Paradigm and Anthem: Factory Tour
Paradigm isn't a big company, only 250 people or so. It doesn't have the immense marketing budget to assault the airwaves like Bose, or the R&D budget to make every manner of gadget like Sony.
These are good things, because instead this Canadian company goes about making some solid products, loved by reviewers, and beloved by customers.
Invited to check out their factory just outside Toronto, I dusted off my American Flag jacket, trucker hat, "W" belt buckle, and headed north of the border.
I announced my arrival with immediate derision of their politeness. What is wrong with these people? They're so nice. Having learned everything I know about modern Canada from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, I was surprised that your average Canadian is just like us. Only thinner.
And if you believe your humble correspondent - who nearly filled his last passport and lives deep in the heart of the People's Republic of California - is even remotely this nationalistic, I have some land I want to sell you.
So, in a nondescript building in an nondescript office park that could truly have been located anywhere in the world, Paradigm speakers and subwoofers, Anthem electronics and amps, and even MartinLogan electrostats are manufactured.
I came away right impressed with Paradigm. Their speakers had always impressed me, but to see how much care and effort goes into them was eye opening. With so many companies outsourcing to China, and often (but to be fair, not always) not caring about the results, it's great to see a company focused on quality craftsmanship, and delivering a quality product.
In an interesting twist, they've started to move some manufacturing back from China to their Toronto-adjacent facility. "Vertically integrated" may be a buzzword these days, but in this case, it's true. Paradigm does nearly everything in-house for most models.
What else did I learn from my 72-hour Canadian adventure? Maple Sugar Ice Cream is the frozen nectar of the gods, and Boston Bruins/Stanley Cup jokes are only funny to the former Bostonian uttering them. This former Bostonian.
Anyway, you'll be just as impressed as I was after seeing the slideshow you'll be clicking on in 3. . . 2. . . 2.5. . .