The German Physiks PQS Series of Loudspeakers
PQS-302, PQS-402 and Loreley Mk III all share a common design. They almost share a common style of name. PQS stands for Premium Quality Speaker. These models came about due to a need to provide higher sound levels and drive larger rooms than was possible with our single DDD driver models. Our largest single DDD driver model is the Borderland Mk IV. This can produce a maximum output level of 108 dB and drive rooms up to around 90 sq m (950 sq ft). 108 dB is louder than many conventional loudspeakers, but to get closer to “real life” music dynamics and sound levels, we needed to go higher still. To do this we had to be able to move more air, which requires more drivers.
Getting higher output levels from the DDD driver is achieved by simply using either 2, or 4 DDD drivers and mounting them coaxially in a vertical column on the front of the loudspeaker. Resonances in the columns, which would others colour the sound, are minimised due to their circular shape and the fact that they are made from aluminium, which is a comparatively soft material.
The matching bass systems require multiple drivers and this necessitates large enclosures that have to be separate from the DDD drivers. This arrangement gives considerable flexibility in the range of bass systems that may be implemented, as can be seen from the table below. You can also see that the Loreley has a very high maximum output level, as well as a very well extended bass. In a suitably large room, it can produce playback levels and dynamics that are extremely realistic.
Reaching Mt. Olympus: The Loreley
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.
The Loreley MK III uses four DDD drivers, two 12-inch woofers and four 10-inch passive radiators to produce a truly emotionally involving musical performance
The Loreley MK III is designed to be bi-amped using an active crossover. This means that it uses two power amplifiers to directly drive each loudspeaker: one for the DDD drivers and one for the woofers. The signal split for each section is performed at low level using the German Physiks Extreme digital active crossover, which is supplied with the Loreley. This is pre-configured at the factory so all the customer has to do is connect it into the system and switch it on. The customer may if they wish manually adjust the crossover’s settings. A number of set-up memories are provided to allow customer set-ups to be stored and then recalled when required.
Active operation provides a much higher level of performance than is possible with a passive crossover and allows the full potential of this high quality design to be realised.
Independent Bass Enclosures
Each loudspeaker has two large independent bass enclosures mounted one on top of the other, which stand between a top and a bottom plate. None of these components is attached to the other using screws or any form of hard connection, but are held together by an interlocking collar arrangement. This greatly reduces resonances and also makes the column more difficult to topple. Each enclosure is fitted with a 12-inch inverted dome driver that has a maximum excursion of 3 inches. Distortion levels are typically a tenth of those of conventional 18-inch sub woofers at comparable output levels. In addition, their acceleration and transient responses are far superior due to the immense magnetic forces generated by the massive rare earth magnets we use and to the very high stiffness of the dome diaphragms. The net result is a system with a very extended and very clean low frequency response, that is also capable of prodigious output levels, exceeding 110dB at 18Hz.
Freedom from Power Compression
Power compression, the reduction in dynamic range caused by heating of the voice coil, is much reduced over conventional woofer drivers due to the ultra-wide, under-hung voice coil and triple magnet structure we employ. Power handling is also correspondingly greatly increased over that of conventional designs.
High quality German Physiks Emperor Extreme digital electronic crossover
The Loreley MK III is supplied with the German Physiks Emperor Extreme digital electronic crossover. This is a high quality unit constructed using premium components and it is housed in a precision machined steel and aluminium chassis. It allows for active bi-amp operation of the Loreley. This is where two separate power amplifiers drive each loudspeaker. Each amplifier is connected directly to its driver section, as a passive crossover is no longer needed. This gives much better damping and control of the drivers and also provides a noticeable improvement in transparency. The table below shows the recommended amplifier rating for each section of the loudspeaker.
|DDD drivers||200W/4 ohms|
Easy to use
The crossover is preconfigured at the factory allowing the customer to use it straight away, without needing to make any further adjustments. The customer can manually adjust the settings if they wish. The system allows a number of crossover set-ups to be stored and quickly recalled. This makes it easy to experiment with new settings, safe in the knowledge that the original settings can easily be restored.
Low Resonance Cabinet Design Enhances Transparency
To realise the full potential of this loudspeaker, considerable effort has been put into creating a highly rigid structure in order to minimise the radiation of sound energy through the cabinet panels. The colouration this causes is one of the principle causes of degradation of a loudspeaker’s ability to resolve fine detail and thereby produce a sense of realism, as it smears and generally confuses the sound.
The Loreley MK III’s DDD drivers solve this problem by having very small enclosures, minimising the area of any potential vibrating surface. By being cylindrical, they eliminate the resonances that can arise with a conventional rectangular or square section cabinet. Because they are made from aluminium, a comparatively soft metal, residual vibration of the enclosure is minimised. The DDD driver enclosure end-caps are made from non-resonant MDF and the enclosure is packed with damping material to dissipate any standing waves. The result is that the Loreley MK III has the clarity that we normally associate with electrostatic loudspeakers and for the same reason: the DDD drivers essentially have no enclosure to colour the sound.
The bass system covers the range from 180Hz downwards. This is divided into two independent cabinets, so the panels are smaller and therefore stiffer and more vibration resistant than if a single large enclosure had been used. All the cabinet vertical surfaces are non-parallel to prevent the formation of standing waves between them. Internal bracing increases rigidity to suppress resonances. Residual vibration is minimised by applying a special damping material called Hawaphon®, to the inside surface of each panel.
Hawaphon®, consists of a polymer sheet containing a matrix of small cells filled with fine steel shot. It adds mass to the panels to reduce the resonant frequency and the ability of the balls in each cell to move against each other provides a very effective way of converting vibration energy into heat. Originally developed as an anti-surveillance measure for use in military and government buildings, Hawaphon® achieves broadband attenuation of structure-borne sound of more than 50dB, which is an exceptionally high figure.
To damp resonances of the air within the cabinet, the whole of the interior is lined with a 1cm thick layer of high-density felt. This is achieved by fitting pieces of felt that are precisely cut to fit each panel, rather than just inserting a roll of felt into the cabinet. This is a time consuming process, but we believe produces a superior result and is typical of the attention to detail that we lavish on all of our products.
Adjustable High and Low Frequency Levels
The crossover provides a wide range of adjustment to allow the Loreley to be optimally set up to suit the user’s listening room. The high frequency level may be adjusted over the range -2dB to +4dB in 4 steps. The low frequency level may be adjusted over the range +10dB to 0dB in 3 steps. Both controls are facilitated by jumpers located on the loudspeaker’s rear panel and may be quickly and easily adjusted.
Additional Flexibility in Room Positioning
Because the bass cabinets are located close behind the DDD drivers, their angled front surfaces act as diffusers for the rearward radiated energy from the DDD drivers, so the Loreley can if needed, be positioned close to the wall. This is common positioning when used for the main channels in home theatre systems.
Occasionally, … we move the speakers
The Loreley may be ordered with optional recessed nylon casters fitted into the bass plate. These are invisible when the loudspeaker is standing and will allow even the 700kg Gaudi to be moved relatively easily when assembled – unless it is positioned on a thick carpet. The picture above shows these castors on an Emperor base plate.
Designed for a Lifetime of Listening Pleasure
As you would expect from a German Physiks product, the quality of construction and reliability are first class. We design for a minimum life expectancy of 25 years, which is why we have selected highly corrosion resistant V4 grade stainless steel for the DDD driver support pillars, terminal mounting plates and all the screws.
To ensure the long term stability of the bass cabinets, a veneer layer is applied to the inside surfaces. This equalises any stress that might be generated by the outer veneer due to changes in humidity and which could otherwise cause panels to warp.
Meticulous care and attention is paid during the manufacture of the Loreley MK III. Prior to assembly all components and materials are subject to a rigorous inspection. We also carry out detailed inspections at each stage of the manufacturing process. After assembly, the performance of the loudspeaker is measured. Then it is burnt in for at least 12 hours and measured again. Once the burn process is complete each loudspeaker is given a final detailed physical inspection before being packed.
Specifications and Price
21 – 24,000Hz
Short term 1,600W
With active crossover
2 power amplifiers per channel
DDD section minimum 200W/4ohms
Woofer section minimum 200W/4 ohms
DDD section 12dB/octave electronic & 24dB/octave acoustic
Woofer section 18dB/octave electronic & 24dB/octave acoustic
89.8dB for 1W at 1m
Maximum output level
2-way loudspeaker with 360° surround radiation
using the German Physiks DDD driver
2 sets of binding posts
4 x carbon fibre DDD drivers
2 x 12-inch woofers
4 x 10-inch passive radiators
Satin or high polish veneer
High polish polyester black or white
Satin or high polish paint
700mm W x 1,800mm H x 1,000mm D
27.6″ W x 70.9″ H x 30.4″ D
As part of our process of continually improving our products, we reserve the right to change specifications without notice.