Originally introduced in 1992, the Borderland was our first flagship model and has since provided the inspiration for our HRS-130 and Unlimited models. Now in its MK IV form, it remains our most popular loudspeaker. It combines our unique 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.
Improved bass, resolution and dynamics
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. The resolution and dynamics have also been noticeably improved, removing another veil between the listener and the music.
Extended Bass with Low Distortion
The Borderland Mk IV uses a single 12-inch woofer of the same type used in our prestige Loreley model. This provides the Borderland Mk IV 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.
German Physiks’ Revolutionary DDD Driver
Like all German Physiks loudspeakers, the heart of the Borderland MK IV is its carbon fibre DDD driver. In the Borderland MK IV, this wide-bandwidth omnidirectional driver covers the range from 190Hz up to 24kHz. This extremely wide range is achieved by the use of pistonic, bending wave and modal radiation: most loudspeakers use drivers that are purely pistonic. The same quality of DDD driver is used on all German Physiks loudspeakers, from our entry level Unlimited MK II, to our top of the range, $300,000 Gaudi MK II. The DDD driver gives the same very important advantages to all German Physiks designs and is what sets them apart from the competition. These are:
1. Exceptionally coherent and natural sound: The extremely wide operating range of the DDD driver provides an exceptionally coherent and natural sound. This is very difficult to achieve when this frequency range is split over two or more different types of driver, which are in physically different positions on the cabinet.
This wide operating range also eliminates the crossover point in the mid-range that loudspeakers using conventional pistonic drivers must have. Our hearing is most sensitive in the mid-range and avoiding the level and phase errors that crossovers can create from this region further improves transparency.
2. Realistic stereo images more like you experience in the concert hall: When you listen to music in a concert hall, you are in an enveloping sound field where much of the sound is reflected off a surface before it reaches your ears. These reflections play an important part in the creation the stereo image that you perceive. Because the DDD driver is omnidirectional, it radiates all frequencies evenly around it and so creates a similar enveloping sound field in the listener’s room. This way the Borderland MK IV 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: Conventional loudspeakers tend to produce stereo images that can only be best enjoyed from one position in the room, the “sweet-spot”, and then usually by only one person. Move away from the “sweet-spot” and both the stereo image and tonal balance become progressively degraded. This is because conventional pistonic drivers tend to concentrate their radiation into a beam that narrows with increasing frequency.
By contrast, the DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern enables Borderland MK IV to produce excellent stereo images that can be enjoyed from a wide range of listening positions in the room, whilst also maintaining a more even tonal balance: much like you would experience at a live performance. This gives more flexibility in where you sit and allows several people to enjoy a good sound simultaneously, so you can share your music with others. Because you are not restricted to a small “sweet-spot” in order to hear the best sound, the Borderland MK IV 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 provides an excellent impulse response, allowing it to recreate both the attack of the music and resolve low level detail very accurately. The resultant transparency is maintained even on complex high-level passages. For example, cymbals have an authentic initial smash and the ebb and flow of the subtle overtones that follow is clear and unmasked. This ability 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. Once you have become accustomed to the more natural presentation provided by our DDD driver, it can be difficult to go back to listening to a conventional design. This is something we often hear from our customers and it has also been commented on in reviews.
5. Accurate portrayal of musical instruments’ tonal characteristics: The DDD driver is phase linear across its operating range, ensuring that the tonal character of each musical instrument is reproduced with great accuracy. This together with the excellent dynamic response enables the Borderland MK IV to reproduce percussion with startling reality. Voices have a clarity and purity that can be breath taking, with all the elements that comprise 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 rather than a recorded one.
More information on the DDD driver, its development and advantages may be found on the Technology page of the German Physiks web site at http://bit.ly/1jLZekr.
Quick and Easy to Set Up
The DDD driver’s omnidirectional radiation pattern and wide operating frequency range make the Borderland MK IV less critical of their position 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. The Borderland MK IV will drive rooms up to 950 sq ft (90 square metres) in size, yet the footprint is a modest 15.9” x 15.9” (404mm x 404mm). It can also work well in smaller rooms. We have successfully used them at shows in rooms as small as 285 sq ft (27 square metres), but as always we recommend a home demonstration before you make a final choice.
Low Resonance Cabinet Design Enhances Transparency
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 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. 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.
Another advantage of the Borderland MK IV design is that the DDD driver passes comparatively little potentially resonance-creating energy into the cabinet. This is because its low moving mass means that the reaction forces it generates are also low and because the DDD driver sits on top of the cabinet, these forces are at right angles to the direction that that cabinet panels would naturally flex. Consequently, less energy enters the cabinet than would be the case if the driver was attached perpendicular to a panel and thus the reaction forces it created were in the same direction that panel would naturally flex.
High quality input terminals
Two sets of WBT’s high quality 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.
Adjustable High Frequency Output
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.
Hand Finished for Ultimate Quality
The standard finish for the Borderland MK IV is high-polish polyester in black or white. Other finishes are available to special order. These include satin and high-polish veneers – see the Finishes page of the German Physiks web site at http://bit.ly/1lj7U5x – and satin and high-polish paint finishes. Because the look of our products is as important as the sound, all cabinets are built and finished by skilled cabinetmakers for the best possible furniture grade finish.
For product images and the latest version of the user manual, please follow this link to the German Physiks Download Page.
Reviews: Here are the most recent Borderland Reviews: For more reviews please click here.
“The Borderland has all those properties we’ve come to expect from German Physiks loudspeakers, but more so. There’s that outstanding imagery, which is not limited to one place in the room. There’s also that fine top-to-bottom coherence of sound, the extension and grace without an overtly ‘audiophile’ faux sound, and so on. But with the Borderland, this all comes together with a larger, more physically ‘in the room’ presentation that is as potent as it is beguiling.”
October 2016, Hi-Fi +, UK
“Those meanwhile who attend a lot of concerts not front-row center, with their own two ears the only microphones, know of a very different sound. It’s bigger, darker, heavier, bassier, with water-colour transitions, no sharp image outlines, no ultra separation but a gentle blending. Voilà, that’s how the German Physiks do it too.”
January 2015, 6Moons, Switzerland
“Stellar top-to-bottom coherency, speed and dynamics make for a solid foundation upon which the bass with its power, speed and pitch make it a bass-freaks’ master. The rest of the spectrum is just as well rendered with an infinitely open and detailed sound.”
August 2011, Dagogo, USA
BORDERLAND MK IV Specifications
|Impedance||3.7 ohms at 375Hz|
|Frequency Response||28 – 24,000Hz|
|Amplification required||Minimum 160W/4 ohm|
|Cross over frequency||190Hz|
|Cross over 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 centred at 8,000Hz|
|Sensitivity||86.1dB for 1W at 1m|
|Operating principle||2-way loudspeaker with 360° surround radiation using the DDD driver.|
|Input connectors||2 sets of binding posts|
|Drivers||1 x carbon fibre DDD driver|
|1 x 12-inch woofer|
|Dimensions||404mm W x 1,229mm H x 404mm D|
|15.9" W x 48.4" H x 15.9" D|
|As part of our process of continually improving our products, we reserve the right to change specifications without notice|