The Emperor MK II Loudspeaker

 
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The Emperor MK II is based on our flagship Gaudi design. It uses the Gaudi’s moveable four DDD driver array, combined with two 12-inch woofers and four 6-inch long-throw sub-woofers. It is supplied with the new German Physiks Emperor Extreme digital crossover to allow it to be tri-amped, enabling the full potential of this outstanding design to be realized. It provides exceptional detail with live-music like dynamics and sound levels, thereby bringing the listener closer to the reality of a live performance.

Award Winning Loudspeaker

 

 

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The Emperor MK II allows music lovers to enjoy Gaudi levels of performance in rooms that would not accommodate its bigger stable-mate

Although physically smaller than the Gaudi, the Emperor MK II 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 mounted on a telescopic arm, which is driven by linear actuators, enabling it to be precisely positioned in relation to listener, making the set-up process quicker and easier.

Powerful Bass System

Like the Gaudi, the Emperor uses four large independent bass enclosures. These are mounted two either side of the main support and are held together by an interlocking collar arrangement. This greatly reduces resonances and also makes the columns more difficult to topple. The enclosures on one side each house a 12-inch sub-woofer and cover the range from 70Hz to 18Hz. The enclosures on the other side 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.

 

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The heart of all German Physiks loudspeakers is the unique omnidirectional DDD driver

 

The German Physiks DDD driver uses a cone made of extremely thin (0.15mm) carbon fibre. This is very light, but also very rigid. Each driver is hand-built by a skilled technician in our factory in Germany. This is a painstaking process that takes 6 hours. After assembly, each driver undergoes a series of rigorous tests. It is then subject to a 96 hour pre-aging process, playing specially selected music at high level. Finally, it is retested and put together with another driver to form a  matched pair.

The DDD driver has two key distinguishing features

1. It is omnidirectional, meaning that it radiates the sound evenly around it.
2. It has an exceptionally wide operating range. In the Emperor MK II it covers the range from 180Hz up to 24kHz – over 7 octaves.

This extremely wide range is achieved by the use of 3 modes of radiation

Pistonic radiation
Bending wave radiation
Modal radiation

By comparison, most loudspeakers use drivers that only use pistonic radiation. These have a much narrower operating range and as the frequency rises, they tend to concentrate their energy into a progressively narrowing beam. This is explained in more detail here.  

 
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The DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation characteristic and its very wide operating range, together with several other key features give the following important advantages to all German Physiks designs and is what sets them apart

 

1. Exceptionally coherent and natural sound

This is due to the DDD driver’s 7 octave plus operating range. This is very difficult to achieve when such a wide range is split over two or more different types of driver, which are in different positions on the loudspeaker’s cabinet.

This wide operating range also eliminates the crossover point in the mid-range that loudspeakers using pistonic drivers must have. This is where our hearing is most sensitive, so removing anything that might cause level or phase errors from here will improve transparency.

2. Realistic stereo images more like those you experience in the concert hall

This is because the DDD driver's omnidirectional radiation characteristic creates an enveloping sound field like that in the hall, rather than beaming the sound at you as conventional drivers do. This way the Emperor MK II 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

This is achieved whilst also maintaining an even tonal balance, much like at a live performance: again due to the DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern. This gives more flexibility in where you sit and allows several people to enjoy a good sound together. This is useful in home theatre systems.

As you are not restricted to a small “sweet-spot” in order to hear the best sound, the Emperor MK II 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, less than 3 grams, allows German Physiks loudspeakers 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.

5. Accurate portrayal of musical instruments’ tonal characteristics

This is because the DDD driver is phase linear across its operating range. This together with the excellent dynamic response, enables the Emperor MK II to reproduce percussion with startling reality. Voices have a clarity and purity that can be breath taking, with all the elements of 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.

6. Quick and easy to set up

As they are omnidirectional, German Physiks loudspeakers are less sensitive to room position than conventional designs and there is no toe-in adjustment to worry about.

7. The DDD driver is less likely to excite cabinet vibrations

Due to its very low moving mass and the way that it is mounted, the DDD driver puts less energy into the cabinet than an equivalent conventional driver would. This reduces cabinet resonances and improves transparency.

8. Physically extremely rugged

The DDD driver can withstand abuse that will destroy most other drivers. This is illustrated in the video below. We don’t advise our customers to try this, just in case they are having an unlucky day.

For a more detailed explanation of these points, please follow this link.

More information on the DDD driver, its development and advantages, please follow this link.

 
 

“I left this place of enchantment late at night - having spent many hours of impressive listening to music. The long wait for his majesty the Emperor had paid off. Too bad that the Emperor Mk II is so rare in these parts. If you get the opportunity to listen to them, you should not miss it.”

Audiophile, November 2013 | view/download pdf (2mb)

 
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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 Emperor MK II’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 Emperor MK II 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 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.

 

 

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High quality German Physiks Emperor Extreme digital electronic crossover

The Emperor MK II is now supplied with the new 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 tri-amp operation of the Emperor. This is where three 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.

Section Minimum Power
DDD drivers 200W/4 ohms
Woofers 200W/4 ohms
Sub-woofer 250W/4 ohms

Emperor Extreme Crossover

Implementing the crossover function in the digital domain provides the following advantages over a conventional passive crossover

1. The crossover filter characteristics can be much more accurately defined.

2. The possibility of a difficult low frequency load that can occur with some passive crossover designs and which can cause some amplifiers to clip is eliminated. Needless to say the passive crossovers in German Physiks loudspeakers are well behaved in this respect.

Emperor Extreme Crossover

3. It eliminates the changes in crossover characteristic that can occur with a passive crossover if the loudspeaker is played at high levels for long periods and the component values drift due to heating. 

4. The resistive elements in a passive crossover that dissipate power are eliminated, increasing efficiency.  

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.

For further information on the Emperor Extreme digital electronic crossover please click here.

 
 

 

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For a big loudspeaker the Emperor Mk II is surprisingly easy to move and set-up

 

Easy to Move

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 MK II 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 Emperor MK II – 425kg – ensures that the casters provide a stable platform for the loudspeaker.

Adjustable DDD Driver Array

Fine-tuning of the loudspeaker’s position is achieved by adjusting the distance of the DDD drivers from the listening chair. 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. This is shown in the animation below. 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 affect the sound are quickly and easily audible. Besides our Gaudi model, no other loudspeaker in the world offers this degree of flexibility.

Wireless Remote Control

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 the remote 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’s 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. This is not available in all territories.

Emperor MK II with adjustable DDD driver array

 

 

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Designed for a Lifetime of Listening Pleasure

As you would expect from a German 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 Emperor MK II. 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. 

 

 
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Product Finishes

The Emperor MK II loudspeaker is available in black or white high-polish polyester; a wide range of high quality veneers in both satin and high gloss lacquer; satin and high gloss automotive paint finishes and carbon fibre.

Finish Options
- High Polish Only*
- Satin Only**
- Satin or High Polish***

Hand Finished For Ultimate Quality

Each set of Emperor MK II cabinets is custom made to the specific requirements of the individual customer. They are hand built and finished in Germany by skilled cabinet makers for the best possible furniture grade finish. Great care and attention is paid from the start of the process, where we go to great lengths to source the highest quality matching veneers, though to the final finishing stages when we apply the lacquer layers, allowing each one as long as is needed to fully harden before it is hand polished and the next layer applied. Rushing this stage can result in problems emerging after the loudspeaker has been with the customer for some time.

Click on an image below to see a finish in more detail.

 
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Product Specifications

Impedance
4 ohms

Frequency response
18 - 24,000Hz

Power handling
Nominal 
1,050W
Short term 1,550W

Amplification required
With passive 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

Sensitivity
88.8dB for 1W at 1m

Maximum output level
117dB

Operating principle
3-way loudspeaker with 360° radiation
using the DDD drive

Drivers
4 x carbon fibre 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) - excl motor & DDD

Weight
Approx 425kg each
Approx 935lbs each

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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“Imperial Highness. This loudspeaker is a sovereign. Its wide bandwidth, dynamics and unique spacial radiation ensure its outstanding status even among superspeakers.”

audiophile, november 2013 | view/download pdf (2mb)

 
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Product Reviews


2015

Publication: New HiFi
Date: 2015
Country: Taiwan
Language: Mandarin
Product: Emperor MK II
view/download pdf (5mb)

2013

Publication: AUDIOphile
Date: November 2013
Country: Germany
Language: English
Product: Unlimited MK II
view/download pdf (2MB)

 
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German Physiks Omnidirectional Loudspeaker Range

(click on a product image below to find out more)