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Old 17th April 2007, 07:29 PM   #1
Betto is offline Betto  Italy
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Brescia,Italy
Default Podium Sound planars

I've seen on the net these intriguing planars (no ribbon nor electrostatic) wich promise full range, high efficiency and low directivity, but their website (www.podiumsound.co.uk) is elusive to say the least.
According to Stereophile, these speakers are NXT-based and Paul Burton is involved in the project (maybe Paul can confirm?).
Someone reported the large diaphragm is driven by some small piston drivers (BMR?)
Anyone knows more?
Thank you very much in advance, Betto
Cheers, Betton
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Old 31st May 2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Default Podium 1 panels

Sorry being so long replying. I only just saw your post.

Yes, it was me. I designed and built the prototypes shown at the Heathrow (London) Hi Fi show last summer. See http://blog.stereophile.com/hifinews2006/ for a photo of the originals (about 2/3 of the way down the report). I finished working on the Podium project last October, and have had little contact since, so I am a bit out of date.

What are they? The Podium 1s are large bending wave panels, using a honeycomb cored, skinned composite panel excited by 5 high-powered NXT-type exciters, in a vertical tapered line array. This can be clearly seen in the photos in the Hi Fi world review just published.

They originals were efficient, wide-band (good to below 40Hz), and as you would expect for a bending wave panel, non-directional, even at high frequencies. They were a diffuse dipole sound source, and so produced a very large room enveloping soundscape with no sense of a sweet spot. They also projected across large rooms unusually well. The originals sounded very fast and dynamic, with good bass weight. Oh, and they played loud too.... even on really tough stuff like the Telarc 1812.

I do not know how many of these original types were sold (if any).

Shelley Katz re-designed the Podiums after I left the project. The new ones have a wood frame and these are what are reviewed in Hi Fi World (July edition). They appear to be based on the original acoustic system I developed, but they have a higher impedance, lower sensitivity, and by the look of the frequency response and comments in the review, a different tonal balance as well.

They were priced at £3,500, but now seem to have gone up to £6,900. Hmm...

The Podium web-site has been down for weeks. I have no idea what is going on, but I saw that they were at the Heathrow show in March, where they were also showing a smaller model with a copper coloured panel and a piano black frame.

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Old 31st May 2007, 04:00 PM   #3
el`Ol is offline el`Ol  Germany
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bavarian Forest
Here is an other high-priced NXT speaker:
Not very sensitive, the diaphragm is a wood/fiber glass compound.
Unfortunately there are no high-quality exciters on the market for DIY experiments. It would be nice if the Fane exciters were.
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Old 31st May 2007, 09:09 PM   #4
Betto is offline Betto  Italy
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Brescia,Italy
Thank you very much Paul.
I was in Munich just to hear the speakers.
I'm puzzled too with the abrupt price increase.
What happened to Balanced Mode Radiator principle?
Prototypes have been presented almost two years ago and nothing happened since then.
BMR application to flat panels (HARP) should be very interesting, is there anything new coming?
Regards, Betto
Cheers, Betton
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Old 1st December 2007, 01:32 PM   #5
el`Ol is offline el`Ol  Germany
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bavarian Forest
I read a review about Podium Sound at 6moons
and there are some things I don´t understand:
What causes the chaotic behaviour? The cuts at the edge?
Is there really no lobing with driver spacing so high?
How can it be that there is no null at the side of the panel?
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