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#105020 - 09/11/05 12:12 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5279
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Here's a quick trip report; unfortunately I arrived up there having had WAY too little sleep for the last couple of days so some of the details were already fuzzy by the time I got home. Bottom line was that I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of the nicest, most interesting people you could imagine...

Random notes from the picnic :

It was just over 3-1/2 hour drive from Toronto. Arrived a bit after 11 -- Amie and others were just carrying goodies out to the picnic area when I arrived.

After asking a few (in hindsight) dumb questions I figured out that this was a company picnic with board denizens invited, so most of the nice people there were Axiom staff. D'oh !!

Me : "So, like, where did you come in from ?"

Them : (with a confused expression) "about 1/2 mile that way"

There were perhaps 1/2 dozen customers and dealers; the rest were Axom staff and friends, including some of Ian's friends who were integral to the original startup 25 years ago. Ian is one of the few people I have met who has had the opportunity to bring his friends and contacts from the early days into the business as it grows; there was an incredible mix of talent and experience at the picnic.

The factory tour started just after I arrived. It's a physically large facility, made up of a number of buildings added over the years. I think Ian said they had been in that location for 23 years -- if you looked closely you could see the construction materials changing radically from the first building (pre-dating Axiom) to the last addition ('97, I think).

The background music system in the factory uses M80s hung up high on the wall, so the Muzak quality is extremely high and can probably drown out the milling machines pretty easily. The suggestion about using M80s in a large room seems to hold up pretty well; the pair I was listening to were about 12 feet off the ground, 40 feet apart, and 30 feet from the listening position. Sounded mighty fine...

ONe thing that impressed me (although it didn't surprise me) was how all the important things were first-rate, and everything else was very basic and functional. The office over the production area was very basic and literally used old speakers for furniture (work table for PCs was a plank across two old cabinets, and the bench was a really big cabinet with a cushion on top) but when we walked back down the stairs from the loft you could see that the loft was built with high tech no-squeak engineered joists. The whole place was like that.

They don't throw anything away. For example, a Hsu subwoofer makes an excellent amplifier stand (don't ask ).

You have seen pictures of the dust collection system but the pictures don't show how BIG it is -- a huge hulking tower out back. The vacuum pipe from the work areas is a couple of feet in diameter, and the return air duct had to be 4 or 5 feet across. The factory had much less dust than my house ;(

There really is a soundproof room with double doors and an M80 inside. What they don't tell you is that the room is actually built OUTSIDE the rest of the building so it doesn't disturb the staff.

There is a door labelled something like "subsonic test facility" running off the CAD/CAM area. When you go up the stairs and open the door, you suddenly find yourself outside at rooftop level. Anyone feeling sorry about Ian having to climb up a pole with a subwoofer on his back can rest easy; the stairs lead to a platform where the sub can be mounted to a right angle pole, then the whole assembly (including mikes) swings out over the parking lot to get it away from any surfaces that would interfere with the sound. Very simple, but very slick.

The staff had assembled a slide show with images going back over the years. There were a couple of interesting pics from "Ian's dock party" with a live band; sound system was big amps and speaker arrays each made up of 4 M80s. Also a pic of what I believe were 6 EP600s ganged in the listening room; apparently the bass was awesome

Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, the pretty lady in the red top is Cassandra, who performs final QA. I think Cassie is the one to talk to about getting factory fallout when you need it. Anyways, her two daughters were there, all dressed up for the party, and they latched immediately onto my two dogs. I learned all kinds of interesting things, such as :

- a dog CAN eat its own weight in sausages and hamburgers if you break them into small pieces first

- dogs WILL eat pickles if they have been mixed in with pasta salad so the yummy salad dressing soaks into the pickles

- after 11 years, my faithful dogs would sell me out IN A HEARTBEAT for a girl with a hamburger

Anyways, more tomorrow. I'm hoping I can remember more or at least write more clearly after some sleep.

It was a great trip, and you honestly couldn't ask to meet a nicer group of people. The Axiom folks have generally been with the company for a long time (Ian gently observed that Amie was pretty much the "newbie" at 6 years), and it really shows in both their knowledge of the products and their passion for their work.

Congratulations to everyone at Axiom on an important anniversary and thanks again for the invite !!


Edited by bridgman (09/11/05 12:18 AM)

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#105021 - 09/11/05 12:42 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Thanks for sharing, John. Hearing what a great time was to be had makes me sad I missed the festivities. I look forward to reading more of the reactions/descriptions of the board members.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#105022 - 09/12/05 12:46 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
HAY Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 720
Loc: Burlington, Ontario
Bridgman, good write up. It was nice to meet you and another forum member pitbull(?) at the picnic.

I really enjoyed the day and it's a shame but understandable that more people could not have attended.

First off, thank you very much Axiom for inviting us, it truly was a beautiful day in Muskoka and a great drive (but rushed from Toronto. I don't think I had a record time but the minivan was hauling.

Everyone made me feel very welcome and was eager to answer any question, even if they've been asked it a hundred times.

I was just in a daze pretty much all day though, I had come to the home of Axiom and was ready to finally fill in the rest of my home theater. I had started with a VP150 over a year and half ago and knew as soon as I seen it, especially when I heard it that I needed more Axiom speakers. The day was finally here, but when 3 seats were removed from the minivan the wife was concerned.

The anticipation of getting my new system was overwhelming but to actually go to the place where they were built and to meet the people who dreamed them up and created them was awesome. Originally 60's were on the list, then QS8's and negotiating with the wife up to the day I left landed the 500.

Ian was personally touring us around the factory and it was hard to follow along as there’s sooo many distractions. The WHOLE Axiom speaker line, the 80’s on the wall for the floor workers, the staircase up to the sub pole, speakers absolutely everywhere, things we were possibly not supposed to see, the machinery, the production line with 4 or so different custom finished M80’s, the DSP sub amp processing line, and Whoa...what's that...Michael Jackson...I think....yup, Smooth Criminal....let's go see what's behind the door...the listening room.
The listening room was great, I found myself going in and out all day It consisted of 80's, VP150, QS8 and an EP500 and EP600 on a switch box. We brought in some 50's later in the day. This is the room where they do the double blind tests. I must say no matter what we had on, speaker wise, it just sounded fantastic. As far as I know we were just playing different CD’s with specific tunes to demo the abilities. When I first came in to smooth criminal it was playing with all speakers going and the EP600. WOW, I could not imagine ever needing that much or more. The 600 alone was worth the trip up, what an amazing and scary piece of technology. It was not fair to the 500 when going back and forth. I was debating whether or not to get the 500 after listening to the 600. Don’t get me wrong, I bought it and I love it, but when we switched back and forth…the 600 just moves so much more air, you feel this bad boy.

I never really noticed how loud it was in the room until I went outside for a bit and realized I had a hum in my ears. The sound was so crisp and clean you just wanted more and it didn’t seem to be unbearable. I had no sign of exhaustion/listening fatigue. After a bite to eat back to the room and Tim ( I believe) an Axiom employee was at the controls and had some music just pumping. There was an SPL meter lying on the table and I think it was going from high 90’s to 107? Tim was quick to offer me sit beside him as they have 2 chairs in the sweet spot. It took awhile to get our names as we were a couple inches apart and could not hear the words coming out of our mouths. No one wanted to turn down the music though. I’m not sure how anyone could listening to music much louder and could only ask that Tim or someone posts the actual SPL/Decibels we reached in that room. I do know though that the 2 amps we were using had the Red lights flashing and Peter(?) tapped Tim on the shoulder and pointed over to the amps.

I’ve gone on much longer than anticipated, I have only had a very short time to play with my new set up and I love it. I am also very glad I went with the 500 as it easily is way more than I need for my room. I finally understand the whole Darla Tap scene Any concerns have been squashed and I know if I had a 600 my house would collapse. A few employees and I were joking that Axiom should have a dry wall compound/putty to fix the cracks in the walls the subs will make.

Again, thank you Axiom.

_________________________
High Gloss Cherry
M60 VP150 QS8
Open for Auditions but please don't drool on the High Gloss

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#105023 - 09/12/05 10:07 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
Pitbull Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 38
Well I wont try to repeat what was said. The Axiom staff made us all feel as if we worked there. I think everyone got along great and it was a pleasure to meet them. I am sure I talked all their ears off and even made comments in jest The tour was an experience and shows you the time and dedication it takes to make a company grow. As you can see the transitions that were made by the building designs I again want to thank the staff and board members for making it a worthwhile trip. (BTW dont get caught late at night at the start of Algonquin Park no hotels anywhere - although good opportunity...) We saw a lot of history from the first Axioms to the MT80i. Oh and btw here are the new prototypes in the works Prototypes
I will post more pics when in the future from my digital camera I just wanted to post a quick blurb.

Thanks
Andrew

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#105024 - 09/12/05 10:19 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5279
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>Oh and btw here are the new prototypes in the works

Whoa, now you're in trouble. Those 6x9s were supposed to be a well-kept secret !!


Edited by bridgman (09/12/05 10:20 AM)

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#105025 - 09/12/05 10:53 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 709
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
Thanks Amie (and Ian) for putting on the picnic!!!!

I loved the cake, chips, and rest of the food. Really nice to talk to other people with the same interests. Although I had a tour a month ago, it was nice to get a second look. Really interested in the In wall, Out wall speakers comming this fall.

I wish we could have stayed longer but my friend from London need to get back that day.

Thanks again
Paul
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Panasonic PT-AU900
AudioTrak AT-6100
Denon AVR-990

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#105026 - 09/12/05 11:16 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
Amie Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 1620
How funny is that?! You *totally* got me!

I was so pleased to meet everyone! It was excellent for Alan and I to put 'board' names to the faces. Weather was perfect, guests were even better, and John's dogs have won a permanent spot in all our hearts - what a pair of sweethearts!

Thanks everyone who made our little celebration that much sweeter by joining us - we really appreciated it!

_________________________
Amie Colquhoun
Axiom Audio

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#105027 - 09/12/05 11:22 AM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
Amie Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 1620
There were over 100 pictures taken! But we were exhausted and didn't get them cropped and put up. If I get a chance before I leave tomorrow, I'll get some more photos up with names; otherwise I promise to do it when I get back. In the shots there, you see Steve (plant manager) with Mike and Cassandra, who are in R & D and Quality Control. Then of course, Alan and Tom. In the bottom corner, Peter is showing some guests the slideshow, and on the wall is Ian circa 1985. The vintage speaker display was a total highlight - I'll get some of those pics up too!
_________________________
Amie Colquhoun
Axiom Audio

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#105028 - 09/12/05 12:49 PM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
James_T Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Seattle WA
I feel like I'm just not seeing something I should. Where would I find the pictures that are already posted? I can't seem to find them.

j
_________________________
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." C Hitchens

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#105029 - 09/12/05 01:08 PM Re: Axiom Day - September 10th
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Amie linked them early on in this thread.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/anniversary.html
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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