U.K. Hifi Companies. A Personal Account of why we like their sound or service ?

garn63

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Think it's good to support companies from our own shores when we can.    Without being contentious, let us know about your U.K. Hifi,..past or present ?  What do we like about the sound or service we received from your chosen brand ?    A personal take on a  positive experience.. old stories or new.  Something folks might find helpful or informative ?    :)    What dya know ?

 
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TIU

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Most uk manufacturers have gear made in china or abroad but it is good to support them. Our brands are highly regarded throughout the world so we should be proud.

One that comes to my mind is the cambridge AR60 amp with DIN inputs. Once the corrects cables were bought it was so sweet.

 
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bencat

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I have three NVA Power amplifiers which I use as part of my three way active system . They are good to look at and they sound excellent . Have had to have two of them upgraded by NVA and drove to them both to drop them off and collect. Due to the snafu that was covid and lock down there were issues with one of the owners who does repairs servicing etc just not able to be in the UK . At all times they sent me messages and updates and gave me the feeling that they were doing everything they could to get things done and help their customers . Could well have been tosh and they could have been just sitting doing nothing but I prefer my view . Nice to find a UK Company that recognises that communication is the key to much of customer satisfaction . It also does not hurt if you make a great sounding amplifier as well .

 

garn63

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It's very good (imo) to be able to talk to the company that makes the product we choose to consider purchasing or already have. This has become more important to me as I have got older. There most definitely is a sort of detachment with any product, that when purchased, comes from a long way from home. Secretly our fingers are crossed that the service would be good if there was a problem. Maybe through research we know that it will be.

I personally like Falcon for the products/service they provide and indeed Townshend Audio also.  Both very approachable & have always been helpful whatever place I have been in my quest. I dont currently own any of their stuff except cable, but would recommend them & indeed use them again. They make some good kit.

  Am glad Andrew @bencathas mentioned NVA too, so I can pipe in.  :)   Theres nowt not to like really with NVA.  I like the chassis/looks, which seems to be a bone of contention for some?  Their service, parts choices and most importantly their pricing should be commended. They do walk their own path (to some extent), but I can clarify that if it was down to my own perception of conveying realism (the signal put through my spkrs), I would put them at "my" top for s/q & vfm.  The fact that I could try their amplification before committing to buy is a bonus. After the Covid fall out it's nice to find a company that operates like this. For me it points to integrity & faith in their products.

* Q Acoustics 3030i ....what a great little spkr for the money.

 
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garn63

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ATC.

Excellent gear, Excellent after sales servicing. 
I have considered giving their small bookshelf spkrs a go, but for long periods didnt use amps powerful enough. Maybe one day if the occasion arises.

 

Sir_Franc

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Another honourable mention for Townshend Audio. I had very good communication & service from them after having bought a pair of their products from a large (mainly) online secondhand seller that I won't name, or ever use again. They went above and beyond what was expected so it's nice to give them some public credit for resolving the issue that was not of their doing.

 
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DomT

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The suspension had dropped on an Audio Note IO that I bought secondhand.  I sent it to Audio Note for a full refurbishment at a cost of c£800 but they said that it was just the suspension that needed fixing and so they saved me nearly £700!  They also turned the job round really quickly in just a few weeks.  Then on receipt I thought that the cartridge had a channel imbalance and so sent it back to Audio Note with the SUT that I had also bought and they tested the cartridge and SUT extensively, found nothing wrong, said that it was all in excellent condition and didn't charge me a penny.  Really amazing service at a low cost.  I previously sold me Dynavector DRT1-S due to the refurbishment cost.  I loved the sound but long term ownership costs on an expensive cartridge strongly steered me to Audio Note.  

 

Lurch

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The 80s iteration of Cambridge Audio. I bought my C50 & A50 in 88 after about 14 months the phono section went down, I rang CA they told me to send the Pre back and they would sort FOC (even though out of warranty) about 10 days after dispatch I got it back along with an applogy letter from Stan Curtis himself along with the news that they'd upgraded the PS to the then new C100 spec. 

MFA is another great firm to deal with, Jonathan is a true gent and a pleasure to deal with. He delivered my SUT personally, gave me an outstanding PX against an IA PS3SE I had, similarly he sent me a transit box with internals & a new remote for my Baby Reference pre FOC even though I'd bought it used elsewhere. 

I've also had nothing but great, experiences when dealing with Origin Live and when I P'exd my Conqueror 3C for the 12"Enterprise Mk4 I got £950 more than I payed on ebay for the arm. So even if I'd bought the arm new (£2805) I would only have lost £105 moving up, so very fair upgrade costs with OL. 

 

Blzebub

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ATC - fantastic service (although they have been very busy lately, so there may be delays) and great advice on the phone. Actually talked me out of buying 300ASLs in favour of the less expensive 150s, on the grounds that my really very, very large room at the time wasn't really large enough for 300s!

SME - old-school courtesy, professionalism and charm. Anyone who's spoken to Brian will know what I mean.

No-BS precision engineering from both these brands IME. A joy to deal with them.

Whest - sublime phono stages, and I'm very pleased with the MB II also. James is great fun to deal with on the phone.

 
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justinhd

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The 80s iteration of Cambridge Audio. I bought my C50 & A50 in 88 after about 14 months the phono section went down, I rang CA they told me to send the Pre back and they would sort FOC (even though out of warranty) about 10 days after dispatch I got it back along with an applogy letter from Stan Curtis himself along with the news that they'd upgraded the PS to the then new C100 spec. 
MFA is another great firm to deal with, Jonathan is a true gent and a pleasure to deal with. He delivered my SUT personally, gave me an outstanding PX against an IA PS3SE I had, similarly he sent me a transit box with internals & a new remote for my Baby Reference pre FOC even though I'd bought it used elsewhere. 
I've also had nothing but great, experiences when dealing with Origin Live and when I P'exd my Conqueror 3C for the 12"Enterprise Mk4 I got £950 more than I payed on ebay for the arm. So even if I'd bought the arm new (£2805) I would only have lost £105 moving up, so very fair upgrade costs with OL. 
I second Lurch’s sentiment wrt MFA. Jonathan Billington is very helpful and prompt. I traded up to the Classic V2 (and as luck would have it, he sold me the one he used at last years UK Audio Show). Another UK company I had the pleasure of dealing with recently is Atacama Audio. Denis Greenaway is very helpful and accommodating. I think when you are dealing with someone who really loves their products and want you to experience the same will invariably give you the service that matches the product.

 
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Lawrence001

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Most uk manufacturers have gear made in china or abroad but it is good to support them. Our brands are highly regarded throughout the world so we should be proud.
One that comes to my mind is the cambridge AR60 amp with DIN inputs. Once the corrects cables were bought it was so sweet.
That's A&R Cambridge aka Arcam?
 

notevenclose

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Most uk manufacturers have gear made in china or abroad but it is good to support them. Our brands are highly regarded throughout the world so we should be proud.
One that comes to my mind is the cambridge AR60 amp with DIN inputs. Once the corrects cables were bought it was so sweet.
That's A&R Cambridge aka Arcam?
Broadly speaking, yes. At least there is unbroken continuity there, rather than a forty year gap before the grand old brand name is retrieved from down the back of the filing cabinet.

Arcam though is now owned by the Dutch Ladies Olympic Synchronised Swimming Squad or some other organisation with an equally nebulous connection to the fine old UK tradition of engineers wearing cardigans with holes in them (soldering iron mishaps).

 

TIU

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Most uk manufacturers have gear made in china or abroad but it is good to support them. Our brands are highly regarded throughout the world so we should be proud.
One that comes to my mind is the cambridge AR60 amp with DIN inputs. Once the corrects cables were bought it was so sweet.
That's A&R Cambridge aka Arcam?
yes.

 

rabski

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I just buy parts, so my nominations are RS Online, CPC, Rapid Online and sometimes JPR Electrical. 

Obviously, these parts are sourced from several countries but so are the parts inside UK units. 
Mostly ditto (buying parts). I'd add Farnell (though their website can be a bugger to navigate) to the list of 'big boys'. Hificollective are also worth a recommendation. Not the cheapest, but they do stock all the foo a person could desire and their website shows stock levels. They're also really good to deal with. For day-to-day oddments, also Cricklewood Electronics. Again, excellent service and communications IME. Primary Windings are good for 'standard' transformers and chokes as well. I'll come back with some more later.

 

notevenclose

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Obviously, these parts are sourced from several countries but so are the parts inside UK units. 
Nonsense. Everything in a Sugden amp is made within spitting distance of the factory. Transformers, for instance, are wound by specifically-bred miniature whippets chasing a mechanical hare round a very small track, copper wire reels attached to their collars.

 
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hearhere

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ATC - fantastic service (although they have been very busy lately, so there may be delays) and great advice on the phone. Actually talked me out of buying 300ASLs in favour of the less expensive 150s, on the grounds that my really very, very large room at the time wasn't really large enough for 300s!
Certainly good service and not outrageous prices when comparing with audiophile exotica.  It's odd that they don't offer room size guidence for their speakers.  Certainly their speakers can sound very much "in-yer-face" if you choose too large.  In my previous 320 sq ft 5-sided room with 10 ft ceilings, I found the 50 Actices too uncomfortable to live with.  In my present room (975 sq ft 7'7 ceilings), I smetimes wonder what the latest 100 or more likely the 200 would sound like.

QUAD deserves a mention despite being built in China now.  They maintain their Huntington HQ and service speakers there.  As long as the UK people keep their Chinese builders on their toes regarding quality control, nothing much to fear, unless you are averse to bargain prices.  The QUAD 2912 is still a true bargain despite recent increases to £8.5K

 
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