Author Topic: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend  (Read 2824 times)

Wowbagger

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Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« on: November 22, 2017, 10:23:43 am »
http://www.ruarkaudio.com/

Has anyone any experience of this company's products? It is produced in a factory less than a mile from my house and is being pushed quite hard by John Lewis/Waitrose. I had no desire for any at present, but it is quite a refreshing change to find a high quality (or at least expensive) product that, so far as I can tell, is genuinely locally manufactured.
Homo sapiens - a creature so intelligent it knowingly sowed the seeds of its own destruction and did nothing about it.

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 11:23:09 am »
I've got the MR1 Active Speakers.  I wanted straight stereo sound in a small package for my TV without the changes to the soundscape enforced by home cinema or a soundbar.

Mostly happy, certainly no problems.  Quality of build and electronics seems pretty good.

Apparently the MK 2s have better bluetooth handling.

robgul

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Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 02:29:50 pm »
At a tangent : Southend has some form with audio stuff - E K Cole (as in EKCO Radio etc) was based in Southend or if my memory serves me correctly more precisely on the A127 just before Rochford?

Rob

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 03:11:46 pm »
http://www.ruarkaudio.com/

Has anyone any experience of this company's products? It is produced in a factory less than a mile from my house and is being pushed quite hard by John Lewis/Waitrose. I had no desire for any at present, but it is quite a refreshing change to find a high quality (or at least expensive) product that, so far as I can tell, is genuinely locally manufactured.

On their website, they only say UK designed, and there's no info on where or who makes their products.

https://www.whathifi.com/ruark-audio/mr1-mk2/review
the back of the speaker says "made in China".

I think it's safe to say there's no factory in Southend and manufacturing is outsourced.

Rega is another audio company in Southend or just outside Southend.

Riggers

  • Mine's a pipe, er… pint!
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 03:35:55 pm »
I have the Ruark mk2 (in the kitchen) and a Rega amp upstairs. Hope that helps.

Very happy with them both.
Certainly never seen cycling south of Sussex

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 03:10:37 pm »
At a tangent : Southend has some form with audio stuff - E K Cole (as in EKCO Radio etc) was based in Southend or if my memory serves me correctly more precisely on the A127 just before Rochford?

Rob

It was an Art Deco building opposite Priory Park. The site is currently having houses built on it after many years of having been flattened. There were some fascinating war-time underground shelters there which I visited over 15 years ago when we were campaigning to stop the council from "dualling" Priory Crescent. I'm pretty sure they were listed but that didn't count for anything once the developer moved in. It's the local authority who administer the scheme and Southend BC never do anything to stand in the way of big business.
Homo sapiens - a creature so intelligent it knowingly sowed the seeds of its own destruction and did nothing about it.

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 10:29:17 pm »
Rega Research design & make turntables, CD players, amplifiers & speakers at their Southend plant.   Quite highly regarded.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-UhuMuVJG8


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7elN5KCPvU



Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
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Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 10:32:39 pm »
My wife is from Southend and she doesn't even have a volume control.

I, however, do have a Seventies Comedian Mode.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 10:44:18 pm »
My wife is from Southend and she doesn't even have a volume control.

I, however, do have a Seventies Comedian Mode.


I thought of you earlier...... I've just escaped from a "360 degree" process improvement workshop and the guy running it actually used the term "thought leader".....  :-D
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 10:50:57 pm »
Pah, there's thought leaders and there's Tidy Haired Thought Leaders™. Did he explain complex concepts with an otter stuffed toy, a crudely drawn kitten on a whiteboard, and a boxed Double Impact DVD? If not, he wasn't me.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 09:13:23 am »
Pah, there's thought leaders and there's Tidy Haired Thought Leaders™. Did he explain complex concepts with an otter stuffed toy, a crudely drawn kitten on a whiteboard, and a boxed Double Impact DVD? If not, he wasn't me.

Homemade cardboard props are the mark of a true thought leader.

PowerPoint that of the thought follower

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2017, 12:28:23 pm »
The East of England in general was home to a large part of the British high-end audio industry. As well as Rega and Ruark in Southend, there was Arcam (formerly A&R Cambridge) near Cambridge, Celestion in Ipswich, and Audiolab, Meridian, Quad and Mission in Huntingdon. All of those companies are still in existence but Celestion no longer makes high-end audio products.
Pen Pusher

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 12:40:41 pm »
but Celestion no longer makes high-end audio products.

Yes it does just not for home stereo. They make some of the most respected and used guitar amp speakers in the world.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 02:19:41 pm »
but Celestion no longer makes high-end audio products.

Yes it does just not for home stereo. They make some of the most respected and used guitar amp speakers in the world.

I meant high-end home audio. This stopped in the late 90s (a little after I left the company). But you are correct: their guitar speakers are the best you can get :thumbsup:. The premium ranges are still made in the UK as well in their factory just outside Ipswich.
Pen Pusher

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 06:11:06 pm »
I’ve an R2. Not as good as a true stereo of course, but pretty good compromise with limited space. Better at higher volumes.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2017, 06:59:51 pm »
The East of England in general was home to a large part of the British high-end audio industry. As well as Rega and Ruark in Southend, there was Arcam (formerly A&R Cambridge) near Cambridge, Celestion in Ipswich, and Audiolab, Meridian, Quad and Mission in Huntingdon. All of those companies are still in existence but Celestion no longer makes high-end audio products.

It seems Audiolab, Quad, Mission, Wharfedale are now brand names owned by International Audio Group Ltd (IAG), who makes all their products in one factory in China.

https://www.whathifi.com/news/china-behind-scenes-iag

IAG also owns the Ekco brand name,
http://www.ekcoaudio.com/history
Quote
2005 - International Audio Group Ltd. (IAG) acquired the trademark EKCO and it was added to it's portfolio of British and Japanese consumer audio brands including Wharfedale, Audiolab, Quad, Mission and Luxman to name but a few.


road-runner

  • is in Slovakia.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 08:27:19 am »
... Celestion ... in the late 90s (a little after I left the company).

I didn't know you worked for Celestion; I do now. Still centrepiece in my home studio are the Celestion Ditton 25s I bought when I was 18, some 41 years ago. I still love their sound.

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2017, 10:27:56 am »
Linn still make their own stuff in Scotland.

Mine, bought c.20 years ago, are still good.
Sic transit and all that..

frankly frankie

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Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 11:32:58 am »
Still centrepiece in my home studio are the Celestion Ditton 25s I bought when I was 18, some 41 years ago. I still love their sound.

Yes I had a pair of 25s back in the mid-'70s.  Probably the best speakers I ever had.  I replaced them with Celestion 66s - bigger but decidedly not better - replaced those in short order with Cambridge R50s which I kept for 35 years until the ageing KEF woofers got too high-maintenance.  They went to the tip.  Now I have a pair of tall B&W speakers which are not a patch on any of the above.   :(
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 04:57:51 pm »
I've had several sets of celestion loudspeakers. I quite like them. A short history of celestion here

http://www.bygonetones.com/the-history-of-celestion.html

cheers

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2017, 04:59:41 pm »
I think there might still be an Amstrad establishment in Shoeburyness. That's not low end, that's arse-end.
Homo sapiens - a creature so intelligent it knowingly sowed the seeds of its own destruction and did nothing about it.

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 10:35:26 pm »
When I told my son that the SL6's were going to have to go because of the extension that we were going to have built he was very upset, until I asked him if he would like them.
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

road-runner

  • is in Slovakia.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2017, 07:39:48 am »
Thanks, Brucey, that is a lovely history to read, a pity about the numerous buyouts in tough times.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2017, 12:05:49 pm »
Thanks, Brucey, that is a lovely history to read, a pity about the numerous buyouts in tough times.

Indeed it is. However, I think it's misleading regarding the buyouts though. The first, given as taking place in the 1970s, was due to Danny Prenn's diversification into clothing and I think it's simply Rola Celestion Ltd being absorbed into Celestion Industries plc rather than a buyout. The clothing businesses went up and down but the audio division was always strong. Later, in the early 90s, Mr Prenn's son led the sale of the entire company to a venture capital group that wanted to invest in the clothing side so the audio division was put up for sale as a profitable going concern. We knew something was up when the Gold Peak people came back for a second visit. Cue KEF going bust and GP had enough critical mass to form a UK-based high-end audio company - KH Industries - backed with manufacturing operations in China.

Unfortunately the people that GP brought in to look after domestic audio made a right arse of it so it's no longer a credible brand in that market sector (whereas KEF, for example, is).

Also, Celestion is no longer based at the Foxhall Road site. Houses occupy the site now (Celestion Drive) and everything moved to a new site just outside the town.
Pen Pusher

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Expensive audio kit made in Saarfend
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2017, 12:20:33 pm »
It seems Audiolab, Quad, Mission, Wharfedale are now brand names owned by International Audio Group Ltd (IAG), who makes all their products in one factory in China.

Aye, Mission bought Wharfedale (in a reverse takeover to become Verity Group) and later Quad. Verity Group changed its name to NXT plc. It sold Wharfedale and Quad to (newly formed?) IAG and Mission was bought by its management. NXT plc (a technology R&D and licensing company) eventually ran out of cash in the late noughties and disappeared. I guess that IAG must have bought Mission/Cyrus some time after that.

Audiolab was bought by Tag Mclaren in the mid 90s but when Tag realised they were getting nowhere with their overpriced carbon-fibre clad offerings they shut down. After this I assume Audiolab was just a brand that was also snapped up by IAG.
Pen Pusher