gaudi_1THE GAUDI MK II

A Monument To Musicality

The Gaudi represents our state of the art. While all German Physiks loudspeakers are similarly accurate in reproducing the essential sounds of individual instruments due to their common use of the DDD driver, the Gaudi is unique in its ability to convey musical dynamics from the faintest pianissimo to a full orchestral crescendo. It is capable of reproducing sound levels up to 120dB, while retaining the signature German Physiks finesse and fidelity.  Originally conceived as a custom made one-off for demonstrating our most advanced loudspeaker technologies, the Gaudi proved such a sensation at industry presentations and prompted so many sales inquiries that we decided to make it a regular, albeit limited, production product. The Gaudi is necessarily costly, but offers a level of performance that is simply unavailable elsewhere.


The Gaudi's capabilities may be shown in a simple demonstration we have conducted many times at our facilities. This involves using the loudspeakers to reproduce a live jazz band. The ability of the Gaudi to capture not only the precise timbres of individual instruments, but their full dynamic range is astonishing and comes remarkably close to fooling the ears of even experienced listeners. Originally conceived as a custom made one-off for demonstrating our most advanced loudspeaker technologies, the Gaudi proved such a sensation at industry presentations and prompted so many sales inquiries that we decided to make it a regular, albeit limited, production product. The Gaudi is necessarily costly, but offers a level of performance that is simply unavailable elsewhere, and the system has been cited as the ultimate prestige loudspeaker by many respected reviewers.


Leading Edge Driver Compliment

Each loudspeaker uses four of our unique DDD drivers in a vertical array, augmented by eight 6-inch metal cones for the mid-bass and four 12-inch honeycomb flat cone drivers mounted in stainless steel frames for the sub-woofer columns.

The sub-woofer drivers are custom made and have 6-inch under hung voice coils within two separate magnetic structures. Double spiders are employed to stabilise the diaphragm. Each unit has a continuous power rating exceeding a thousand watts.  The diaphragm is made from a honeycomb laminate of carbon fibre and aluminium, which is extremely rigid, whilst also being very light.  This enables an exceptional transient response, producing a very fast and clean bass.
 

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User Adjustable DDD Array

The DDD driver array is mounted on a telescopic arm, which is driven by linear actuators, enabling it to be precisely positioned in relation to the listener, making the set-up process quicker and easier.


Powerful Bass System

The Gaudi uses four large independent bass enclosures. These are mounted two either side of the main support and stand between a top and bottom plate. These are held together by an interlocking collar arrangement.  This greatly reduces resonances and also makes the columns more difficult to topple. The enclosures in one column each house two 12-inch sub-woofers and cover the range from 70Hz to 15Hz. The enclosures in the other column each house four 6-inch metal cone drivers and cover the range from 180Hz to 70Hz. This system can produce high levels of very low bass, which is clean and well articulated.  Most importantly, it can also keep time with the very high speed of the DDD drivers, ensuring that the entire audio range is heard as a coherent whole, with no sense of smearing of the music’s timing or pace.

 

 

German Physiks’ Revolutionary DDD Driver

Like all German Physiks loudspeakers, the key to the exceptional performance delivered by the Gaudi is our carbon fibre DDD driver.  Here, this wide-bandwidth omnidirectional driver covers the range from 180Hz up to 24kHz. This extremely wide range is achieved by the use of pistonic, bending wave and modal radiation: most loudspeakers use drivers that are purely pistonic. The DDD driver gives the same very important advantages to all German Physiks designs and is what sets them apart from the competition. These are:

 

1.  Exceptionally coherent and natural sound:

The extremely wide operating range of the DDD driver provides an exceptionally coherent and natural sound. This is very difficult to achieve when this frequency range is split over two or more different types of driver, which are in physically different positions on the cabinet.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 and avoiding the level and phase errors that crossovers can create from this region further improves transparency.

 

 2.  Realistic stereo images more like 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 the Gaudi is 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.

 

3. Stereo imaging enjoyable 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, the “sweet-spot”, and then usually by only one person. Move away from the “sweet-spot” and both the stereo image and tonal balance become progressively degraded. This is because conventional pistonic drivers tend to concentrate their radiation into a beam that narrows with increasing frequency.

By contrast, the DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern enables Gaudi 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 share your music with others.  It also makes the Gaudi ideal for the front channels in a high-end home theatre system.

Because you are not restricted to a small “sweet-spot” in order to hear the best sound, the Gaudi provides a more relaxed listening experience.  This is especially noticeable when you listen for long periods.

 

4.  Exceptional dynamics:

The DDD driver’s very low moving mass provides an excellent impulse response, allowing it to recreate both the attack of the music and resolve low level detail very accurately.  This 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. The resultant transparency is maintained even on complex high-level passages. 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.

5.  Accurate portrayal of musical instruments’ tonal characteristics: 

The DDD driver is phase linear across its operating range, ensuring that the tonal character of each musical instrument is reproduced with great accuracy. This together with the excellent dynamic response enables the Gaudi to reproduce percussion with startling reality.  Voices are also exceptionally realistically portrayed, 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.

 

More information on the DDD driver, its development and advantages may be found on the Technology page of this site.

 

High Quality DSP Electronic Crossover

The Gaudi must be tri-amped and is supplied with a high quality DSP based digital crossover as standard.  This allows extremely accurate matching of the loudspeaker’s frequency response to the characteristics of the listening room.  This is especially useful in dealing with problems in the low-end response, which is where the major problems found in most rooms occur.  The main set-up can be achieved using an auto-calibrate mode and then further fine adjustments made by hand if necessary.  This allows the customer to easily re-calibrate the system on their own should they make any changes to their room. 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 system can easily be restored to its original state.   It also allows the user to have different system settings for different sorts of music if they wish.

 

Movable DDD Driver Array Facilitates Easier Set-Up

gaudi_4A common problem with very large loudspeakers is that their heavy weight makes themhard to move and therefore it becomes difficult to find the perfect setting position. The Gaudi can be ordered with 15 ball-type casters fitted in the base plate, allowing it to be easily moved. Each caster consists of a precision-formed nylon ball, set in a steel housing. These are fixed into deep recesses in the base plate, making them invisible once the loudspeaker has been assembled. The heavy weight of the Gaudi – approximately 720kg – ensures that the casters provide a stable platform for the loudspeaker.


Fine-tuning is achieved by adjusting the distance of the DDD drivers from the listening position. This is very easy and does not involve having to move the whole loudspeaker.  The DDD drivers are mounted on an extendable motorised beam, which may be commanded to move back and forth from the comfort of the listening chair using a wireless remote control, which is provided.  As the DDD drivers are producing everything from 24,000Hz down to 180Hz (and in fact slightly beyond these limits as these are the 0dB points), what you are able to do is effectively the same as being able to move the whole loudspeaker back and forth by remote control.  How different positions of the DDD drivers effect the sound are quickly and easily audible.  Besides our Emperor model, no other loudspeaker in the world offers this degree of flexibility.


The wireless remote control supplied does not depend on conventional batteries for its operation. Instead, a miniature electric generator inside the remote control produces electricity every time it is handled and this is stored in an internal rechargeable battery.  This means that the customer less likely to be inconvenienced by the remote control being rendered unusable due to the batteries being flat.

 

Expert Set Up Service

For customers who want the ultimate level of set-up, for an extra fee, an engineer from German Physiks will visit the customer’s home to unpack, assemble and set-up the loudspeakers.*

 

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 Gaudi’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 German Physiks Gaudi has the clarity that we normally associate with electrostatic loudspeakers and for the same reason:  they essentially have no enclosure to colour the sound.

The bass system covers the range from 180Hz downwards.  This is divided into four 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.

 

Cabinets Veneered Inside for Long Term Stability

Gaudi cabinets supplied in a veneer finish are also veneered on the inside.  This balances any forces created by dimensional changes in the external veneer due variations in humidity, which in turn could otherwise result in the cabinet becoming distorted.

Hand Finished Cabinets for Ultimate Quality

Each set of Gaudis is custom made to the specific requirements of the individual customer and is built to meticulously high standards by skilled cabinet makers.

The Gaudi is available in black or white high-polish polyester; a wide range of high quality veneers in both satin and high gloss lacquer and satin and high gloss automotive paint finishes.

A high gloss carbon fibre finish is also available to special order. Here the cabinet’s heavy MDF panels are reinforced with multiple layers of bi-directional, resin impregnated carbon fibre, applied using techniques originally developed for the aircraft industry. This is then coated with a multi-layer lacquer and hand finished to a luxuriously high lustre. As well as looking extremely attractive, the carbon fibre adds an additional degree of stiffness to the cabinet.

 

More details of the finishes available may be found on the Finishes page of this web site.

 

*Not available in all territories.

 

The Gaudi MK II Specifications

  With Titanium DDD Driver With Carbon DDD Driver
     

Impedance

4 ohms 4 ohms
     

Frequency response

15 - 21,500Hz 15 - 24,000Hz
     
Power handling    
   Nominal
   Short term
1,900W
3,400W
2,000W
3,600W
   
Amplification required 3 power amplifiers per channel
DDD section: minimum power  200W/4ohms
Woofer section: minimum power 250W/4 ohms
Sub-woofer section: minimum power 350W/4ohms
   
Crossover frequencies 180Hz & 70Hz
   
Crossover slopes  
   DDD section
   Woofer 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 88.6dB for 1W at 1m 89.2dB for 1W at 1m
   
Maximum output level 118dB 120dB
   
Operating principle

3 way speaker with a 3 way active crossover and 360° surround radiation using the
DDD Bending Wave Converter

   
Drivers 4 x Titanium DDD drivers
4 x 12 inch sub-woofers
8 x 6 inch woofers
4 x Carbon DDD drivers
4 x 12 inch sub-woofers
8 x 6 inch woofers
   
Dimensions 1,300mm W x 2,100mm H x 925 - 955mm D
51.2" W x 82.7" H x 36.4 - 37.6" D
   
Weight (depends on model) 720kg
1584lbs
   
Warranty 5 years
 
As part of our process of continually improving our products, we reserve the right to change specifications without notice.
 

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Awards

gaudi
 

THE GAUDI

STEREO SOUND (Japan)

COMPONENTS OF THE YEAR AWARD 1998