If you thought that audiophile dealers or stores in the United States dabbled in the crazy – wait until you go to Japan!
While the audiophile hobby was created by Baby Boomers mostly in the United States, the role and influence that Japan has had on the hobby is quite significant. Companies like Accuphase, Denon, Marantz, Nakamichi, Luxman and so many others make up a storied history of Japanese audiophilia.
The volume of American high-end audio that is consumed in Japan is quite significant. There are brands in the United States that don’t sell much here (think: Jeff Rowland) that crush it in Asia. Bigger audiophile brands in Japan like Audio Research, McIntosh, Mark Levinson, Krell, Wilson Audio, YG Acoustics, Magico and others do fantastically well in Japan. The Japanese have long been obsessed with American luxury goods and audio is no different.
One of the biggest challenges in the Japanese audiophile market is space. Where does big, audiophile equipment go be it at an audiophile dealer or in someone’s home. The price per square foot is far above that of any market in the United States including Manhattan. Thankfully, the demand is there thus the Japanese Retailer sell enough volume of high quality, high priced gear to keep the doors opened.