An Element of - Audiokomponentai
LOUDSPEAKER TEST
An Element of
page 36 STEREO 1/2013
Surprise
Audio Physic has pulled out all the
stops by surprising us with its new
Classic 10 and Classic 20 floorstanding loudspeakers. One highlight
of these two models is the fact that
they are both available with a pure
glass surface but their real outstanding
factor is their impressive sound, not to
mention their price.
A
s I step into the listening room, I see
that Audio Physic‘s new Classic 20
model has already been set up and
connected and is ready for its listening test.
And what do I choose to play? The answer:
something well known, something I've already
heard thousands of times. The sounds of Maria
Pihl’s “Malvina” flow from the slim white
shimmering loudspeakers. The sound
reproduction features a rich, full bass and it
feels like the singer is standing right in front of
me, live and in person, while swathes of
synthesized sounds stagger down into the
depths in the background. The sound image
has both form and energy. It is radiant but not
hard and easily fills up the voluminous room,
ticking all of the boxes.
Audio Physic’s Head of Sales Stefan
Dreischärf then asks me: “How much do you
think this loudspeaker should cost?” I walk
around the object in question, observing its
cleanly finished glass surface, which is
smoother than any coating could ever achieve.
The loudspeaker also features high-quality
drivers, for example a woofer located in a side
chamber. These drivers are obtained from the
specialist company Wavecor, which also produces the drivers used in the top models of the
loudspeaker manufacturer from the Sauerland
region of Germany. Even the connection
terminal features WBT “nextgen” connectors,
which are the best-sounding option available
and certainly don’t come for cheap.
On the basis of its sound and
complexity, I estimate that the Classic 20
costs at least 3500 Euros per pair … and I’m
wrong! The price tag for the glass design,
which is available in black or white, reads
2390 Euros exactly. The loudspeaker is also
available in four veneer designs starting at a
price of only 2190 Euros, while its little
sister, which is almost equally ambitious
where its delight in reproducing sound and
taking centre stage is concerned, has an
asking price of just 1590 or 1790 Euros.
The next surprise came in the form
of the Classic 10. Although its sound in the
lower frequencies was less powerful and its
midrange was not quite as balanced as that
of the 20, this loudspeaker did not have to
make much of an effort to hit the spotlight in
the large listening room, demonstrating a
similar mellowness to its big sister and pro-
The inner cabinet of the Classic 10 features narrow
gaps (shafts) that act as reflex ports and enable pressure to escape through the back of the loudspeaker.
ducing a musical sound that was almost even
more punchy and explosive. Audio Physic
has certainly made an impressive coup with
its "Classics", especially in consideration of
the fact they are manufactured at its company
headquarters in the German town of Brilon.
Supplied with Two Different Panels
The new product line available from the
company from the Sauerland region of
Germany also includes the two-way
loudspeaker known as the Classic
Compact (for which prices start at 1290
Euros per pair) and the Classic Center at a
price of at least 890 Euros, both of which
are available with either a veneer finish or
a glass surface. These solid sixmillimetre-thick glass panels give the
loudspeakers an unusual design highlight.
They not only look great but also have a
stability that improves the sound without
causing any tonal disturbances because the
fact that they are firmly fastened to the
MDF inner cabinet practically eliminates
the possibility of vibrations. As if that
wasn’t enough, according to Audio
Physic's
Chief
Designer
Manfred
Diestertich, the MDF and glass "sandwich"
is also virtually perfect thanks to the
completely different resonant behaviour of
the two materials.
Another special feature of this
product line is the fact that every Classic
LOUDSPEAKER TEST
model is supplied with two different panels.
One of these panels perfectly surrounds the
drivers, giving the loudspeaker a technoid
elegance, while the other uses a fabric covering
panel to conceal the drivers. Both of these
panels are a perfect fit and give the loudspeakers a sophisticated appearance that makes it
easy to overestimate their price.
Both of the Classics feature base
reflex constructions, with the Classic 20 model
pumping air downwards. The Classic 10 boasts
an ingenious solution that uses narrow gaps in
the sides of the cabinet to provide precisely
measured access to the loudspeaker’s external
surroundings. This special trick not only aims
to lead to a more balanced involvement of the
room, but also to prevent the escape of midrange
frequencies, which can never be fully avoided
in conventional tubes. On top of this, we can
also confirm that setting up the loudspeaker
closer to the wall in connection with the
smaller drivers is no problem at all.
A Large Dome for “Full-Bodied Sound“
A striking element of both Classic models is
their relatively large dome tweeter, which has a
diameter of 30 millimetres and is lined with a
star-shaped foam ring that has been cut to size
and provides protection against disturbing
reflections from the pole plate. This tweeter
comes into play at frequencies above 2.5 kHz
and is highly valued by Audio Physic due to its
clean and crisp character in comparison with
smaller domes, which Diestertich sometimes
find somewhat pallid.
The substantial and full-bodied
tweeter sound really is one of the indisputable
highlights of the Classic 10 and 20. As the
laboratory report shows, when measured on
axis, the tweeter works up to the measuring
limit in a relaxed linear manner but its level
drops more and more steeply as the frequency
increases outside of this limit. This is certainly
Choose a technical or refined appearance for your loudspeaker: the Classic models come with two pairs of panels
with our without fabric grille that conceals the drivers.
page 38 STEREO 1/2013
additional charge of just under 240 Euros. Give
them a try!
Whatever set-up you choose, the
Classics certainly give it their all when doing their
job, for example by giving the powerful “Homeward Bound” by Blues Company a full and
punchy foundation, especially on the Classic 20.
The Classic 10, on the other hand, wasn't quite as
impressive in the lowest frequencies in terms of
richness but managed to hold its ground where the
gnarled contours were concerned. If you have any
doubts, all you need to do is simply move the
loudspeaker slightly closer to the back wall.
The Highlights of Their Price Ranges
The agility and freshness of the Classic models
was a clear objective in their development process.
The aim was to ensure that the lively loudspeakers
The side-firing woofer of the Classic
would make a big impact, even when connected to
20 is covered by a panel and
lower-priced electronics that are well suited to the
supported by reflex tubes. It produces
new Audio Physic models thanks to their electroits best results when facing inwards.
nic properties and that do not indeed always
Although
succeed in playing music in a bright and sprightly
visually inmanner. We listened to a wide variety of different
conspicuous,
electronic equipment ranging from devices from
the "nextgen"
the higher ‘beginners’' class right through to those
connectors
from the spewith reference line status and observed that the
cialist German
loudspeakers produced by the German company
manufacturer
can easily be motivated to use the musical fuel that
WBT are the
they are given without needing the infamous 'kick
best possible
terminals
up the backside' in order to do their thing.
where sound
A variety of crosschecks clearly showed
is concerned.
that the new Audio Physic models should certainly be classified as some of the highlights of their
price range. The Classic 20 is particularly ambinot a disadvantage but very suitable for tious thanks to its audiophile qualities, which are
modernly furnished rooms that echo slightly lacking from the accentuated vivacity and
because it produces fewer reflections. The brash confidence of the sound reproduction of the
Classic models also offer listeners a Classic 10. In fact, we could even ask ourselves
number of different options when it comes whether the Classic 20 could put the company’s
to setting up their loudspeakers. We achie- Tempo 25 model (for which prices start at 3990
ved the best results when we positioned Euros per pair) under pressure?
the Classics so that their
The answer to this question depends on
KEY WORD
sound was aimed at a posia number of factors. There is virtually
Resonance behaviour:
tion located around 30 centi- Materials resonate no separating the two models when it
metres away from the outside at different frequen- comes to their punch and their delight in
depending on
of our shoulders. This set-up cies
reproducing sound. The Classic 20
their textures and
provided an optimally balan- properties. They damp could even be considered to be better
ced combination of dimensi- each other in the when smaller amplifiers are used but on
sandwich construction.
the whole and when used with approprional imaging, sharp edges
ate amplifiers, the winning margin of the
and active homogeneity.
We certainly had a lot of fun Tempo 25 has never been threatened by this new
with the new “youngsters” of the Audio model. The Tempo 25 justifies its considerably
Physic product family, which are repla- higher price with an even better defined differentiacing the company’s “Yara” range. The tion, a more velvety outflow of the higher frequenloudspeakers are supplied with the usual cies and a broader spatial imaging. But does this
spikes that can be attached to the floor really enable it to get our blood pumping even
plates that protrude from the bottom of more? One thing that can definitely be said is that
the cabinets. You can also order eight who ever listens to the Classics will notice that they
VCF feet, which convert movements into are certainly the top dogs when it comes to provipull energy and facilitate the production ding an outstanding element of surprise.
by Matthias Böde
of more natural midrange tones and more _________________________________________
relaxed and spatial sound images, for an Contact: Audio Physic, www.audiophysic.de
Tel.: +49 (0)2961 96170
AUDIO PHYSIC CLASSIC 10
AUDIO PHYSIC CLASSIC 20
from €1590 per pair (with external MDF
panels (available in four veneers), test
loudspeakers in glass high gloss design
with inner cabinets in black or white at
approx. €1790/pair measurements: 17.3x
105x24cm (WxHxD); Warranty: 10 years.
from €2190 per pair (with external MDF
panels (available in four veneers), test
loudspeakers in glass high gloss design
with inner cabinets in black or white at
approx. €2390/pair measurements: 17.3x
105x29cm (WxHxD); Warranty: 10 years.
Audio Physics' smallest floorstanding
loudspeaker shows just what this manufacturer stands for: unbridled enthusiasm and
homogenous sound quality that also
develops on more economical electronics
and when placed next to the wall. In a unique
and even an acoustically favourable glass
finish, the Classic 10 is also an eye-catcher
On the larger of the two Classic floorstanding
loudspeakers, the audiophile qualities, not to
mention the potency in the bass, have been
further enhanced. By combining dynamic
verve, precision and depth of tonal colour, the
Classic 20 is already taking aim at higher
price categories. Great sound and lots of
loudspeaker for the money.
MEASUREMENT RESULTS *
MEASUREMENT RESULTS *
Nominal Impedance
4Ω
Minimum Impedance
4.1 Ω at 250 Hertz
Maximum Impedance
17 Ω at 68 Hertz
Average Sensitivity (2.83 V/1m)
91 dB SPL
Efficiency at 94 dB (1m)
4.7 W
Lower Crossover Frequency (-3 dB)
41 Hertz
Distortion Factor at 63 / 3k / 10kHz 0.3 / 0.1 / 0.15%
Nominal Impedance
4Ω
Minimal Impedance
3.8 Ω at 75 Hertz
Maximum Impedance
13.5 Ω at 2300 Hertz
Average Sensitivity (2.83 V/1m)
90 dB SPL
Efficiency at 94 dB (1m)
5.3 W
Lower Crossover Frequency (-3 dB)
37 Hertz
Distortion Factor at 63 / 3k / 10kH 1 / 0.1 / 0.15%
LABORATORY
LABORATORY
The Classic 10 produces a frequency response
that is altogether balanced but slightly wavy
and features a small peak in the upper midrange that emphasizes its clear and active
character. When measured on axis (red line), a
slight accentuation can be seen in the higher
frequencies but this is necessary due to the
fact that off-axis (blue line), the level already
starts to drop more steeply above the midrange
area. Listeners who do not direct the Audio
Physic loudspeaker directly towards their ears
will experience a balanced tonality with an
astoundingly gradual drop in the bass range,
which reaches bass frequencies that are rather
low given the size of the loudspeaker and its
high sensitivity. The excellent efficiency of the
Classic 10 goes hand in hand with its extremely consistent impedance curve. Both of these
factors favour smaller amplifiers or AV
receivers by providing them with simple
conditions. The loudspeaker's pleasingly low
distortion factors confirm the qualities of its
drivers and its overall concept.
SOUND PERFORMANCE
PRICE/PERFORMANCE
62%
EXCELLENT
* STEREO Club subscribers can access additional data
and diagrams at www.stereo.de
Everything that this section says about the
Classic 10 also applies to the larger Classic 20
model, although this loudspeaker also features
a slightly more balanced frequency response. Its
impedance peak in the bass range is indeed
lower but this is of little significance when the
loudspeaker is actually used. As was the case
with the Classic 10, we also recommend that
you do not position the Classic 20 so that it is
directly facing your head, but instead aim it
slightly to the outside of your shoulder. If you
draw an imaginary line between the red (axis)
and blue (30 degree) frequency lines, you will be
able to see how linear the response of the
Classic 20 is just a little off-axis. This model also
boasts an impressively high sensitivity and
therefore only needs relatively low amplifier
power even when reproducing full-bodied
volumes. Other than its slightly higher bass
value, the distortion factors of the Classic 20 are
identical to those of the Classic 10, which makes
sense given that both loudspeakers ultimately
use the same midrange driver and tweeter.
SOUND PERFORMANCE
PRICE/PERFORMANCE
OUTSTANDING
EXZELLENT
73%
91%
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