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rmeyer52
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Japanese components vs. American. British

The more I listen to my Arcam Solo the more I am growing to love it. The warmth and head room are what really impress me the most. As I explore the world of hi end hi-fi I have found that most, if not all, of the best products come from right here in the U.S.. I am not surprised at all but in talking with some friends who also have hi end systems I have found that none of them have any Japanese made products. In fact most say that they tend to be "confined and tinny" when it compares to products from elsewhere.

How would you classify componenets from Britain and the US?

It is a different sound than Japanese products...

MUDSHARK
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

To be fair, most Japanese products are made in China. Also, most of Japan's products are geared to the mid-level Home Theatre and house wide applications where value is a primary prerequisite. Here, or course, it is all about the music with HT a secondary (probably very secondary) consideration. In some defence of Japan, HT has probably saved the audio industry from oblivion in this digital age.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

Tell you what, Rich, you come up with a $3,000 CD/SACD player that beats my Japanese Marantz SA11S1 and that is made in Great Britain or the US, and I'll audition it. Like Bob Harley, I think that Marantz is about as good as it gets for the money.

My previous CD player was Musical Fidelity - a pretty well respected British make and the Marantz beats it hands down. I still have the Musical Fidelity (which has been in the shop twice in four years for transport problems) but it sits here in the library and plays its tunes through an MF headphone amp and a pair of Sennheiser 600's. It lost out in terms of main system use.

The notion, while "buy America" seems attractive to me, that one can use country of origin as an index for selecting audio components is silly. What are you buying? France and Italy offer some very good speakers at all price levels. England does too. Italy offers some great valve amplification. Some Chinese tube electronics are very good and generally cost less than competive stuff from the good old USA. Over the years, I've owned lots of stuff from lots of places.

You want a rule of thumb? Go listen to everything you can afford. Ignore where it comes from. Let your ears, not the country of origin make the decision. Make your final decision in your own home over an extended period.

Monty
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

I just did a quick, mental run-down of my system components with regard to country of origin.

USA, Japan, England, Canada, China, Russia, Germany.

bifcake
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

I think that Benny Hill said it best: "Englishmen make the best lovers. Japanese make them smaller and cheaper".

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

That is why my best equipment is vintage mint Japanese.

Sansui SP2500 loudspeakers (4)
Sony CDP-XE400 CD player (workhorse)
Akai GX-4000D open reel tape deck
Hitachi (Realistic) LAB 440 turntable

After that comes the Harman Kardon HK3380 receiver.

After that comes the Kenwood KX W6070 cassette deck.

The select older Japanese equipment is good sh*t. five or ten cents on the dollar for today's other equipment for comparable quality.

You don't have to be rich to get good equipment. You can be rich and not spend a ton of money on bullsh*t as well.

BTW, outside of the editors there are only a few people on this community that have any real business with true "high end" equipment no matter where it is manufactured, designed, and so forth. Everybody else just buys the sh*t because they can and wouldn't be caught dead with anything less. It's morons like these that keep the industry alive and well. So, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from calling them morons.

rmeyer52
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

Quite a response. When I worked at Sony during the 90's I made several trips over to Japan to meet with new product planning. I got to know one of the engineers who helped developed the standards for CD Audio and we soon became good friends (he loves jazz). When he visited me in New York he spent some time at my house listening to my system of the time which consisted of B&W Series 3 speakers, Sony ES TA-77 Amp and an ES series high end CD player. As we started to discuss the aspects of hi-fi he mentioned that Japanese integrated amps were def built for "more confined spaces". He then took my CD player and modified the D/A converter to which I found was now producing a "warmer" sound.

When I last talked to him 4 years ago he had a Levinson set up with B&W speakers. He said he loved the sound and had tried to emulate this with future stereo design in Japan but the high-end market was not a target for them.

Over the years I have had several "high-end" Japanese integrated amplifiers such as Denon and Pioneer Elite but frankly I have found that the Arcam blows them all away. Now of course I am not saying that ALL Japanese components stink but when it comes to amplifers (maybe I should have made this clear in my first post) I think you can def hear the difference between Japanese components and American and British components.

My dream system right now is a Rowland Integrated amplifiew ($6000) and the Marantz SA-11S Reference CD Player ($3500). My ears ultimatley will guide me however not the country of origin, ohh and of course my bank account !

ohfourohnine
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

Good choice on the CD Player, Rich. Don't get the idea that I spurn US Made products, however. Products with brand names like Shure, Kimber, Apple, Hershey, and Smith and Wesson are common in our household.

Costin
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British

Rich M: take a listen to an Accuphase A-60 class A amp...
then come back and tell us more about the "confined" sound of Japanese amps

rmeyer52
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Re: Japanese components vs. American. British


Quote:
Rich M: take a listen to an Accuphase A-60 class A amp...
then come back and tell us more about the "confined" sound of Japanese amps

I have listened to this product but to me it just does not compare to a Levinson or Rowland. It's all subjective however and as long as you believe it is best for the buck than that is all that counts.

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