Knowing that you are a big fan of Samurai movies, it is easy to explain why the big Japanese electronics companies must preserve their “face” while producing tonnage of inexpensive gizmos for the masses. All of them have an “elite” line of audio products, demonstrating to their public, they hope, that they are masters of the audio arts. Of course we rarely have a chance to experience these products in America, because we are Americans, according to the Japanese are  “not serious” about music, and they are right....we are serious about cars.

Check this paradox out...Sony is now manufacturing super high efficiency drivers for the triodemaniacs of Japan. They had to. This is a market where Tannoy, JBL, and TAD (which Sony now owns) represent the concresence of coolosity, and the Sony brand was left out of the race, and when you compete in this race, you are competing for the mind and hearts of “the serious” and that means directly heated triode maniacs.

Can you imagine Sony making an announcement to its American customers....We Design Products For The Truly Serious Music Lover....Tube Lovers?

                                  AMERICAN VS. JAPANESE TRANSPORTATION rods are to America, as the audio arts are to Japan, General Motors sells “high performance” motors in a crate, that you can drop into your hot rod chassis and drive away, in the same way that Sony sells “high performance” drivers in a crate, that you can drop into your hot rod speaker/horn cabinet and drive away.

There is a well developed “after market” speaker cabinet/horn industry in Japan that will make you cabinets/horns for the drivers of your choice, and in a few weeks after the Sony driver hit the market there were cabinets and horns available for them. Those of you who read Stereo Sound and MJ know all about this. Sony also adopted the TAD formula and manufactured their own wooden horn and cabinets for their drivers, which are illustrated....too cool for a low efficiency fool.

You will notice that the Sony compression driver is 110 db efficient and the woofer is 98 db efficient...which is “normal” for these type of drivers. Do not forget my rave review of the John Wolfe’s Audio Classic T-1, which uses TAD drivers. There is good reason that you are not hearing more about this speaker and TAD drivers......too threatening and potentially lethal to the entire American speaker orthodoxy.

Let me wrap this gift up in a beautiful ribbon of paradox...Sony is manufacturing in 1998 a new line of drivers so their customers can listen to their one watt directly heated triodes from the 1930s, and that is what I love about the audio arts.



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