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integrated amplifier made in China

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reginaldo's picture
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Hello everyone, I would like to know what do you think of the fact that many high-end internationally renowned brands, build their products in China. The devices keep the same quality? What changes in the quality of an amplifier produced in China and one in England, for example? One of these is Krell.

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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

Things are produced in China simply becouse production costs are cheaper.I have no doubt that the build quality is just as good as if they were built in Britain(without looking i would say the majority of my av was built in China)

 

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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

I've heard of some companies bringing production back from China because they weren't able to keep tabs on quality control. I think Arcam may have done this with one of their amps.

 

Personally, I'd go for something made in the UK wherever possible - to support jobs here rather than the assumption it will be better.

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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

NAD were one of the first British companies to do this back in the late 70s/early 80s (a few owners ago, they are now still Chinese made but with a Canadian holding company in control), and it was for reasons of cost alone (and one of the reasons NAD gained a reputation that still to a certain extent survives of having audiophile products at a cheap price - although they are no longer the cheapest for that niche).

 

Aside from a large and compliant workforce (the trade unions are state controlled - although recently cracks have been showing following labour unrest and some unofficial strikes), the state subsidised factories allowed for a cheap production cost, and so as well as 'British' hifi being made there you also have most of the Japanese brands produced there too.

 

And quality on the whole isn't bad (and it has surprised me that the Chinese own label stuff, such as Opera/Consonance isn't more popular), but that doesn't excuse those brands who took advantage of what was largely an exploited workforce from still trading on their 'British' or 'Japanese' status just because they may still have a head office in those places and employ a few local engineers and designers.

 

Also of course much of the stuff actually gets made in the same factories regardless of what brand label is on the front (speakers are probably the worst for this), so again the company logo can often mislead.

 

Hifi isn't alone here of course, if you take something like drums whereas you still have companies like the nominally 'British' Premier, 'American' Ludwig or Gretsch, or 'German' Sonor, nearly all their lower to mid-level kits come from the same Chinese factory.

 

There are still some hifi companies that avoid exporting production of course, with brands such as Sugden being a very good example, but even they have to source most of their electronic componants from Chinese factories before the build even starts...

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reginaldo's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

What can you tell me about krell?

eggontoast's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

Captain Duff wrote:

NAD were one of the first British companies to do this back in the late 70s/early 80s (a few owners ago, they are now still Chinese made but with a Canadian holding company in control), and it was for reasons of cost alone (and one of the reasons NAD gained a reputation that still to a certain extent survives of having audiophile products at a cheap price - although they are no longer the cheapest for that niche).

If I remember correctly they started off building them in Taiwan.

Its a tricky one though, if a company decides to manufacture there products in the UK they are inevitably more expensive than the competition or they make less profit. At the end of the day most punters don't care where things are made, they are only interested in the bottom line price. The people who do care usually buy the top of the range and cost isn't such a factor in the purchase, the only problem is that this is a small market and you won't make much money from it. The best solution is to make your 'cheaper' ranges, which will produce a bulk of your sales, in a cheap labour country and your top range equipment in the UK. Quality doesn't vary so much if built in China, that's a misnomer but I agree with the above poster that people should support there local economy where they can. This keeps a good variety of jobs and skill base across the country, at the end of the day not everyone can work in retail, banking and the service industry can they.

As for Krell, don't know anything about them, sorry.

EDIT : It looks like Krell just manufacture their integrated amplifiers in China, most of their other products are built in the USA.

BigH's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

I thought Krell were American?

Not sure about the differences, I have seen some like the Arcam A19, MF3i and Creek 50A which I believe are made in China, quality seem OK. However Wharfdale speakers seem to hav egone downhill re quality of finish since moving to China. 

eggontoast's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

BigH wrote:

I thought Krell were American?

Not sure about the differences, I have seen some like the Arcam A19, MF3i and Creek 50A which I believe are made in China, quality seem OK. However Wharfdale speakers seem to hav egone downhill re quality of finish since moving to China. 

They are....but after re-reading the OP's post it does read like they are British, don't think that was the intention though.

Singslinger's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

I don't own a China-made Krell integrated but a close friend does, and he has no complaints. I've heard it driving his Sonus Faber speakers and it was very impressive.

Personally, I used to own NAD and Cambridge Audio amps which are made in China and found them to be as reliable as anything else.

Sospri's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

I where possible try to purchase Hi FI manufactured in Britain, I prefer my hard earned to be ploughed back into the economy of this country.

Thats why I purchase my HI FI from British manufacterers such as Naim, Rega, Spendor and make no aplogies for this. I have friends who are the first to whinge when they are made redundant and have to sit at home with nothing to do but listen to their foreign made HI FI........

andrew_cawood's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

Is the country relevant? Like most places, I'm sure they'll have factories and production lines that build to a high standard and those that make compromises.

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BigH's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

Sospri wrote:

I where possible try to purchase Hi FI manufactured in Britain, I prefer my hard earned to be ploughed back into the economy of this country.

Thats why I purchase my HI FI from British manufacterers such as Naim, Rega, Spendor and make no aplogies for this. I have friends who are the first to whinge when they are made redundant and have to sit at home with nothing to do but listen to their foreign made HI FI........

 

It that manufacturers or assemblers?

Sospri's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

andrew_cawood wrote:

Is the country relevant? Like most places, I'm sure they'll have factories and production lines that build to a high standard and those that make compromises.

O course its relavent, do you know nothing of economics...............

andrew_cawood's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

A bit, I studied economics at university. And yes production costs are cheaper in China, my point is that there will be good factories and bad factories in any country. Just saying it's made in China doesn't mean bad quality. 

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BigH's picture
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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

Sospri wrote:

andrew_cawood wrote:

Is the country relevant? Like most places, I'm sure they'll have factories and production lines that build to a high standard and those that make compromises.

O course its relavent, do you know nothing of economics...............

 

I do agree with Sospri it does matter esp. in the UK where a lot of our industry has gone abroad. With the rising costs in China maybe some will come back?

The other side though is cost, is it better to make abroad and stay in business than make here and go bankrupt? Also price to comsumer, it is it better to pay £800 for a Chinese amp or more for a UK one? I believe Creek went to China so they could offer budget gear which they could not do with UK based manufacturing.

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RE: integrated amplifier made in China

What stings me is when a British manufacturer farms out manufacture of an item to China and then continues to charge the same (or more).

I also think it's wrong for British companies to obfuscate about where it's products are made by using terms like "Designed In England" (or similar). It's gutless and cynical.

If something is made in China then b####y say so!  I have plenty of stuff that is made in China (Apple, Marantz) or S.Korea (Humax) and they have the honesty to label things properly. (Like my new iPad Mini where it clearly states on the box "Designed By Apple in California" and "Assembled in China".)

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