I'm all for the underdog

podknocker

Well-known member
I'd argue HIFI Rose is a lesser known brand, but far from an underdog. It's the RS520 I want, if and when my fortune changes. Cyrus, Naim et al, were underdogs when they started out and then quickly established themselves as a HIFI force to be reckoned with. Many of these, mainly UK brands, have become lazy in my opinion and depend on their brand's history and popularity to sell their kit. There are many new names out there making top quality electronics, such as Eversolo and HIFI Rose, but many dismiss them for reasons unknown. I would love to see HIFI Rose and Eversolo kick well known brands out of the park and replace some very tired looking ideas and products from household names. Again, look at the Cyrus displays and then look at the HIFI Rose RS520 display. They are miles apart in design philosophy and features and if HIFI Rose carry on making kit like the RS520, I'm sure they won't be a lesser known brand for much longer.
 
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jjbomber

Well-known member

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Many of these, mainly UK brands, have become lazy in my opinon and depend on their brand's history and popularity to sell their kit.
Whilst I agree that there are a lot of new brands and products in the market place some of which are excellent and worthy of an audition I am very curious as to how you reach your conclusion concerning UK brands.

Can you elaborate on your comment and give examples of where these UK Brands have become lazy, I am looking to upgrade my current system over the course of this year and am keen to buy British and support the UK economy, if there are brands that should be avoided please let me know who they are.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
Whilst I agree that there are a lot of new brands and products in the market place some of which are excellent and worthy of an audition I am very curious as to how you reach your conclusion concerning UK brands.

Can you elaborate on your comment and give examples of where these UK Brands have become lazy, I am looking to upgrade my current system over the course of this year and am keen to buy British and support the UK economy, if there are brands that should be avoided please let me know who they are.
Cyrus. Lazy. Same case and display for a million years. When I can afford it, I'm buying a HIFI Rose RS520 because it's better and cheaper than the stuff from Cyrus. In fact, you can't buy Cyrus components which come anywhere near the functionality and ease of use as the HIFI Rose offerings. I don't care about the UK economy. I want decent HIFI. UK brands have been resting on their laurels for decades and they need a big poke with a foreign HIFI brand stick to wake them up and possibly get them to innovate and compete with much better kit from abroad. I'd buy Marantz before Cyrus or Naim products. I don't know why I need to add this link, but I can't help myself.


You can add a 4TB SSD to this device and store your FLACs inside. The RS520 is a Class D streaming masterpiece and I don't know why anyone would entertain Naim, Cyrus and similar, with the HIFI Rose RA520 being such an accomplished device. I can't wait to get the £3399 I need to buy this thing. This is the sort of device UK companies should be making, with HDMI everywhere and efficient Class D topology. Naim has recently added a Class D streamer, because they know it's the future and the market for this type of product is increasing. They could still learn a few things about displays however and who wants to squint at a calculator sized display on a Cyrus box, when you can use the entire RS520 front panel to find useful features? I like the idea of using the RS520 as a very large and clear alarm clock, when not used for streaming. It's an incredible piece of kit and I would never consider Cyrus, Naim, or Linn etc. Why stay loyal to UK brands, when they offer mediocre and overpriced products?
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Cyrus. Lazy. Same case and display for a million years. When I can afford it, I'm buying a HIFI Rose RA520 because it's better and cheaper than the stuff from Cyrus. In fact, you can't buy Cyrus components which come anywhere near the functionality and ease of use as the HIFI Rose offerings. I don't care about the UK economy. I want decent HIFI. UK brands have been resting on their laurels for decades and they need a big poke with a foreign HIFI brand stick to wake them up and possibly get them to innovate and compete with much better kit from abroad. I don't know why I need to add this link, but I can't help myself.


You can add a 4TB SSD to this device and store your FLACs inside. The RA520 is a Class D streaming masterpiece and I don't know why anyone would entertain Naim, Cyrus and similar, with the HIFI Rose RA520 being such an accomplished device. I can't wait to get £3399 spare.
Thanks, I’ll give Cyrus a miss then.

But you said ‘most’ UK brands, Cyrus is just one, you also mention Naim, what’s the issue with Naim, they are one UK brand who I would have thought you would support, they still look after, service and repair gear from decades ago, buy their gear and you buy it once, that’s good isn’t it? Well respected on the sound front as well. And they have very capable one box systems at similar price points as Rose don’t they?

With Rose being a Korean brand they should be reliable but I wonder how they will look after their gear long term, their kit isn’t at the bottom end of the market price wise so I hope that there is a good back up should the worst happen.

Delighted to hear that the UK economy isn’t a worry for you, I’m sure those people employed in the UK audio industry will be pleased to have your support.

I don’t doubt the abilities of the Rose, if it meets people’s needs then it is their choice whether they buy or not. Personally I’ll stick with UK brands wherever possible if I can, I’d rather support UK workers than people from elsewhere in the world, but that’s just me.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
I do think Cyrus and Naim and others will change their strategies, now there are new kids on the block, such as HIFI Rose and Eversolo. We do need a few brands and products to disrupt the market and get these established UK brands to offer something a little different. I don't want to sound patronising, but I do think it's admirable you want to support the UK economy, with regard to the HIFI sector, but there are better things out there. The UK automobile industry fell apart, because we couldn't compete and give the consumer what they wanted. I'm not going to get sentimental, or nostalgic over the now deceased UK automobile sector. I'm guessing, but 95% of the cars you can buy these days, are not UK brands. A few are made here, but the lion's share of the revenue and profit goes abroad. It's sad, but we can't carry on deluding ourselves thinking the UK economy is anything but a service sector now. We make very little and we must accept this, with very efficient companies all over the world supplying a better product. If the powers that be cared, we'd be pioneers in the scientific and engineering sectors, but there won't be the huge amount of investment needed, to get ourselves on a competetive footing. HIFI products can't be a huge slice of the manufacturing pie these days and buying an overpriced Naim amp won't turn the tide. I think we threw in the towel years ago and it's going to be almost impossible for the UK to reclaim a useful chunk of the manufacturing industry. My phone cost £199 and if it had been made in the UK, chances are it would have cost 4 or 5 times this amount. The goverments of the last 50 years have been resigned to the the fact we cannot make a car, or phone to compete with the far eastern companies. How about just investing anyway and then eventually, these UK cars and phones wil fall in price? Nobody cares and we've lost our production to many other countries. I'm not ashamed to be British, but we are very reluctant to even try to compete these days. £3399 gets you more of everything in HIFI, if you buy HIFI Rose, over Naim or Cyrus. Why would you not buy the better product?
 
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Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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So much said is true.
It genuinely upsets me the state of this country and the accelerated decline for reasons people aren't even aloud to mention now.

Regarding hifi there's certain things that's apparent.
British hifi has gained and earned its reputation over the years and combined with patriotism some like to stay with it.

Me I will stay British if the price is right as the quality is always usually not under question and only for that reason otherwise I too will look at what's best now.

I'm often to find that what I'm told is British is made in china and designed overseas when I've dug further only to find the brand name is British and nothing else.
Mission was a big let down to me when IAG bought them and a load others out in 2005 and the lion share of manufacturing going to Shenzhen 😭

Only a few cherry picked things remain built here and I'm sceptical about in what numbers.

I recently moved away from mission because of that reason.

I'm not sure or filled with confidence on anything made in Shenzhen as I've personally had to many horror stories but mainly with other electronics.
Some stuff is dreadful and outright dangerous.

If Shenzhen are left unvetted and without an overseer so to speak they will churn out anything.

But when ran properly the quality seems to be there.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
I do think Cyrus and Naim and others will change their strategies, now there are new kids on the block, such as HIFI Rose and Eversolo. We do need a few brands and products to disrupt the market and get these established UK brands to offer something a little different. I don't want to sound patronising, but I do think it's admirable you want to support the UK economy, with regard to the HIFI sector, but there are better things out there. The UK automobile industry fell apart, because we couldn't compete and give the consumer what they wanted. I'm not going to get sentimental, or nostalgic over the now deceased UK automobile sector. I'm guessing, but 95% of the cars you can buy these days, are not UK brands. A few are made here, but the lion's share of the revenue and profit goes abroad. It's sad, but we can't carry on deluding ourselves thinking the UK economy is anything but a service sector now. We make very little and we must accept this, with very efficient companies all over the world supplying a better product. If the powers that be cared, we'd be pioneers in the scientific and engineering sectors, but there won't be the huge amount of investment needed, to get ourselves on a competetive footing. HIFI products can't be a huge slice of the manufacturing pie these days and buying an overpriced Naim amp won't turn the tide. I think we threw in the towel years ago and it's going to be almost impossible for the UK to reclaim a useful chunk of the manufacturing industry. My phone cost £199 and if it had been made in the UK, chances are it would have cost 4 or 5 times this amount. The goverments of the last 50 years have been resigned to the the fact we cannot make a car, or phone to compete with the far eastern companies. How about just investing anyway and then eventually, these UK cars and phones wil fall in price? Nobody cares and we've lost our production to many other countries. I'm not ashamed to be British, but we are very reluctant to even try to compete these days. £3399 gets you more of everything in HIFI, if you buy HIFI Rose, over Naim or Cyrus. Why would you not buy the better product?
The reason your phone cost £199 and not 4 or 5 times more if it was made in the UK is all about a manufacturers cost base.

The standard of living we enjoy in the UK is far above other countries in the world. Hence in the far east labour costs and associated manufacturing costs are considerably lower so the product can be made much more economically.

This is partly why UK struggles to compete in these areas, there is no doubt that we can and do make excellent products the issue is that the end result is more expensive than its competitor built in Asia. We moan about the price, buy the cheaper product from the far east, then we moan about the collapse of UK manufacturing.

But you’re right, we are very much a service sector economy now.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Although a lot of UK Hi-Fi manufacture have been bought out, they are pretty much all still designed in the UK.
China will build whatever you want, at whatever quality you want, so made in China doesn't mean that the quality is bad, unless the design is bad.
As to the UK economy, then most Hi-Fi manufactures would have gone out of business long ago if it wasn't for outside help, and the ability to have them made where it is cheaper.
Saving some jobs is always better than losing all jobs.

Bill
 

podknocker

Well-known member
Many people still regard Audiolab and Mission and Wharfedale to be UK HIFI brands, but are they even remotely UK brands, when they belong to the huge IAG empire and only a few people in the UK have any influence and perhaps only over design? Perhaps Cyrus and Naim need to be part of this group, in order to get the prices down, if UK manufacturing costs are to remain high. There is possibly room for Linn under this Chinese umbrella, rubbing shoulders with the highly regarded Luxman marque? Might have hit a nerve there I think. ;)
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Although a lot of UK Hi-Fi manufacture have been bought out, they are pretty much all still designed in the UK.
China will build whatever you want, at whatever quality you want, so made in China doesn't mean that the quality is bad, unless the design is bad.
As to the UK economy, then most Hi-Fi manufactures would have gone out of business long ago if it wasn't for outside help, and the ability to have them made where it is cheaper.
Saving some jobs is always better than losing all jobs.

Bill
The issue I have with 'Made in China' in the HiFi world is how long will the item you have bought be looked after?

Yes some items we buy are very cheap and if they go wrong they get binned, but if you are spending a few thousand on a product you would like to think that in a few years time when the warranty has long since expired the item can be looked after.

Now maybe we haven't reached that point yet, a lot of the brands are still too new to understand whether they will be a good long term investment or are just a product for today.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Many people still regard Audiolab and Mission and Wharfedale to be UK HIFI brands, but are they even remotely UK brands, when they belong to the huge IAG empire and only a few people in the UK have any influence and perhaps only over design? Perhaps Cyrus and Naim need to be part of this group, in order to get the prices down, if UK manufacturing costs are to remain high. There is possibly room for Linn under this Chinese umbrella, rubbing shoulders with the highly regarded Luxman marque? Might have hit a nerve there I think. ;)
I would far rather see a robust UK HiFi industry, whether that be design and build or design and assemble, this would be preferable over container after container of imported goods entering the UK and our hard earned money departing on the ship as it heads back east.

Yes IAG have a portfolio of UK brands, but a lot of the design work is carried out in the UK, parts built in China then the product assembled here in the UK.

Just for info - Naim are owned by Focal a French Loudspeaker company. I also don't believe that they have any issues being innovators, with quality products pitched a varying price points.

Linn, possibly one of the most famous HiFi brands in the world, they have established their target market, their products are very very good, I spent an hour or so last week listening to one of their DSM through a pair of Kudos Super 20A speakers, it was most enjoyable.

Will Linn come under the Luxman brand, OMG I have no idea, but what if Linn bought Luxman, now there's a thought.

Throughout the UK there are companies at the heart of the audio industry, designing, developing and building quality HiFi for us to buy. Don't be so quick to dismiss the UK's HiFi industry, it is there, it is innovating and it is producing good stuff.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
My sig will give you two perfect examples of the underdog. And they are both British.

Just to clarify, I didn't pursue them because they are UK brands, it happened I preferred the sound over price equivalent models from overseas.
I don't have any underdog stuff, but that could change in the weeks and months ahead, but for me Graham Slee and Tom Evans are two excellent examples of tiny companies producing excellent products that compete with or are better than similar products from big brands.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Thanks, I’ll give Cyrus a miss then.
What, because Pod doesn't like Cyrus? 😆

I bought a Cyrus 8 amp 22 years ago, based on the fact that, to me, it sounded so much better than the Arcam and Roksan amps I compared it to.

To this day, it looks and sounds as it did on day one. It has never required any maintenance whatsoever.

I've since bought the i7-XR model.
It sounds great.
I'm very much a pessimist / realist though, so I must say that, even if it did come with a 3 year guarantee, I'd be surprised if it does 22 years without a problem - but I could probably say that about plenty of current products.

My advice would be to dismiss Cyrus only after comparing its sound.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
What, because Pod doesn't like Cyrus? 😆

I bought a Cyrus 8 amp 22 years ago, based on the fact that, to me, it sounded so much better than the Arcam and Roksan amps I compared it to.

To this day, it looks and sounds as it did on day one. It has never required any maintenance whatsoever.

I've since bought the i7-XR model.
It sounds great.
I'm very much a pessimist / realist though, so I must say that, even if it did come with a 3 year guarantee, I'd be surprised if it does 22 years without a problem - but I could probably say that about plenty of current products.

My advice would be to dismiss Cyrus only after comparing its sound.
I wouldn't dismiss any brand simply on someone's say so, Cyrus has been around for a good while and in this industry if you produce rubbish then you won't last, Cyrus produce some good stuff and have done over the years, not keen on the looks but that is just personal choice.

My comment was with my tongue firmly in cheek.
 
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I don't have any underdog stuff, but that could change in the weeks and months ahead, but for me Graham Slee and Tom Evans are two excellent examples of tiny companies producing excellent products that compete with or are better than similar products from big brands.
Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the big movers, owned many in the last 40-odd years: Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, Monitor Audio, PMC etc etc.

As I'm the only poster on here that currently owns an Exposure and Leema, either I'm foolhardy or unique. You decide.

I like to champion the lesser known brands. The only thing they lack over the big brands is (pun intended) exposure.
 
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Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the big movers, owned many in the last 40-odd years: Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, Monitor Audio, PMC etc etc.

As I'm the only poster on here that currently owns an Exposure and Leema, either I'm foolhardy or unique. You decide.

I like to champion the lesser known brands. The only thing they lack over the big brands is (pun intended) exposure.
That or dealerships.... :)
 
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Gray

Well-known member
...either I'm foolhardy or unique. You decide.
You're both ;)

Leema deserve to do well with products like this pair.
All the inputs and output power that many could ever want.
I'm not saying £3,000 is nothing, but they might well hold off the urge to upgrade for years (if at all).
Comparatively good British value, for sure:
Could be the first and last time you'll ever see a white for right and red for left RCA socket for line in/out (on the power amp).
 
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jjbomber

Well-known member
industry if you produce rubbish then you won't last,
More to do with marketing. Betamax didn't last but was better than VHS. How about Xerox failing with the computer mouse, yet Cr-Apple bought the copyright and marketed it properly. Concorde remains far and away the greatest passenger plane ever built, but politics prevented it from succeeding. Sp it is down to a lot of things.
 
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