The PQS-302 Loudspeaker

 
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The PQS-302 is based on our PQS-402 and is designed to enable the quality of reproduction provided by its much larger stable-mate to be enjoyed in medium sized rooms. It is an exceptional loudspeaker, producing realistic and detailed three-dimensional stereo imaging, excellent dynamics and of course our trademark fast, deep and well-controlled bass. Naturally it also offers the finesse and transparency that all German Physiks loudspeakers are famous for. It combines these attributes with the ability to produce sound levels up to 112dB.

Award Winning Loudspeaker

 

 

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The PQS-302 uses two DDD drivers and two 8-inch long-throw woofers to provide the exceptional dynamics that enhance the sense of listening to a real performance

The PQS-302 uses two DDD drivers to provide a very wide dynamic range, while retaining their excellent transparency and resolution. The DDD drivers cover the range from 170Hz to 24kHz, eliminating the mid-band crossover point found in conventional designs.  Combined with a new bass system design, this gives improved clarity, revealing more of the music‘s subtle nuances.  It goes without saying that the PQS-302 also offers the finesse that all German Physiks loudspeakers are famous for. Even more impressive is that it combines these attributes with an ability to produce output levels up to 112dB for a more realistic recreation of live-music like dynamics. This is why the leading German high-end audio magazine Stereoplay has been using the PQS-302 as its reference loudspeakers since 2010.

 
 

Fast And Extended Bass

The outward appearance of the PQS-302 bass system is similar to that of the PQS-402. Two bass cabinets are mounted one on top of the other and stand between a top and a bottom plate. None of these components is attached to the other using screws or any form of hard connection. Instead they are held together by a system of interlocking collars. This combined with the fact that the two cabinets have different weights, as do the top and bottom plates, means that resonances are reduced to negligible levels compared to a solid structure.

A Different Approach

In order to obtain a bass response with the required speed and extension, we could not simply scale down the PQS-402 design, so we have employed a totally different approach. Each cabinet houses a single 8-inch woofer mounted on one of the forward faces, with a reflex port on the other. This provides bass with the high speed necessary to match the DDD driver, whilst also producing a well controlled and balanced response down to 26Hz.

 

 

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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 PQS-302 it covers the range from 170Hz 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 PQS-302 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 PQS-302 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 PQS-302 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. This reduces cabinet resonances and improves transparency.

8. Physically extremely rugged

The DDD driver can withstand abuse that will destroy most other drivers. Thisis 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.

 

 

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Low Resonance Cabinet Design Enhances Transparency

The high sound level capability of the PQS-302 meant that extra care had to be taken with the cabinet design to minimize resonances. This is because the resulting colouration would otherwise degrade the loudspeaker’s ability to resolve the fine detail that is essential in order to produce a sense of realism and hence convey the emotion that is the essence of a musical performance. Consequently, we have borrowed heavily from the design of the PQS-402.

The PQS-302’s DDD drivers use very small enclosures, minimizing 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 minimized. 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 PQS-302 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.

For the bass system, which covers the range from 170Hz downwards, we also looked to the PQS-402. The system is divided into two 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 minimized 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.


Adjustable High and Low Frequency Levels

The crossover provides a wide range of adjustment to allow the PQS-302 to be optimally set up to suit the user’s listening room. The high frequency level may be adjusted over the range -2dB to +4dB in 4 steps. The low frequency level may be adjusted over the range +10dB to 0dB in 3 steps. Both controls are facilitated by jumpers located on the loudspeaker’s rear panel and may be quickly and easily adjusted.

Bi-wire or Bi-amp

Two sets of high quality WBT nextgen™ loudspeaker terminals are fitted allowing the PQS-302 to be bi-wired or bi-amped. High quality jumpers are supplied to enable the loudspeaker to be used with just one set of loudspeaker cables.

 

 

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The Emperor Extreme Crossover active option provides a significant performance upgrade

Active Option

The PQS-302 may be ordered in an active version, where the internal passive crossover is omitted and the woofer and DDD driver sections of the loudspeaker are driven directly by two separate power amplifiers. This allows much better damping and control of the drivers and 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 140W/4 ohms
Woofers 140W/4 ohms

Emperor Extreme Crossover

Emperor Extreme Crossover

The active version of the PQS-302 is supplied with our new Emperor Extreme DSP based digital crossover. This is a high quality unit constructed using premium components and is housed in a heavy steel and aluminium chassis.

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 Crossover click here.

 
 

 

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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 use the same quality of parts in the PQS-302 as in our reference products, where we design for a minimum life expectancy of 25 years. For this reason 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 PQS-302. 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. We can afford to do this as we build our products by hand in small batches. After assembly, the performance of each 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 PQS-302 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

Because the look of our products is as important as the sound, all cabinets are hand built and finished in Germany by skilled cabinet makers for the best possible furniture grade finish.

They are built in small batches, so that they can maintain a consistently high level of quality. Nothing is rushed.

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

 
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Product Specifications

Impedance
4 ohms

Frequency response
26 – 24,000Hz

Power handling
Nominal
400W
Short term 700W

Amplification required
Passive operation Minimum 150W/4 ohms
With active crossover 2 power amplifiers per channel
DDD section minimum power 140W/4ohms
Woofer section minimum power 140W/4 ohms

Crossover frequency
170Hz

Crossover slope
DDD section
12dB/octave electronic & 21dB/octave acoustic
Woofer section 18dB/octave electronic & 24dB/octave acoustic

High frequency adjustment
-2dB, flat, +2dB and +4dB starting at 8,000Hz

Low frequency adjustment
Flat, +10dB, +5db and +4dB centred at 58Hz

Sensitivity
87.7 dB for 1W at 1m

Maximum output level
112dB

Operating principle
2-way loudspeaker with 360° surround radiation
using the German Physiks DDD driver

Input connectors
2 sets of WBT nextgen™ binding posts

Drivers
2 x carbon fibre DDD drivers
2 x 8-inch woofers

Recommended room size
25 - 100 square metres
264 – 1,267 square feet

Finish options
Satin or high polish veneer
High polish polyester black or white 
Satin or high polish paint
Carbon fibre

Dimensions
530mm W x 1,400mm H x 730mm D
20.9" W x 55.1" H x 28.7" D

Weight
115kg / 253lbs

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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German Physiks Omnidirectional Loudspeaker Range

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