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When Music is the Master of Divinity
Musica CEO Ikuo Makabe infront of audio file equipment
Bringing out what the music deserves... the real joy of listening via "Musica"

While digital audio with limited fidelity has become the norm for most mainstream audio devices, there are still a handful of gifted connoisseurs who are going beyond to provide music lovers with an unparalleled listening experience. In our search for the sublime we discovered one such rare artisan, Mr. Makabe, producing custom made integrated vacuum tube amplifiers right in the geographic and historic heart of Honshu. To find out more and to experience his creations first hand, we visited Mr. Makabe, at his company Musica in Mino, Gifu prefecture. Brought up in a musical family and being technically inclined, Mr. Makabe was hooked on music and audio since childhood. Aside from his dedication to creating original audio components, Mr. Makabe also utilizes them to spread his love of listening to music at its finest. He not only holds listening concerts inside a nearby Temple playing his vinyl collection for music fans, he also hosts a regional weekly radio program promoting music. Yes, a music concert in a Temple – could such a combination “work”? Well, we were there and incredibly, it was a moving experience. Once the music started and the warm and rich notes began to flow, we were effortlessly transported – able to “see” the musicians with our ears and feel the meaning of their intent deep inside.

Integrating Japanese esthetics together with state-of-the-art technology

“In this first edition, we are proud to bring you Musica’s ultimate compact amplifier the “Raicho II”. Designed small enough to feel right at home even on small bookshelves and sideboards, “RaichoII” will still astound with its ability to consistently deliver an unbelievable amount of musicality. In Raicho II, Musica managed to artfully combine the latest in solid-state technology and the old-world charm of a tube-based buffer circuit to produce its signature smooth and silky sounds. With this untraditional approach, Mr. Makabe selected to utilize solid state circuitry & vacuum tubes instead of using the traditional phono amps stage for MC cartridges to achieve a truly unique hybrid analog amplifier.

To reduce noise, Musica builds each Raicho II case from a solid block of non-magnetic aluminum, sculpting elegant reveals on one side of the black-anodized enclosure to serve as the handsome facade. For mass and stability Musica also uses black granite marble inlaid with Norwegian emerald pearl for the RaichoII’s top surface and base plate. A jewel in its own right, the marble is painstakingly crafted, finished at the nearby Sekigahara Marble Craft Company. Sekigahara* is recognized as one of the top marble processing and craft companies in the world.

someone working on a Raicho II amp

“Raicho” was named after Gifu’s symbolic bird – for its special historical significance and its familiarity to the locals. By integrating traditional Japanese aesthetics together with state-of-the-art technology, the vacuumed-tubed Raicho II represent a remarkable value amongst Makabe’s quest for pure audio. Like its namesake “Raicho II” was born to soar, above expectations and limitation, and born to fly afar, to reach passionate music lovers around the world. In our next edition, we are introducing Musica’s charming paint box sized new “Ibuki” amplifiers available here at CIPANGO. Coming soon!

*Sekigahara town his home to Japan’s largest stone processing industry, producing 450,000 square meters worth yearly. Sekigahara Marble Craft KK is consistently chosen for major landmark architectural buildings throughout Japan such as the Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Mid Town and Osaka Station for their well crafted and reliable marble processing skills.


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