profile: Hideo Matsushita

Hideo MatsushitaThe Japanese founder of Audio-Technica first moved to Tokyo aged 32, and went to work for the Bridgestone Museum of Art in 1951. The museum’s director urged him to run what he called ‘LP concerts’, and, “these were much more successful than anyone imagined”, he wrote. After a decade at the Bridgestone Museum, he “struck out on his own” and established Audio-Technica in 1962.

Naturally, the company’s first product was a stereo phono cartridge, the AT-1. At that time, it was based at a rented one-storey barracks in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo and had just three employees, but soon grew to a staff of twenty. He remembers, “we worked late each night, stopping only for dinner at the ramen shop in front of the premises.”

Decades of growth followed, and the company became famous for high quality but affordable phono cartridges with a clean, precise and detailed sound. It also began to make microphones, headphones and various audio accessories, such as interconnects and record cleaning equipment. It began to specialise in moving coil cartridges, and had a best-seller with the AT-30E in the late nineteen seventies.

In 1993 Hideo Matsushita took the position of Chairman of Audio-Technica and his son, Kazuo Matsushita, became President of Audio-Technica Corporation, a position he holds to this day. With their combined leadership, Audio-Technica continued to experience steady growth, carrying on the legacy and vision of Hideo-san into the new millennium. In 2005, Matsushita was appointed as Executive Emeritus of Audio-Technica, and passed away on March 5, 2013 at the age of 93.

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