New British hi-fi brand Mitchell and Johnson makes its international debut at CES 2014

7 Jan 2014

Mitchell Johnson A-812

Mitchell and Johnson A-812

It's not every day that a new British hi-fi company appears on the international scene, but that's exactly what's happening at CES where Mitchell and Johnson is making its US debut with its first range of affordable hi-fi components.

The firm has a new range of amplifiers, music streamers, CD players, tuners, DACs (digital-to-analogue converters), headphones and systems.

There's an entry-level CSA-100 Series 40W analogue amplifier at £229, then the 200 Series which comprises the following: a 50W SAP-201V digital amp with built-in DAC at £349; the CDD-201V CD player at £199; the DR-201V DAB/DAB+/FM tuner at £249; and the WLD+201LX network player at £350.

Mitchell and Johnson CDD-201V

Mitchell and Johnson CDD-201V

Above that sits the 800 Series with a new £799 hi-res audio network player due in July, the NP-800V, along with the A-812 120W power amp at £699 and a DAC-800V preamp/DAC combo at £599.

Also in the piepline is an all-in-one networked mini system with DAB, internet radio and music streaming, and a £170 pair of audiophile headphones (HP1, below).

Mitchell and Johnson HP1 headphones

MORE: Sansui returns to the UK with new hi-fi range

Mitchell and Johnson has been set up by the team that reintroduced the Sansui brand into the UK in late 2011, Paul Mitchell and Dave Johnson. Both men previously worked in electronics retailing, and Mitchell is a long-time hi-fi enthusiast and semi-professional gigging musician.

Initially they licensed the Sansui name from the firm's parent company in Hong Kong and created a new set of affordable hi-fi components under the Sansui name, which were distributed by Henley Designs in the UK.

That original licensing deal ran out last year, so Mitchell and Johnson decided to re-engineer and re-launch the products under their own name.

Mitchell and Johnson SAP-201V

Mitchell and Johnson SAP-201V

Paul Mitchell says says: "We want to evangelise about proper hi-fi and believe passionately in 'sound per pound' and making hi-fi accessible.

"It has been an intensive gestation period, with our R&D teams working extremely hard and we are confident their dedication has paid off with the new products we are launching. The new brand builds on the successful products introduced under the Sansui name, while also undergoing a period of intensive product development."

Although the products are built in the Far East they're designed and tuned in the UK, and Mitchell says they hope to begin assembly of some models in the UK soon.

We hope to review some of the new Mitchell and Johnson kit soon.

By Andy Clough


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Just seen the video and thought 'Looks like the Sansui kit I just bought cheap' and lo-and-behold it turns out it is. I picked up the streamer, amp/DAC and CD player for £350 as a bedroom system with some Diamond 10.1 and it sounds damn good for a total of under £500 with stands and Fisual cables.

The streamer is a cracker, apart from the display.

Have you done any interal tweaking as if so what?

Mine came with 3 year warranties, suppose that's down the toilet now.

Last Sansui kit I had was the SR222 MK2 TT and the PCV-1000 CD which I still have on view but it hardly works bought in Jan 84.

Hi gowiththeflow. Thanks for raising these points as confusion has clearly been created for which I apologise. Please allow me to clalrify the situation. Myself, Paul Mitchell, and my partner, David Johnson developed a range of products to offer the hifi consumer (and dealer) an alternative to the existing entry level brands on offer in the UK market.  Initially we actively sought to licence a heritage hi-fi brand that we could resurrect. We therefore licensed the Sansui brand for an initial 2 year period from the current brand owners who acquired the stricken Japanese company's assetts in 1999. We succesfully launched 3 products, one of which one an award for Best Network Player. After nearly two years in the market, we were able to analyse the consumer and dealer reaction. The staggering truth was that less than 10% of consumers who purchased products even knew who the original Sansui was, in fact many confused it with the Currys own label brand, Matsui.

With this knowledge and also a desire to stay as competitive as possible it seemed to make no commercial sense to continue to pay a licence fee for the use of the Sansui mark. So we decided to continue with our growth under our own names, Mitchell and Johnson.

During this period we also made various improvements to the products as we gained customer and dealer feedback so some internal redesign has been implemented.

Regrding separate products, the standalone DAB/FM tuner has been our fastest selling product prooving that many consumers are content not to have streaming but do want digital radio. The streamer itself offers internet radio as well as DAB and FM, so our customers have a simple choice. Digital radio with or without streaming.

I hope this answers your question.

Best regards,

Paul Mitchell

CEO and co-founder

Mitchell and Johnson


hope the products are good and it works for them

Quote: "That original licensing deal ran out last year, so Mitchell and Johnson decided to re-engineer and re-launch the products under their own name".

Is that just sales baloney, meaning they just changed the badge and branding ?

I'm also thinking that packaging the functions into separate boxes is a bit passe and really a bit of a rip-off.

Is it necessary to have a separate Tuner and Network player, when the electronics for those can almost be shoeboxed into a fag packet?

Nice to see the work done under the Sansui UK brand hasn't all been wasted.  Good luck to them.