Audio-Technica new product launch at the 2023 Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show
Audio-Technica unveiled the first system of the "Narukami" series at the 2023 Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show. The series, which introduced by President Kazuo Matsushita, represents a significant breakthrough for Audio-Technica in the field of analog audio, which will bring users a more delicate music experience.
During his speech, President Matsushita expressed gratitude to the guests for joining the "Kagami-biraki Ceremony" prior to the Audio-Technica exhibition. He highlighted that 61 years ago, Audio-Technica embarked on its journey in analog audio by producing the first product, the "AT-1 Cartridge."
Today, the "Narukami" series marks another important milestone for Audio-Technica in its dedication to developing high-quality, durable, and valuable analog audio products. President Matsushita thanked all the clients who have consistently supported Audio-Technica and expressed hope for their continued support in the future.
The Kagami-biraki Ceremony began. Pictured from left to right, they are Hiroshi Takeichi (General Manager of Engineering Administrative), Ryuji Haraguchi (General Manager of International Division), Kazuo Matsushita (President of Audio-Technica Corporation), Kotaro Narihara (General Manager of Audio-Technica Corporation), and Koichi Irii (Design Engineer of the HPA-KG NARU product), along with guests at the opening of NARUKAMI launch.
Audio-Technica unveils the NARUKAMI series: HPA-KG NARU headphone amplifier/pre-amplifier, which uses the rare Japanese KUROGAKI wood as the exterior, showing the Japanese style and exquisite craftsmanship.
Additionally, Audio-Technica also exhibited the “AW-KG NARU” headphones at the AV show. Its housings are also made from KUROGAKI, to enhance sound quality when paired with the HPA-KG NARU headphones amplifier. During the 3-day exhibition, NARUKAMI captivated numerous audiophiles to make appointments for listening sessions.
The interior of the A-T booth presents a Japanese-style atmosphere and displays the parts and materials of HPA-KG NARU amplifier/preamplifier, allowing guests to closely look at details and features.
KUROGAKI means "black persimmon" in Japanese. It is not the name of a specific tree species. It refers to the persimmon wood that exhibits black patterns internally. The reason behind the appearance of these black patterns remains elusive to this day, as they can only be found in ancient trees that are over a hundred years old. Furthermore. even intentionally cultivating them yields a very low probability of encountering KUROGAKI, making it an incredibly rare and mysterious wood to obtain. Additionally, the drying process of KUROGAKI Is quite challenging and requires extensive knowledge and expertise accumulated over years. These factors contribute to its revered status across Japan.
Due to its mystique and Zen-like patterns, KUROGAKI has been cherished by nobles and literati throughout history. The Todai-ji Shosoin in Nara City houses numerous ancient treasures, including a significant collection of KUROGAKI crafts, serving as a testament to the important role of KUROGAKI in Japanese culture.
- TA-300B High-end Vacuum Tube
The Takatsuki TA-300B vacuum tube is meticulously handcrafted in Japan and known for its exceptional performance and sound quality. It features plates that are pressed with dedicated molds, filaments designed and manufactured using special techniques, and highly precise grids. It offers a rich midrange and natural high frequencies without being overly bright or harsh on the ears The low frequencies are compact, clear, and exhibit excellent extension and rich details.
The sound quality of the TA-300B tube is often described as warm, rich, and detailed, with excellent clarity and accuracy. It is particularly well-suited for use in high-end audio amplifiers and preamplifiers, where it can bring out the full potential of the music being played.
- Lundhal Amorphous core silver wire output transformer
Among the factors influencing audio equipment, the output transformer plays a crucial role. Therefore, we have chosen output transformers manufactured by Lundahl. These transformers are constructed with amorphous alloy cores, which are different from conventional cores, offering extremely low magnetic hysteresis loss, high saturation magnetic flux density, and excellent frequency response. The cores are meticulously wound with high-purity silver wire, providing very low resistance and outstanding conductivity.
This design is used to match the impedance between the output transformers of the vacuum tube amplifier and the headphones, offering optimal impedance matching. This allows the amplifier to deliver greater power to the headphones, adding richness to the sound and maintaining excellent frequency response. In addition, the output transformer features a headphone matching circuit with three impedance positions, allowing users to choose the impedance that suits their headphones' characteristics and desired sound quality.
- RK50 Metal Shaft Potentiometer
The Alps RK50 potentiometer is a high-quality component that is widely used in audio equipment such as amplifiers and preamplifiers. It is renowned among audiophiles and music enthusiasts for its precision, accuracy, and reliability.
To ensure exceptional performance, the RK50 potentiometer features several design elements. Its "quadruple" construction includes four separate resistive elements that are combined and controlled by a single axis, resulting in precise tracking and low noise levels.
Moreover, the RK50 potentiometer is built to last. It employs high-quality materials and construction techniques that are designed to withstand the day-to-day use of high-end audio systems, ensuring long-term durability.
Please visit the NARUKAMI website: https://www.audio-technica.co.jp/narukami/en.html
for more details.
Outside the A-T booth, we also exhibited some classic models of wooden headphones, such as ATH-L3000 (left pic) launched in 2003, ATH-W3000ANV 50th anniversary limited edition headphones (mid pic) launched in 2011, and ATH-L5000 (right pic) launched in 2018. These are all classic models of Audio-Technica in wooden headphones, which are worth for guests to recall memory.
- 2005 launched AT-HA5000 ebony wood headphone amplifier.
- 2007 launched AT5000T flagship MC Step-Up Transformer for celebrating 45th ANV.
- 2016 launched AT-ART1000 Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge.
- 2019 launched AT-OC9X series & AT-VM95 series.