In 1960, Mr. Yoshimura invited Seiya Goto to join YL Yoshimura Laboratory and design hornloaded drivers. While Yoshimura-San endeavored to shrink physical size by curving his horns, Goto-San insisted on straight horns for what he believed was higher performance. In 1965, he left YL to establish Goto Unit and focus on his personal design theories.
1969 proved to become an important year for Goto when Takajo-San joined his firm. Takajo was a famous music and equipment critic and insisted that reproduced sound had to be identical to the original sound. He had already asked many equipment manufacturers to improve their product quality and raise the transfer quality of recorded sound to storage media – tape and vinyl records – by improving microphones, tape recorders, amplifier and loudspeakers. Takajo-San was always on the lookout for genuine inventions that would further the art of music playback.
How should one evaluate an audio system? Generally, most audiophiles make the following mistakes.
1) Frequency response is significant but when measured with a signal sweep, the results don’t indicate speaker linearity (compression) vs input level. Takajo-San emphasizes that it’s human hearing and not test equipment that must be ultimately relied upon to become the final arbiter of sound quality.
2) The listener evaluates a system by playing back a CD while comparing the reproduced sound with what he imagines the original session to have sounded like. Unfortunately, multi-tracking and subsequent mix-downs often bear no resemblance to what is imagined as the original sound in the recording studio.
Takajo’s evaluation method begins with personally recording a pianist or cello player in his listening room, then playing back the recording while the musicians are still present to compare the results in situ. This practice forms the backbone of driver development at Goto and led to a change from the original aluminum diaphragms to titanium units, specifically for the SG570, SG160 and SG370 transducers.
When Takajo-San ran into problems with a TAD-designed woofer whose designer had passed on, he approached Goto to repair or even rebuild this discontinued woofer. This kicked of Goto’s eventual manufacture of custom woofers, beginning with 4 units that weighed in at 40kg/ea. due to their massive magnets from Takejo’s personal parts arsenal.
During their first evaluation of these prototype drivers, Takajo and Goto placed them on the backs of their bass horns without bolts, possible during this test due to the drivers’ enormous weights. To the surprise of both men, the previous bass boominess of this room – which Takajo had blamed on standing waves and attempted to suppress with big Chinese alcohol bottles in his corners – disappeared and the high-frequency performance of the system improved. These observations committed Goto to the design and manufacture of extremely powerful woofers, including a special driver dedicated to work with the high rear pressures of bass-horn loading.
But Takajo-San wasn’t satisfied yet. Recording natural sounds like insects chirping or glass bottles breaking, he insisted Goto-San further improve his drivers to reproduce such pure sounds more accurately. This led to experiments with different magnets and diaphragms and eventually replaced titanium with Beryllium for the SG188S and SG3880S units.
Changes in political climates and Pakistan’s and Korea’s interest in atomic bombs then impacted Japanese legislation and exportation of Beryllium – used for atomic bomb switches – became prohibited. This led to Goto’s duralumin diaphragms to replace Beryllium while approaching its performance.
As of 2007, Mr. Seiya Goto has turned 80. To protect his intellectual property and assure continuation of the Goto legacy, his two sons and grandson have become his successors.