Atsunori Abe, the former general manager of the International Department of Audio-Technica Corp., passed away on July 10, 2009. Known to his many friends and industry colleagues as “Abe-san,” he joined A-T in 1978 and retired in 2005.
Abe’s vision, spirit and enthusiasm were all major contributors to the success of Audio-Technica during his tenure, and he was instrumental in launching products such as the groundbreaking AT4033 condenser microphone in 1991, a mic credited as being the first high-quality, studio-grade unit offered at a price within the reach of the growing project studio market. The 4033 quickly became a popular choice among top producers and engineers, with names such as Ed Cherney, Tom and Chris Lord-Alge, Alan Parsons and Phil Ramone joining a growing roster of A-T users. Audio-Technica followed the 4033 with models such as the 4050 (a large-diaphragm, multipattern design), the 4060 tube mic and the popular 30-Series of mics.
Abe was key to helping Audio-Technica develop a relationship with the Olympics, beginning with the 1992 Barcelona games, a tradition that continues to this day. Abe also contributed to Audio-Technica Corporation President Kazuo Matsushita’s vision and dream with the opening of Technica House/AstroStudio, located in Tokyo.
Abe traveled to almost all trade shows where Audio-Technica exhibited, and over the course of his career, he accrued millions of miles flying around the world on behalf of the company. Abe passed away in his native Japan and is survived by two brothers, a sister, his wife and their three daughters. Abe-san will be missed but long remembered by his many friends.