Axiom Audio recently celebrated its 30th year in business with a party for its customers and employees.
The company was founded by Ian Colquhoun in 1980 in a friend's garage. From there, he grew his business through determination and an early commitment to research. Having been introduced to the National Research Council's testing facilities by Sound & Vision (Canada) Editor Alan Lofft, Colquhoun was an integral part of research performed throughout the '80s and '90s that changed the way the world measured loudspeakers.
It was this research, which is still ongoing today, together with numerous manufacturing and design innovations, that gave the young Canadian company an edge in a highly competitive market.
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In 2000, the company started an online store and Colquhoun immediately fell in love with the open communication available with his customers. "We didn't have to rely on what a dealer thought customers wanted," comments Colquhoun. "We could simply ask the customers what they wanted on our forums, on the phone, or through emails."
The company took advantage of having its own manufacturing facilities and quick turn-around times to introduce more finishes - currently numbering over 100 choices for each model - and have created numerous new products designed specifically for their customers.
The party allowed Colquhoun to meet some of those customers in person for the first time. On a recent September Saturday, staff and friends gathered to celebrate the 30th Anniversary at the company's remote headquarters in the Muskoka region of Canada.
Over 70 people from all over North America who had previously only been "virtual friends" on the Axiom message boards, braved the local wildlife to take up residence in cabins, attend workshops on speaker design and development, partake in a double-blind listening test, and more.
There were looks at Axiom's museum of speakers, containing models dating back through 30 years of design and development, which the company has collected back from early customers.
As well, the company offered factory tours that included a stop inside Axiom's anechoic chamber, a piece of research equipment and one of very few held by private audio companies in North America.
The celebration continued at founder and president Ian Colquhoun's dock, where a live band played through a setup of Axiom's flagship M80 speakers and A-1400 amplifiers. Colquhoun has always emphasized the importance of creating an exciting home theater or musical experience for his customers, and the live band embodied that principle for all present.
One of the few Canadian loudspeaker companies to remain privately held, Axiom Audio is a success story in today's uncertain economic climate. Axiom looks forward to another 30 years of excellence by design.