I'm with Bruce and Dennis; I cannot imagine that the veneer material of the speaker will have a perceptible effect on the sound.
Craig, I seem to remember Alan saying that - despite some user protests about perceived quality/durability - the speaker grills were designed specifically to ensure acoustic transparency, including resonances and refractions. Like you, I'm curious if they reengineered the grill frame.
Peter, I thought Stevie was still too young for Pinewood Derby?
I think it's great that Axiom is doing this, and they seem to be doing it in the usual Axiom way.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem