Back in April, I had asked the forum what they thought of upgrading a VP-150-OW and an EP-175 to a VP-180-OW and EP-500. Consensus indicated it would be a worthwhile upgrade. I proceeded in contacting Debbie at Axiom and was made an upgrade trade-in offer that was simply too good to pass up! I made arrangements to physically pick-up the speakers myself at Axiom facilities in Dwight, ON, for July… 3 months away.
I waited patiently getting order status updates and everything came together last week when I made the trip up to the cottage. After a couple of days enjoying the glorious sunshine by the lake, I couldn’t take it anymore and gathered 3 fellow cottagers and made the trip into Dwight.
Axiom Headquarters can easily be missed if you are not looking for it. The front façade is brown and so is the sign all of which is obscured by dense pine trees. Looks are very deceiving! We were met at the front door by Debbie Swinton and the experience began. Right from the start it was obvious Debbie loves her job and was passionate about Axiom speakers. She instructed me to drive out back so that I could unload my VP-150 and EP-175 and we could start the tour from there.
I thought I was simply going to be driving to the back of the building in front of me but quickly realized the facility was much larger and formed a large U. I dropped off my boxes and this is where I realized my first mistake… I knew the dimensions of the VP-180 and EP-500… unboxed! No problem for the EP-500 but for the VP-180, the box barely fit and I was now seriously thinking what I would have to say to the wife when I get back! Perhaps we could leave 1 kid behind when we go home and get them a bus ticket? (In the end, I was able to do some serious Tetris packing and all 3 kids came home with us!).
Now for the tour… which we did backwards seeing we were already at the loading end. I wasn’t expecting Axiom to be that busy but holy cow, they were in the midst of finishing an order that would see a container filled for shipment oversees! This was great for us as we could see a variety of Axiom speakers at different stages of completion from initial cutting of the MDF, painting, install of drivers, wire harnesses, all the way to testing and packaging! Especially interesting was meeting Jeff who showed us what was involved in designing the wireless control shells and some of the innovation he came up with to reduce costs. Debbie was excellent in explaining the move from Chinese production back to an all Canadian production and the changes Axiom had to make.
Also very interesting was Axiom's investment in an incinerator that not only allowed them to burn their waste (and reduce dumping fees), but also heats the building in winter.
We had a chance to visit Axioms Anechoic Chamber as well as Andrew’s R&D lab. This is where we were exposed to an exclusive sneak peek at Axioms next offering… which we were told to keep to ourselves. 
The tour completed with Ian taking some time to meet with us even though he was busy overseeing the large overseas order. Ian was happy to learn that their trade-up program is what got me to visit them and iterated that having products for their refurb store is important as it is often how new buyers first “try” entry-level axiom speakers and then get hooked for future upgrades. Ian also regaled us with tales of his initial work with his mentor, Dr. Floyd Toole, and his quest to get sound engineers to stop compressing the dynamic range out of recordings.
All in all, we spent almost 3 hours at Axiom Headquarters it was time to head back to our wives and kids for more afternoon fun on the lake. Having visited the facilities gives me a new appreciation for my new speakers which I’ll review in another post and I think I introduced 3 new future customers to Axiom.
Thanks again Debbie for the great tour!
Last edited by TDIPablo; 07/16/18 03:46 PM.