There have been many manufacturers who have been bought out over the years by overseas investors, but still run as they were before the take over - still designed in the UK by the same people, still serviced by the same people, and usually with the same manaerial structure as always. Its just that the money is coming from somewhere else.
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
Mitsubishi HC7000 / Oppo BDP103 / Audiolab 8200AP / Rotel RMB1575 / kick ass speaker system
what about it David??
Designed and engineered in England.
Mmmmm. So what has been done here then???. I wouldn't have been as brave as that.
I have no doubt that the Chinese can make quality products if they want to, the important thing for me is that I want to help the economy of my own country not that of China. I will always favour products made in the UK even if it means paying a premium. It's just difficult these days to find much that is, particularly electronics.
Anyone know what audio companies still manufacture in the UK? Harbeth certainly, Rega have a factory here, Linn? Musical fidelity?
ATC (except the entry level SCM range)
Apollo, Atacama, and Hi-Fi Racks
Bowers & Wilkins 800 series
KEF Reference and Blade
And there will be others who will build some of their higher ranges in the UK, like Tannoy and Musical Fidelity :)
Companies like Bryston, Dynaudio, and Project are built in their country of origin, and not elsewhere.
It's not that simple though. It's a matter of how much of a product is made in this country. A friend lodges near Salisbury - a fellow lodger used to work for Naim where (some?) of the PCBs were made in China but assembled into final products in Wilts. The audiolab M-DAC was designed by an Englishman who lives in the Czech Republic. Other considerations include where & how much corporation tax is paid.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2 & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 4GS/Sennheiser MM450.
UPDATED INFO SINCE EARLIER POST:
I recently listed a mint condition 8000P on ebay and erroneously listed it as Made in England.
A prospective buyer came back with a reqest about the serial number, which is 240G000083, this prompted me to search for info on Audiolab manufacturing provenance, as it might translate to the serial number, and I found this thread, so I joined to add what I've learned today.
The prospect kindly supplied the following info:
indication of 'provenance' for the 'G' model 8000p, which can be seen at the bottom of the page at this link: http://www.watcheditem.com/iteminfo/370472359120/3/AUDIOLAB-ORIGINAL-SERVICE-MANUAL-ON-CD.html The key sentences are, "Only manuals for the later IAG-manufactured Audiolab units are available in this format. These all have the letter G in the serial number."
IAG are the Chinese company that bought Audiolab and (at least initially) were responsible for a significant drop in the quality of certain components being used. F models were definitely manufactured by Audiolab (not IAG) a I know this as I called Audiolab years ago when I bought my current E-model 8000S.
My ebay 8000P has the 'G' serial number and the Huntingdon stamp, whereas my 8000S bought in 2001 has MADE IN ENGLAND on the same spot.
There is no mention of Made in xxx on the 8000P or the box, or the manual, apart from the Huntigdon reference, but it is telling that my 8000S does have MADE IN ENGLAND stamped on it. So it seems that the serial number holds the clue on the units that don't have a country of manufacture stated.
One final bit of related info. I have lived in Australia for several decades until recently, and at one point imported some widgets from Korea. I was called to the Customs warehouse in Sydney and advised to source and add a tiny 'Made in Korea' sticker to every single widget before customs would let me take posession!
Apparently, imported goods MUST have the country of origin clearly marked on them, or the packaging, to be allowed in. I got my 8000S in Sydney, and I have just checked with a mate there, and he confirms his younger Audiolab has 'Huntingdon' on it, so that must be good enough for Australian customs!
I hope this info helps move the debate along or clears it up for some of you who own Audiolab kit.
FWIW, quite a lot of companies outsource board- stuffing, just as they buy in CD transports, drivers, etc., and use third-party companies for casework extrusions and the like
Consulting Editor, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision/whathifi.com Audio Editor, Gramophone
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