Asia Tour 2019 – Japan
Day 1 - Esoteric/Teac
First stop on the Asia Tour was a visit to our friends/distributors at Esoteric/Teac. However, that technically wasn’t the original plan. My journey started at the Japan Narita International Airport and continued with one of the most enjoyable bus rides of my life! All countries should borrow the roads and busses from Japan, it would make everyone look forward to their morning commute. Getting to the Esoteric/Teac I saw a selection of historical audio components prominently on display from reel-to-reels to speakers.
Sitting down with the team we had a chance to talk VPI and the future plans and availability of VPI products in Japan. It was also a first-time face to face meeting with the whole team. This is the best part of visits with industry partners, having a chance a create a more meaningful relationship and a stronger bond between companies.
After talking product, we moved to the good stuff! Going into the Esoteric/Teac listening room was an experience with their wide selection of Esoteric Electronic components, Tannoy speakers, and wide selection of VPI Analog sources. I always enjoy to give another company’s system a listen and an added bonus was find they were using a Van Den Hul cartridge which is also a VPI favorite.
The coolest part of the visit, totally unrelated to audio, was learning our Japanese partners are located in the home of Hello Kitty! That is correct, I stayed 5 minutes away from Hello Kitty Land but didn’t have a chance to experience it on this visit. Empty dreams! I will have to head back out there with the family to see Esoteric and introduce Shyla to Hello Kitty Land!
Day 2 - Audio Technica
Departing from Esoteric/Teac I was on the way to my next stop on my audio journey, Audio Technica! It has been no secret that VPI and Audio Technica have been doing more work together both in our factory and audio shows. We recently shifted our entry level line to having Audio Technica cartridges mounted as a standard. I met with the Audio Technica team to discuss future VPI-AT team ups but we can save that for another post at the end of the year. While with the AT team they showed me historical records, turntables, microphones, their engineering team, controlled testing rooms, and listening room.
AT’s testing rooms and procedure were all next level approaches. I was in one testing room that was suspended and had zero echo! Pretty wild to clap your hands and have nothing behind it! After the tour I knew that every Audio Technica product is put through all the steps and highest level of Q/C, engineering, and R&D in their design.
Ending with a lunch that was a bit too fresh (raw egg, but surprisingly delicious) the folks at AT helped guide me back to the airport so I could continue my Asia Tour. I’m already looking forward to my next visit to both companies and the work we all have together for the future.
Until next Japan!