Acoustic Sounds
By: Tracking Angle

November 19th, 2023


Hi-Fi Shows

Our Man in Tokyo Covered the Recent Tokyo Audio Show

here's what he saw

Matt Walker, our man in Tokyo (as opposed to Jonti Davies, our many in Kyoto) reports from the recent Tokyo Audio Show: "We just had the Tokyo International Audio Show this past long weekend over three days at the Tokyo International Forum - a wonderful piece of Rafael Vinoly architecture designed to reflect the sweeping curves of a boat in the centre of Tokyo. There were around 34 rooms across 7 floors  - up slightly on previous years. As previously, attendance is free but online registration gets you a personalised QR entry code for each day as they strictly control numbers and mask wearing is still considered ‘good manners’.

Tokyo Audio ShowDuring and post Covid, the Japan ‘independent' Audio industry has been in a fairly healthy state. A combination of local inflation and a large depreciation in the Japanese yen has encouraged hifi buffs to 'buy local,’ which isn’t an arduous task. The impact at this years show means the launch of new local products and the unfortunate dramatic increase in overseas manufacturer prices.

Physical media dominated - with mostly vinyl and the continued return and demonstration of new SACD titles…at the expense of hi-res files and streamer usage.

AccuphaseTwo of the most popular rooms this year would have to be local Yokohama rivals Accuphase and Luxman. Accuphase launched their A80 and P-4600 power amps partnered with B&W and Fyne loudspeakers. For my money, the liquid smooth new class a A-80 was one of the show highlights.

LuxmanWhilst next door, Luxman demonstrated their new PD-191A turntable, LMC-5 MC cartridge with SAEC tonearm, Luxman M10X power amps and L509Z integrated amp matched with various Focal speakers.

PhasemationAlso from Yokohama  - Phasemation launched their new MA-5000 mono blocks creating quite a buzz and strong demands for a demonstration seat!


Air Force OneStella Inc.Whilst it’s always challenging to assess system sound at shows, the TechDAS/Stella Inc room combination of TechDAS Air Force One Premium/AirForce 10 tonearm/TechDAS TDC1 T1 MC cartridge, Ypsilon PST-100mk2 SE, Ypsilon Hyperion sounded pretty great through the Wilson Audio ALEXX V...

YamahaYamahaIf the TechDAS/Wilson system isn’t in your budget, the Yamaha room provided great value and was also popular.

Esoteric room at Tokyo Audio showAnd finally, the always popular Esoteric room demonstrated their wonderful Grandioso T1 turntable and launched their new range of new VRDS Atlas based SACD players with discrete DACS led by the new Grandioso K1X SE. As with previous years, this sounded great through the Avantgarde speakers.
In a nice demonstration of 'passionate vertical integration’, they also demonstrated their own Esoteric mastered vinyl and SACD releases.


  • 2023-11-20 05:30:22 PM

    Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

    WOW! That building is amazing. Cool visit. Love Japanese manufacturers and so many great turntables... I wish I could've attended. Mask for manners... love it.

    • 2023-11-21 08:03:07 AM

      Matt wrote:

      Thanks Jeff. It really is an impressive building and the exhibition rooms are perfect for audio gear. And yes, the Japanese lurve their turntables....

  • 2023-11-20 08:42:10 PM

    JACK L wrote:


    "from Yokohama - Phasemation" qtd A. A.

    From the above exhibition pictures, only showed Phasemation from Yokohama displayed & d demoed tube amps.

    I wish the half-century-young Kondo Audio Note was there to show off their very expensive all-triode tube amps & turntables.

    I still recalled my jaw-dropping experience in auditing AN 'Kegon" 17W+17W SET power amp & its TT, each sold for special sales price USD125,000 each, some 10 years back when I was over there.

    JACK L

    • 2023-11-21 08:11:23 AM

      Matt wrote:

      Thanks Jack. I had a similar experience hearing the Kondo Audio Note "Ongaku" for the first time in the early '90's. I didn't realize hifi could sound like that. However I don't recall seeing Kondo displaying recently but it warrants further investigation...

  • 2023-11-21 08:20:26 AM

    hifi kid wrote:

    Thanks for the story and pics. Tokyo show looks amazing. More coverage next year please! Definitely have to get to Tokyo show one day!

    • 2023-11-21 08:39:48 AM

      Matt wrote:

      HFK - no problem - I took a LOT of pics but will share more for next year (or perhaps we can get Mr Fremer here?) BTW - for those considering making the pilgrimage - next years Tokyo International Audio Show will be held in late July due to 'renovations' to the Tokyo International Forum. Definitely a 'hot' ticket! (sorry).

      • 2023-11-21 04:15:20 PM

        JACK L wrote:


        "next years Tokyo International Audio Show will be held in late July" qtd Matt

        I would be excited to fly 15-hour non-stop flight over there next year should Kondo Audio Note be there. I missed Kondo sound sooo much !

        JACK L

    • 2023-11-22 12:59:23 PM

      Eugene Harrington wrote:

      That is how I feel too! I'm already a 'veteran' of the Munich High End Show having attended every show since 2006. Tokyo though would be an exhilarating experience. The Japanese enthusiasm for audio is intoxicating. It would be great if MF could attend and do his usual in depth analysis video coverage. I see Mikey each year in Germany. His passion for high performance audio is unsurpassed!

      • 2023-11-23 01:37:03 AM

        Matt wrote:

        Eugene - yes, the Japanese are both obsessive and proud of their audio - and their continuous history of vinyl over the decades. And yes, it would be great to have Michael do one of his trademark video walk throughs one day...

  • 2024-01-21 10:19:20 AM

    Thrassyvoulos Papadopoulos wrote:

    Dear Matt, could you please recommend any Tokyo vintage classical LP dealers? Online or bricks and mortar.