Audio-Technica was founded in 1962 by Hideo Matsushita, whose goal was to make high-quality audio available to everyone. He had previously hosted LP listening concerts, which involved playing vinyl records on high quality audio equipment for people to see what it was like. During this time, Matsushita noticed that many people had been previously unable to experience high-quality listening as it was too expensive, and he decided to change this. Soon after the beginning of the company, Matshushita created the first genuinely affordable phono cartridge in a small flat in Tokyo.
As a company, Audio-Technica has always had a strong passion for listening. From their humble beginnings, they have evolved hugely and designed critically acclaimed headphones, turntables and microphones, while still remaining a family business that firmly holds the belief that high-quality audio should be accessible to everyone. In their almost six decades of manufacturing, they are the only turntable manufacturer to have never stopped producing turntables, demonstrating their dedication to the world of HiFi.
My first memorable experience with an Audio Technica product was with the ATH-MSR7 active noise cancelling HiFi headphones, which I remember receiving as a gift for my 14th birthday. Back then I can mostly remember being struck by the dramatic increase in sound quality from my generic Apple EarPods, so these headphones might well have been my HiFi ‘awakening’. Sadly the headphones are now discontinued, but have been replaced with the improved ATH-ANC900BTs. Their non-active noise cancelling siblings, the ATH-MSR7s are still available though, and in a lovely tan leather colour. Since then however, I have continued to use Audio Technica headphones as my go to listening device, namely the gorgeous ATH-W1000Zs which are also now sadly discontinued, replaced by the WP900s, using a streaming service on my laptop as the source and the Parasound Zamp V3 to really open up the music. In a household that has seen as much HiFi as ours has, I think it is a testament to the quality and ease of use of the Audio Technica headphones that I have not switched to a larger speaker based system.
Throughout Expressive Audio’s Chichester years, I believe the Audio Technica LP5 direct drive turntable was our best selling turntable, if not product full stop (by number sold), and I am confident going into this new era of Expressive Audio that the updated LP5X will continue to sell and offer many people a gateway into the world of analogue reproduction.
Our founder, Stephen, is also a huge advocate of Audio Technica cartridges. When circumstances meant running a turntable was no longer practical, and he sold his LP12, he sold with it his beloved Wilson Benesch cartridge, and when he once again returned to running an analogue system, he called Craig at Wilson Benesch, and asked his advice - it was an unequivocal recommendation for Audio Technica. Having listened to and installed countless cartridges they’re still a firm favourite.
Ever since the beginning of Expressive Audio, Audio-Technica has been one of our main brands, as we understand the value of a family business, and share their idea that the experience of high-quality audio should be available to everyone. We are greatly looking forward to when we will be able to share their products with you in our new showroom.