Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

This JL Audio tour was done by Doug Schneider and Jeff Fritz on February 23, 2011. JL Audio’s main factory is also their corporate headquarters. The 140,000-square-foot facility is located in Miramar, Florida, USA. For more information about JL Audio, visit www.jlaudio.com.

Introduction

We created SoundStage! Global to showcase specialty audio/video direct from the places we travel to worldwide. For our first factory tour on this site we chose JL Audio. Why? Mostly, it's for the impact they've had in the home subwoofer market and because of what they have the potential to create in the future.

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Woodworking

JL Audio has extensive in-house manufacturing capabilities, including a large woodworking area. There were numerous computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines in use during our visit. Various types of wood -- MDF, HDF, plywood, etc. -- were in evidence, and stacks of finished parts were everywhere. JL likes to build as much as they can in-house. In fact, we learned that JL Audio even makes much of the furniture being used within the company offices!

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Fiberglass Fabricating

Since JL Audio produces products for home, mobile, and marine use -- sometimes needing extremely complex cabinet shapes -- fiberglass fabrication and finishing are key to their manufacturing capability. Fiberglass is also used for some of their top-of-the-line products. We were fortunate enough to see the fiberglass-based Gotham subwoofers in various states of manufacture. The Gotham g213, which retails for $12,000, is JL Audio's best and is considered to be among the state-of-the-art in the subwoofer marketplace.

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Driver Assembly 1

JL Audio is one of the few companies that makes state-of-the-art drivers onsite. We watched the complete assembly of the W7 driver that's used in a number of JL Audio products, including the Fathom and Gotham home subs.

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Driver Assembly 2

The TW5 thin woofer used for the IWS-SYS-1 and IWS-SYS-2 in-wall subwoofers requires high precision to manufacture . . .

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Home Products Assembly

After individual components -- drivers, cabinets, and electronics -- are manufactured, they're sent to various areas for final stages of production. In the case of products for the home, they're sent to the department JL calls Home Products Assembly.

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