Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Howard’s January 2020 Trip to Japan: Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM)

I am always on the lookout for interesting companies to tour when I visit Japan. On this last trip in January, I thought it would be informative to check out Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM), maker of, among other things, digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chips. AKM does not sell directly to audiophiles, but rather to many audio manufacturers who incorporate the company’s products into their components. However, despite AKM’s industry-wide reach, it’s known only vaguely, if at all, to most audiophiles. As it turns out, I had no idea just how interesting my visit would be.

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CES 2015: Competition is Fierce

The first day of CES 2015 proved to be interesting, not because of the products I saw and heard in isolation, but because of each product's worthiness in comparison to its competitors in the marketplace.

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