Which country makes the best hi-fi?

admin_exported

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Hi,

I realise this is going to be a matter of opinion, but i can't help notice how much the UK seems to punch above it's weight when it comes to the number of hi-fi brands that come out of this sceptered isle. Does this mean that we produce better hi-fi than most? if not, then which nation in your opinion produces the best across all areas??

Answers please[:D]
 
T

the record spot

Guest
There's some pretty strong contenders - UK, Japan, the US are consistent across the source/amp/speaker options. Others such as Electrocompaniet from Norway make some terrific source or amp gear, Finland has the excellent Genelec and so on. Not mentioned China as although they produce some great gear for companies who base their manufacturing facilities there, the only brands I know of are Jungson, Yaqin, Shanling and Cayin.
 
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Anonymous

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JohnDuncan:China, without question.

Dead right! I think you need to re-phrase the original question.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
............but taking it as you meant it, my personal opinion is the UK as I have Bowers & Wilkins and Musical Fidelity gear, what else can I say?

I never consciously meant to go this way but I am happy to support the UK financially, it must be awful for everyone there with the record of your sporting teams
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
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catlike:
............but taking it as you meant it, my personal opinion is the UK as I have Bowers & Wilkins what else can I say?

many of which are made in China
 
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Anonymous

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nads:catlike:

............but taking it as you meant it, my personal opinion is the UK as I have Bowers & Wilkins what else can I say?

many of which are made in China

Ummmm......yes Nads, which is why the China thing was discussed further back. I think the OP meant from a design/engineering perspective.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I digress then, i am not including hi-fi 'assembled' in china but where they were conceived and designed
!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Let's not forget about Canada. With world class manufactures such as Bryston, Anthem, Classe Audio, PSB, Energy, Magnum Dynalab and Paradigm just to name a few Canada has definitely made it's mark on the high end audio scene.
 

tenergy

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Dec 17, 2009
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...and then there're the Danes with Dynaudio, Peerless, Tangent, Ortofon etc., the Swedes with Primare, the Italians with Sonus Faber, Synthesis, the French with Focal,...the list goes on and on. In terms of sheer preponderance of renowned brands however, I would say the UK takes the cake.

For some of us non-UK folk, we even discuss the British "house sound" among ourselves. I know that sounds like a terribly hasty generalization, but those discussions do happen. Common adjectives that spring up are "neutral", "no-frills", "high-quality", "not 'over-engineered' " and so on and so forth...:)
 
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Anonymous

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tenergy:

...and then there're the Danes with Dynaudio, Peerless, Tangent, Ortofon etc., the Swedes with Primare, the Italians with Sonus Faber, Synthesis, the French with Focal,...the list goes on and on. In terms of sheer preponderance of renowned brands however, I would say the UK takes the cake.

For some of us non-UK folk, we even discuss the British "house sound" among ourselves. I know that sounds like a terribly hasty generalization, but those discussions do happen. Common adjectives that spring up are "neutral", "no-frills", "high-quality", "not 'over-engineered' " and so on and so forth...:)

As an Irish person I would readily agree that so called British hi-fi is some of the best around and would always personally look to include or focus on British named and designed equipment.

But I'm not sure that the 'British Sound' is all neutral and no-frills, take Arcam, for instance, one of the most well known and highly regarded UK based suppliers of quality hifi, it is surely on the warm and lush sounding end of the spectrum I would have thought ??

There is no doubt, by the way, that we have some very specific preferences when it comes to audio which is reflectd by the fact that some of the Japanese suppliers even provide UK specified models of their gear (Denon, Marantz for example).

But yes my vote would have to go the UK way and it is something to be very proud of, just pity more of it isn't actually manufacturered there ??!!
 

Chokobolt

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Mar 6, 2010
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Not to forget Dali, also from Denmark. Had to mention it, since I am danish and also have Dali loudspeakers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
the record spot:There's some pretty strong contenders - UK, Japan, the US are consistent across the source/amp/speaker options. Others such as Electrocompaniet from Norway make some terrific source or amp gear, Finland has the excellent Genelec and so on. Not mentioned China as although they produce some great gear for companies who base their manufacturing facilities there, the only brands I know of are Jungson, Yaqin, Shanling and Cayin.

Norway also has another small brand called Hegel that I really like. However I belive that noone beats Denmark if you go by its small size relative to the number of outstanding brands they manage to have. They have ALOT of excellent speaker and gear producers that in many cases also manufacture the products "at home" and not just design them and then outsource production to places like China.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
WestCoastFun:Let's not forget about Canada. With world class manufactures such as Bryston, Anthem, Classe Audio, PSB, Energy, Magnum Dynalab and Paradigm just to name a few Canada has definitely made it's mark on the high end audio scene.

Way to go westcoast, CANADA.

But I love my Monitor Audio's
 

tenergy

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Dec 17, 2009
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True. Ought to have mentioned Dali in the first place. My bad! :)

Also correct re: Arcam; but like I said, it's a generalization/stereotype that's widely held but not necessarily true.

Now that we're on the topic, there's also this school of thought that believes that Japanese gear tends to border on "bright" and gives preference to the extremes of the sound spectrum...again, just a stereotype on Japanese gear that may or may not be true. Luxman, for example, can make pretty warm sounding gear...but your typical Akihabara boom boxes and mini-components can be quite, shall we say, bassy and sharp...
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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tenergy:
Now that we're on the topic, there's also this school of thought that believes that Japanese gear tends to border on "bright" and gives preference to the extremes of the sound spectrum...again, just a stereotype on Japanese gear that may or may not be true. Luxman, for example, can make pretty warm sounding gear...but your typical Akihabara boom boxes and mini-components can be quite, shall we say, bassy and sharp...

I'm not sure that the mini and midi systems that make up much of the Market in Japan really count.

From my experience both Luxman and CEC make warm/musical/sweet and detailed equipment (qualities that aren't mutually exclusive). The Esoteric kit that I've listened to has never been bright, maybe lean/neutral. Denon is definitely on the lush and warm side. There is also a strong tube following in Japan, but as this tends to be a niche market, even less of that stuff makes it overseas, and even if it does, most people mightn't know about it.

I think the UK is brilliantly represented and seems to have a more widespread HiFi culture and has numerous companies making great budget kit, but I also think living in the UK will give you a biased view in that UK brands will be better value and more available.

There is great kit from all over the world manufactured on all sorts of scales, but as far as the size of the population goes, maybe the UK does punch above its weight.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If you're measuring by size of population, then Finland and the Scandinavian countries win hands down. Finland in particular seems to have speaker manufacturers by the shed load, but only a few brands are exported to the UK.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hmm, this is a difficult one. It depends on your opinion of what makes something the BEST. Is it the best because it is better value for money, or in your opinion it sounds the best, or it has the best components, or it has the best build quality etc. I,m not a big fan of Linn but in terms of build quality, i don,t think there is another hi-fi designer and manufacturer on the planet that can touch them for the tollerances they have shown on their products. After all they do have major contracts for our MOD and the technology they use is based on military grade chips in their computers, so Scotland for me
 

DavidNorway

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Aug 26, 2010
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tenergy:
...and then there're the Danes with Dynaudio, Peerless, Tangent, Ortofon etc., the Swedes with Primare, the Italians with Sonus Faber, Synthesis, the French with Focal,...the list goes on and on. In terms of sheer preponderance of renowned brands however, I would say the UK takes the cake.

For some of us non-UK folk, we even discuss the British "house sound" among ourselves. I know that sounds like a terribly hasty generalization, but those discussions do happen. Common adjectives that spring up are "neutral", "no-frills", "high-quality", "not 'over-engineered' " and so on and so forth...:)

System Audio produce wonderfull speakers inDenmark.
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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Ignoring the fact that the "best" is completely subjective and can't be determined, I'd have to agree that the Scandinavian countries, and Denmark in particular punch above their weight in terms of the number of quality hifi manufacturers per head of population.
 

margetti

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May 29, 2008
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An honourable mention for NZ - ok, I can only name two manufacturers off the top of my head - Plinius, which I'm sure you've read about in the magazine, and similarly high-end - Perreaux. Lovely equipment that deserves a "I've just won the lottery" audition!
 

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