The Emperor Extreme stereo power amplifier uses a 2,500kVA toroidal power transformer and generously rated reservoir capacitors to deliver 600W RMS into 4 ohms with both channels driven, while providing excellent dynamics and bass control
It will drive any German Physiks loudspeaker and any other makers’ loudspeakers that we are aware of. Large heat sinks concealed within the case allow the unit to run continuously at high power whilst remaining cool, thereby improving reliability.
Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are provided.
The unit’s gain may be adjusted in three steps via the front panel. Each gain setting provides a slightly different “voice” allowing the customer to adjust the character of their system.
The differences, while not large are intended to allow the user to tip their system’s character slightly one way or the other and so provide some correction for an imbalance. These settings are:
|-9dB gain||Warm side of neutral|
|Nominal gain||Neutral voicing|
|+3db gain||Analytical side of neutral|
We continued to listen in depth. We thought that there must be some weakness somewhere, but even with the toughest test music, these electronics were not pushed to anywhere near their limits. This surprised and pleased us in equal measures. We tried many different loudspeakers and many different loudspeaker cables. There was no load too difficult for the German Physiks electronics.Andreas Gunther, Audio, December 2018
High voltage power supply rails for the low level signal stages and a balanced output stage ensure a very wide dynamic range, which combined with the design’s very wide bandwidth provides exceptional transparency and resolution
The heart of an amplifier is the power supply, so great care was taken with the design to ensure that it would be able to provide the audio sections with a source of power that was as stable and noise free as possible.
The low-level signal section, power amplifier stage and control section all have their own independent toroidal power transformers. These were chosen for their low external magnetic fields. To minimise the effects of stray magnetic fields, all three transformers are housed in their own screened enclosures.
The amplifier’s incoming mains power is not routed through the power switch, as these can have a detrimental effect on the sound, more so with power amplifiers. Instead, this switch supplies power to the standby circuit and when the front panel On button is pressed, this turns on a high current relay which carries the mains power.
When a large power supply is connected to the mains supply, the initial in-rush current can be high enough to trip circuit breakers or blow fuses. To prevent this, a 4-stage soft start circuit allows the power supply to “slowly” charge before it is switched out of the circuit. This also reduces the stress on the power relay.
High quality power supply capacitors are used with additional decoupling capacitors located physically as close as possible to where they are needed in the circuit.
Great care was also taken with the internal grounding to prevent the introduction of noise.
As a further noise reduction measure, a front panel ground lift switch allows the amplifier’s signal ground to be disconnected from the chassis safety ground and is useful in eliminating hum when this is caused by a ground loop. This is where there is more than one ground connection between two pieces of audio equipment, thus forming a loop. This can act as a single turn coil and stray magnetic fields from nearby equipment and/or power cables can induce a mains frequency current in this loop, which then produces a hum that is heard from the loudspeakers. If this is the cause of hum in a system, using the ground lift switch to break this loop will stop the hum.
Easy to use
A large front panel display provides a clear indication of the gain setting and unit status
A large front panel display provides a clear indication of the gain setting and unit status. A front panel switch allows the display to be dimmed to 50%, or switched off altogether. When the display is switched off and a front panel control is operated, the display will come on for a few seconds before switching off again.
Premium grade WBT loudspeaker terminals provide a reliable and high quality connection and are also easy to secure and release.
Quality and reliability
The Emperor Extreme stereo power amplifier is designed and manufactured in Germany. To ensure excellent sound performance and high reliability, great care and attention has been devoted to all stages of production: from the initial design to component selection and final manufacture
Before a single component was soldered, many hours were spent carrying out detailed computer modelling, in order to optimise the technical performance of the various sections of the design. All the components were selected for both their technical excellence and reliability. To further enhance the reliability, all components are operated well within their maximum limits. The final selection of components and topology was made on the basis of exhaustive listening tests, as well as detailed measurements.
It is well known that the operating temperature of electronic equipment has a direct effect on its reliability and the length of its useful service life. The higher the operating temperature, the poorer the reliability and the shorter the service life. When the Emperor range was designed, we employed a specialist engineer to analyse the airflow through the products and optimise the cooling effect. Consequently, they run very cool, maximising both the reliability and the useful service life. This is so effective that even when running at full power, the Emperor Extreme stereo power amplifier remains cool to the touch.
Great attention was also paid to the aesthetics and the mechanical construction. This is a very high quality product, so the look and build quality had to be of a commensurate level. The construction uses an internal steel chassis with a 15mm thick silver anodised aluminium outer case.
This provides magnetic screening, together with structural rigidity to minimise the effects of external vibration. The fit and finish of the chassis is first class, reassuring the user of the high level of quality that this product offers.
Before dispatch, each unit is given a prolonged burn-in run before being subject to an intensive battery of electronic tests. Only when it has successfully passed these and been given a final physical inspection is it judged ready to be sent to the customer.
Specifications and Price
Output power (Both channels driven)
340W RMS into 8 ohms
620W RMS into 4 ohms
(THD+N <1%, input power supply voltage 220V)
500W peak into 8 ohms
1,000W peak into 4 ohms
(THD+N >1%, input power supply voltage 230V)
0.5Hz to 80kHz (-3dB)
1W into 8 ohms
THD + Noise
0.01% (22Hz to 22kHz)
1W into 8 ohms
Maximum dynamic range
Signal to noise ratio
– 91 dB A
A weighted @ 1W into 8 ohms
33dB – analytical sound
30dB – neutral sound
21dB – warm sound
Unbalanced x 1 pair
Balanced x 1 pair
2 pairs of high quality WBT screw
terminals per channel
Trigger input & output for remote operation
Custom cable used for internal wiring
Silver anodized aluminium
474 mm W x 300 mm H x 474 mm D
Date: December 2018
Language: English Translation
Product: Emperor preamplifier and Emperor Extreme power amplifier