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Mr. Satoru Murayama
OYAIDE Elec. Co. Ltd.

Position: President

Place: Audio Show 2012, Warsaw
Date: November 10th, 2012

Manufacturer’s website:

Interviewer: Wojciech Pacuła
Photos: Wojciech Pacuła | Oyaide

Published: 2. March 2013, No. 106

Japanese audio market is so much different from that in Europe! It is actually different from the U.S. market, too, but I have more experience with and information about the Old Continent. For years now, browsing through the pages of "Stereo Sound" magazine, since unfortunately reading it is out of question, I have been surprised by the meticulous editorial approach to all its elements - from its graphic layout, in which Japanese lettering plays an important role, to the logos, scrupulously printed on all advertisements, reviews and news articles. Suffice it to say that it is what inspired us at “High Fidelity” to place the manufacturer’s logo in the header of its product’s review.
‘Perfectionists’ is perhaps the best word that can describe the Japanese. We wouldn’t probably be too far from the truth if we called them ‘obsessionists’, now would we? We can feel that, right? Products from mature manufacturers from the Japanese Islands, and I mean not the company age as much as a certain approach to the product and to music, are not only aesthetically refined but also contribute something new to the sound, to our pool of knowledge about the sound.
And there are lots of manufacturers related to the audio industry in Japan. For years, we have been trying at "High Fidelity" to introduce some of the most interesting products, available to the external market. Have a look at the "Archive" section and try to find the May 2012 issue of the magazine to confirm what I am saying.

One of the first manufacturers to found, through us, their way to Poland was Oyaide. Founded in 1952 by Mr. Kazuji Oyaide and currently headed by Mr. Satoru Murayama it offers cables in the lower and medium price ranges. In its product line-up we will also find power strips, connectors, turntable accessories and many other products. This is no small manufacturer; for example it orders whole series of cables from Furukawa that manufactures them for Oyaide – the project comes from Oyaide and the manufacturing is entrusted to a few specialized manufacturers in Japan.
I first met Mr. Satoru Murayama at Munich High End 2012 . We did not have much time to talk. Pretty soon it turned out, however, that we would see each other again in a few months in Poland, during Audio Show 2012 . I was very glad, looking forward to an interesting conversation, for Mr. Murayama is a man who knows what he's doing, both in terms of business as well as audio. And again, nothing came out of it as the scope and expanse of the last year’s Warsaw event caught me by surprise, to the point that we had barely time to start talking and continued our conversation via e-mail. But I managed to see it through and I hope it turned into a harmonious whole.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Messrs. Hontai – Yoshi and Ella – for all their help!

Wojciech Pacuła: Could you please tell me the story behind Oyaide - How did it all start?

Satoru Murayama: In 1952, Oyaide Elec. Co., Ltd. began business as a small store in the Akihabara area of Tokyo, specializing in the sale of electrical wires. Though we sold mainly magnet wires in the beginning, as our business grew, we expanded our offerings to include a wide variety of electrical cables, including industrial electrical wires, electrical wires for electrical equipment, and coaxial cables. Oyaide began dealing in audio cables about 40 years ago. From that time, the importance of high quality cables for audio systems began gradually to be recognized, and as a consequence, the number of customers requesting them increased as well.

The founder, Mr. Kazuji Oyaide, who always listened and responded to the customers’ need, developed our first power distribution box “OCB-1” designed exclusively for audio use and brought it to market in 1976. He then developed our first speaker cable, the “OR-800”, which incorporates OFC litz in a “Star-Quad” Structure. Though these items were sold only at our store in Akihabara, they quickly developed a wide following among audiophiles throughout Japan.

Since I took office as president in 2000, Oyaide began the development of cables and accessory parts for audio in earnest. Over time we demonstrated exceptional ability as a designer of specialty electrical cables. After becoming president, I led Oyaide in the development of a new and far-reaching business model. We deftly arranged crucial and strategic partnerships with manufactures and subcontractors who each excel in their own area of expertise, thus ensuring that all Oyaide products are manufactured to the highest standard possible.

Many cables manufacturers simply brand someone else’s cables. How is it with Oyaide?

No, it isn’t like that at all with us. But I know many Hi-End cable manufactures do it that way! Because most of small manufactures can’t get their own cables due to the limited sales of their products. If they want to make cables with their own specification, minimum order quantities of the factory are often too huge for small manufactures. So they mostly have to use someone’s cable and just put their brand name on the cables. Or wrap someone’s cable with braided sleeves in order to hide the cheap cables inside sometimes. Although they can make own cables with OEM factory, its cost will be much expensive due to the small-lot production. That’s the true story.

But our business policy is totally different from that. Our business policy is providing the best quality to our customers at a reasonable price. To provide the best quality cables with reasonable price to customers, we are always trying to hold down the retail prices of our products. Because if the quality of the products are almost the same, less expensive will be happier for customers all over the world. Along with the popularity and good sales background, our production-lot is usually big, so we can make the cost lower and share it with our customers. We can provide the best quality almost same as very high price products. But we still need big volume of the sales for that, you know.
For example, our Tunami GPX and GPX-R have been sold more than ten thousands of pieces worldwide ever since it’s released. Like this we have been able to count on our estimate sales worldwide in advance.

Regarding our cable design, we have been developing our knowledge and skills through our long experiences with carrying so many cables worldwide and with a lot of customers like many audio manufactures, famous Hi-End reviews and audiophiles that we communicate every day at our shop. So we design our own cable by ourselves and produce our cables with the cooperation with many cable factories in Japan because we have dealt with them so long time.
We always seek to provide unique and original designs and we are not satisfied with the status quo. We constantly anticipate the next format and the newest development. By means of comprehensive and ongoing market research we seek to develop products that are always ahead of the curve.

The fundamental idea behind Oyaide product development is “Engineering with spirit”. This means that we seek to deliver a new standard of products to the world – products that are created with state-of-the-art technology and that deliver breakthrough performance while maintaining the traditional values of old-world craftsmanship. Our customers always demand the very best, and our goal is to satisfy that requirement.

As I understand, many of your cables are manufactured by Furukawa - why this particular company?

Through our experiences with carrying and testing so many audio cables for a long time, including many cable conductor materials that we can choose for our cable. But I found PCOCC-A (Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting with Annealing) made only by Furukawa Electric in Japan to have the most potentials for making very good sounding cables with its high cost performance.
PCOCC from Furukawa Electric as developed by Dr. Atsumi Ohno at Chiba Institute of Technology, is a material that includes very few impurities and insures very low levels of signal disturbance. Because of its low incidence of grain boundaries, the signal passes without impediment or distortion. Heating and cooling the PCOCC wire under controlled circumstances yields a densely re-crystallized, highly pure structure called a μ (mu) conductor. The resulting product with mirror finishing and annealing is called PCOCC-A copper. And in practice PCOCC defies the NNNN purity race by providing very clean sound without the very high cost of copper purifications.

I have to mention that some cable manufacturers use unknown OCC materials made by somewhere else than Furukawa Electric in Japan. But we have serious doubts concerning the quality of the material that they use. Furukawa Electric has the trademark right of PCOCC, PCOCC can be supplied only from Furukawa Electric. I don’t want to point any fingers but it’s easy to prove whose conscience is guilty – these manufacturers never use the PCOCC name in their advertising materials published in Japan; they do use it anywhere else.
So some other cable manufactures have to use OCC with funny names like Ultra Pure OCC or α OCC. There is no cable manufactures which can supply PCOCC in Japan other than Furukawa. That means that unknown OCC copper cables are supplied from somewhere else than Japan. Our guess is it is mainly from China.
All Oyaide products are made with materials that are processed exclusively in Japan. This insures the highest standard of reliability, quality and value and that the latest and most sophisticated technological processes are employed.

How do you come up with a new product? I mean, could you describe your product development process?

It is usually started based on our daily market research whatever we can. As you know, we have our direct store in Akihabara and also have a web shop. Both shops carry thousands of products. The items are not only audio cables and its related items like AC receptacles, AC plugs and Audio plugs but also industrial cables like any cables you can imagine. Our customers are not only audio DIY people and audiophile but also many other kinds of people include industrial customers, carpenters and music players! Basically every people who needs any cables. And fortunately the sales of both shops have been very powerful for a long time.
Although we often communicate with the press and reviewers like you, we communicate with customers directly every day and we do trend analysis daily from their feedback. So we believe it is easier to get new trends from customers than our competitors.
Each Oyaide product has its own unique characteristics. Exhaustive listening tests involving multiple combinations of plating methods, including gold, silver, platinum, rhodium and palladium have yielded products of real interest and value to end users.
We always welcome the painstaking effort required to produce our products. Our philosophy, born out our commitment to our customers, requires that we do no less.

Please tell me about the position of Oyaide on the Japanese market?

We always stay among the top three in audio accessory market in Japan.

How does the Japanese market differ from the rest of the world?

I try to visit many countries because I would like to know the difference in every country. But I don’t think there is so much difference between countries beside…
In brief, the market is young or mature. I think Poland, Russia and China are young markets. I was so surprised that Polish people are very passionate about audio when I visited the show in Warsaw this time. Most of Europe, the US and Japan market are matured.

Which audio magazine is most important in Japan?

"Stereo Sound". But especially for audio accessories, "Audio Accessory".

How do Japanese audio magazines differ from their American and European counterparts?

I don’t know much about audio magazines abroad. But their power of influence is getting lower in Japan. I believe you are still very powerful in Poland.

What kind of music do you listen to at home when you just relax?

I basically like listening to old and new R&B stuff. But I really enjoy listening to all kinds of music!

What is your home audio system?

Speakers: Wilson Audio Sasha W/P
Power Amplifiers: Pass Laboratories X1000.5
Pre-Amplifier: Pass Laboratories XP-20
D/A Converter: Esoteric D-70vuk
CD Transport: Esoteric P-0s

What are your nearest plans?

We will soon release cables with 7N cooper material by Mitsubishi [Mitsubishi is Acrolink’s parent company – ed.]. You can count on it!

Do you have any other hobbies besides music?

Yes, it’s scuba diving, collecting watches and driving cars.

Thank you for your time!

You’re welcome.

OYAIDE Elec. Co. Ltd

1-9-6 Yushima Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo | 113-0034, JAPAN
tel.: +81-3-5684-2151 | fax: +81-3-5684-2150