THE UNICORN MK II
The Unicorn, like the Gaudi, is another German Physiks design that was originally made to prove a point and then became a product because so many people liked what they heard and wanted to place orders. The point in question was to make a full range loudspeaker using a single DDD driver. This was achieved by exploiting two modes of operation of the DDD driver; firstly as a bending wave radiator, its usual mode, and secondly as a piston driver.
Ultra Fast Low Distortion Bass
Considerable work went into designing the Unicorn’s horn system. The final design comprises a high gain horn coupled with a tuned bass trap. The bass trap serves two functions. It keeps mid frequency energy out of the horn. This would otherwise lead to smearing due to time differences between the DDD driver and the horn, as well as cause a bump in the mid frequency response. It also provides a smooth transition between the DDD driver’s bending wave mode where it radiates energy directly and its pistonic mode where the energy is radiated via the horn. To achieve a completely even frequency response in the transition region, a small amount of equalisation is applied to the input signal by a network which is housed in a separate case. The excellent qualities the DDD driver shows in its normal mode of operation are exhibited in the bass produced by the horn. It is fast, agile and extremely clean. There is no hint of bloat or overhang and distortion is impressively low.
The DDD Driver
The DDD driver is used on all German Physiks loudspeakers and the same quality of driver is used on all models from our entry level product, to the top of the range Gaudi. This revolutionary driver gives the same very important advantages to all German Physiks designs and is what sets them apart from our competitors.
Another key advantage of the DDD driver is that it is omni directional, so these excellent stereo images can be enjoyed from a wide range of listening positions, unlike conventional designs which have much smaller “sweet spots” due to the tendency of their drivers to beam the sound. This also prevents the fatigue that can occur after a long listening session with a loudspeaker with a small “sweet spot”.
The DDD driver’s omni directionality also makes the Unicorn less sensitive to room position than conventional designs.
The DDD driver’s very low moving mass provides the further benefit of exceptional impulse and phase response characteristics and allows it to reproduce both the attack of the music and resolve low level detail very accurately. This is essential in order to faithfully reproduce the delicate nuances and timbral characteristics of a performance and make it sound like music, rather than just good hi-fi. The driver’s excellent impulse response also ensures that the stereo image remains focussed and stable, even when the loudspeaker is reproducing complex passages at high levels.
More information on the DDD driver, its development and advantages may be found on the Technology page of this web site.
External Equalisation Network
Two important benefits arise from housing the equalisation network externally. Firstly it allows for a simpler design of loudspeaker cabinet and secondly, microphonic effects that might degrade the network’s performance are avoided. Jumpers on the network top panel allow the high frequency output level to be adjusted in 4 steps: -2dB, flat, +2dB and +4dB. This allows the user to easily compensate for the variations in the absorption of high frequencies that occur due to different types of furnishings and room construction. The low frequency level adjustment is also provided.
Hand Finished Cabinets
The Unicorn is available in the customer’s choice of hand matched, hard wood veneers. Cabinets supplied in our High Gloss option are coated with several layers of lacquer and then hand polished to a deep lustrous finish. This can be re-polished in the event of it receiving minor damage. Please see the Finishes page for more details.
Special Order Version
A special order version of the Unicorn is available fitted with a carbon fibre DDD driver which provides an extended upper and lower frequency response, greater low level detail resolution and improved dynamics. 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 produces a cabinet that is immensely rigid and strong, as well as being practically free from resonances within the audio frequency band. It also reduces the radiation of sound through the cabinet’s panels which further improves the Unicorn’s resolution. The cabinet is coated with a multi-layer lacquer and then hand finished to a high polish.
The Unicorn MK II Specifications