Talent spotting: Great British HiFi manufacturing talent, the little guys usually ignored in the paper mags

It seems to us that small innovative British makers really don’t receive much editorial coverage in the paper magazines. It’s easy to speculate why this might be. Possibly those that are marginalised suffer because they don’t have a marketing / advertising budget. Our suspicions though are that:

  • The interests of the ‘big boys’ i.e. those with money to throw at full page adverts must be protected and so any ‘new kids on the block’ are ignored.
  • Those small companies, those who thrive without a retailer network through selling direct are disrupting the status quo and are to be starved of editorial.

So, we are going to do a bit of talent spotting. We are going to explore what is sometimes known as Fred-in-the-shed British HiFi makers, the ones with (a) seriously innovative designs and (b) products that offer great value and (c) verifiable evidence of great customer service.

Once we have found them we will offer them editorial coverage and as we are a not-for-profit organisation, they won’t be expected to pay anything, either overtly or covertly.




I am not usually surprised about anything HiFi these days. However, I received a phone call this morning shortly after I published the above text. The caller told me that as editor in chief (Hi, I'm Neil McCauley if you hadn't already realised) I had personally incurred the wrath of one of the Fred-in-shed UK makers as a consequence of my action. Somewhat ironic, I thought.

Apparently that maker felt this publication is “far to close for comfort” with EWA by giving them too much free editorial; implying we might have been bribed. Seriously?

Additionally,  that I had not given this aggrieved Company any editorial at all and that they felt marginalised. He concluded by saying “check all the UK fora” and then he rang off. I thought about this, canvassed opinion from the others and thought, why bother? And so, we didn't.

The caller named this apparently unhappy Company but without evidence we can’t be sure – so we won’t be naming and shaming.

I wondered what conclusion to draw if indeed these allegations has some tangible evidence. After a few nanoseconds I concluded that in this industry (this being the only one we know) even the most well-intentioned altruistic gesture can attract paranoia.


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