"The Symposium" - 1994
|Designer Peter Bizlewicz with the ancestor of the Panorama in Brentwood, Los Angeles in 1994. This loudspeaker was originally called The Symposium, and was originally to be Symposium's debut product. Symposium isolation platforms were in existence in their seminal form at this time; if you look carefully, you will see the very first Symposium Super platforms, in use under the electronics on the floor between the speakers.
The Symposium consisted of a line source of 8 midrange/high frequency drivers per side which were the direct ancestors of the current Reflection and Panorama "UMD" planar drivers. These were dipole-mounted in a narrow, opened-back aperiodic cabinet on 6061 aircraft-aluminum grounding rails and terminating spikes. At the sides of the HF towers were the planar bass panels, each with 2 stacked dipole bass drivers with response to below 30 Hz.
The Symposium, in this first incarnation, was bi-amplified, employing an active/passive crossover network system with separate amplifiers for midrange/tweeter and bass sections, but later versions eschewed the active crossover and bi-amping scheme for a passive crossover that only needed one stereo amplifier to drive the entire system, similar to the Panorama. While bi-amping certainly has its benefits, employing the same amplifier for the entire range offers benefits of musical coherency, simplicity and lower cost.
The first demos were enthusiastically attended by industry luminaries Peter Mitchell, Larry Archibald, Peter Tribeman and others. Associated equipment included an Audio Research SP-10 Mk II preamplifier, SOTA Cosmos turntable, VTL monoblock and Audio Research D-70 amplifiers; the planar bass drivers (at the outside edges of the picture) were driven by a massive solid state amplifier through a modified Dahlquist DQ-LP1 active/passive crossover.