Like its English soul brother, Quad, Scottish brand Linn was the epitome of British luxury-end hi-fi when I was an aspiring wee laddie. But while Quad, though still British designed, is now Chinese owned and (very well) manufactured, Linn continues to be made near Glasgow. And, as I discovered on a factory tour a few years ago, Linn’s products really are “made” – its workers still use soldering irons – rather than just assembled from imported parts.
If this suggests a retro product, fear not: Linn has always been futuristic in both its physical and electronic design. When I visited, the staff were excited about something called “wireless music streaming”, which sounded so advanced as to be unlikely; now, of course, this technology is normal. This new all-in-one system, the Kiko, is a shrine to state-of-the-art streaming. You can plug in various devices, but you won’t want to. It doesn’t use AirPlay (although it is compatible with it) but has its own system, which is a tad quirky. Make your Linn dealer set it up, though, and you’ll soon be flying. And the build quality is peerless.