Highly acclaimed omnidirectional loudspeakers featuring the wide range DDD driver. German Physiks loudspeakers are handmade in Germany and come multiple finishes to match most decor requirements.
They create an enveloping sound field in the listener’s room that more closely mimics that found in a concert hall. This provides a more natural recreation of the original musical performance and so a more enjoyable listening experience.
All models use the unique omnidirectional, DDD driver. The differences as you go up the range are:
- They employ 1, 2 or 4 DDD drivers to provide increasingly higher maximum output levels, increased dynamics and greater ease in larger rooms.
- Progressively more sophisticated crossovers for greater resolution.
- Progressively larger bass systems for a more extended bass response.
About German Physiks
Although the first loudspeaker to bear the German Physiks name appeared in 1992, the history of the product predates this by several years.
In 1978 Peter Dicks, engineer, mathematician and sociologist, had become fascinated with certain fundamental problems of audio transducer behaviour. After years of mathematical modelling and experimentation, he had created a design that he believed decisively surpassed the then state of the art. By 1980 Dicks had succeeded in developing an extremely impressive sounding prototype based upon his innovative design concepts. He had also developed a complete theoretical model of the device’s operation. He expected these at the very least to elicit some degree of interest from the loudspeaker manufacturing industry. To his dismay, the numerous driver manufacturers he contacted throughout Northern Europe all responded with either condescension or disinterest.
It was only in the early 90s, after a series of prototypes had been heard by a number of audiophiles, that Dicks was finally contacted by a German company called Mainhattan Acustik, run by Holger Mueller, an audiophile and IT expert. They made high quality loudspeakers employing conventional drivers and sold moderately well in Europe and the Far East. They also supplied drivers to a number of leading high-end audio manufacturers. In contrast to the rest of the European loudspeaker industry, Mainhattan Acustik showed the first real interest in his work. Mueller, was intrigued from the start. The prototype which Peter Dicks had developed was on the face of it a derivative of a design for which Mueller already had the highest regard, the famous Walsh Driver, invented by legendary American transformer engineer, Lincoln Walsh. Mueller himself owned a pair of Ohm F loudspeakers that used an early version of the Walsh driver and had always felt that the design had enormous untapped potential. As he examined Dicks’ prototype and pored over the detailed design notes, he saw that much of that potential had now been realised.
For the next two years they worked to extract every improvement in performance that the new driver, now called the DDD driver, was capable of.
Not satisfied with superb laboratory measurements and the unbridled enthusiasm of his listening panels, Mueller initiated an exhaustive life-testing program to ensure the absolute reliability of the driver under the most severe conditions of use. In parallel Dicks worked on fine-tuning the computer model and the physical realisation, while Mueller worked on the aesthetics and industrial design, because he believed that the design of the driver must strongly express the company’s commitment to innovation through engineering and overall elegance of visual form.
Finally in 1992, Mueller was satisfied and the first loudspeaker to use the DDD driver came off the production line. This was the Borderland MK I and it was marketed under a new brand name: German Physiks.
The Borderland MK I met with immediate approval, quickly gaining sales in the Far East, a region that had historically been an excellent but demanding market for high-end audiophile products. The rest is, as they say, history.
Please explore the range below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
The HRS-130 loudspeaker is a higher performance version of the popular HRS-120, which it replaced. Not only have significant improvements been made to the sound quality, but the cabinet has been restyled to give a smoother look, enabling the HRS-130 to blend more easily in to the room. The improved look is enhanced by a new, luxurious high-polish polyester finish, which is available in black or white.
Price: MSRP $22,000 – $26,000, depending on finish.
The Unicorn, as its name suggests is a very rare species: a single driver loudspeaker that covers the full audio range. It uses a single carbon fibre DDD driver to cover the full range from 24kHz all the way down to 40Hz. The bass has a speed and smoothness of integration with the rest of the audio range that we have yet to hear bettered. The overall clarity, coherence, timbre, dynamics and finesse the Unicorn provides make it a dream for lovers of vocal, jazz and classical music. It is also capable of surprising rock music fans.
Potentially, the best all around single driver speaker in the market.
Price: MSRP $27,000 – $31,000, depending on finish
Originally introduced in 1992, the Borderland was the first flagship German Physiks model and has since provided the inspiration for the current Unlimited and HRS-130 models. Now in its MK IV form, the Borderland remains the most popular loudspeaker. It combines our unique carbon fibre DDD driver with a downward firing 12–inch woofer and a sophisticated new crossover network. Housed in an extremely rigid octagonal cabinet, it sets impressively high standards for stereo imaging, transparency and musicality.
Price: MSRP $34,000 – $39,000, depending on finish
The PQS-302 is based on Loreley and is designed to enable the quality of reproduction provided by its much larger stable-mate to be enjoyed in medium-sized rooms. It is an exceptional loudspeaker, producing realistic and detailed three-dimensional stereo imaging, excellent dynamics and of course our trademark fast, deep and well-controlled bass. Naturally it also offers the finesse and transparency that all German Physiks loudspeakers are famous for. It combines these attributes with the ability to produce sound levels up to 112dB.
Price: MSRP $94,000 – $108,000, depending on finish
The Loreley MK III is designed to bring you closer to the “concert experience” that our flagship Gaudi provides, but in a smaller cabinet and at a lower price. Like the Gaudi, the Loreley MK III is capable of reproducing sound levels up to 120dB, which allows live music dynamics to be more realistically reproduced. At the same time it can accurately reproduce the low-level detail and delicate nuances that are the essence of a musical performance.
Price: MSRP $160,000 – $175,000, depending on finish. It includes the Emperor Electronic Crossover
More about the unique omnidirectional DDD driver
The DDD driver has two key distinguishing features
Where the driver cone moves back and forward like the piston in a car engine.
Bending wave radiation
Where the driver cone flexes and a wave is made to travel down its side.
Where the driver cone is allowed to go into break up and areas of excitation are created on the cone surface. In a simplified form we can think of these areas as looking like the pattern of waves we see when a stone is dropped into a pool of water. In reality the patterns will be more complex and they will change with frequency.
The German Physiks range of omnidirectional loudspeakers currently comprises of multiple models, covering room sizes from 8 sq metres (84 sq feet) up to 300 sq metres (3,170 sq feet)
Advantage #1: Exceptionally Coherent and Natural Sound
This is very difficult to achieve when the frequency range is split over two or more different types of driver, each with a different radiation characteristic and which are in physically different positions on the loudspeaker’s cabinet. This is achieved with the DDD by design.
This excellent coherence is assisted by the fact that the DDD driver is comparatively compact, which makes it as close as we can currently get to an ideal point source.
Dick Olsher, in his review of the Unlimited MK II for The Absolute Sound commented on the importance of the coherence that the DDD driver provides:
“It only took me a few seconds to realize that this is a superbly coherent loudspeaker whose wave-launch more closely mimics live music than the disjointed presentation of a typical multi-way speaker. While I don’t intend to condemn all multi-way designs, the truth is that the great majority simply fail to coalesce into a coherent whole. That’s a direct consequence of slicing and dicing the music spectrum into pieces for consumption by tweeters, mids, and woofers arrayed on a large baffle. Such speakers may integrate reasonably well at a few points in space but move the measuring mike or your head a few inches and the balance shifts significantly.”
Dick Olsher, The Absolute Sound, February 2014 (read review)
This wide operating range also eliminates the crossover point in the mid-range that loudspeakers using conventional pistonic drivers must have. Our hearing is most sensitive in the mid-range, which is where the human voice lies, therefore removing anything that might cause level or phase errors from this region will improve transparency.
Advantage #2: Realistic stereo images similar to what you experience in the concert hall
When you listen to music in a concert hall, you are in an enveloping sound field where much of the sound is reflected off a surface before it reaches your ears. These reflections play an important part in the creation the stereo image that you perceive. Because the DDD driver is omnidirectional, it radiates all frequencies evenly around it and so creates a similar enveloping sound field in the listener’s room.
This way German Physiks loudspeakers are able to recreate a more natural rendition of the original stereo image. This has excellent depth and focus, but without the overly sharp image definition that some hi-fi loudspeakers produce and which you will rarely if ever hear at a live performance.
Advantage #3: Stereo imaging in almost all positions in the room
Conventional loudspeakers tend to produce stereo images that can only be best enjoyed from one position in the room, which we call the “sweet-spot” and then usually by only one person. As you move away from the “sweet-spot”, both the stereo image and the tonal balance become progressively degraded. This is because conventional pistonic drivers tend to concentrate their radiation into a beam that progressively narrows with increasing frequency.
By contrast, the DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern enables German Physiks loudspeakers to produce excellent stereo images that can be enjoyed from a wide range of listening positions in the room, whilst also maintaining a more even tonal balance: much like you would experience at a live performance.
This gives more flexibility in where you sit and allows several people to enjoy a good sound simultaneously, so you can more easily share your music with others. This is a useful attribute in home theatre systems.
In addition, because you are not restricted to a small “sweet-spot” in order to hear the best sound, German Physiks loudspeakers are able to provide a more relaxed listening experience. This is especially noticeable when you listen for long periods.
Advantage #4: Exceptional Dynamics
The DDD driver has a very low moving mass, less than 3 grams, so it can respond extremely quickly to transients, allowing it to recreate both the attack of the music and resolve low level detail very accurately. The resultant transparency is maintained even on complex high-level passages. Cymbals have an authentic initial smash and the ebb and flow of the subtle overtones that follow, is clear and unmasked. This ability is essential in order to faithfully reproduce the delicate nuances of a performance and make it sound like music, rather than just good hi-fi.
Once you have become accustomed to the more natural presentation provided by our DDD driver, it can be difficult to go back to listening to a conventional design. This is something we often hear from our customers and it has also been commented on in reviews, as Alan Sircom did writing in his review of our HRS-130.
“If you do find yourself liking the presentation of the HRS-130, going back to a direct radiating loudspeaker may prove impossible. It simply won’t sound right, anymore. This is not hyperbole: If you listen, and like, going back is difficult. It’s not just the imagery; the sound is naturally coherent, in a way that makes you think listening to a cone and dome box is listening to some drivers and a crossover.”
Alan Sircom, HiFi+, Issue 123 view/download pdf (1.5MB)
The DDD driver’s excellent dynamic response also means that it does not compress the music the way other drivers may, consequently you are less likely to feel the need to turn up the volume in order to obtain a satisfying playback level. This is better for the long-term health of your hearing and because you are avoiding very high playback levels, you will be able to hear more detail in the music.
Advantage #5: Accurate portrayal of musical instruments’ tonal characteristics
The DDD driver is phase linear across its operating range. This means that the phase relationships of the complex series of frequencies that make up the music signal are accurately preserved and this ensures that the tonal character of each musical instrument is reproduced with great accuracy. This together with the DDD driver’s excellent dynamic response enables German Physiks loudspeakers to reproduce percussion with startling reality. Voices have a clarity and purity that can be breath taking, with all the elements that comprise the vocal sound correctly located in space and with no undue emphasis. The hardness you often hear with conventional tweeters is eliminated and you get a greater sense of hearing a live musician rather than a recorded one.
Advantage #6: Easy to set-up
Due to their omnidirectional nature, German Physiks loudspeakers are less sensitive to room position than conventional loudspeakers and there is no toe-in adjustment to worry about. This ease of set-up has been commented on in several reviews.
In his review of the Unlimited, Jeff Dorgay of Tone Audio commented:
“While these speakers do benefit from about 20 minutes of optimizing the bass driver in the room, those with no speaker setup skills will still be able to achieve excellent results. I’ve never used a pair of speakers that were this easy to place in my three listening rooms.“Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio, July 2013: read review