Hi-fi+ AWARDS 2022 – Burmester 216 Power Amplifier



Date: 2022-12-14



Burmester had a problem in 2021. The company's 911 Top Line power amplifier had been in production for 30 years. It had been through several iterations, and was still very popular but there were so many innovations that simply couldn't 'port' to that design. The answer to the problem was the 216 power amplifier also aimed at the company's Top Line.

The Burmester 216 - and the even larger Reference Line 218 - draw heavily from the huge 159 power amplifiers. This 100W per channel 216 is a completely symmetrical design; thergaren't even single-ended RCA inputs on the back panel. It uses the Class A X-Amp' input stage technology from the 159 and a DC-coupled signal path free from capacitors. The signal path is also clear of any protection circuitry. It also has cleaner lines than the 911 it replaces; getting rid of the raised chrome-plated front of the top plate is way more modern-looking.

Like the 911 Mk 3 power amp it replaces, Alan Sircom thought the Burmester 216 "retains that 'uncontrolled control' bass, but it adds extra depth, precision, control, and ability to 'wig out' too" Alan was impressed by the 216's dynamics, "This might come as less of a surprise given the amplifier is effectively a power reservoir with speaker terminals, but often such chunkiness comes with some not-insignifcant inertia. This is perhaps the biggest change from 911 Mk3 to 216; while the older amp was no sluggard when it came to swinging dynamics, the 216 sounds a lot more reactive and dynamically, er, dynamic."

Alan summed up, saying that. “A good power amplifier should be impressive without being ‘obvious’: it makes an impression by perfect interpretation of the preamp and perfect control of the loudspeakers, and that makes the 216 damn near perfect!"

Learn more about the Top Line 216 here: bit.ly/3uMmZDJ