Are the English REALLY the natural leaders when it comes to sound quality?

Michael Vronsky asks editor Neil McCauley:

Neil –  is it jingoistic to believe that the English really are the natural leaders when it comes to sound quality?

That would be a tough one because as an editor I can think of countries all over the world who give anyone a run for their money. I mean the Danes, the Americans, the Japanese of course, the Germans, possibly even the French. I think we did start it; I believe that we were one of the first countries to take reproduction of music very seriously. A long long time ago when I was very young. My life in this industry goes back a very long time now, to a point by the way where there were only three shops selling hifi equipment in the whole of London.