a complete freedom from boxiness. A degree of phase accuracy was demonstrated by their ability to throw phantom images well outside the front soundstage when replaying a movie stereophonically. 

Expanded review:
Some eight years ago I had the considerable pleasure of playing around with some decidedly unusual loudspeakers designed by Hans Deutsch that had appeared under the famous name of veteran Viennese piano maker Bösendorfer. The trouble with famous names – and in the rarefied world of piano makers only Steinway arguably outguns Bösendorfer – is that the name can become more valuable than the operation itself, so I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear that Yamaha had purchased the Bösendorfer company at the end of 2007. Since Yamaha has long had its own loudspeaker division, the Bösendorfer loudspeaker range was quietly shelved.
 
Happily, Deutsch’s intriguing designs re-emerged a couple of years back, under the banner of another Viennese piano brand. Brodmann may not be as well known globally as Bösendorfer, but in fact the latter’s founder, Ignaz Bösendorfer, started out as Brodmann’s apprentice, so historical precedents are firmly in place. The Brodmann loudspeaker ranges certainly do show similarities to their Bösendorfer predecessors, but Deutsch has also taken advantage of the change to incorporate a number of detail improvements
 
My previous familiarity with Deutsch’s speaker designs had been two floorstanding Vienna Classic (VC) models, so on this occasion I decided it would be interesting to try the FS stand-mount. This is part of the Festival series, which costs rather less than the VC models previously encountered, and is effectively the company’s least costly model at £2,500/pair.
 
One key factor that distinguishes all of Deutsch’s designs is that wooden panels are deliberately attached to the enclosures in order to act as ‘sound boards’, reflecting the piano making heritage, while the undamped enclosure walls are also expected to add a degree of resonance to the overall sound. The FS design is different in other respects too, for example using a relatively small bass/mid driver mounted on the outward side panel.
 
Somewhat paradoxically, although the S in FS apparently stands for ‘shelf’, the brochure illustration in fact shows a partnering £349/pair stand, and this was supplied as an essential and integral part of the package. It’s also specific to this loudspeaker because the ‘sound board’ used in the FS is located in the base, so the underside ought to be left unobstructed. The stand is therefore an asymmetric affair. It consists of a modest size but substantially mass-loaded base tapped for 6mm spikes; a single 15x450x175mm (WxHxD) vertical pillar in folded pressed steel is used, offset to the same side as the main drive unit. The top consists of an open rectangular frame in shaped pressed steel, into which the speaker securely sits. Such a stand has fine fore’n’aft rigidity, but offers very little impediment to lateral movement, which is probably how it should be.
 
The tweeter here is mounted on a very slim front panel, and is left naked and visible. The side-mounted main driver is somewhat recessed and the speaker comes with a rather hefty grille, consisting of a series of diamond- section vertical slats that actually cover the face of the driver, and apparently have only a modest diffusing effect. The stand package contains some more grilles, similar in construction and appearance but here extended downwards in order to cover the outside of the stand’s vertical strut. These grilles are essentially cosmetic.
 
With its side-mounted bass/mid driver, the speaker proper has an unusual shape, and is beautifully finished in ‘real’ piano lacquer black on the four visible faces. It’s a very slim 202mm when viewed from the front, but is nearly a metre tall (actually 952mm, hence the modest stand height) and is 276mm deep. One might assume that the total height of speaker and stand might place the tweeter around seated ear height, which is usually desirable; not so here, as the tweeter is roughly halfway up (or down) the front panel, so sits rather low down. Due in no small part to the enclosure’s decidedly substantial build, I’d estimate the internal volume is a modest nine litres.      

Although initial inspection failed to reveal any kind of port, suggesting that the FS might be a sealed-box system, in fact the impedance trace indicates something very similar to port-loading, though Brodmann describes its particular arrangement as a ‘horn resonator’ rather than a port, and claims it has more of a low-pass than a resonant characteristic. Whatever, its output is exceptionally well hidden, and actually comes from the slot that separates the ‘sound board’ from the speaker proper. Presumably placing the speaker on a shelf will therefore completely block this output, while placing it on its stand also modifies its output somewhat, as the same slot is also used to locate the speaker on its top plate.

 
I took impedance traces under all three conditions, the stand-mount version showing nicely balanced ‘twin peaks’ either side of a dip centred on a relatively high 88Hz. The trace looks conventional enough, showing minima at a very respectable five ohms and a minor ‘wrinkle’ around 250Hz.
 
Like the enclosures, the two drive units are both apparently hand made in Austria. The main bass/mid driver uses a relatively thick paper/Manila cone roughly 100mm in diameter, while the tweeter here has a 25mm silk fabric dome. A solitary pair of high quality terminals feed what is presumably a very simple crossover network, as it’s quoted as 6dB/octave at 2kHz. The low-pass ‘horn resonator’ output rolls off at 4.5dB/octave above 130Hz.
 
Based on far-field in-room traces, the sensitivity measures around 87dB. There is no low (sub-50Hz) to speak of here, which is hardly surprising in view of the ingredients, but the overall response trend is rather unusual on two counts. First because it emphasises the upper bass (100-220Hz) rather than the mid-bass (50-100Hz), which is at least unusual; secondly because it doesn’t seem to follow the normal pattern of variation with positioning.
 
Best bass alignment under my conditions was arguably with the speakers well clear of walls, and while this still left the zone below 100Hz rather lacking and the octave 150-300Hz rather strong, above that frequency everything looks quite tidy and very well controlled, albeit a little lean through the upper midband (400Hz-2kHz), and a little strong (relative to the norm) through the main treble (2-7kHz). Despite the side-mounted main driver, integration between the bass/mid unit and the tweeter appears effectively seamless; an added bonus is that any unwanted above-the- crossover-point main driver output will be directed well away from the listening zone.
 
The story so far is certainly interesting enough, but it’s no substitute for actually listening to a loudspeaker, and here the FS really turns up trumps. Such a small loudspeaker is bound to have some limitations in bass weight and extension, and these are obvious enough in practice, but any upper bass excess does seem to be perfectly innocuous and acceptable, while the overall coherence and dynamic expression are both exceptionally impressive. And despite a balance and character that’s essentially ‘warm’, there seems to be no obvious voice ‘chestiness’, probably thanks to this speaker’s fine speed, timing and freedom from timesmear. Indeed, vivid and realistic voice reproduction is a major plus.
 
Imaging is notably superior, combining good central image focus with a fine impression of spaciousness and a complete freedom from boxiness. A degree of phase accuracy was demonstrated by their ability to throw phantom images well outside the front soundstage when replaying a movie stereophonically. 
 
I spent some weeks listening to these Brodmann speakers, and I consistently found them both enjoyable and highly informative, despite their small size and limited bass. In my relatively large (4.3x2.6x5.5m) room their small size and limited bass extension did represent a significant limitation with some types of music, but that is really the only significant criticism. In a smaller room this might well be less obvious, and the FS has a whole slew of compensating strengths – notably superior imaging and dynamic expression, plus fine overall neutrality and low coloration, all put together in an exceptionally discreet and beautifully finished package. Ultimately, the Brodmann FS might appear to be a rather strange brew in several respects, but it actually works remarkably well sonically speaking, and is decent enough value for money to boot. +
You must listen to it for it truly stands apart!
AVMENTOR

The imaging is not simply in front of you but it creates a spherical presence which changes the acoustics of the space and is truly impressive, ....

The FS sounds pleasant and soft on high with good speed and transparency. It does not tire and one can listen to hard recordings since its character veers to the light and pleasant side. The middle range is presented appropriately: it keeps its distances from the listener, providing sufficient details and the presence of the instruments and voices in this range are natural and pleasing. In other words there is nothing missing and nothing is projected beyond the necessary.
 

One of the reasons that the audio field has exceptional interest is the varied approaches that often hide the possibility for a new successful process of ideas far from the “conventional” approach. As an example, consider Hans Deutsch. He entered the field of sound almost half a century ago, and from 1964 is developing and implementing a package of ideas on the design of speakers which is completely innovative, even revolutionary, and exceptionally interesting. …..
It is difficult to evaluate if the choice of a piano maker such as Brodmann to implement Hans’ ideas is simply a chance or it is his preference for a designer of speakers, but look at it from the practical side. If there is someone that can construct the cabin of a speaker based on the principle of a musical instrument, it would be best for that someone to be a piano maker.
 
What is it that makes the speakers of Deutsch different? 
 
Basically two things. First the “charge” of the cabin is not according to classic procedures, but is based on what he names as a Horn Resonator, a variation on the Helmholtz principle.
The second differentiation that appears on most of the Brodmann line, is the use of a vibrating surface, which Deutsch calls SoundBoard (ASB: Acoustic SoundBoard)
 
Description of the Festival FS…
 
The speaker is a two way design, with the silk dome tweeter of 28 mm and amid/woofer of 130 mm of paper pulp reinforced with strands of carbon and cannabis, while the support is of a foam material. Brodmann itself produces the speakers in order to have better control of their characteristics. This allows it to come closest to Deutsch’s philosophy which dictates that the mid/woofer would function “in the highest possible frequency of cut off” and the function of the tweeter “ in the lowest possible frequency cut offpoint”. In the specific case of the FS the frequency cross is 2kHz with the use of a first order filter (6dB/oct).
 
While the SoundBoards of the FS do not show when the speaker is in its upright position of use, that which can be seen is another idea which is named SoundRods (ASR: Acoustic SoundRods). It is in effect a “heavy grill” which according to the company improves the distribution of the middle frequencies. This piece has attachments to the speaker as well as to its base and “ties” together from an aesthetic point of view.One of the many unique aspects of the speaker is that there is no use of damping material in the interior of the cabin. The company depends on the dimensions and the internal construction of the cabin for this effect.
 
The finish of the FS is, as one would expect, exceptional, even though it is a base model. The meaning of “piano finish” acquires new substance when the maker of the speaker has a history in the construction of pianos, and Brodmann uses the opportunity to show what can be done. The connection with the amplifier is by means of two terminals of high quality
 
The laboratory evaluation of the FS has specific difficulties which arise from its structural design. The anechoic measurement of the response in the middle/high frequencies with lower level the 400Hz (and splicing at 2kHz) has two aspects. The speaker appears sufficiently even up to 10kHz, within the boundaries of +/-2.5dB and then has a substantial upswing (about 6dB in relation to the median sensitivity with a center at about 12kHz) which is followed by a quite large downward turn. On the basis of the median sensitivity, the FS has an upper frequency cut off (-3dB) at approximately 15.8kHz and –6dB at 19.5kHz. Considering that the tweeter is designed and produced by the company, this must be a specific choice which is determines the voicing of the speaker.
 
The quasi-anechoic measurement substantiates the initial valuation that the FS is a speaker with relatively small variations since its curve is within +/-3dB, with the exception in the high frequencies (which have been mentioned) and a small emphasis low (at 160Hz). The lower frequency cut off (-3dB) is at approximately 70Hz and the point of –6dB is close to 60Hz. The angle of the curve is 12dB/oct. On the basis of this particular response, the median sensitivity of the FS has been calculated at 84.4dBSPL/2.83V a result which places it among insensitive speakers. Brodmann gives a much more lower figure of (81.1dBSPL/w/m) but with a different measurement norm (DIN). Very interesting is the space average response of the speaker, which results from a series of measurements both within and out of the axis and can be considered as much more representative of the actual response. In the charts below one can see that the emphasis on the high frequencies is smoothed out to a great extent.
 
As a load, the FS will not create difficulties for the amplifier which will drive it. The measure of minimum impedance in the lower frequencies is 5.2Ohm (190Hz) with the highest value reaching 23Ohm (63Hz). The phase of the impedance moves in the usual levels, minimally above 36 degrees (with an inductive character, 46 degrees at 48Hz).
 
Given that the units of the speaker do not project directly to the listener, it is not possible to obtain a full anechoic step response. For this reason we show separately the response of the mid/woofer which is quite even both during its initial excitement as well as its damping, and, also, for the tweeter that shows an even response with the exception of a second arrival which needs some clarifying. On the basis of the time delay (0.16mS after the initial impulse) it is very possible that this second arrival is caused by the diffraction of the baffle. This is supported by the fact that the width of the baffle is equivalent (by the width of the wave) to a frequency of 6.4kHz.
 
The CSD diagram of the tweeter (above 2kHz) shows a quite fast speaker with a maximum delay about 1mS at 3kHz. There are, also, see a series of resonances in the region from 4kHz to 10kHz, but they are quite smaller ( below 1mS), a result which must be considered absolutely satisfactory.
 
Finally the diagram of the polar response shows what is to be expected. The FS is a speaker which excites the space homogeneously, especially below 2kHz where midrange driver comes into play. Even in the high frequencies the directionality is very small with -6dB being more than 45 degrees off axis. On the basis of this, it does not seem necessary to turn the speakers toward the listener, even though Brodmann in its manual recommends it. The diagram is characterized by a lack of symmetry in the vertical axis which can be explained by the fact that the two units are placed at an angle of 90 degrees. The total response of the speaker on the issue of directionality shows that it is capable of creating a homogenous acoustic field which the listener should use if he wants to have best possible result.
 
The FS replaced the reference speakers and were driven by the Parasound amplifier HCA3500 with the rest of the system being the Teac Esoteric P70/D70 (upsampling 176k connected AES with cables DC-110 of Nirvana), the preamp Plus Series Line of Melos. One part of the listening was done with the use of digital acoustic correction Through the DRC-205 by Copland, in order to judge if the speaker and handle corrections in the lower frequencies. 
 
The design of the small Brodmann demands quite careful placement. The listener receives the largest part of the middle frequencies indirectly. One should make certain of a symmetry in the placement of the speakers as well as in the uniformity of the reflexions. Of course, the length of the waves that are below 2kHz are quite large, so in effect on should avoid extremes, but the impression that the speaker create during the test is that a bit of researching is always rewarded.
 
The first impression in listening to the FS is that one has before him a exceptionally well set up speaker, based on clear concepts on high fidelity which are then served with consequence. For example if one is looking for the sound of a monitor, they should search elsewhere. The FS is an uniquely atmospheric speaker, capable of creating a rich sound field within which the listener feels he is enveloped and which is the most complete that this reviewer has ever heard from a two channel stereo. 
 
The imaging is not simply in front of you but it creates a spherical presence which changes the acoustics of the space and is truly impressive, if one considers the size of the speakers. The focus of the sound field is not especially sharp , however the description of the total musical event usually does not necessitate such details and it is obvious the Deutsch belongs to the school that considers such sound more natural and a large percentage of demanding audiophiles agree with him. (This reviewer is not at all unhappy with such a result even though he systematically listens to speakers diametrically opposed on this issue!) On the basis of what I heard with the FS, it is not strange that the larger models of Brodmann (and the older ones of Bossendorfer) have garnered some amazingly enthusiastic reviews. The larger the sound field in a recording the better this speaker responds, and the large orchestras (where one distiquishes groups of instruments instead of individual organs) are truly impressive in presence (mind you that we are speaking of the mid/woofer of 130mm) 
 
In regard to the area of frequency response, the designer has his thoughts. The FS sounds pleasant and soft on high with good speed and transparency. It does not tire and one can listen to hard recordings since its character veers to the light and pleasant side. The middle range is presented appropriately: it keeps its distances from the listener, providing sufficient details and the presence of the instruments and voices in this range are natural and pleasing. In other words there is nothing missing and nothing is projected beyond the necessary. This is probably the reason that one can very easily exhaust this small speaker without feeling that it is tiring one. Brodmann gives a top level in constant use of 96dBSPL/1m which means that in a system where the listener is seated 2 meter away the real volume would be around 93dBSPL, a value which is perfectly satisfactory for most purposes. If you over push it the FS reacts with acoustic suppression (as anyone would expect) but again without it becoming unpleasant.
 
In the lower frequencies the limits are dependent on the speaker and the space of cabin, although the unique architecture of the cabin gives the speaker a bit more “air” in contrast to what one would expect from a traditional approach of a bass reflex. Truly, even though there are clear limits, the FS sounds balanced and well controlled with capable deleniation of the rhythmic part without showing “small” or insufficient. Clearly the very low frequencies are held back and lose a part of their impressive character, but this is expected and in the final analysis does not bother given the volume and dimensions of speaker.
 
Finally….
 
……the smallest Brodmann speaker is an interesting case: It is a economical, scaled-down, version of the large speakers of the company, and under this prism, it is a test of how much the ideas of Deutsch can come “down” to a lower price category
 
In practice, the FS is a very good small speaker, with a unique character and I have no doubt it will enthuse a a lot of demanding audiophiles. You must listen to it for it truly stands apart!
 

Testimonials

For once my Naim gear makes music and not hifi!

Hi Terry & David,

All installed (Brodmann FS stand mtg speakers) and sounding absolutely, ridiculously, beautifully, natural. 

For once my Naim gear makes music and not hifi! 

You will need to come and hear them another visit. 

Thanks again, I'm totally thrilled. 

Regards,
Peter Roband

http://www.audioreference.co.nz/product/brodmann-festival-fs-stand-mtg-speakers-w-custom-stands-piano-black

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