We believe that Yoshihiro Muramatsu is one of Japan's unsung audio heros. He is unknown because his equipment is not expensive enough. He does not use boutique audio parts. He does not run any glossy advertising. You could say that he isn't really into the whole high-end audio business world.
Still, show after show, review after review, music lovers and professional reviewers heap more praises and endorsements on his products and show systems.
About boutique parts, Muramatsu-San has strong feelings: "I much prefer industrial parts from the big companies. Their QC is far better and their goods must be be safe and sound or else their many industrial accounts will sue them and put them out of business. I only use readily available parts that will last and do the job reliably and safely.
"In actual practice, many of the beliefs held dear by audiophiles baffle me. Things need not be grossly overpriced, unsafe and temperamental to sound good. We pursue designs that are simple but strong and will be appreciated by those with the ears to hear and the common sense to know that $20,000 for any amplifier is unjustified when you can get a very fine, barely used car for such a princely sum."
If straight talk appeals to you, you'll appreciate what we're about. With Almarro, you won't ever find excess or mysterious circuits. What you will find is exceptional performance packaged in functional forms that are made from ordinary but good and lasting materials.
Our boss used to build traditional farm houses. They were simple structures with strong exposed wood beams made for poor hard-working folks. He still lives in one of these homes. The same values that drove him then drive him now. That is why, on our amplifiers and speakers, you see finely finished fronts made from Ash or Cherry wood, some even with exposed joinery. What you will not find are chrome, polished gold, shiny lights and other glittery items. There are many other brands which already offer those things. We prefer to stick to our roots and build the old-fashioned way: humbly but strong and for retail prices that are still meaningful to average working class people.
Our main interest is vacuum tube amplification. Staying with the theme of the simple but proven, we use 6550s, EL84s and 6C33Cs in both single-ended and push/pull, triode and pentode circuits, with or without feedback depending on what is appropriate for the best performance.
We also make loudspeakers to go with our mostly integrated amplifiers. Do not let appearances fool you though. While Almarro products look simple and unadorned, they perform well beyond their looks and price range, something more and more people are finding out about and attest to.
Some reviewers even talk about an audio underground to which music lovers turn who are fed up with extremist and complicated audio which only the few can afford. If such an underground movement really exists, we would like to think that its values and ours overlap. But we let you be the judge. Look over our website and get in touch with us on any questions you might have or any help we can provide.
On this page and the gallery link of the products page, you will see a few products we either no longer make or which never went into formal production. We have included them simply to show you where we have been and where we might be going. Our crazy boss is always experimenting, always working on something. Some projects are exclusively for his own amusement and to experiment.
He is also fascinated by some of the big Russian tubes and has a very large inventory of NOS tube stocks and related parts. What we actually make and sell are the designs that combine practicality and relevance for the greatest number of people. After all, who would be interested in a 200-watt tube amplifier that runs hotter than a radiator and consumes more power than two air conditioners running at full power? Still, building such a beast can teach
us useful lessons. It's just not something Almarro will put into production. We mention this only so you can appreciate that our production units have a lot more behind them than their simple shapes and non-exotic tubes may suggest.
For example, our boss has designed a power transformer for the GM-100, a huge Russian transmitter tube capable of 1000 watts dissipation. With 18 amperes of current running through the tube, the voltages involved are lethal if not dealt with properly. This could never become a commercial product. But that does not stop Muramatsu-San from experimenting for his own entertainment and ongoing edification.
Although Almarro is a small family-style business, we have many OEM contracts with large Japanese companies and have produced over 500,000 units of different goods over the last 20 years.