Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Axiom's wood shop . . .

Factory floor

. . . takes up about 30% of the factory space, which is not surprising since most of the company's speakers have wood-based cabinets.

CNC machines

Axiom has two CNC machines that they use primarily for cutting wood, but they also use them to cut plastics and metals.

Air duct

Given the high number of speakers that Axiom produces, dust from the CNC cutting is obviously a concern. Directly outside of the wood shop is an enormous dust collector that works continuously in order to keep the shop area clean. (Axiom's Andrew Welker, who is shown in the photo, is 6'1" tall!)

Raw cabinets

Several years ago, Axiom was only producing speakers with vinyl-veneer finishes. They still produce vinyl-clad speakers, but they also now offer real-wood veneers and painted finishes. Customers can even opt for a fully customized finish.

The vinyl-finished cabinets obviously need little work once the cabinet has been assembled, but the real-wood and painted speakers need quite a bit more work before completion, so they're routed to the sanding area for additional finishing prior to being sent into . . .

Speakers in paint booth

. . . the paint booth for paint and/or lacquer application.

Speaker close-up

Axiom's wood finishing is superb.

Nearly finished and finished speakers

Axiom's founder and president, Ian Colquhoun (left), and chief designer, Andrew Welker, stand with a batch of LFR1100 speakers (LFR stands for linear-field radiator) in the final-assembly area. The LFR1100, which sells for $3760 USD per pair in standard finishes, is an innovative design that has front- and rear-mounted drivers and comes with an external DSP-based crossover. The inspiration for the LFR1100 came from Andrew, who was the chief designer at Mirage Loudspeakers for many years. Mirage primarily made omnidirectional speakers -- the sound is dispersed in a controlled manner over 360 degrees. According to Andrew, The LFR1100 takes omnidirectional speaker technology a significant step forward.

Speaker testing 1

Although every part is inspected as the speaker is being assembled, every fully assembled Axiom speaker goes through . . .

Speaker testing 2

. . . acoustic testing in a mini anechoic chamber to ensure it meets spec before it's released from the factory.