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Uk Manufacturers Returning Home ?


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interesting article here re some manufacturers like arcam that are returning their manufacturing back to the UK. Due to the volatile exchange rate fluctuations, soaring chinese labour rates, and continual quality issues...

http://hcc.techradar.com/blogs/point-view/...ing-uk-21-05-10

I had noticed for instance that for its fmj range arcam had kept making in the uk, and other brands like rega, cyrus, linn and naim for instance have resisted the urge to go over seas. even B&W has returned back to the uk with manufacture of their 800 series. will be interesting indeed to see if this is a trend as suggested in return to uk manufacture with some of the uk brands :)

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Thanks for the link, There's a lot of truth in it. Unfortunately the Chinese will tell there respective clients what they want to hear, plead ignorance and then complain that the next prototype, will be better and even more correct , to comply with the designers requirements. The trouble is they don't understand

about quality in components. A sardine tin is a sardine tin is a sardine tin. And if it looks the same, then it must be the same. And you only have to look at some of the crap being turned out and marketed by the big box sellers to see proof of that.

Most Chinese Tube amps look the part, But try getting one repaired when they fail, and most do turn into egg cookers and start to produce smoke at the

first opportunity. And that goes for the cheapest to the more expensive ones with equally exotic names . And whatever you do, Never buy one on E-bay, they will want exorbitant postal costs, both ways, Then when it arrives back at the distributer / factory / e-bay seller, They will simply bin the thing, and send you another 99 cent replacement, with the same faults and cheap components.

And the established names are suffering, Be it a pair of speakers, a chainsaw, or anything else with thought was a respected name,except now it tells us, "Made in China under licence"

As for the Chinese cloned product, with the cheapness in manufacture, they will out sell the genuine item, to the point where the genuine product will go to the wall, and be out of business in a very short time.. Sure they can produce cloned copies cheaper, there's zero development costs for a start. So how can the established manufacturer compete.

As for Hi-end audio,, That market is shrinking at an alarming rate, and anyone who thinks different is deluding themselves,

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Most Chinese Tube amps look the part, But try getting one repaired when they fail, and most do turn into egg cookers and start to produce smoke at the first opportunity. And that goes for the cheapest to the more expensive ones with equally exotic names . And whatever you do, Never buy one on E-bay, they will want exorbitant postal costs, both ways, Then when it arrives back at the distributer / factory / e-bay seller, They will simply bin the thing, and send you another 99 cent replacement, with the same faults and cheap components.

I don't entirely agree with the comments above. China manufacturers do make their share of bad to excellent products. I owned 5 chinese made valve amps and one chinese made CD player. I bought all my gears from the local distributiors. 3 of my 5 valve amp are now more than 3 years old and I have done minor biase adjustment and changed a few valves but otherwise they have been working flawlessly.

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I don't entirely agree with the comments above. China manufacturers do make their share of bad to excellent products. I owned 5 chinese made valve amps and one chinese made CD player. I bought all my gears from the local distributiors. 3 of my 5 valve amp are now more than 3 years old and I have done minor biase adjustment and changed a few valves but otherwise they have been working flawlessly.

Don't see it as inferring that China make bad stuffs (or excellent ones for that matter). It's like I.T. outsourcing. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Manufacturing just have to do the sums right. Sometimes it works, sometimes don't. Esp when involving logistics.

e.g. likely to be a disaster if the main reason for moving the manufacturing to China is to cut cost - you pay peanuts you get monkey (anywhere). And distance and language barrier can be an issue. Plus several other factors - human rights, political belief, etc. If manufacturers don't play to the strengths, they won't get the ideal result.

Similarly don't assume moving production back to UK will mean the product will automatically become better. No matter who makes it, what brand is behind it, at the end of the day, the product will speak for itself.

If it's good, it's good.. :)

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Don't see it as inferring that China make bad stuffs (or excellent ones for that matter). It's like I.T. outsourcing. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Manufacturing just have to do the sums right. Sometimes it works, sometimes don't. Esp when involving logistics.

e.g. likely to be a disaster if the main reason for moving the manufacturing to China is to cut cost - you pay peanuts you get monkey (anywhere). And distance and language barrier can be an issue. Plus several other factors - human rights, political belief, etc. If manufacturers don't play to the strengths, they won't get the ideal result.

Similarly don't assume moving production back to UK will mean the product will automatically become better. No matter who makes it, what brand is behind it, at the end of the day, the product will speak for itself.

If it's good, it's good.. :)

treb, arcam mentioned in the article has had their fair share of quality issues of late, and also appears theres even chinese clones of their flagship pre-pro knocking around now just to rub insult into injury :rolleyes:

Theyre not new to chinese manufacture since been operating in that space a for years but perhaps theyve just had enough of the chinese deal and want to bring back inhouse. Any ways a few companies dont go offshore for various reasons as you say. I remember reading an article/interview with jacques Mahul founder of focal JMlab where he talks about "made in Focal" where they make every single part of their speaker to ensure they can control the quality of the product all the way through the manufacturing process. and why for this they wouldnt move to chinese manufacture. a few other companies follow that mantra, elac for one is another that prefers to make everything themselves.

I remember also colin whatmough mentioning how you couldnt trust the chinese manufactuers as far as you could throw them, and how he would have to make sure one of his trusted representatives went over everytime they were making their speakers for QC. and why he now only gets the carcasses into australia and does assembly of drivers xovers etc locally to ensure they put together right with the right components. He mentioned some horror stories of chinese manufacture with his speakers where they would swap out air core inductors for cheaper solid core and the like without his knowledge. and speakers are relatively simple devices electrically god forbid what goes on with more complex electronic items.

But yeah many other reasons am sure, and plenty of success stories for all the horror ones :)

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But yeah many other reasons am sure, and plenty of success stories for all the horror ones :)

Think it'd be more horror than success... :lol: Outsourcing manufacturing to China is never a good idea anyway...

That said, there are good things coming from China... But I'm not getting any valve gear juz yet..

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Think it'd be more horror than success... :lol: Outsourcing manufacturing to China is never a good idea anyway...

That said, there are good things coming from China... But I'm not getting any valve gear juz yet..

I don't overly agree with the singling out of the Chinese products, similar issues occur when any company outsources any part of the production & component making process. Just look what happened with Virgin F1's fuel tank... ooops. There is more than you'd care to imagine in the car world too, where one part is mis-manufactured & not upto spec and can cause complete engine failurs & the like.

Personally that's why i went for Monitor Audio speakers, all the R&D, components & construction is done inhouse by the one mob, they have complete control over the process front to back, so you don't need to worry about components not being upto spec.

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Virgin.. :D Damn those cars are slow..:(

Personally that's why i went for Monitor Audio speakers, all the R&D, components & construction is done inhouse by the one mob, they have complete control over the process front to back, so you don't need to worry about components not being upto spec.

Pretty sure all the Monitor Audio stuffs nowadays are built in China ... (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong)...

I have yet to listen to the PLs though, or any new models for that matter :P.. But I do own a Studio 10, and they sound pretty good to my ears.. Mine is a limited edition, so I have no idea if they're 20 year old from some warehouse, or new build. But they aren't bad.

OTOH, my B&W 683s (MIC) though aren't that good when compared to the Studio 10 in my lounge... But good enough for me in movies.. I guess when they move operations to China, the key element is to cut cost. With a MO like that, something's gotta go.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's not China's fault, rather people moving manufacturing to China aren't doing it right :P... It's not easy to offshore work, be it I.T., or any other products... It's not a certainty that China products are bad. E.g. i have two pairs of Pioneer Pure Malts that are made in China. They bloody look fantastic! :P

So in that similiar vein, if moving operations back is to cut cost.. Then... :D But no matter what, people will no longer buy blindly on brand now.. This ultimately is a win for consumers..

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Some Chinese clones are very good, I run a couple of Chainsaws , mainly for firewood gathering, and was looking round the internet sites for a suitable replacement for an old Stihl saw which has seen better days, and was in need of a complete rebuild. I came up with this mob on E-bay

http://shop.ebay.com.au/agrmachinery/m.htm...p;_trksid=p4340

I looked at a new Stihl with a 20 something inch bar and the cost was around $1600, then I found this

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/PRO-62CC-20-BAR-CHA...#ht_6921wt_1013

Yeah right, It's got to be junk, knock of something like 40 bucks for freight, and it amounts to $126 Anyway two days later it arrived , I unpacked and assembled the thing, filled it with fuel, and also filled the oil chain bar tank, Gave it a couple of pulls and away it went. I can't kill the thing with a stick.

Now it starts on it's own when it see's me coming. But we compared it to the Stihl, and the parts are more or less interchangeable. So it only lasts a couple of years, who cares at that price.

A mate also bought a three phase generator from the same place, for a quarter of the price of a known brand, and the thing runs week in, week out, without a problem.

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MA is now made in China, and so SVS...

But I have no issues with the tube amp I bought, the MA speakers and a whole bunch of other stuff. There are various levels of QC there, just as there are in UK or US. Ever driven an Amercian car? They are worse than a Korean or even a Chinese QQ.

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MA is now made in China, and so SVS...

But I have no issues with the tube amp I bought, the MA speakers and a whole bunch of other stuff. There are various levels of QC there, just as there are in UK or US. Ever driven an Amercian car? They are worse than a Korean or even a Chinese QQ.

The Emotiva stuff is also all made in China. For the price I'm not sure there's anything out there that gives more bang for the buck. Quality of the stuff has been top notch. The things are build like tanks.

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MA is now made in China, and so SVS...

But I have no issues with the tube amp I bought, the MA speakers and a whole bunch of other stuff. There are various levels of QC there, just as there are in UK or US. Ever driven an Amercian car? They are worse than a Korean or even a Chinese QQ.

It's getting quite murky nowadays as to what an "American" or "Japanese" or "European" car is anyway. Some Fords, Chevrolets and Dodges are assembled in Mexico and Canada, while Nissans, Toyotas, Hondas, and even some BMWs and Mercedes are made in the USA........

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It's getting quite murky nowadays as to what an "American" or "Japanese" or "European" car is anyway. Some Fords, Chevrolets and Dodges are assembled in Mexico and Canada, while Nissans, Toyotas, Hondas, and even some BMWs and Mercedes are made in the USA........

Well these are the awful ones. Compare a Europena Ford vs an American one or a Merc SUV made in Alabama vs Germany. But I degress, sorry.

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