Several things elevate a connoisseur above the average buyer, like a good eye for detail, a keen sense of value, and less susceptibility to the ol' oregano and pencil shavings in a baggie trick. Unless it's like, really dank oregano. Catering to audio connoisseurs who prefer to get hi(-fi), Blumenstein Ultra Fi.
Based in a 1000sqft SODO woodshop, BUF turns out modernist polished-wood sound boxes all individually handmade by an engineer who (after studying music at Whitman) wanted to build something better than the usual "crappy" mass-produced speakers, and now -- thanks to an apprenticeship with renowned audiophile Terry Cain -- he's finally Able! Some of his freshest designs include:
Orca: Made of 12mm birch plywood, these desktop-sized Ultra Fi's took four years to develop in order to produce previously impossible levels of warmth, dynamic range, and bass realism, though Lance came super close in On The Line.
Naga: This slender waist-high bamboo number was named for a Southeast Asian snake god because of its 12ft folding sound channel connected to a backloaded horn, though in fairness, only Dizzy Gillespie's cheeks look chubby.
Josephine: These thunderous large format loudspeakers feature Baltic birch plywood cabinets on an African mahogany base with brass feet, and are named for the classic track by Les Paul, but not less Paul, which is something only Trevor Ariza's interested in.
BUF also slings fully custom (and massively expensive) PA systems like a 10 speaker monster he just built for the CEO of Etsy, and more affordable, raw-plywood, party-sized numbers that're only available in Seattle, and which he fondly refers to as "Pieces of S**T -- the same thing you called those dudes on The Ave that sold you $80 bucks of cardamom.
Published: March 17, 2011 at 4:00am EDT
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