Celebrating 60 Years With Audio-Technica

Elizabeth Dale

Established in 1962 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, by Hideo Matsushita, the NAMM Member celebrated its 60th anniversary in producing high-quality audio for everyone.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Matsushita first felt the draw of providing high-quality audio experiences to people as he hosted LP listening concerts while working as the curator for the Tokyo Bridgestone Museum of Art. Moved by the audiences’ reactions as they experienced vinyl recordings played on high-quality audio equipment, Matsushita desired to bring this experience to the masses but became frustrated with the high cost of high-fidelity listening equipment.

Kazuo Matsushita

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By 1962, Audio-Technica released its first phonograph cartridge, the AT-1, quickly followed by the AT-3 MM stereo phono cartridge. The success of these two cartridges allowed the company to expand into other fields. By 1965, the factory relocated to its current address in Naruse, Machida, Tokyo. The manufacturer began exporting its cartridges worldwide four years later and launched its first microcassette recorder. Keeping with Matsushita’s original passion for superior audio, Audio-Technica continued to innovate in this space. In 1968, it developed RCA cables with high-purity copper utilizing the continuous metal casting process invented by Atsumi Ohno.

The phono cartridge business continued to prosper, allowing Audio-Technica the opportunity to establish a US facility in Fairlawn, Ohio. By 1974, the company developed its first set of headphones, the AT-700 series, with the AT-800 following four years later.

As innovation in music recordings transformed into digital music formats, Audio-Tehnica faced the threat of obsoletion of its main product line, the phono cartridges. To remain a top contender in the industry, it began a period of product diversification in which employee suggestions were encouraged, netting one of its most intriguing products, sushi machines. While most don’t associate Audio-Technica with sushi machines, the premier audio equipment manufacturer remains one of the world’s largest manufacturers of sushi machines.

Moving into the 1990s, the NAMM Member began to introduce its line of condenser microphones for studio use, and in 2012 it debuted its AT-LP1240-USB USB DJ Turntable and ATH-CKS55i. Today, the company is under the leadership of the President and son of Matsushita, Mr. Kazuo Matsushita.

The list of accolades and uses for Audio-Technica’s products is astonishing. The manufacturer earned a CES Innovation Honoree Award (2017) for its Pure Digital Drive Wireless Headphone; supplied headphones and microphones to both the Summer (1996-present) and Winter (2002-present) Olympic Games and The GRAMMY Awards (1998-2013); and has earned multiple distinctions at The NAMM TEC Awards for its products.

For more information from Audio-Technica, please visit https://www.audio-technica.com/.