As most developed countries have esoteric Hi Fi and Home Cinema manufactures that produce highly expensive equipment to gain the last ounce of performance available, (The law of diminishing returns has set it by then) it’s hardly surprising that high end UK manufactures want to get in on the act.
It’s not possible for a small UK manufacture to really compete in the mass market these days due to limited financial resources, therefore moving into a market they can compete in is both logical and sensible, that way they can make sure they survive and keep their employees employed.
Basically that’s all the report says. (As with all things you can sometimes read too much into things)
Not quite true mate, Linn, Cyrus and Naim are all thriving and 100% British manufactured, although the latter are now in partnership with French Focal. And Linn produces 99% of their device contents themselves too where they can
I believe that after the ''merger' of Naim and Focal, the resulting company is called Focal & Co, and is majority French owned. If you will excuse the pun, Naim is now just a brand name.
There is very little component manufacture away from the Far East. I therefore find it hard to believe that Linn equipment contains as much as 50% of UK sourced components, and certainly not 99% produced by themselves.
andyjm - you're completely wrong about Naim mate - while they're part of one group Naim still do their own seperate development. They're not simply a 'brand name' now.They're the same as they ever were. Their components are still made in UK.
Linn have themselves stated they do top to bottom manufacturing to ease logistics and ensure quality control. Their internal DACs are probably the only thing they don't manufacture themselves. Everything else they do in-house if possible, their software included. Hence their lower than average margins. 99% might have been hyperbole on my part, but at least 85% would be bullseye.
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i didnt mean to imply Naim don't do anything, as far as I am aware, the still have their operation in Salisbury. The point I was trying to make, badly as it turns out, was that Naim isn't a separate company anymore, in fact it isn't even Engish.
From Wikipedia, there is one fab plant left in the uk, NXP's operation in Manchester. No mention of Linn having any semiconductor manufacturing capability. What components do you think Linn manufactures themselves?
andyjm - here's WHF's visit to Linn http://www.whathifi.com/blog/behind-the-scenes-at-the-home-of-linn
And what you're saying about Naim not being British is not quite true as this implies it's part of an Anglo-French group, note Naim's management are co-owners:
United by their passion for perfect sound, leading high-end audio brands Focal and Naim, today announce they are merging to create a new European leader in the audio industry. Focal & Co will own and manage Focal and Naim as independent brands, retaining their unique philosophies and product ranges.
Focal & Co, owned by Jacques Mahul (Founder and Chairman), CM-CIC (long-term shareholder in Focal) and the management teams of Focal and Naim, will employ 325 people at its facilities in Saint-Etienne, France and Salisbury, UK and have a combined turnover in excess of £48 million.
Naim remains as British as it ever was.
Very interesting link about Linn. No indication they manufacture any of the electronic components in their equipment, but they do assemble the circuit boards. Guess it depends what you call manufacture. They way I look at it, they make the box, assemble the circuit boards from third party components and put the lot together. In terms of part count, perhaps less than 10% is made in house.
Again, with Naim, it depends what you mean by 'merger'. Reporting has been thin, but I recall that the owners of Naim sold their biz to Focal and received shares in the larger biz. The company is called Focal, and has a brand called Naim (from your quote above). Nothing wrong with that, but lets not get our facts mixed up. I have no doubt they still sell excellent amps.
To borrow your quote, 'Naim remains as British as ever it was, except it is French'........
andyjm, just wondering, have you ever been to the Naim factory in Salisbury? I think the people who work there would consider themselves part of something more than just a 'brand name'. Huge amount of engineering expertise, and it's where they do all the R&D as well as the manufacturing.
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No electronic manufacturer makes their own semi conductors, capacitors, transformers, inductors, PCB's etc that would not make economic sense. They do however have components made to their specifications by companies which do manufacture these components, after all these companies have the expertise. Your outlook is very skewed, you can't devalue what companies like Naim, Linn and Arcam do with your simplistic outlook. Its not just a case of making a pretty box and plonking the components in it.
I think this post thread has run its corse. Siginficantly off track now. Please mods
My original post was there to highlight a certain quote by the gentleman from Arcam who sort to devalue the likes of Yamaha and Pioneer, by incinuating that audio quality has suffered beacuse they were cramming their products with loads of features. Which is of course.
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I can't see that any of this matters! The only thing that matters is whether the products are any good or not.
What's everyone got against Cod?
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nothing. love Cod.
Its just that you cant say b#llock# on this site.
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Sigh, of course small volume HiFi manufacturers don't make their own components. I was responding to an earlier post that assured me that 'Linn make 99% of their components' I was trying to point out the absurdity in that claim.
I would also agree that the art is how you put the compents together, and clearly Linn do that very well. No intent to devalue. Suggest you read further up the thread.
I think you misunderstand my use of 'brand'. I am sure engineers at Landrover and Jaguar regard themselves as more than just a brand name, even though they are owned by a Indian steel concern, are not separate companies in their own right and are in fact brand names.
Naim is no different, I am sure very smart and dedicated engineers in Salisbury (I live down the road, would love to pop in one day - if they will have me..) but it is owned by Focal, is a French company and is a brand of Focal and Co.
What's the problem with that?
One thing I would like to say is that the companies that some people here are classing as 'big', may be big when the company is looked at as a whole, but their electronics division may actually be as small or even smaller than some British manufacturers.
Regarding the 'race to the bottom' statement, it is somewhat valid. Take budget AV receivers. They represent silly value for money nowadays because they do almost everything anyone could ever hope for them to do, and they do this because the manufacturers are trying to outdo each other for what is the busiest sector of the market - the £400/500 AV receiver. I appreciate that technology gets cheaper over a longer period of time, but as they're updated every year, I think much of this technology isn't as cheap as the manufacturers would like. Stick all these features into a £500 product, and your budget for quality amplification (all seven channels don't forget) is heavily reduced. You also have to take into account the amount of licenses that have to be paid for. One of those licenses is room EQ. Yamaha produce their own in house, whereas other manufacturers will use an external specialist company (Audyssey for example). You have to weigh up whether the extra cost of the specialist external company has any benefit over Yamaha's own, and lets not forget, Yamaha know a thing or two about room acoustics.
I said it years ago, and I'll say it again. AV receivers should get back to basics. Get rid of all the superfluous rubbish masquerading as 'added features' including the pointless connectivity, and bring back high quality amplification. The problem is, AV receiver manufacturers update their products year in year out, adding rubbish, retaining pointless rubbish, and missing vital and important features/connectivity.
How much 'added value' can a manufacturer add in the sub £500 market?
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
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