German Physiks Borderland MkIV
Omnidirectional Floor Standing Loudspeaker
Originally introduced in 1992, the Borderland was the first flagship model for German Physiks and has since provided the inspiration for the current Unlimited and HRS-130 models. Now in its MK IV form, the Borderland remains the brand’s most popular loudspeaker. It combines the unique carbon fibre DDD driver with a downward firing 12–inch woofer and a sophisticated new crossover network. Housed in an extremely rigid octagonal cabinet, it sets impressively high standards for stereo imaging, transparency and musicality.
The Borderland MK IV has always been an exceptional performer. The latest version has a new crossover design that provides significantly better bass, with improved integration with the DDD driver, resulting in exceptional top to bottom coherence. The resolution and dynamics have also been noticeably improved, removing another veil between the listener and the music. All these improvements come together to produce a sound that is truly effortless.
The Borderland Mk IV uses a single 12-inch woofer of the same type used in their prestige Loreley model. This provides the Borderland Mk IV with a degree of bass extension normally associated with high quality component sub-woofers. Most impressive is that this is achieved with a cabinet of relatively modest dimensions, making this a loudspeaker that is easy to live with. The bass driver is located at the bottom of the cabinet and works in a “sealed” enclosure. This enclosure is linked via a small opening to a smaller cavity located at the top of the cabinet. This cavity acts as a Helmholtz Resonator and is tuned to the resonant frequency of the main bass enclosure and ensures a smoother bass response.
The DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern and wide operating frequency range make the Borderland MK IV less critical of positioning in the room than conventional loudspeakers, so they are usually very quick and easy to set up. In addition, because the Borderland MK IV is omnidirectional, there is no toe-in adjustment to worry about, which is one less variable to deal with on set-up.
Two sets of high quality WBT nextgen™ loudspeaker terminals are fitted allowing the Borderland MK IV 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. Jumpers on the rear 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 constructions.
The Borderland MK IV uses an octagonal cross-section cabinet constructed from heavy panels of MDF, with re-enforcements fitted to critical points within the structure. The use of an octagonal cross-section allows the individual panels to be made smaller and therefore stiffer than they would be if a conventional square or rectangular cross-section were used. This construction minimises the colouration caused by cabinet resonances, which would otherwise degrade the loudspeaker’s ability to resolve fine detail and so reduce its ability to produce a sense of realism.
Residual resonances are minimised by applying a special damping material called Hawaphon® to the inside of each panel. Hawaphon® is a polymer sheet containing a matrix of small cells filled with very fine steel shot and was originally developed as an anti-surveillance measure for use in military and government buildings. It adds mass to the panel to reduce the resonant frequency and the ability of the shot in each cell to move against each other provides a very effective way of converting vibration energy into heat. Hawaphon® achieves a broadband attenuation of structure-borne sound of more than 50dB, which is a remarkably high figure. Finally, to damp resonances of the air within the cabinet, the whole of the inside of the cabinet is lined with a thick layer of high-density felt.
As you would expect from a German Physiks loudspeaker, the quality of construction and reliability are first class. However, it’s the exceptional sound quality that this speaker is famous for. When you experience the Borderland Mk IV, the speakers’ lineage reveals itself as there is this unshakable feeling that the creator of this speaker has a vast amount of experience. The very best qualities of the omnidirectional presentation come to the fore and you are simply immersed in the music. Many listeners have commented that their ‘audiophile personality’ just relaxed with the Borderlands, the music was so realistic that they stopped listening as an audiophile, forgot they were listening to a hi-fi system and just experienced the feeling of being in the moment, fully connected to the performance. The Borderland is a very accomplished communicator of music, the kind of speaker that has you longing for your next listening session. Press play or lower the stylus into the grooves and forget about what’s happening in the world…..
German Physiks Borderland Mk V Ultimate – LowBeats Soundcheck
Merging Technologies, NADAC, Quad DSD demo, with German Physiks, RMAF
|Type||Floor Standing Omnidirectional Loudspeaker|
|Operating principle||2-way loudspeaker with 360° surround radiation|
|Drivers||1 x carbon fibre DDD driver
1 x 10-inch woofer
|Recommended room size||15 – 90 square metres / 160 – 950 square feet|
|Sensitivity||86.1dB for 1W at 1m|
|Frequency response||28– 24,000Hz|
|Power handling||Nominal 300W, Short term 600W|
|Amplification required||Minimum 160W/4 Ohms|
|Crossover slopes||DDD section 12dB/octave electronic & 18dB/octave acoustic
Woofer section 12dB/octave electronic & 18dB/octave acoustic
|High frequency adjustment||-2dB, flat, +2dB and +4dB starting at 8,000Hz|
|Input connectors||2 sets of WBT nextgen™ binding posts|
|Finish||Standard: High polish polyester black or white
Special order: Satin or high polish veneer / Satin or high polish paint
|Dimensions||404mm (W) x 1,229mm (H) x 404mm (D)
15.9” (W) x 48.4” (H) x 15.9” (D)
|Weight||54kg / 119lbs|
Please note that specifications may change without notice