THE EMPEROR MK II
The Emperor MK II is a smaller version of our flagship Gaudi MK II and allows music lovers to enjoy Gaudi levels of performance in rooms that would not accommodate its bigger relative. Although physically smaller than the Gaudi, the Emperor is still a big loudspeaker, with all the advantages that brings. Its massive bass system produces well-controlled and clean bass all the way down to 18Hz, but is agile enough to integrate perfectly with the speed of the DDD drivers. The coherence of the DDD drivers allows the Emperor to generate very detailed and life like stereo images. This, combined with the ability to produce “live music” like dynamics and sound levels (up to 117dB*), enables the Emperor to reproduce the emotion and immediacy of the music and so create a very strong impression that you are listening to real musicians, rather than a hi-fi system.
User Adjustable DDD Driver Array
The Emperor uses the same four DDD driver array as the Gaudi. This is fitted to a telescopic arm, which is driven by linear actuators, allowing it to be precisely positioned in relation to the bass enclosures for optimal phasing. The user can adjust each side from their seat using a wireless remote control.
The DDD Driver
Our proprietory DDD driver gives the Emperor a number of very important advantages over
its competitors. It operates over an extremely wide frequency range. On the Emperor it
covers the entire range from 180Hz up to 24,000Hz*. In a conventional loudspeaker design,
this range would be covered by two, or even three different types of driver and most
importantly there would be a cross over point in the mid-range. This is the area where our
hearing is most sensitive. The DDD driver’s wide operating range allows this vital region to
be kept free from the level and phase anomalies that multiple driver types and a necessarily
more complex crossover would create. Not only does it provide a much more coherent and
natural sound, it also enables the Emperor to produce extremely realistic and convincing
stereo images that are precisely defined and have excellent width and depth. The stereo
images remain focused and stable, even when the loudspeaker is reproducing complex
passages at high levels.
Another key advantage of the DDD driver is that it is omnidirectional, so these excellent
stereo images can be enjoyed from a wide range of listening positions, unlike conventional
loudspeakers, which have much smaller “sweet spots” due to the tendency of their drivers to
beam the sound. This allows a more relaxed listening experience, as you don’t have to worry
about sitting in exactly the right position in order to hear the best sound. It also enables
several people to enjoy listening to the Emperor at the same time.
The DDD driver’s very low moving mass provides the further benefit of an exceptional
transient response. This is particularly noticeable in the way that percussion is reproduced
with a fast and clean attack to each beat. This can be breath taking when the DDD drivers
are driven by a really fast amplifier.
The Emperor’s DDD drivers also provide exceptional clarity and resolution of micro-detail and
this is maintained at all levels. Their extremely wide dynamic range ensures there is no sense
of compression, even when playing at the very highest levels. Their excellent phase linearity
enables the Emperor to reproduce the timbral character of each instrument with great
More information on the DDD driver, its development and advantages may be found on the Technology page of our web site.
Like the Gaudi, the Emperor has two bass columns, one on each side of the loudspeaker. Each column comprises two identical stacked enclosures. The enclosures in one column each house a 12-inch sub-woofer and cover the range from 70Hz to 18Hz. The enclosures in the other column each house two 6-inch metal cone drivers and cover the range from 180Hz to 70Hz. The bass they provide has the ideal balance of speed and weight to seamlessly merge with the DDD drivers and also ensure that there is no smearing of the music’s timing or pace.
Optional Electronic Crossover
In its standard form the Emperor is supplied
with an externally housed passive crossover,
which allows it to be single or bi-amped.
Housing the crossover externally isolates the
crossover components from microphonic
effects that might degrade its performance.
For the ultimate level of performance, a high quality electronic crossover is available, which enables active operation with tri-amplification. This maybe fitted when the Emperor is supplied, or later as an upgrade. The main crossover parameters are set at the factory and final set-up is performed in the customer’s listening room, using an auto-calibration function and the high quality measurement microphone supplied. The precise control this offers provides a very effective solution to the difficulties usually encountered with room matching at low frequencies. It also allows the customer to easily re-calibrate the system on their own should they make any changes to their room.
A common problem with very large loudspeakers is that their heavy weight makes them hard to move and therefore it becomes difficult to find the perfect setting position. The Emperor is fitted with 15 ball-type casters, which allow it to be easily moved and this makes finding the ideal room position during set-up much quicker and easier. Each caster consists of a precision-formed nylon ball, set in a steel housing. These are set into deep recesses in the cabinet base, making them invisible once the loudspeaker has been assembled. The heavy weight of the Emperor - approximately 500kg - ensures that the casters provide a stable platform for the loudspeaker.
Low Resonance Cabinet
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. This 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 Emperor’s cabinets are constructed from heavy panels of MDF with cross
bracing fitted to critical points within the structure. To minimise residual vibration, Hawaphon
damping sheets are attached to the inside face of each panel. Hawaphon is a polymer sheet
containing a matrix of small cells filled with very fine steel shot and was originally developed
as an anti-surveillance measure for use in military and government buildings. It adds mass
to the panel to reduce the resonant frequency and the ability of the shot in each cell to move
against each other provides a very effective way of converting vibration energy into heat.
Hawaphon achieves a broadband attenuation of structure-borne sound of more than 50dB. This is a remarkably high figure.
To damp resonances of the air within the cabinets, the whole of the inside of each cabinet is lined with a thick layer of high-density felt.
Hand Finished for the Ultimate Quality
Each set of Emperors is custom made to the specific requirements of the individual customer and is built to meticulously high standards. We even veneer the inside faces of the cabinets to ensure long-term stability. The Emperor is available in a wide range of high quality veneers in both satin and high gloss finishes. We also offer a high gloss carbon fibre finish, as well as a number of satin and high gloss automotive paint finishes. To provide the ultimate level of quality, the cabinets are carefully hand polished. For more details of the available finishes, please see the Finishes page of this web site.
|With Titanium DDD Driver||With Carbon DDD Driver|
|4 ohms||4 ohms|
|18 - 21,500Hz||18 - 24,000Hz|
|With passive crossover||1 power amplifier per channel
Minimum power 300W/4ohms
2 power amplifiers per channel
DDD section: minimum power 200W/4ohms
Woofer/sub-woofer section: minimum power 250W/4 ohms
|With active crossover||3 power amplifiers per channel
DDD section: minimum power 200W/4ohms
Woofer section: minimum power 200W/4 ohms
Sub-woofer section: minimum power 250W/4ohms
|Crossover frequencies||180Hz & 70Hz|
| DDD section
|12dB/octave electronic & 24dB/octave acoustic
12dB/octave electronic & 24dB/octave acoustic
|High frequency adjustment||-2dB, flat, +2dB and +4dB centred at 8,000Hz|
|Sensitivity||88.2dB for 1W at 1m||88.8dB for 1W at 1m|
|Maximum output level||115dB||117dB|
3-way speaker with 360° surround radiation using the DDD driver
|Drivers||4 x Titanium DDD drivers
2 x 12-inch sub-woofers
4 x 6-inch woofers
|4 x Carbon DDD drivers
2 x 12-inch sub-woofers
4 x 6-inch woofers
|Dimensions||1010mm (W) x 1960mm (H) x 810mm (D) - excl motor & DDD
39.8" (W) x 77.2" (H) x 31.9" (D)
|Weight (depends on model)||Approx 425kg each
Approx 990lbs each
|As part of our process of continually improving our products, we reserve the right to change specifications without notice.|
Download EMPEROR MK II test report. November 2013 (PDF, English).
Download EMPEROR MK II test report. November 2013 (PDF, German).