Over the past nine months Axiom has teamed up with Canada's most respected interior design group, GlucksteinDesign, to work on ways to integrate audio and video into homes without compromising the room design or the sound quality. Until now designers have installed a lot of bad audio because it suited the room's décor. We want to change that; and with some creative thinking there is no reason for a customer to sacrifice one for the other. At this show we put forward some concepts of products we have come up with to meet this goal. We are really looking forward to everyone's comments on these pieces.
So it is back from the show and right back to the lab! We had a great show with a lot of people coming through the booth to see the latest interior designs from Brian Gluckstein and Axiom's integration of sound and video into the rooms.
The Axiom team worked around the clock - literally - getting prototypes ready for the show and building our booth. Starting from the front of our booth, here's a photo of our executive computer speakers in a small den/office that we exhibited at the show.
Each speaker is hooked to the subwoofer (EPZero, under the glass desk, below) that contains the amplifiers for all three speakers. Long time Axiom fans will recognize that this design was based on the discontinued Axiom MZero speakers, part of the Epic Micro package. The finish shown here is a real wood burled walnut with our VaSSallo Coffee stain, in high-gloss piano finish. We're hoping to have the computer sat-sub system ready for Father's Day. The EPZero sub is using the woofer from the M80 and a 300-watt amplifier to power the system. It measures 12.4" high, 7.8" wide, and 15.3" deep and is designed to go under your desk. The MZeros use the same 3-inch driver as before but we redesigned the tweeter. The new tweeter is our same 1-inch dome used in other Axiom models except with the addition of a neodymium magnet. As expected there was never a time the grille was off at a design show, except for the photo Amie took above to give you a sense of scale.
Next up, the T series in-wall speakers, pictured below, which are based on the W series, but thinner for a sleeker profile. The W series speakers are great if the video screen is mounted on the wall but for mounting the video panel in the wall like we did at the show, the W series protrudes too far. We know that a completely flush in-wall speaker has insurmountable acoustical problems so that was out. We decided to run some experiments in our lab to see how thin we could make the baffle and not degrade the performance in any way. The new T series utilizes a 5/8-inch-thick front baffle with bull-nosed edges. There was no acoustical degradation from doing this (except a bit of bass loss from the smaller enclosure but the new EP400 sub picked up the slack). In the cabinet below the screen, a prototype of the Axiom amplifier was powering the system throughout the house. We're anticipating release of the amplifier in early summer.
In the corner below is the new EP400 supplying deep powerful base in an inconspicuous way.
Pictured beside the T22 in-wall speaker, on the right, is our prototype In-Wall DVD player / Ipod Dock / Remote Control charger. This concept is about replacing piles of electronics in every room with a sleek, paintable unit that can 'talk back' to the main equipment room anywhere in your house. It's connected via four Cat 5 cables and does not require A/C power at the unit. It is in early development stages but given the response from the show we may need to crank this one into a product as fast as we can. The unit combines an iPod dock that includes a charger, a DVD player drive, remote control, and front-panel accessory jacks for gaming. Axiom's new satellite in-wall media modules will be available in three configurations: 1) A stereo-only unit for rooms that just need some background music and maybe a TV not used for serious movie watching, 2) a 7.1 receiver-based unit for moderately priced home theater, and 3) a preamp-based unit for high end home theater performance. This unit is the ultimate in flexibility as it gives you the opportunity to play individual performances in the room you are in or it will 'talk back' to the main system for full multi-room and multi-zone use. Separate DVD/iPod satellites can be installed in as many rooms as desired in a standard stud wall - the whole unit is only 3.5 inches deep. When not in use, the new module folds flush with the wall and can be painted to virtually disappear into a room's décor.
Here's a picture of the QS4s we painted to match the wall of the living room in the booth. These are available now at Axiom.
Pictured beside the plate rack is a shot of the VaSSallo M2s used for background music in the kitchen. We had a separate in-wall DVD/i-pod system running these that was networked back to the main system as well. As usual the grilles are on since designers don't like to see any drivers! These speakers are available now at Axiom.
Below is a picture of the outdoor speakers. We will be releasing these in three versions – first will be the long-promised outdoor M3. In fact the pre-order release for these will be in the next owners' club newsletter. The next two releases will involve a wireless version we have been working on for this line. First part of the second release will be the indoor version, available in our standard or in VaSSallo finishes. You will be able to use them anywhere in your house - they just need to be plugged into an AC outlet. Then there will be the weather-resistant outdoor version which will include a battery so they can be completely portable. Using the biggest battery, play time will be up to 20 hours at normal listening levels without recharging. These wireless speakers each contain their own 150-watt amplifier so you can get real performance. Pictured are the wireless outdoor version. We also had one mounted on the back wall of the home which were hooked to a solar panel, which would supply enough power to keep the battery charged (this would be a pretty cool camping accessory too - or perfect for a boat).
A picture of the line outside the Axiom/Gluckstein Home.