正當台北圓山熱鬧舉辦Hi End音響展之際，Burmester音響為參觀民眾演出精彩樂音時，創辦人Dieter Burmester因病去世。Dieter於1946年2月9日出生於奧地利，2015年8月15日病逝於柏林，享年69歲。
德 國法蘭克福日報標題為「生命換的精緻聲音」，Dieter Burmester畢生精力都在音樂與音響上面努力，直到生命的最後一刻。出生於奧地利的Dietr，六個月大的時候就跟隨父母移居德國，在柏林求學時讀 電器與通訊，年輕的時候還是個熱血搖滾樂玩家，自己組樂團演出，並且擔任樂團的主唱兼貝斯手，他的樂團原本叫做The Echos，後來改名為Some Folks。就算Dieter後來創辦Burmester音響，而且在Hi End音響界成就極高，他對樂團的熱情不減，從1999年至2007年Dieter還找老夥伴組成Past Perfect樂團（www.past-perfect-berlin.de），依舊高喊搖滾。
1977年，Dieter在柏林創辦 Burmester，品牌的由來當然是源自他的姓，但Burmester的商標字樣，則是Dieter父親寫給他的信，祝他創業成功，Dieter把父親 簽名的字跡拿來變成品牌商標。Dieter自己玩音樂，也是音響工程師，他說自己最重要的任務，就是要讓愛樂者忘記他們正在聽音響，而是完全忘情於音樂當 中，而最高等級的音樂重播，就是讓人不再去思考究竟這些音樂是從何而來的。從創業至今，堅持德國手工生廠，創新線路研發，Dieter帶領 Burmester走過將近四十個年頭，但無止境追求完美音樂重播的理想，將永遠與Burmester器材同在。
出生於1946年，同時為音樂家和工程師的Mr.Dieter Burmester一生都在打造融合完美音樂、創新技術和永恆設計的音響器材。他和他的團隊體現了這些理念，而如今Burmester已經是享譽全球的高 階音響製造商。10年前Dieter Burmester進軍車用音響市場，獲得十分巨大的成功，如今Porsche和Mercedes-Benz等頂級車商都使用Burmester的車用音 響。
Rutherford Audio CEO，Robb Niemann談到: “Dieter Burmester不僅是我的生意夥伴，也是一個很親近的朋友，對他的想念無法以言語形容。他對每件事情的卓越熱情令我信任以及從中學習，我對於 Burmester團隊非常有信心，也很欣慰得知Dieter早已安排好了未來的計畫，我期待未來和他在柏林的團隊一起成就他的遠見”。
Rutherford Audio CEO，Robb Niemann: “Dieter Burmester was more than just a partner in business he was a dear friend that will be missed more than words or emotions can express,His passion for excellence in everything is a character trait that I have learned from and trust that I will be able to carry through my days. I am confident in the team that is in place and glad to hear that Dieter had everything arranged to carry the company forward for years to come. We look forward to sharing his vision through many years to come in partnership with the team in Berlin”。
今年音響展，筆者才與德國Burmester 原廠業務進行專訪，訪談過程中可以充分感受到Burmester 近幾年展現的強烈企圖心，沒想到今天卻收到一個不幸的消息，就是公司創辦人兼總裁Dieter Burmester已於德國當地時間8月15日病逝（1946-2015），享壽69歲。根據德國當地消息，目前Burmester的經營不受任何影響，將由Dieter Burmester的遺孀Marianne Burmester繼續領導公司。對於未來的產品研發，音響迷們也別擔心，從這次音響展的專訪中，可以發現Burmester 已經是非常成熟的Hi End音響公司，研發與經營團隊十分堅強，相信在未來仍會穩健經營並持續推出精彩作品溫暖豐富人心。公司今天能有此非凡成就，Dieter在天堂也能安心的彈著他最心愛的電吉他，R.I.P.。
The high-end audio community suffered a tragic and unexpected loss on August 15, when Dieter Burmester passed away in Berlin after a short but severe illness. The loss was tragic because Burmester, who founded and led his namesake company until his death, was both a pioneer and a hi-fi industry visionary. It was unexpected due to Burmester’s unfailing energy and passion, including his typically animated presence at this year’s Munich High End exhibition. Indeed, Burmester’s vitality was such that none of us who knew and interacted with him would have ever suspected he was 69.
Dieter Burmester grew up as a musician and an inveterate tinkerer of radio and other electronics. Given these twin interests, it made eminent sense for him to study electrical engineering after completing his military service. Yet none of this had him dreaming of launching an audio firm; he was happy to be an audiophile.
Burmester made the transition from listener to builder when his Quad tube amplifier suffered a catastrophic failure, thereby adding unreliability to his previous complaints—high distortion, low damping factor, the constant aging of valves—about tube electronics. Burmester’s solution was to try his own hand at building an audio component.
In 1977, he mustered his considerable skills and his own money to build a solid-state amplifier and preamplifier. The results were very much to his liking, so he exposed his audiophile friends to his handiwork. Their enthusiastic response led Burmester to think, for the first time, of starting an audio company. Unfortunately, the local bank did not share his enthusiasm, tersely declining to fund the venture.
Nonetheless, Burmester found himself awash in orders for the preamp from those who had heard it. He hand-built twenty units in his workshop, selling them for what would become a Burmester trademark: top dollar. Word of mouth eventually brought the unit to the attention of a local audio dealer, who elected to carry it. This resulted in further sales and publicity. By 1978, Burmester Audiosysteme was fully established. In the end, no bank loan had been necessary.
Over time, Burmester’s company produced a string of lauded components that included numerous technical innovations. At the same time, Burmester expanded distribution from his own workshop to dealer networks in sixty countries. Through a combination of personal connections and force of personality, he persuaded the likes of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Bugatti to incorporate tailor-made Burmester systems in their vehicles.
Through all these endeavors, Burmester Audiosysteme was best known for its unerring focus on quality and musicality. The team that Burmester, along with his wife, Marianne, built has pledged to continue operating the company in the way Dieter would have wanted.
From a personal perspective, although I had met Dieter at numerous audio shows, I truly got to know him when he came to the States to supervise the installation of an all-Burmester system, which I subsequently reviewed for TAS, in my listening room. What struck me then was the man’s passion for music itself—he continued to play guitar and had amassed a formidable collection of instruments—as well as his sheer charm. It was disarmingly easy to become one of Dieter’s friends.
While Dieter was a worldly, charismatic figure, he was also among the most thoughtful people in audio. During our last conversation, in Munich, he described his vision of the past and continuing evolution of high-end audio. According to Dieter, Phase 1 of the high end’s history was focused purely on sound quality—a search for the best way to reproduce 80 years of musical culture, as captured on physical media. Phase 2 continued to pay attention to sonics, but added the convenience of computer-based systems. This allowed instant access to an entire library of stream-able media, without the need of physical discs. For Phase 3, Dieter opined, the industry had to add lifestyle compatibility to the mix if it was to survive and grow. Evidence of this philosophy was everywhere in Munich.
Unfortunately, due to his untimely passing, we will never know what Burmester might have envisioned for Phase 4 and beyond. News of his death was stunning. The first reaction from all I’ve spoken to about it has been shock. How could someone so vital have been felled so suddenly and unexpectedly? Yet the enduring emotion will surely be sadness. We still have his iconic products and his company—which hopefully will create many more of those products—but there will never be another Dieter.