MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO) -- If you can dream up a low-profile high-end surround sound system for most any setting, chances are James Loudspeaker can make your ideas become reality.
Palms Casino Resort Empathy Suite
The business has placed speakers in the Palms Casino Resort Empathy Suite. It's one of the world's most expensive hotel accommodations at $200,000 for a two-night stay or reserved exclusively for million-dollar casino players.
If you were to walk through one of these glitzy spaces overlooking the Las Vegas strip you wouldn't see the speakers because they are blended into the decor.
James Loudspeaker is also well known among the wealthy in Europe. Superyacht owners turn to James Loudspeaker engineers and workers to build what some would say are the best sound systems money can buy for vessels at sea.
The company was started out of a desire to get away from the standard business model in the speaker industry.
"Everything was so price oriented and there was not enough focus on actual experience for the end user. Everything was $99.99, $199.99, and it was all about saving pennies," said James Loudspeaker CEO, Mark Schafle.
Michael Park is the Chief Technology Officer at James Loudspeaker. "When we design a product we never go, 'Hey what does the price have to be?' We go, 'What is the optimum performance?' Get to that and then say, 'OK, now what do we have to charge for it?'"
James Loudspeaker was established in the San Francisco bay area in 1999. Mark and Michael moved it from Napa, California to Minden, Nevada in January of 2019.
"It's probably been the best move we've ever made. I mean we really love the area. We were not wanted in California. When we came here (Nevada), it was easy to do business here," said Mark.
On average, the company makes almost two custom orders a day.
"You tell us what you want. The burden is on us to deliver that product and that's what we do. Nobody in the world does what we do," said Mark.
High-end residential is the biggest customer. The company's mantra helps the workers focus on the end goal, "high quality unseen." said Mark. "Whether it's in a yard or it's in the house or it's in a superyacht," he continued.
The workers will often blend speakers into a wood ceiling. "We'll use either the actual wood in the ceiling or we'll figure out what they're using and stain and blend it right in," said Mark.
The work to build a custom order begins in the company's woodshop. A machine is making a 3/4 inch cut into a medium density fiberboard.
"So that's an inside cut that this whole portion will remove out and this becomes the cutaway for a speaker to fit inside," said, Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Kyle Ebeling.
He explained the board and speaker would be fitted into an opening in the drywall and blended into the wall to create a seamless look for the user.
A process called hydro dipping can make any speaker look like a rock, a bush, or any outdoor natural outdoor setting.
The process starts when a worker places a thin sheet with the image on the surface of water for 60 seconds and then it's sprayed with a solution.
"A chemical activator to basically wet the paint again and get it ready to adhere to the part," said Woodshop Manager, Daniel Forstadt.
Moments later an object, like the housing for a speaker, is pushed against the screen floating on the water and the image on the sheet firmly attaches to the speaker giving it a crisp clear image.
"That one is particular is a stone pattern so if you wanted to have a stone pattern blended in that's what you do," said Daniel.
James Loudspeaker can match most any color a buyer would want.
It uses a process called powder coating to color the equipment it sells. For example, an electrical current attracts the powder and a sound bar together.
The sound bar is given a negative charge. The powder is given a positive charge.
For the last step, David Burnside who is the head of paint department places the sound bar in a large oven where it is baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit to make the powder coating and sound bar one product.
James Loudspeaker has over 350 colors buyers can choose from.
The colored sound bars are then moved to an assembly line where they are fitted with speakers.
Wires are stripped and soddered in place before the speakers they are attached to are snugly fit in the sound bar's precut openings.
"We twist it up so that the wires don't get intertwined or tangled with each other and then it's a very snug fit to get them inside," said Kyle.
One of the last steps is inside the company's testing room where every speaker is checked.
The speakers that pass this test are then packaged and shipped all over the world. Some of the world's highest quality speakers, installed with stealth, for no one to see and the magic happening close to where you live.
James Loudspeaker has filled over 10,000 orders since moving to Nevada.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2020