Prospectives on Chi-Fi

Putting politics aside this is a good opinion piece and I hope puts some things in prospective.


I like Zidoo media streamers/servers but prefer Japanese products overall.

Agreed. My MIC Topping Pre90, Vincent SP-331 and Oppo 103 have been flawless for years. Build quality and reliability outstanding.

Fascinating article. Pretty much what I thought, but many interesting details. Thanks @jeffstrick. 

As far as quality goes, I remember in the 50's and 60's, especially, products 'Made In Japan' were thought of like many think of 'Made In China' today. How things change....

Post removed 

good things made in most places and cheap things made in most of the same places. the key is being able to tell them apart....before you buy them, not after.


@mr_m I would say it is both. Who is doing and How it is done. In equal parts. 


Quality is not who does it, but how it's  done.


Thanks for posting the article. Pretty much what I thought, but presented much better than I could do.

Don't get me wrong, I am disgusted by the Chinese government, but the Chinese people themselves are for the most part the same as you or I. They try to build a life for themselves and their family and shouldn't be painted with the same brush.

No groundbreaking information here.

What's funny are  the chest pounders who insist never to own,use ANY component/accessory in their setup that's MIC.

Try a acquiring something 100% MIC free.

What could be shocking to some is just how MIC'ed some of the made in USA companies brands really are.

MIC here, MIC there.. MIC as we type and stare!

For me it’s a case of Once bitten - Twice shy

Many years ago I purchsed a Raysonic SP120 integrated amp

  • looked great
  • sounded pretty good
  • Designed in Canada and fabricated in China
  • How could I go wrong.

After 6 months the tubes burned out (cheep chinese tubes?)

  • replaced the tubes with ones of better quality
    • sound improved a little
  • 6 months later the tubes went again
    • so I started digging and discovered there was a flaw in the build
    • the mains transformer was not designed for 120v
    • so the heater voltage was higher than it should have been
    • Found a technician that knew all about this amp and its warts and he fixed it for around $300
    • sounded much better,
    • but compared to a NAIM 5i it lacked in every respect
      • SO - I bought the NAIM
    • I sold the SP 120 and glad to be rid of it

BTW - I now own a Bryston B135 - because the NAIM has a rather special "design feature"

  • the power supply caps have to be replaced after 10-12 years
  • cost of that little fix $450 and takes two weeks
  • The Bryston comes with a 20 year WARRANTY
    • and they stand by it !!!

So the moral of the story - know what you are buying

There are no guarantees these days - regardless of BRAND

- Except for Bryston that is (ask me again in 15 years) 😃

Regards - Steve


Made in China is impossible to avoid in daily life and my one Chinese component, my Auralic Aries Mini streamer has been a fantastically reliable device.

Probably just like anything else, but magnified..

Some decent stuff, some horrible.

The smsl 10 was good.. until it wasn’t (heat)

The gustard r26 has been very good so far.


Made (well) in China, is well made 👍🏼

LA90 Discrete reviewed quite well as well. 


Problem is, in the Chinese economy, there is NO WAY to separate the Chinese people/manufacturers from the CCP. 

No matter how you slice it, every $ spent on MIC is a $ to the CCP. Period.

 wolfie, my sentiments exactly.  China is eating our (US) lunch and we cooperate.  I wish more Americans would wake up (not WOKE) and realize the CCP is not a friend to any off us.  I don’t buy Chinese audio products, though everything is made in China. 

Nice article. Love my Topping Pre90 and SMSL DO100. Great bang for the buck, nice build quality and incredible sonics, sota stuff. As for politics, I really don't care nowadays. It's not like capitalism is any less evil, corporations are just as eager to crush you as a Communist government. I'm quite limited financially so pricing will determine my buying habits.


+1 very well said and I would add just like we are no representation of what our corrupt, evil, criminal government has become we should not assume that the people of China are too.

Having had 2 very expensive Naim products and a very expensive iFi dac  they have been terrible with useless backup. The Chinese made, Vincent, Cambridge Audio, Denafrips and now Cayin have been excellent.

KEF makes their mid and low end speakers in China, but their Reference series and up are still made in England.

Here is Jay, a youtube reviewer, saying why he sold all his chinese dacs, another pespective:

We need to watch our own house and not points fingers to distract from that. There are 11 states that want to repeal child labor laws allowing kids as young as 14 to work and one state wants to allow 12 year olds to marry. Would you want your 15 year old daughter to serve alcohol to a bunch of perverts? These people are retrograde in the extreme, all in the name of profits. If the people who want to implement these things accumulate some real power, they’ll make the CCP look like amateurs.

All the best,

Performance: I agree with made well is made well regardless of the city/county/state/country/continent.

Geopolitical: There is a great point to be made for not funding an enemy (or potential enemy or friend of an enemy, etc.). China in particular has eroded the strength of US and ’Western’ allies manufacturing capacity with nefarious practices. ~ from what I hear & read (the impression I’m fed from US government/media). Those lower prices have high costs. Alternately, buying from allies is akin to supporting your own family.

Economic: China (and similar countries) are no different than (North/Central/South) American (and other) immigrants working in the US and sending their earnings home to their native counties - this pulls funds from and weakens the US economy. That money will likely never be returned to US circulation. They are economic leaks that should be plugged. Some call this line of thinking ’isolationist’. Those low wages have high costs - just ask the border states (CA, AZ, TX, NM).

Boils down to this - if you’re saving $ buying products from outside your home country (US or otherwise), you are weakening your country’s economic strength. Essentially taking a loan that your children (or grandchildren) will pay back later.
So it better be worth it - and leave them a nice inheritance to help when the bill comes due.

Funny how some folks only specify audio products not be made in China when there is almost certainly lots of other China made products in their house. The lame excuse of "you can't buy xxxx made in America" as if they couldn't live without that product. Whether it be a TV, microwave, electric shaver, etc, they are okay with that. Come down off your virtue signaling mountain.

If I'm going to buy a cheap product such as a trash bin, I don't care where was it made.

Made in USA can be the same problem like Made in China for people in the EU - if you have to ship across continent for a service, its almost a deal breaker (Schiit...). 

As longs there's a local service thats also good (for example, don't have good experience with Chord or iFi - they refused service just because i didn't buy from them). Also, some good local companies are hard to deal with, such as Focal, they completely ignore your emails, so you have find a dealer thats willing to help you. 

If you put political things aside, there's no reason not to buy chi-fi. 

Post removed 

The weak link in my Matrix Audio gear is the company's service/support.  It's not terrible, but I don't think it can compare to what you get from, say, Benchmark (whose products are "designed, assembled, tested, and shipped worldwide from ... headquarters in Syracuse, NY").  Furthermore, some Benchmark DACs are actually less expensive than the Matrix alternatives.  



I had Smsl Do200 as a Dac.  Designed and made in China.  A brilliant product.  Time will tell in terms of reliability.

Good article by Srajan. One of the best CD players I’ve had the pleasure to own came from China…Raysonic CD128. 16 plus years, still sounds great. 

Yes @roxy54 Not real good at typing on a iPhone . Thank god for your grammar and spellcheck here in this forum. You do that quite regularly. I love scrolling through the archives and reading up on people who post reply’s. Very telling of a person and their characteristics.

Caught my own typo…


I've always been like this, and I always get ribbed for it. Everyone expects it by now. All in good fun, and I appreciate your contributions.👍

I have had great results and have been burned. Today I trust foreign-owned companies that manufacture in China more than Chinese companies. The foreign-owned companies care more about quality control. The Chinese ones are hit or miss YMMV.

The last thing I need from Srajan is a lecture on how evil Western Civilization has been.  I know the OP said "politics aside", but Srajan made that hard to do.  I own some ChiFi, and I am happy with it, but that doesn't mean I am happy supporting a country that enslaves people, harvests organs from political prisoners, and is on the cusp of invading Taiwan and dominating the planet with it's fascist and communist economy and complete lack of liberty.  No, the West isn't perfect, but I bet there are about a billion Chinese that would like to live here.  How many in the West want to relocate to the PRC?

It would be great if I could buy a DAC made in the USA that has the same quality build and sound as my Denafrips Venus II.  Do any of you know of any?  Not sure why some focus on origin instead of product quality and sound.  I would love to know if there is another R2R DAC that is built as well and sounds as great for the same money?

The column is not about east vs west it simply states that Chinese manufacturing pervades hifi and pretty much every other industry whether you like it or not.

And queue up someone to crap on a decent thread. Good job lordmeltdown and yesiamjerkpirate


I’m not a fan of Made in China even though :

  • I’m typing this on a Dell Laptop
  • owned iPhones since 2011
  • drinking my coffee brewed on a MIC Coffee Maker
  • My Audio/Video system is 60% U.S.made while the other 40% is MIC by both choice and economics

So yes, I’m a firm supporter of Made in the U.S.A., Canada, & Mexico. But I’m not a Trumper. My own job was outsourced to China many years ago.

I don’t like anything made in China BUT......we don’t have a choice really.

Now I’ve never been to China (but that would be a cool trip though), or socialized with their people (other than friends here in the U.S. & Canada). So my perspective is probably jaded and one sided.

People here in North America buy this crap regardless of the risk involved. Did I mention that various U.S.Companies get their I.P. stolen and turned into products for sale usually for the Asian market. Knockoff Audio products just like knockoff Gucci Bags.

Lord Melton should be honored, respected, and acknowledged for bravely, boldly, and fearlessly expressing a political viewpoint with I am sure full advance knowledge that he would be insulted, ridiculed, and marginalized. Many are too weak, ignorant, or brainwashed to attempt such  a feat, yet Lord Melton would not be swayed, cowered, influenced to hide from the truth as he sees it and instead thrusts it forward for all to digest. Well done Lord MELTON DO NOT LET THE OTHERS SILENCE YOUR BRAVERY

Lord Melton should be honored, respected, and acknowledged for bravely, boldly, and fearlessly expressing a political viewpoint with I am sure full advance knowledge that he would be insulted, ridiculed, and marginalized. Many are too weak, ignorant, or brainwashed to attempt such  a feat, yet Lord Melton would not be swayed, cowered, influenced to hide from the truth as he sees it and instead thrusts it forward for all to digest. Well done Lord MELTON DO NOT LET THE OTHERS SILENCE YOUR BRAVERY

It is so unfortunate, unnecessary, and unproductive to attack Lord Melton in this way. You must be afraid of something and perhaps many things have captivated your attention so as to distract you from truth.

More to discover