Sapling to Speaker - Centuries in the Making

The story of how a Riverwood Acoustics speaker is crafted begins nearly 3 centuries ago.

The trees that produce the wood we use in our speaker cabinets started out as little saplings almost 300 years ago (that is the 1700’s for anyone keeping count). These trees grew in a time where soil was rich from the undisturbed natural decay and the air was free of the pollutants we have today. The virgin forests had a full canopy that sheltered and protected the young trees and allowed them to grow slow and strong.

Over the next 100 to 200 years, what once was a little sapling, grew slowly and steadily under these ideal conditions into a huge, tall, strong tree (which have now been coined, Old Growth Timber) until one day when it would be harvested by men wielding axes and crosscut saws. The trees were cut down and dragged to the river where they would be floated down to the mills waiting below. BUT about 10% of these logs never made it to the mill. They sunk down deep, resting on the river bottom.

The logs lay like pick up sticks scattered all over the bottom of the dark cold river. It was these dark and cold conditions that keep them perfectly preserved. They laid in this state undisturbed for more than a century, until brought back to life by an eco diver retrieving it from its sunken home.

river of logs


Once the logs are retrieved they are taken to a mill where they are set aside to dry. They are sawed into boards and once again put through another drying operation in a Kiln (big drying oven for wood). They are monitored closely until they have reached the proper moisture content. When ready, the boards are once again processed in the mill where they are planed to our specifications.

Finally 300 years after that little sapling started to grow we begin shaping the ancient wood into our beautiful speaker cabinets as you see. This process involves cutting the pieces on a machine called a CNC, assembling and glueing by hand, sanding to give the silky smooth feel and finally applying the stain and protective coating. Oh and of course more sanding! We hand assemble all the rest of the components in our shop right in the heart of the Ottawa Valley.

The 300 year journey for this little sapling is now complete, it has now been transformed into a Riverwood Acoustics Speaker ready to become a treasured piece in your home!