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60 Years Ago, Audio-Technica Put the Needle on the Record

It's been 60 years since Hideo Matsushita, founder of Audio-Technica, created his first audio product, a turntable cartridge.

Hideo Matsushita, founder of Audio-Technica
Hideo Matsushita, founder of Audio-Technica

Las Vegas, NV (June 15, 2022)—April 17, 2022 marked 60 years since Hideo Matsushita, founder of Audio-Technica, created his first audio product, a turntable cartridge.

Reportedly inspired by the depth of emotion he witnessed at vinyl listening sessions organized during his tenure at the Bridgestone Museum of Arts in Tokyo, Matsushita was determined to enable more people to experience the warmth of analog listening. In a small Shinjuku apartment, he established Audio-Technica and began developing cartridges. His first two products, the AT-1 and AT-3, achieved success and enabled him to expand his business. He opened a larger headquarters in Machida, where the company still operates today.

Focusing on a human-centered approach to the process of generating sound, Audio-Technica sees analog as an enjoyment and appreciation for audio that doesn’t alter, despite the rapid changes throughout history, according to a company statement.

Alongside cartridges, Audio-Technica began producing headphones in 1974 and microphones in 1978 — beginning every process with a transducer and aiming to deliver a pure, natural sound. At the core of every product is the art of analog, as a delicate vibration is transformed into sound, both in the listening and recording processes.

Kazuo Matsushita, son of Hideo, became president in 1993, and the business continued to expand, opening offices throughout the world, and developing iconic products such as the modern VM series of cartridges, the ATH-M50x headphones and the AT2020 microphone.

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Today Audio-Technica offers products used at global events, on screen, in studios and in homes, retaining the “audio for all” philosophy and ensuring future generations can experience the joy of analog.

The brand will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a series of events across the world on the theme of analog living. Speaking about the occasion, president Kazuo Matsushita said, “It is an honor to provide a quality audio experience to millions of people throughout the world. What begins as a simple vibration – a subtle movement – results in an emotional connection, whether that be when listening deeply to an album or sharing your voice with the world.”