Call it Ontario’s little secret. Driving along scenic Highway 60, chances are you’d never notice it; Axiom Audio that is. Hidden behind tall trees, its appearance fits right in with the architecture of the small town. With its dark brown outside, the building disappears with in the trees. To many of us from the big city Axiom speakers are made in “cottage country”. And true enough, a number of Hollywood stars own cottages around Huntsville Ontario, just minutes away from Dwight where Axiom resides.
So what advantages do these guys have running a business out of a small town? Piece of mind – that’s for sure. As soon as we walked into Axiom we felt the laid back, easy-going atmosphere. No stresses of a big city here. But don’t be fooled by the laid back attitude at Axiom – with nearly 25 years in the business, these guys know how to build quality speakers. They love building speakers and it shows.
Why don’t we start at the very beginning.
In 1979 Ian Colquhoun built his first set of loudspeakers in a friend’s garage. Immediately, another friend asked to buy them. A year later Ian formed Axiom Audio Canada and introduced his first set of speakers called the AX Series 1. In 1982, Ian joined the National Research Council (NRC) project in Ottawa, whose aim was to standardize loudspeaker measurement. With important lessons learned at the NRC, 1985 witnessed the introduction of Axiom’s AX Series 2 speakers. Throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, Axiom speakers won several awards from the Sound & Vision magazine as well as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company grew rapidly and began to ship their products worldwide. In 1991, Axiom not only manufactured their own brand, but also produced OEM speakers that were sold under other brand names. Axiom continued to introduce new speakers during the late 90s and continues going strong today. Since 2000, Axiom loudspeakers have won many more awards from printed and online magazines, and the company remains tucked away in the little town of Dwight Ontario. Axiom Audio truly is one of the cornerstones of the Canadian loudspeaker business.
Starting about five years ago, Axiom began selling their loudspeakers exclusively on the internet. This allowed their speakers to reach over 15 different countries very quickly while avoiding the mark-up of the middle man. Axiom speakers present incredible value and would cost substantially more if sold through retail stores. So what if you want to audition any of their speakers? Axiom Audio offers a 30 day money back guarantee on all their speakers so you can audition them worry-free in your listening space; allowing the ultimate test for audiophiles. They are renowned for great customer service, should you have any questions or experience any difficulties.
Today Axiom offers a wide array of speakers intended for use in stereo and home theater applications. The speakers are designed and manufactured using state-of-the-art equipment and produced to meet the highest of standards. A dedicated research and development team continually works on new driver, crossover, amplifier and enclosure designs. All parts of every speaker model are designed right here in the engineering lab including the woofers, crossovers, cabinets and grilles. In fact, the engineering lab is currently being expanded to keep up with the growth of the company. Every speaker design is tested for efficiency and robustness inside a custom designed sound room. The tests are conducted at the rated maximum power for 100 continous hours using Bryston amplifiers. Walking through the “Sub Sonic Measuring” door at the Axiom plant, takes you to an outdoor testing platform used for anechoically measuring frequencies below 85 Hz. These are the frequencies that cannot be measured accurately in the anechoic chamber at the NRC (due to the long wave length) where many speaker manufacturers test their designs.
Quality control also plays a very important role at Axiom Audio. Before any speaker leaves the production line, it is placed in a small anechoic chamber where it is tested for phase, frequency response, impedance and rattle. If it doesn’t match the reference specifications it is not shipped out.
With more than 15 models of speakers currently available, making up your mind may not always be easy. Their website (www.axiomaudio.com) however, offers a very unique solution to this problem. In the menu bar you will find a link called the Home Theater Wizard. The wizard will ask you a set of questions about your taste in music and movies, your speaker size preferences, approximate dimensions of your room, general questions about your receiver and your price range. Based on the answers to your questions, it will recommend a set of speakers that suits your needs.
So what about the finish of the speakers? Axiom allows you to choose a custom finish for every speaker they produce. Four standard and 24 custom low and high gloss finishes can be chosen from to suit your décor and taste. Yes, you read it correctly – an astounding 28 finishes in all. From different types of wood to solid colours to glossy finishes, they literally have it all. Choosing a custom finish at Axiom, also means that you get a choice of one of six different grille cloth colours. In fact, Axiom can send you a sample piece of wood and grille cloth in your choice of finish, so that you can see how these choices will match your décor. And if that wasn’t enough, every custom speaker gets a little special touch before it leaves the factory. It’s a nice surprise that we don’t want to give away.
A little over a year ago, Axiom Audio introduced their own line of speaker and interconnect cables. These cables make a perfect companion for any of the Axiom speakers, but of course are intended for use with any audio video equipment. A quick glance at some of their cables showed us the same quality craftsmanship that goes into all their speakers.
At the end of our Axiom Audio tour we stumbled upon a preproduction sample of a new subwoofer scheduled for release at the end of this summer. In fact by the time you read this, two new subwoofer models will be available – the EP Epicenter 500 and the EP Epicenter 600. While we can’t tell you much about these subwoofers yet, we can tell you that the EP Epicenter 600 is the largest subwoofer we’ve seen (apparently an early prototype was refrigerator sized) and Axiom claims it’s capable of reaching bone-rattling depths of 17 Hz. There is also one more piece of very exciting news about Axiom Audio, but we’re under oath to keep quiet about it until sometime this fall.
For detailed information about all Axiom Audio products visit their website at www.axiomaudio.com.