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Upon walking into Chromag Bikes' hip Whistler headquarters, the first thing one notices is the music resonating through each and every room. From the front offices to the warehouse, an eclectic array of tunes is constantly being pumped through an impressive network of speakers–and the sound quality is invariably impeccable. This should come as no surprise: With a staff composed of musicians, DJs and bonafide sound technicians, the aesthetics of the music they listen to is almost as important as the quality of the frames and components they design. And the speaker wall pictured here is just the tip of the iceberg. “We probably have 80 speakers in total, and 64 of them are hooked up and running at any given time,” says the company’s international sales manager, Julian Hine, who is also a prominent local DJ. “Our office has six zones, each with its own mixer, amplifiers and group of speakers. If we don’t have a lot of business going on during the day, we’ll pump them all up at the same time. We’ve even routed wiring to a speaker in the bathroom, so if you’re enjoying a song and you have to go to the bathroom you can still enjoy it.” Many of the speakers have been donated by local community members and later souped up by the staff–particularly Chromag’s founder, owner and chief designer, Ian Ritz. “Ian’s dad used to build his own speakers, so he grew up around it,” says Hine. “When it comes to the stuff we build in here–the bass amps, the sub-woofers–they’re built by Ian. We even have a little workshop dedicated to speaker repair.”

 

1. HOUSE WRECKER | One of the overall staff favorites is the vertical wooden box in the lower right-hand corner. “We call this one the ‘House Wrecker,’ and it has two 15-inch sub-woofers in it,” says Hine. “Our good friend did the woodwork, and the amp that’s sitting on top of it is what amplifies it.”

 

2. CHROMAG SUB | Just to the left of the House Wrecker, adorned in an aluminum, water-cut grill of Chromag’s signature ‘bear logo,’ is what might be the company’s most publicly recognizable speakers. “We just call it the ‘Chromag Sub,’” explains Hine. “It’s an 18-inch sub, and it really gives out the lows that you can feel in your chest. It plays every day in the office, and it’s on wheels, so we use that for a lot of parties and events, such as the ‘Show & Shine’ we hold after our annual local Toonie race, when Chromag owners will shine up their bikes to display and everyone will vote on which Chromag is the sweetest. We even took this one to [SRAM MTB marketing manager] Tyler Morland’s wedding-reception party.”

 

3. WHOLE LOTTA LED | Nestled in the middle of the speaker wall, the square, orange bass amp is another fixture of Whistler’s music scene. It belongs to Chromag’s warehouse manager, Cookie Losee, a classically trained bassist who plays in the popular local Led Zeppelin tribute band, ‘Whole Lotta Led.’ “It’s an iconic band that’s been around for 15 years,” says Hine. “It’s one of Whistler’s most popular bands, and they sell out every show they play.”

 

4. BOOMCASE | The turquoise speaker at the top middle, above the orange bass amp, is made out of a vintage suitcase and known as a ‘boomcase.’ “It was hand-made in Sacramento, California, and we had to spend some money on it and the tan one over to the right of it,” says Hine. “It has Bluetooth and the sound is really good. We use this and the tan one all the time, and they travel around with us quite a lot. We’ve packed them for tradeshows.”

 

5. MERCURY M20 | Sometimes the Chromag staff will stumble upon a used speaker for sale that they just can’t pass up, such as the brown one with the gold hardware holding in the drivers. “That one is a really nice studio speaker, a Tannoy Mercury M20, that someone was selling a pair of online,” says Hine. “We had to have them, so Chromag just bought them with company money.”