A passion for audio technology
Bernd Marsch, born in 1966, is considered the mastermind of the team behind 3BE’s Aural Sculptures. Bernd has been involved in listening to music and its reproduction for over 40 years. He built his very first speaker enclosures at the age of 14. He designed and manufactured his first pair of speakers for paying customers while studying system dynamics and control engineering in Stuttgart. He experimented with established methods and new, in particular, computer-based concepts in speaker design up until the late 90s.
“I’m a child of the 80s. I regularly bought specialist magazines such as Audio and Hifi-Visionen. I admired Harald Kuppek – whom I didn’t know personally – for his remastering of the Stereoplay samplers and dreamed of participating in the listening tests in the laboratories of the major speaker manufacturers.”
Nevertheless, Bernd first pursued a professional career in chemical plant engineering and later continued it in the strategic management of a large chemical company. But he always kept an eye on developments in the hi-fi market.
Is that actually innovative?
“I went from being a hobby inventor to a consumer. In the area of high-end speakers, I noticed that virtually every three months a new one, which supposedly sounded even better than hundreds of other speakers before it, was launched onto the market. This made me a bit suspicious. It appeared to me that technical innovations – apart from spectacular individual cases such as from German Physics – were really rather minor.”
Bernd’s passion for speaker design was rekindled during the 2010s: “Room acoustic correction, streaming and other electronic or digital interventions became respectable in the high-end sector. Even champions of beautiful, incredibly expensive analog equipment started to think long and hard after dealing with a Lyngdorf component in a normal living room.”
The company was founded thanks to additive manufacturing
The actual trigger for the “3BE” undertaking, however, evolved from his professional dealings with additive manufacturing. “We had to check out several corresponding investment projects in my company. It was then that I really became aware of the opportunities offered by 3D printing: New freedom when it comes to the design of the shape, completely different design and construction processes, new materials, customization.”
Bernd began developing a concept in 2016 – at first as a side project – for a speaker enclosure that would utilize as many of the advantages offered by manufacturing using 3D printing processes as possible. This is how he came to play in the top league of high-end speakers for home hi-fi. “After this, no matter which of my many qualified partners I consulted with, generally more doors opened up than closed.”
His sight was firmly fixed on the future
It was clear that the concept would “take off”. Even now, the difficulty tends to be paring back to the basics. We definitely have more options than resources. Since 2020, Bernd has stepped down from his corporate career to devote himself exclusively to the further expansion of the “3BE” idea. “Our achievements so far means we can offer our customers – and potentially their customers – something extraordinary. For the eyes, for the ears, for the mind.”