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The changing nationality of a system.

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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Never conscientiously thought about Nationality of any of my kit. That said, most of my early kit was Japanese (Pioneer, Marantz, Hitachi, JVC....). I've had a lot of British stuff... or were they British?

Wharfedale were British but taken over by Rank Organization, which is American. I think they're owned now by IAG, which is Chinese.

Even though I've owned Arcams and now Leemas, Exposure I wonder if any of the components made in the far east? I know Arcam starting producing stuff in China and now the USA IIRC.

I've only ever purchased based on budget and sound and never given much thought to what part of the globe they come from.
You'll always find the odd component from around the world. Leema however, seem to be one of the better ones.

Wharfedale, basically chinese. Even the token stuff made here is probably full to the brim of chinese stuff. Afterall, that's what the chinese do.
B&W, half n half.
Arcam, Cambridge- Ah, just call them chinese for ease!! Alright, British designed chinese stuff. So the norm.
 

MrReaper182

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Apr 6, 2014
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When I stated all my stuff was second hand and cheep. The most expensive thing I owned was probably £230. Now I own a CD player which I brought brand new for £700 and I still can not believe I spent that much on a disc spinner in the 21st century. I'm probably a Rega person for the rest of my life now as I can easily see me staying with Rega for my future amps and and speakers upgrades.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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Mine has become increasingly British, having begun with a Japanese Pioneer turntable, a US Shure cartridge, a Tandberg receiver (can’t even recall if Scandinavian or German), and US-made Acoustic Research speakers. Later came a Dual turntable and a US/Japanese Harman/kardon receiver.
I later owned Meridian, Musical Fidelity and Celestion before going Italian and USA with Sonus faber and Krell. Now I’m almost all UK, save for Grado headphones, Shure cartridge, and Marantz CD player (as my Primare is doing duties elsewhere).
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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Of all our equipment only the record player was made in Europe by Pro-Ject and we have a pair of Mission speakers in the kitchen. Our main speakers were made in the US by Infinity.

There has been a huge move away from European producers in my lifetime. I remember that almost everyone here in NL had stereo equipment made by brands like Philips, Grundig, Dual, Braun and Bang & Olufsen. After the UK entered the EEC we started to see more British speaker brands on the market. Then came the Japanese wave in the late 1970s with brands like Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer, Aiwa, Akai etc. At the same time we saw the shift from DIN-connectors to cinch.

The demise of the Philips brand for audio inventions is a shame. Philips engineers invented the compact cassette and the compact disc. They also invented an incredible system for active speakers: motional feedback.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Mine has become increasingly British, having begun with a Japanese Pioneer turntable, a US Shure cartridge, a Tandberg receiver (can’t even recall if Scandinavian or German), and US-made Acoustic Research speakers. Later came a Dual turntable and a US/Japanese Harman/kardon receiver.
I later owned Meridian, Musical Fidelity and Celestion before going Italian and USA with Sonus faber and Krell. Now I’m almost all UK, save for Grado headphones, Shure cartridge, and Marantz CD player (as my Primare is doing duties elsewhere).
I see a Nord power amp has appeared in your signature, or has it been there a while?
 

nopiano

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I see a Nord power amp has appeared in your signature, or has it been there a while?
Bought used, this year from another forum member. Made in Cheltenham as you know, but I’m unsure where all the Hypex bits are made!

Here’s a pic of it in the centre, accompanied by some new Revel Concerta2 M16. “How good a speaker can you buy for under £500 that isn’t a KEF LS50?” is the working title, if I can be bothered to write it up!

View: https://i.imgur.com/KbEHfvV.jpg
 
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Al ears

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Bought used, this year from another forum member. Made in Cheltenham as you know, but I’m unsure where all the Hypex bits are made!

Here’s a pic of it in the centre, accompanied by some new Revel Concerta2 M16. “How good a speaker can you buy for under £500 that isn’t a KEF LS50?” is the working title, if I can be bothered to write it up!

View: https://i.imgur.com/KbEHfvV.jpg
Very nice. Agree about those Revel speakers
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Bought used, this year from another forum member. Made in Cheltenham as you know, but I’m unsure where all the Hypex bits are made!
Hypex have a factory in Malaysia. So whether the internals are made there or not, pass!
The Nord cases are either Italy or Japan by the looks of it.

I'm probably very wrong, but Nord strike me as a company that just put a load of outside components together, without even designing any of them.
I have no doubt Nord are much better, but I came a cropper with a company like that before, when looking for a new laptop.

A company based in Sheffield. Your own custom made laptop.
First of all, whilst claiming to be designing my laptop, they sent me generic pictures which I could find on the internet.
Then when the laptop turned up, it looked like they had gone to the cheapest chassis maker in china. Needless to say it went straight back.

Anyway, i digress. Nord don't look to be anything like that.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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I'm probably very wrong, but Nord strike me as a company that just put a load of outside components together, without even designing any of them.
I have no doubt Nord are much better, but I came a cropper with a company like that before, when looking for a new laptop.
There are a few like Nord now, assembling modules of various types. The trouble is, the performance is excellent and quite threatening to the bigger brands. Now, of course, the like of Marantz, NAD, and the stunning new Cambridge https://www.whathifi.com/news/cambridge-audio-challenges-naim-with-sexy-evo-streaming-systems are using similar ingredients with great results at moderate prices. I’m not saying that boutique amps are under threat, but they’re looking like an indulgence!

Here is another one, a bit like Nord, but without the op amps. Look at the price and the review, technical and subjective.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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There are a few like Nord now, assembling modules of various types. The trouble is, the performance is excellent and quite threatening to the bigger brands. Now, of course, the like of Marantz, NAD, and the stunning new Cambridge https://www.whathifi.com/news/cambridge-audio-challenges-naim-with-sexy-evo-streaming-systems are using similar ingredients with great results at moderate prices. I’m not saying that boutique amps are under threat, but they’re looking like an indulgence!

Here is another one, a bit like Nord, but without the op amps. Look at the price and the review, technical and subjective.
Surely if they keep attracting other brands, Nord will eventually become an indulgence, and with that, comes massive price hikes.
 

Al ears

Moderator
There are a few like Nord now, assembling modules of various types. The trouble is, the performance is excellent and quite threatening to the bigger brands. Now, of course, the like of Marantz, NAD, and the stunning new Cambridge https://www.whathifi.com/news/cambridge-audio-challenges-naim-with-sexy-evo-streaming-systems are using similar ingredients with great results at moderate prices. I’m not saying that boutique amps are under threat, but they’re looking like an indulgence!

Here is another one, a bit like Nord, but without the op amps. Look at the price and the review, technical and subjective.
Against...no volume control?
What planet is he on, and when did you last see a power amp with a volume control?
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Here is another one, a bit like Nord, but without the op amps. Look at the price and the review, technical and subjective.
That is an interesting product (Hi-fi World seem to feature things that others overlook).
However the first thing he noticed was a 'mild' balance, then again he mentions mild treble in the verdict.
I've no doubt that would suit some tastes perfectly, but anything less than flat treble wouldn't suit me.
We must all surely welcome products with clean, high output at ever lower prices though.
 
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James83

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Surely if they keep attracting other brands, Nord will eventually become an indulgence, and with that, comes massive price hikes.
That's probably hit the nail closer to the head than the likes of Nord will like to admit.
It's not always the fact it is cheap or expensive to manufacture. It's how popular or not you are.

Those companies famous for offering great value for money, rarely offer such great value for money once they become famous for it, and when they start selling like hot cakes.
 
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James83

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We must all surely welcome products with clean, high output at ever lower prices though.
Ooh, one of my pet hates.
It depends how the lower prices were attained.
If the lower prices are attained by farming out manufacture to a cheaper country to that which you are supposedly based, then no, I do not welcome the lower prices.

For example, Hypex are Dutch. Therefore produce your products at the best price whilst manufacturing your own products in Holland. That means, your own designed components should also be made in Holland.
Nord is fair enough, as they design products based on outside components.
 

Gray

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breaking in gently although I must say the volume control takes a bit of getting used to. It is far from linear and nothing really sings until wound up to over 60 on the dial when it seems to go logarithmic......
...on the bright side, you're well away from the lower end where tracking errors can me more of an issue.
 

Al ears

Moderator
...on the bright side, you're well away from the lower end where tracking errors can me more of an issue.
I'm more use to a dial where ten o'clock is loud enough :)
Looking to take a digital feed from the Oppo to the amps DAC next to see which I prefer, just out of curiosity.
It certainly has now bells and whistles than I am used to.
One major error was not noticing the layout for speakers and inputs it has on the back and the design of my rack..... Proving a tad awkward and it's a good job I only have two sources.... Ho hum!
 
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nopiano

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That's probably hit the nail closer to the head than the likes of Nord will like to admit.
It's not always the fact it is cheap or expensive to manufacture. It's how popular or not you are.

Those companies famous for offering great value for money, rarely offer such great value for money once they become famous for it, and when they start selling like hot cakes.
I’m certain that longer-term support may be an issue. But as Hypex modules are used widely, if Nord or KJF ceased trading there should be someone, somewhere, who could fix them.
Surely pricing is likely to remain pretty competitive, given similar ingredients?
 
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James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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:)
I see your pet hate and raise you. Companies that overcharge when there is no need to.
(The fact that they have customers to encourage them is probably the reason, but it doesn't justify it).
I prefer that than making your products artificially low.
Whilst I don't agree with overcharging necessarily, a product is worth whatever someone is willing to pay.

So if company A start rising the prices of their turntable once the turntable becomes popular, but loads of people still buy said turntable, then obviously the turntable must be worth that amount to said buyers.

If enough people decided they really weren't worth the price, then eventually the price would be lowered. Assuming of course they really were overcharging.
If you decide the product is an absolute must have, but you really believe the price is too high, then hold off buying it. If it is such a must have that you have to buy it anyway, then the fact it is such a must have item sort of shows the product really is worth that price.
 

DougK

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Bit late to the party but kit has always been Japanese, (current TT German but Japanese branded): Awai, Akai, Technics, Kenwood, Marantz. Speakers: British.
 

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