It's undeniable that Hifi equipment from Topping, SMSL, Sabaj, Aiyama etc. are very popular here in ASR. The interests seem huge, but I wonder what's the consensus, are they actually popular or just we are led to believe?
I agree and for that reason I feel this thread is a bit off...
You're actively labelling all products manufactured in China as having "poor design" and a "busted-ass aesthetic". Good job dude.Chinese original manufacture still has that "seat-of-the-pants", "busted-ass" aesthetic, pioneered by the UK HiFi industry and refined over a few generations, poor design and an overall DIY look to it. It's getting better. But it isn't even remotely close to the Japanese in the early 1970s in the physical regard. It's horribly cheap on the inside. They think an anodized CNCd aluminium case equals a lifetime of reliability. It doesn't.
I can pull out an amplifier made in the 1970s...
I've always wondered what the Accuphase and McIntosh clones are like...They do not do, pride in ownership, reliability and longevity yet.
The low cost Chinese HiFi is definitely enabling audiophiles to experiment with relatively cheap and cheerful little boxes that offer a fair bit of bang for the buck. I see it as entry-level stuff to get (mostly) young guys into 2ch audio- and that's not a bad thing. It's not even a step over the DIY (amplifier) kits we used to buy and build in the 1980s.
Nobody in the mainstream market takes this stuff seriously, except perhaps for people who want it to be be more than it is.
I have had a few little Chinese manufactured boxes, mainly bought for a bit of fun but quickly given away or just stuck in a drawer.
I still use my NAD 3155 amp I bought new in 1985. The jacks are a little loose in back, but the sound is still there.
Looking at your poll results it seems Chinese equipment is well regarded.It's undeniable that Hifi equipment from Topping, SMSL, Sabaj, Aiyama etc. are very popular here in ASR. The interests seem huge, but I wonder what's the consensus, are they actually popular or just we are led to believe?
Can we stop talking about "Chinese" or "Japanse" or "Western" products as a whole. Its perpetuates an image that is clearly wrong. Have any of you seen what kind of absolute garbage has been produced by some massive mainstream brands in the past couple of years. Products with issues that can't even be fixed with firmware updates because they made such a mess of it. Lets focus on the brands themselves and not where they are designed or made.
I only have one DAC with a Chinese brand - my Topping D10S. But my five bits of MiniDSP kit are designed in Honk Kong, though made in Shenzen I think. I think all my newer speakers are made in China though - despite being European brands. My iPads are made in China.exactly. The idea that there's some massive quality gulf between Chinese stuff and stuff produced elsewhere on the planet is laughable. The reality is that the non-Chinese products are often no better built, and still cost 5 times as much.