Boxe German Physiks Unicorn Mk II
Boxe German Physiks Unicorn Mk II
The Unicorn, as its name suggests is a very rare animal: a single driver loudspeaker that covers the full audio range. It uses a single carbon fibre DDD driver to cover the full range from 24kHz all the way down to 40Hz. The bass has a speed and smoothness of integration with the rest of the audio range that we have yet to hear bettered. The overall clarity, coherence and finesse the Unicorn provides make it a dream for lovers of vocal, jazz and classical music. It is also capable of surprising rock music fans.
The unusual look of the German Physiks Unicorn MK II is dictated by the way it works.
Form Follows Function
The Unicorn’s single DDD driver sits on top of a cabinet that houses a sophisticated horn system. Above about 200Hz the DDD driver radiates the sound directly, as it does on all other German Physiks loudspeakers. Below this, low frequency energy radiated from below the DDD driver is coupled to the horn system. This allows the low frequency response to be extended down to below 40Hz, however the speed and clarity of the bass gives the impression of even greater extension.
Using just one driver, the result is a loudspeaker with the exceptional resolution, speed and 3-dimensional stereo imaging we have come to expect from all German Physiks designs, plus an outstandingly clean and dynamic bass from the horn system. Bass, wind and string instruments are reproduced with a degree of fidelity rarely heard outside of the concert hall. If you are a horn loudspeaker aficionado, this could be the loudspeaker that you have been waiting for.
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 keeps mid-frequency energy out of the horn. This would otherwise lead to smearing due to time differences between the DDD driver’s direct radiation and the horn, as well as cause a bump in the mid frequency response. 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 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 Unlimited it covers the range from 200Hz up to 24kHz – almost 7 octaves.
This extremely wide range is achieved by the use of 3 modes of radiation
Bending wave 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.