Blog of Orbray Co., Ltd.

“Music Town Yuzawa" Audio Event Held at Orbray's Yuzawa Factory

   Last Modified:    Published: 2023/10

On Sunday, September 24, 2023, audio critic Hajime Sakaki  gave a lecture about audio mania at the audio theater of Orbray's Yuzawa factory (in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture). We also introduced our record styli during the event.

Yuzawa City in Akita Prefecture has declared itself "Music Town Yuzawa," and is thus working to create a lively town overflowing with music. Our event was part of such activities, and everyone enjoyed learning more about audio.

Outline of the event
Introduction of audio systems, introduction of record styli, record listening
September 24, 2023 (Sun.) 13:30~15:00 / 15:30~17:00
Orbray’s Yuzawa Factory Audio Theater
Number of participants
Total of 21 people

Once you start thinking about sound, it leads to audio mania.

The audio lecture began with the question, "What is audio mania, anyway?" "Audio mania" may conjure up images of a lofty hobby, but according to Mr. Hajime Sakaki, one can say that "anyone who has experience paying attention to sound is an audio enthusiast.”

In other words, if you want to hear the music you are currently listening to with better sound quality, that is the gateway to audio mania. That made me realize that the barrier to entry for being an audio enthusiast was much lower than I had expected, and it was actually fun to focus on sound.

Participants were asked, "Do you think that vinyl records are outdated?” The fact is that sales of vinyl records have been on a steady rise since around 2010. Many artists are releasing vinyl records, and their popularity is spreading among the younger generation.

Young vinyl enthusiasts are fascinated by the unique sound quality of analog records, which entail “noise,” including the crackles that comes from contact between the stylus and the record. They find vinyl records to be a fresh and interesting musical experience, as the same song can sound different from its digital counterparts.

Far from being obsolete, vinyl records are instead being reevaluated as a means to explore new and fascinating aspects of music.

Vinyl records therefore remain a fine choice for enjoying avant-garde sound.

Orbray's record styli support better sound.

We introduced our record styli with a slide show, as well as a look at actual products.

In particular, we featured Orbray’s Microridge tip integrated diamond cantilever-stylus, in which the cantilever and the stylus are integrated. We explained the very difficult manufacturing process required, which utilizes our proprietary "cutting, grinding, and polishing" technologies, and which only our company can accomplish. The result is the ultimate analog sound for listeners.

Originally, the stylus and the cantilever were separate pieces, with the stylus affixed with adhesives to the cantilever, forming a joint. However, the joining of dissimilar materials introduced some noise, and the joint led to sound attenuation.

To solve that problem, we developed our Microridge tip integrated diamond cantilever-stylus. This integrated unit requires a combination of the "cutting, grinding, and polishing" technologies that we have cultivated since the our company’s founding and cutting-edge technology, to enable more accurate transmission of sound from the grooves of a record.

As a result, our Microridge tip integrated diamond cantilever-stylus has been hailed as the ultimate record stylus, as it accurately reproduces the minute nuances of music without losing any of the vibrations of the stylus.

Listening to records and CDs

In the listening experience, participants compared the sound of records and CDs in various genres of music, such as classical, jazz, and pop. They also compared the sound of records played with different types of styli.

When the same music was played on vinyl and CD, the difference was obvious. The CD sounded clearer than the vinyl, which has a softer sound.

We also conducted a listening comparison between an aluminum cantilever holding our Microridge stylus, versus our Microridge tip integrated diamond cantilever-stylus. While the former resulted in the familiar sound of vinyl, the latter created a clearer, more powerful sound.

Listening to the soothing analog sound was a valuable opportunity to realize once again the importance of the record styli we are making.

In closing

Many of the participants of this event were residents of Yuzawa City who were interested in music. Afterward, we heard such comments as, "I was surprised that such a world exists," and "I didn't realize that changing the record stylus could change the sound so much.”

We would be happy if we could contribute to the preservation and evolution of the analog record culture by making our technology known to as many people as possible in Music Town Yuzawa.

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