Grand design: Ruark Audio unveils limited artisan edition R5 music system 

The Ruark Audio R5 MiE features artisan build quality with a wooden slat fascia

British audio specialist Ruark Audio has taken the wraps off a new iteration of its popular R5 music system, the R5 MiE, the first of a new design-led collection.

The company’s Made in England (MiE) project will see it collaborate with some of the UK’s most celebrated craftspeople, to offer a premium level of finish to its sound system designs.

The MiE initiative will spotlight bespoke components, hand built using traditional techniques. Adopting an artisan approach to manufacture, each model will reportedly use only the finest FSC-approved timbers, veneers and materials.

The various elements that comprise the cabinet of the R5 MiE have been painstakingly made in a Suffolk workshop, and hand-assembled at Ruark’s Southend on Sea HQ.

A slatted wooden grille is the central design element of this Limited Edition R5. Handcrafted from multiple layers of walnut bonded to a black substrate, the tolerances on this need to be exact says the company, so the slats surrounding the display assembly line up perfectly.

The veneers are man-made in Italy from commercially grown sustainable woods. By cutting, colouring and recomposing, the resulting veneers closely mimic protected rare woods such as Rosewood. With multiple layers of lacquer applied with hand sanding between coats, the result is a lustre that speaks of a premium finish.

This special edition has a limited production run of just 35 units,  the brand anticipates that R5 MiE will sell quickly. Ruark Audio says it expects its Project MiE products to become increasingly sought after. 

The MiE initiative will spotlight bespoke components, hand built using traditional techniques…

The control disc and CD tray of the R5 MiE edition
The R5 MiE features high-end veneers sourced from Italy

The R5 is a cross-platform music system, combining Wi-Fi streaming and CD playback. The system supports aptX HD Bluetooth, and has DAB/FM and Internet radio tuners. Connections include USB for playback and a dedicated turntable input.

When it comes to audio performance, this Ruark follows its Limited Edition R5 Signature model, with optimised signal paths, high purity oxygen free speaker cables and proprietary STEREO+ sound processing are the order of the day.

The R5 MiE will sell for £2,000, and will be available exclusively through John Lewis from November.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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