How a $300,000 Speaker is Made


My name is Jonathan Weiss, I am the founder and CEO of Oswalds Mill Audio As known as OMA and we’re in our Dumbo, Brooklyn showroom surrounded by all of our products We’re really an outlier in the high end audio world we make everything from the signal source in terms of analog, that’s record players which we make out of solid slate We make our own line of tube amplifiers and we’re the only company in the world that makes conical horn loaded loud speakers for high end home use We make everything so that we have total control over the sound One of the first phases to our products is quarrying the slate and this is very special slate because it’s actually very soft which from an acoustic standpoint is really desirable it dissipates vibrations and resonances extremely well much better than harder slate so when they are quarrying the slate then they’ll literally use hand tools to cleave off sheets which break off and then are placed on a truck of taken with a gondola into the main fabrication part of the quarry where a huge diamond saw with water is used to cut these cleaved off irregular pieces of slate the last stage is honing and putting a very fine edge Bevel so that it doesn’t chip we use cast metal in a lot of different products All foundries, they have a furnace. The metal is put in solid form into this vat and it becomes molten like just out of the movie terminator then it’s poured into this sand mold It goes in, hardens, the sand is busted away and you have a rough casting which then goes to the various finishing processes The it has to be welded edge treatment after that, thats acomplished then it goes to be powder coated where it literally is baked and cured like into this super hard durable finish much better than paint All of our loud speakers have steel stands or infrastructure and all of those elements are powder coated Yeah the mill is essentially our laboratory it’s our reference listening space it’s where we can put elements, new and old, together listen to them, evaluate them and decide what direction we want to take with new products and new technologies There are things that were never surpassed in terms of sound quality the industry has moved in ways that are not about the ultimate sound quality but about size, convenience, and cost and none of this stuff is convenient, small, or cheap but it does represent the best sound that’s really ever been made All of our loud speakers are made out of Pennsylvania hard woods and these are all woods which, Martin guitar, which is the world’s best acoustic guitar company, they’re right across the valley, they use the same woods that we do so I know that they’re tonally great woods at that point it comes into our wood working shop where it’s cut down further into boards of varying thickness and width which will be joined together to create loud speaker enclosures amplifier enclosures, horns, all using meticulous hand done joinery that allows the wood to expand and contract in your home It’s like a living thing this is a very difficult, time consuming, expensive process we’re the only company in the world that does this nobody else makes loud speakers using solid wood joinery construction not today…. not that I know ever At a certain point the parts come from the wood shop, metal working shop, powder coat they come to our central facility, where we do the final assembly most of our equipment is very big, and it’s very big because it has to be sound waves can’t be miniaturized it’s physics It’s very old school, it’s not mass production and the components that we use, are simply the highest grade possible aerospace level stuff The last phase is really our installation of the equipment in our client’s homes of wherever they are going if you have an amazing system, and you put Elvis on, it’s frightening It’s like, he’s right there what the system is doing is, it’s taking the energy that came out of elvis Literally sound waves are energy so it’s taking that energy and it’s reproducing it so perfectly that you have this uncanny feeling that somebody’s there that’s been dead a long time that’s what amazing sound quality is

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