What country builds the best audio equipment?


I remember not so long ago when audio equipment was mainly a home grown product with the exception of Japan here in the U.S. Today it’s a global market with competition from every corner of the world. I use to think here in the U.S was were the best equipment was being built, but now I’m not sure.
Built quality and performance seems to be lacking a little here in the states with few exceptions compared to what’s being produced over seas and up to the north. So what country is the best equipment coming from? Maybe it’s still the U.S, but if pure aesthetics says anything I would say not.
As for Sonics tough to call, maybe still here in the U.S? 
hiendmmoe
The ol "best" question.
Should be interesting to read what is "best"
What does "best" even mean?
Best --

Subjective sound quality (or objective/measured sound quality if you’re that type).

Reliability.


Ease of use coupled with the ability to cohabit/grow with the changes you’ll inevitably make with the rest of your system.
Not sure it matters much. As long as robust manufacturing is involved, the end result really comes down to the engineer or engineering team.
In my system I have a power amp from Italy (Aloia), preamp from Scotland (Linn), phono preamp from the UK (Whest), conditioners from Japan (Acoustic Revive), transformer from USA (ExactPower), Sub from Canada (REL), speakers from USA (Wilson), DAC from USA (Audio Alchemy), transport from USA (Woo Audio), turntable from my basement (USA), power cables & interconnects from the Netherlands (Siltech), Japan (Acoustic Revive), USA (Jena Labs, JPS Labs, Cardas). It’s like the United Nations of stereo equipment, except they get along well with each other.
What country is free from corona?......we all all humans. Are countries even real?  Have you ever stood on a border?  It is just a piece of earth.  We don't own any of this.  In our oneness there is just us.....just Love.

Excellence and craftsmanship and beauty is where you find it....it can be from anywhere.  It is all inside us all.....we are all beautiful....spread the joy and love everywhere.....needed these days especially.....but ALL WAYS needed.
No country has the monopoly on the best quality equipment.
I’m a huge fan of MBL from the Germans but love Accuphase from our Japanese friends as well. I have a pair of Soltanus Acoustics Virtuoso ESL’s from Serbia and they are amazing! I think most countries have certain components that would be best in many systems. 
Best transistor equipment is in most cases European. Best tube equipment is made in quite a few countries, same with speakers. Turntables. I prefer British within reasonable price range, above that can be almost anywhere.
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If it ain't wooded, it ain't country.
random products and sources.

reel to reel tape decks---Swiss---Studer, Ampex--USA
turntables----Rockport--USA, Garrard---UK, Thorens----Germany, Micro Seiki----Japan......everywhere.
Electronics----darTZeel, CH Precision, Soulution--Swiss, Lamm---USA, Kondo---Japan, Ypsilon---Greece----everywhere
speakers-----Wilson, Magico---USA, Quad-----UK, Focal-----France, MBL-----Germany-----everywhere.
digital-----MSB---USA, dCS----UK, Lampi---Poland, Totaldac----France........everywhere.

in my own system the dominant source countries are Switzerland (Studer, darTZeel, Table Stable active anti-resonance), USA (Evolution Acoustics, Wave Kinetics tt, Saskia tt, Durand tonearm, King-Cello, Tripoint grounding), Japan (CS Port, Etsuro Gold cartridge, Miyajima Labs cartridge), Germany (Clearaudio cartridge).

passionate, music loving smart people are everywhere.

if we were to look at the per capita output of fine audio gear and the culture to support it.......Switzerland likely would score the highest. they are obviously really craftsman with their culture of the watch industry, have a high tech culture, lots of academic support, and their government really supports small businesses of the type to build audio gear. there are also lots of technical and metallurgy infrastructure that small electronics companies require to output product.
Germany - EMT turntables (models 927, 930, 950, 948). Klangfilm - speakers and amplifiers
USA - Altec, JBL, Klipsch speakers. Marantz, McIntosh amplifiers, pre-amplifiers.
UK - Quad, Tannoy, Lowther, Herbath, Spendors speakers. Quad, Leak - amplifiers.
Japan - Kondo, Shindo
Transylvania.  Be careful though, their stuff is so good it'll suck the life out of you.
Well our stuff is the best, so the USA :)

Seriously though no-one seems to know what 'best' is when it comes to audio as there are too many variables. I really do think our stuff is the best, but that comes with a caveat- our amps are best on speakers on which they are comfortable. Other amps can drive a wider range of speakers, especially those of lower impedance and to some people that is far more important and I will argue that on such speakers those amps will work better than ours.


Now I also like balanced operation because its the best. But there is a standard to balanced operation and many high end manufacturers don't observe the standard. So there is a lot of variability to balanced operation; some manufacturers will tell you single-ended sounds better, and I really do think they think they aren't lying about that.


The bottom line here could be boiled down to 'there is no best' but that leaves out a lot of detail; the story is far richer than that!
Well, let's see...
Best wire- Synergistic Research, made in California.
Best amps- Raven Audio, made in Texas.
Best speakers- Tekton, made in Utah.
Best cartridges- Soundsmith, made in New York.
Best acoustic tweaks- Synergistic Research, CA.
Best electric tweaks- Krissy, made in NH.
Top contenders for turntables, tone arms- Graham, VPI.
Best digital- Ha! Fooled ya! No such thing!

The USA has been the best for quite some time now. A situation only bound to become ever more obvious over time as the weakness of reliance on global supply chains worsens.  

None of it is the best, because it's not precisely tuned to your two individual ears.
Who can say??USA in the lead though with Germany and England.
Funny question deserves a funny answer.  England, followed by Great Britain, and then London.  Germany was really good but got bombed out of existence in the marketplace some time ago.  

On a serious note, it's not the country but the gifted individuals in the company that overcome hurdles,  cash flow issues, red tape, parts shortages and moody geniuses to give birth to their creations in spite of it all.  
England, Great Britain, London. When only the finest British crapsmanship will do.
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I'd say based on Neutrik its got to be Liechtenstein.
@boxer12 sums it best....a well rounded system is nothing but United Nations of stereo equipments. The concept of ‘best’ is quite subjective in our pursuit of audio nirvana.

IMHO, one of the best DAC’s in the world comes from Canada.
Maybe they should have an audio Olympics (event) at one of the next shows.
Each country could enter system that made up of only equipment from their respective 
countries. Now wouldn't that be interesting. 
Japanese speakers, anyone?
The Best can be seen from different positions:
In general (with the usual exception from one or the other)

Best Sounding gear: USA
Best Quality gear: Japan
Best good for nothing gear: Germany
Best Religion gear: Great Britain
Best Religion gear: Great Britain?

Well at least I’m saved on both ends in my system...
Origin Live TT and tonearms (GB) > VAC pre (USA) > Ayer amp (USA) > Spendor Speakers(GB)

Some USA assembled cables make it all work.
Why has no one mentioned China yet?
Audio equipment. Not viruses.
Funny you should say that miller your hot mess of a system has enough chinese equipment we should call it the millervirus.
Sorta like asking what’s the best flavor of Ice cream 
impossible to answer.... No one country dominates.
Maybe a better question could be who makes the best components ?
Anyone can put together an amp once you have the components.

UK: Exicon audio transistors
Caps: Nichicon ? Is it still Japan ?
very lo noise preamp transistors: who knows... maybe still Japan
The famous Toshiba 2SC series but now discontinued power transistors: Japan

etc..etc...

I guess it would have to be Japan with Denmark trailing when it comes to "audio per capita".
Impossible answer, ,Japan great SET Amps ,Switzerland  Dartzeel
Goldman, Denmark several great companies such as Gryphon as well as main driver maker.. Germany. MBL .The USA has greats 
as Pass labs , Audio Research just to name a small % .
that-is  just electronics  China - NOT.
This strikes me as an imbecilic question - with my apologies to the OP. But seriously?
The UK, Scotland to be specific...Tannoy, Sugden, & Linn Sondek.....
Someone on this thread mentioned Accuphase.  I had a serious stack of that product and totally regret that I sold it to my nephew about 25 years ago.  I replaced it with Adcom.  Good stuff, but not like my Accuphase.  Anyway, there is a lot of great product from so many countries.  It's all about being satisfied with your gear.  I now have Balanced Audio Technology (USA); outstanding build quality and sound quality.  Manley Chinook phono stage; built in Southern California.  What imaging that unit produces.  VPI turntable; also built in USA.  Lyra phono cartridge; designed in USA and built in Japan; the best sounding cartridge I have ever owned.  Upper end Audioquest for signal cables, AC cables, and AC line conditioner; USA product, also designed and built right here in Southern California.  I guess I have a lot of USA product after all.  That's a good thing, but not necessary.  Again, great product comes from many parts of the world.  Everyone, enjoy your gear.  After all, that's why we love it so dearly.
The good old USA. McIntosh, VPI, analysis plus, Wilson, krell, Conrad Johnson, etc etc etc!
^^^Thanks for sharing the link...very cool site. You can pick a gear category and it will list all the manufacturers.
Is this akin to a total medal count at the Olympics?  While there may be an overall medal winner, if one's interest is particularized (like being interested in gymnastics, but not swimming), the answer might be quite different.  In music systems, I like high efficiency speakers that sound good at low volume and amplification that matches such speakers (low-powered tube gear).  In any event, I won't try to pick one winner.  My own gear comes from a fairly wide span of countries:

Turntable/tonearm/motor controller: Basis Audio (USA)
Cartridge: Transfiguration and Lyra (Japan)
Phonostage: Viva (Italy)
Music Server/ripper: Naim (UK)
Linestage: custom-built in Italy using vintage USA parts
Amplifier: custom-built in Italy using vintage USA parts
Speakers:  Strumenti Acustici Precisione (Italy), with Western Electric compression midrange driver and horn (USA)
Cabling: XLO (USA), Basis (USA) Audio Note (UK)
Power conditioners: Isotek (UK)
Interesting experiment, hiendmmoe.

Astonishing how some people take pride in the accomplishments of others, isn't it? But a few thoughtful responses too, like Atmasphere's. 

Interesting that only CAKYOL has posted about the things that go into commercial products: transistors (Japan: Toshiba, Sanken; USA: Analog Devices, That), resistors (France: Vishay), caps (USSR: military vacuum caps; USA: Jennings; Denmark: Duelund), inductors and transformers (Canada: Plitron). IMO

Cakyol, I would say small signal would have to be US: MAT aerospace stuff from AD, and elegant matched quads on a single wafer from That.
If it’s the most companies/products it is the USA. And it would win for the most excellent companies. If it is the most consistently great products, it would have to be Switzerland. Japan and Germany would probably tie for second. However Germany would probably be the winner of the consistently great quality electronics and speakers.
Oh, forgot to mention the UK! And decades of BBC standards...
In a way, British gear companies are up there with Germany. Maybe a notch down in ultimate quality than Germany. But historically up there in great companies with the US.
As for those who are bad-mouthing China, my experience is otherwise. I have some very good, highly cost-effective stuff which came from joint ventures, like Epcos/TDK caps, Quad ESL speakers (my first failures are coming at the 14 year mark).

I am told that the highest precision manufacturing is done in Germany and China. Of course, lots of toy pandas from China too, if that's your taste.
Much of what caused to post this thread is the amount equipment I’ve seen from other countries besides the U.S. The sheer amount is astonishing and build quality is always beyond belief; visually at least. I must admit, I’ve not heard most of this equipment and only have seen it from the outside, but if that’s any indication of the quality inside and sonically they get my vote.
I am with @mjcmt on this
No country has the monopoly on the best quality equipment.