Japanese speakers - why not

KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
This started out as a reply to @Rusty Dogg 's thread "Why no love for Yamaha speakers?"

However, as it panned out I realized I had totally drifted from Yamaha to Japanese speakers in general, so thought it might be best to start a new thread.
I know some of our members live/have lived in Japan and hope to hear any insights they might have!


On the flip side, I don't think I've ever read anything bad about them ... I just hardly ever see any mention of Yammy speakers.
Extending that further, I rarely see any mention of any Japanese companies for speakers in today's market (maybe there are some, but I don't realize they are Japanese). Back in the mid-70's to early-80's, I listened to lots of speakers when even a small town had a couple of audio shops and the Japanese speakers (Technics, Pioneer, Sansui, and Sony come to mind) just did not compete for sound quality with the better US and European speakers (FWIW, I liked Technics best among the affordable Japanese speakers I listened to). The Japanese had so dominated the audio electronics market and it seems a little strange that they never really got much of a foothold in the speaker business. I have often wondered if, somehow, the fact that traditional Japanese music uses such a different scale that it may be a different timbral quality is preferred among the Japanese! The Japanese surely sold tons of speakers here, but they never really made a name for themselves in the speaker market!
That was ~40 years ago and certainly there has been a substantial blending of culture (including music) since then. It is hard to know how significant/relevant the marketing position from those formulative years would be on today's market. It may be that the Japanese companies decided that being the worlds premiere source of consumer electronics kept them busy enough and it made since to keep focus on that instead of venturing out. Or maybe today's Japanese speakers are wonderful, but the economics of shipping them here in today's economy is not so lucrative as to make sense. I would love to see statistics on what speakers Japanese audiophiles use. Until Pioneer brought Andrew Jones' inexpensive speaker design to the market, Yamaha was the only (Japanese speaker) presence that I have been aware of (not that I have been watching). Sony may have been there, but did not make my radar until the Core Series was introduced in response to the AJ Pioneers. Of course I am not counting the thousands of Japanese speakers in boombox and shelf type systems (which are of impressive sound quality given the cost)!

Any thoughts?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I would say the same, lol. You never see 'em really recommended but I don't recall anything negative either. It'd be fun to do some listening tho!
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Last year, Pioneer Corporation released their TAD Reference Series speakers. At the price which these are sold, around $80,000 a pair, I am sure they would sound better than any of the Wilson's:

tad_referenceone.jpg
 
Last edited:
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Samurai
yeah i can dig it why Yamahas speaker’s get no love? I’m guessing like how some don’t like Onkyo cause they look like Denon on the inside and they run hot. Come to think of it Denon from the back looks like a Onkyo AVR. :p;):p
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Loudspeakers are such a competitive market nowadays that maybe the Japanese just had enough business sense to bail out of it since it is a money loser. I love loudspeakers, but there is no way I would enter the business looking to actually make money. That being said, there are a few Japanese loudspeaker brands available: Sony, Technics, Yamaha, off the top of my head...
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Loudspeakers are such a competitive market nowadays that maybe the Japanese just had enough business sense to bail out of it since it is a money loser. I love loudspeakers, but there is no way I would enter the business looking to actually make money. That being said, there are a few Japanese loudspeaker brands available: Sony, Technics, Yamaha, off the top of my head...
You forgot TAD which I refer to on post #3. :D
 
ellisr63

ellisr63

Full Audioholic
Back in the 70s...people used to say there was Japanese sound, west coast sound, east coast, British sound, etc. I do not know if it is still the same or if they have all melded together to a similar sound or not now.

Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Those have kind of a high end B&W vibe going for them visually. Just need to mount the tweeter on top.
The TAD is theoretically a better design than the B & W line as it uses a coaxial speaker for the mid-high frequencies.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Plenty of friends had the giant japanese speakers with their giant japanese receiver back in the 70s....I assume many were package deals and that the key piece was the receiver rather than the speakers particularly. I can't say the speakers were bad, but they weren't particularly outstanding to me either. Couldn't even tell you what they were particularly in terms of models. Most had nice cabinets and had fancy grills and were big and heavy. I wish I knew more now about which models they were but we had better things to do, but they usually didn't strike me as the best speakers compared to the better systems I'd heard at that point (including what I had at home with even just my Original Advents).
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
In the Montreal area, high-end audio dealers have always favored the American and British built and designed speakers. I don't remember exactly but I doubt that even the ones carrying the Sony electronics line did stock or even sell that brand's speakers.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Loudspeakers are such a competitive market nowadays that maybe the Japanese just had enough business sense to bail out of it since it is a money loser. I love loudspeakers, but there is no way I would enter the business looking to actually make money. That being said, there are a few Japanese loudspeaker brands available: Sony, Technics, Yamaha, off the top of my head...
Thanks for that! I did not know that Technics was back in the game!
Looks like they are going after some of that LS50 love with this one (MSRP $1700/pr, 6.5"):

 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for that! I did not know that Technics was back in the game!
Looks like they are going after some of that LS50 love with this one (MSRP $1700/pr, 6.5"):

Wow. Those look kinda cool. Why have I always thought of Technics as a sub par brand??
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The TAD is theoretically a better design than the B & W line as it uses a coaxial speaker for the mid-high frequencies.
I'm not sure you can say that coaxial is theoretically better! It certainly has advantages, but like most speaker design decisions it is "picking your poison". As someone who did not like either of the only two coaxials I have listened to (KEF LS-50 and Elac UniFi) as much as competitors in the same price range, I'm not sure teh pros outweigh the cons!
I think that having a waveguide that is vibrating (the mid-range driver) might be a point of concern - any thoughts on what that would do to the sound from the tweeter?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Wow. Those look kinda cool. Why have I always thought of Technics as a sub par brand??
Technics branding covers a wide range. Their turntables back in the day were not sub par, altho over time they did offer some lower end models, and put out a wide variety of consumer electronics.. Just a brand name of Matsushita (aka Panasonic).
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Wow. Those look kinda cool. Why have I always thought of Technics as a sub par brand??
They made pretty good gear back around the early 80's. I think more than anything else, their turntables have stood up well and proven to be pretty solid (although I really don't follow vinyl, just occasionally see experienced people here listing Technics for their TT).
They were the high end name under the Panasonic Electronics umbrella (which I think includes Matsushita optical drives). I believe Panasonic just decided to revive Technics a few years ago.
But they were sub-par in the sense that their audio electronics division got dismantled while others like Pioneer and Yamaha continued to be viable.

PS- I suspect Lovin has it right about Matsushita being the parent company.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
I'm not sure you can say that coaxial is theoretically better! It certainly has advantages, but like most speaker design decisions it is "picking your poison". As someone who did not like either of the only two coaxials I have listened to (KEF LS-50 and Elac UniFi) as much as competitors in the same price range, I'm not sure teh pros outweigh the cons!
I think that having a waveguide that is vibrating (the mid-range driver) might be a point of concern - any thoughts on what that would do to the sound from the tweeter?
The coaxial speaker design has the obvious advantage of the "One Point Source" so the question about phase and lobing problems around the crossover frequencies does not apply.

Mainly Tannoy and Altec Lansing were the manufacturers of monitor speakers featuring a coaxial one point source design. I believe they are still popular in several sound studios.
 
Last edited:
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
Thanks for that! I did not know that Technics was back in the game!
Looks like they are going after some of that LS50 love with this one (MSRP $1700/pr, 6.5"):
Technics speakers
 
majorloser

majorloser

Moderator
A thread about Japanese and there is no Rickster to be found.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top