British audio brand Ruark has unveiled the first product in its new 'Made in England' (MiE) range, which aims to celebrate "bespoke hand-built products" using traditional crafts. Fancy.
A limited run of just 35 special-edition R5 MiE all-in-one systems will be available from November. Each one will be "individually hand-assembled and tested" at Ruark's headquarters in Southend on Sea, England.
Their exclusivity will be denoted by an 'MiE' badge and a slatted wood grille crafted from multiple layers of FSC-approved walnut veneer (a painstaking process by all accounts, but well worth it if the glossy images are anything to go by).
Spec-wise, the R5 MiE gets parity with the R5 Signature model that launched earlier this year, with revised signal paths and upgraded cabling promising to deliver a cleaner sound than the standard R5.
You get all the standard R5 features too, of course, including an integrated CD player and DAB radio, Spotify Connect, built-in access to other popular music services such as Amazon Music, Deezer and Tidal, Bluetooth, DLNA streaming and multi-room functionality.
Ruark products were originally made in the UK but the company says a "lack of investment" in UK manufacturing forced it to look overseas, to Asia.
"For some time now we have dreamt of bringing some production back to the UK," says Ruark. "With the MiE project our aim is to take quality to a level that can only be achieved through hands-on interaction and production that is not controlled by time."
The Ruark R5 MiE will cost £2000 (around $2800 / AU$3700) and sell exclusively through John Lewis. That's a not-insignificant premium over the half-the-price regular R5, but then again, the R5 MiE could well become a collector's item.
Our pick of the best hi-fi systems 2021
Read our Ruark R5 review
Everything we know so far about Spotify HiFi