Tokyo, Japan, October 2022.
One of our favourite places to visit - not just Tokyo, but Japan in general. Few cultures in this world have the level of singular focus, determination in excellence, and social awareness as Japan. A sushi chef starting at fifteen, just to wash rice for the subsequent five years before even being allowed to touch fish. Courtesy, politeness, order, and the belief in the greater good. The unflinching, unwavering morals and ethics that extend beyond platitudes into something palpable.
This, perhaps, is one of the reasons that Accuphase is regarded as the one of the premiere manufacturers in the world. For fifty years, they have been subtly pushing the boundaries of audio in an unobtrusive, humble way - a true sign that of their confidence, their prowess and expertise in their chosen area. Much like a renowned sushi chef need not ostentatiously advertise their skill set, Accuphase allow their products to do the talking.
It was our first time visiting the Tokyo Hifi Show. We'd been to many a hifi show in the past in all parts of the world, but Tokyo was something different. In hindsight, it should be no surprise that the Japanese exhibitors put on a level of show that differs from their Western counterparts. The constant sound bleed battle that is present between neighbouring rooms at Munich High End does not exist in Tokyo, as that wouldn't be in the interest of the greater good of the industry. Every room is playing music at a low to moderate level so as to not impose on the exhibitors around them. There's no rowdiness, no callously loud greetings, and everything is...just right.
Upon arriving at the Accuphase room, we were greeted by Kohei Nishigawa, Accuphase's International representative. As pleasant and courteous a representative as we have ever met. He kindly took the time to show us around the room.
Front and centre was a smattering of Accuphase equipment powering a set of JBLs and B&Ws. What stuck out immediately is Accuphase's aesthetic design ethos. All their products share the same character in design, the same gold-coloured plating, and of course, the recognisable VU meters.
To the left was the then-prototype of the now-released E-4000 integrated amplifier. We're due to receive this one in our showroom around February 2023.
Accuphase has been a recent addition to our store. We've had the odd trade in product from time to time, but we decided early last year to range it in store properly, as it offers such a different character of sound to our existing range. On the spectrum of warmth, where something like Pass sits at the brighter end and Gryphon in the middle, Accuphase is a very warm sounding solid state amplifier range. Their integrated amplifiers are also modular, allowing the addition of DACs and Phonostages to make them a complete "just-add-speakers" offering.
Here's some other photos of our trip to Japan (photos courtesy of HEVN Creative, hevn.com.au).