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
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 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
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