Inside Timberworx, the speaker-building company you’ve never heard of

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Peter Farrow

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Jun 2, 2022
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One is led to believe by marketing and messaging that speakers are hand crafted in house by their respective manufacturers.

Now we find out their cabinets are made by a third party company and churned out by the dozen from a factory in Sheffield for numerous brands including Chinese companies such as Mission (IAG).

Its interesting that they openly admit that it allows Spendor to snoop on the designs of other cabinets.

So "Made In Britain" is now just a band-aid slapped on speakers because their cabinets were made in Sheffield by a third party. Its a shame especially for companies who really are qualifying for Made In Britain status now have this blemish on the "Made In Britain" logo to detriment of real "Made in Britain" products.
 

LesterPJ

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May 23, 2022
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One is led to believe by marketing and messaging that speakers are hand crafted in house by their respective manufacturers.

Now we find out their cabinets are made by a third party company and churned out by the dozen from a factory in Sheffield for numerous brands including Chinese companies such as Mission (IAG).

Its interesting that they openly admit that it allows Spendor to snoop on the designs of other cabinets.

So "Made In Britain" is now just a band-aid slapped on speakers because their cabinets were made in Sheffield by a third party. Its a shame especially for companies who really are qualifying for Made In Britain status now have this blemish on the "Made In Britain" logo to detriment of real "Made in Britain" products.
Most UK companies will not be using enough cabinets to justify the cost of making them themselves. Manufacturing staff and machinery is only efficient if kept busy. So it would put up costs and the retail price.

What does it matter where things are made anyway? Its the design, materials and build quality that is important. As long as the factory's QC is strong enough then it makes no difference to the finished product whether its made at the company's own premises, in Sheffield or in India, China or Vietnam. Surely its the quality of the product and the retail price that is important not the location of the factory? (Slave/forced labour excluded.)

If the marketing is making something of where it is made then its just trying to make you buy / pay more for something due to your own prejudices. That's one of the jobs of marketing people. It makes no difference to the product.
 

Peter Farrow

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Jun 2, 2022
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Where something is made is extremely important. Especially if its claiming to be "Made In Britain" which is an official marque.

British manufacturing and design is just about the best in the world and that is why companies are going to great lengths to present that as a feature as it worth money on the bottom line as well as a sign of quality.

Since you don't care where good are made, would you be happy buying Russian goods?
 

LesterPJ

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May 23, 2022
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I would not currently be happy buying Russian goods due to their invasion of Ukraine.

My comments were about manufacture rather than design. There are many very high quality sub-contract facilities in many different countries throughout the world. Putting things together properly from a design is not a uniquely British talent. Many people from other countries can do this just as well as the British.

Anyway for most products the consumer doesn't buy factory direct. If, for example, I was buying a hifi product from a British brand I would expect that business to ensure the quality of that product whether they had manufactured it themselves or got someone else, anywhere in the world, to make it for them. My guarantee of quality does not come from the location of the manufacturing plant but from the desire of the brand owners to set the quality of product they want that brand to stand for and to take what actions that are necessary to ensure that the product meets that quality. If they should sub-contract to a factory that isn't up to it i would expect them not to put that product onto the market.

So where it is made (politics aside) shouldn't matter.

Along with some brilliant cutting edge stuff British manufacturing is littered with examples of factories in Britain doing poor assembly. Made in Britain can be of high quality but it is not guarantee of it.
 

Peter Farrow

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Jun 2, 2022
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Where it is made is critical. You can't seperate the politics from the manufacture when talking about China and Russia. The mindset of the places you mention is to do it cheaply as possible, its a way of life for those cultures and its impossible to get consistant quality. Furthermore a few internet searches will enlighten you to the poor pay, long hours, no workers rights and terrible human rights of places like china. It endemic in the manufacturing for such states to do it cheaply and make the biggest margin possible for the owners.

The concept of copying and ripping off is second nature. Taking British brands and moving all the manufacture to the far east, trading on the British names of former British brands with no DNA of the original design or mindset left in anyway.

Personally I find that loathsome, coupled with the way the workers are treated and the regime they suffer, means buying those products you are financially supporting that process at the same time killing UK manufacture.

If what you say were true about it doesn't matter where its made, why are all these chinese brands sticking half baked union flags on their products and pretending its still British? The answer is obvious, it really does matter and it matters alot to most people.

You're right in that buying British won't guarantee quality but in Hifi circles it really does guarantee it, because the true British brands couldn't survive against the unfair advantage of basically free labour, no green taxes etc that chinese manufacture has by comparison. The only way you can survive is being much better than the eatern offerings because costs are exponentially higher.

Most chinese built manufacturers are so desperate to convey the illusion of British made they put union flags on their products and in tiny writing underneath "Made in PRC" the name is so toxic that dare not mention it directly.

If I were a betting man I would bet with amost certainty that a 100% British made piece of hifi will be infinitely better than those churned out in the eastern sweatshops with a faux union flag on them.

If you expect a dealer to guarantee the quality of a product you are naively mistaken, the industry doesn't work like that. This is exactly the point the eastern manufacturers don't really care about the quality they want the cash and they do just enough to keep it flowing, they consider their products disposible and to them they are because they cost virtually nothing to make, so even if the QC is terrible they can just ship replacements until one that can outlast the warranty is delivered.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Where is made for hifi is literally the be-all end-all of the industry.

I wouldn't want a Bentley made in China, but it seems you would be ok with that.

Its a bit like buying a house, three most important things, location, location and of course location.
 
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