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The French county of Gers is Armagnac country said to have been home to the famous musketeer d'Artagnan. And wouldn't you know it, the family of Ocellia's Samuel Furon has been in the Armagnac distillery business for generations. In fact, the present Ocellia factory resides in the very building where grapes, via alembic, were transmuted into this 45-proof elixir. It's where Samuel grew up and oversaw the family enterprise for a decade before pursuing his childhood dream of hifi maker and shutting down alcohol production. Sacre Bleu!
Armagnac legacy chez Ocellia's - click on thumb nails for full-width photos which will open in new windows
Our B&B accommodations in neighboring Campagne d'Armagnac - great place, great hosts, highly recommended: Le Meridien - ask for Michelle.

Ten actual bottles Samuel has left of the family's 100-year old Armagnac. I tasted some 70-year old spirit. He also worked for a regional mayor's office for a bit, wine-overgrown plaque below nailed to the house as memento.

The actual building of Ocellia and its living quarters are encased in sprawling wine.

Ocellia factory, with Samuel holding a leather dress panel for a custom front baffle finish.

Pascal has become the resident cabinet wizard and is in charge of producing all Ocellia speakers.

Pascal at work finish-sanding a pair of Calliope Silver Grandis
Ocellia's approach is very much like a luthier's fashioning of musical instruments. Samuel holds the driver's counter mounting ring which equalizes internal contact once the bolts have been tightened.

On the new top Grandis models, solid Oak rails frame the face while all panels are Spruce ply, a material not commercially available. Samuel buys the thin layers in one place and has them glued together to desired thickness in another. The panels are then crisscrossed internally by lightweight Spruce braces of progressively increasing spacing.

Exclusive to the larger Grandis models too is the new motor rear brace. It increases coupling of the main driver to the cabinet for superior performance. Shown above is the 8" driver's brace, below the 12-incher's.