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ALFA MUSIC’ 55th Anniversary Cartridges Commemorating

JICO is pleased to announce the release of cartridges featuring the ALFA MUSIC model as the second installment of the JICO CUSTOM SHOP – ARTIST Series, commemorating the 55th Anniversary, with orders being accepted starting from April 17, 2024

A Model We Want to Deliver to All Record Enthusiasts

In 2020, as the first installment of the ARTIST Series, JICO released the “BASIE MODEL,”

a stylus supervised by Mr. Shoji Sugawara of Jazz Cafe BASIE. About a year ago, we began exploring and considering the second installment of the ARTIST Series.

In this release, we extend an invitation to City Pop vinyl enthusiasts, nostalgic ALFA Records fans, and newcomers to the world of vinyl to experience the JICO CUSTOM SHOP: ARTIST Series No.2 “ALFA MODEL.” Crafted with an artist-centric approach, this Special Edition aims to captivate music enthusiasts worldwide.


Established in 1969 by composer/producer Kunihiko Murai, ALFA MUSIC started as a music publisher and production company before evolving into a record label.

Murai, 24 at the time, aimed to elevate Japanese Pop Music to Global standards, resulting in ALFA Music becoming synonymous with hit songs and groundbreaking albums by pioneering artists who shaped the contemporary music landscape.

Notably, ALFA MUSIC launched the singer-songwriter career of Yumi Matsutoya and propelled Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) to International success. As ALFA MUSIC will celebrate its 55th Anniversary in July 2024, the label embarks on a new chapter, promising not only reissues but also new recordings and previously unreleased material.

■Product Overview

● 55th Anniversary Limited Edition Model: ALFA MODEL55 / OMNIA

“Sure to Capture Your Heart with Sound”

A High-Grade model featuring natural, uncut diamonds. Crafted to faithfully reproduce each sound with clarity compared to standard models. Limited to 550 units. Every cartridge and stylus are individually assigned a serial number.

● Standard Model: ALFA MODEL / OMNIA

“The Sound of Artist-Centricity”

An entry-level model featuring Synthetic uncut diamonds. Crafted to recreate the sound of music released by ALFA Music at the time.

Listening to the Sounds of an Era

Composer and Founder of ALFA Music

Kunihiko Murai

The designer of Studio A, where famous classic albums from ALFA such as Yumi Matsutoya’s “Hikoukigumo,” Minako Yoshida’s “Flapper,” Hi-Fi Set’s “Love Collection,” Tadashi Kosaka’s “Hourou,” and Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) were recorded, is Jack Edwards.

Jack is also known for designing studios like A&M Studios and Motown Studios in Los Angeles. These studios were known for their acoustically favorable compact rooms and the use of analog multitrack recorders.

“Listening again to recordings like Carol King’s “Tapestry” from A&M Studios and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” from Motown Studios fills me with nostalgia.

I hope you enjoy listening to ALFA’s classic albums with the ALFA’s record stylus. You should be able to truly hear the sounds of that era.” [Profile] 1967, debuted as a composer with Vicky’s “Machikutabireta Nichiyoubi.” 1969, founded the music publishing company ALFA Music. 1977, established ALFA Records and produced numerous artists including Yumi Matsutoya, YMO, Akai Tori, Galo, Circus, and Minako Yoshida.

Composed many songs including “Tsubasa o Kudasai,” “Niji to Yuki no Ballad,” “Emerald no Densetsu,” “Shiroi Sango Shou,” “Yoru to Asa no Aida ni,” “Tsubame ga Kuru Koro,” and “Sky Restaurant.” 2017, Celebrated 50 years as a composer. ​

■Crafting Sound with ALFA SOUND

Engineer and Representative of AST Mastering Studios

Norio Yoshizawa

“While I don’t believe that one stylus can accommodate all sources of sound (records), I take pride in ALFA’s sound engineering, not only in the music itself but also in the craftsmanship of sound, which we refer to as “ALFA SOUND.” In the past, recording engineers typically considered their work complete once they created the source tape for recording and mastering. However, at ALFA, our recording department was committed to shaping the sound all the way through the cutting process, under the supervision of factory staff. This was a standard practice unique to ALFA; other record companies did not engage in this level of oversight. Our recording staff felt a sense of responsibility to deliver the best possible music to the world, which is perhaps why even today, 50 years later, many people continue to show interest in our work.”


Originally from Tokyo, Mr. Yoshizawa embarked on his career in the recording department of Victor Music Industries before making his mark at ALFA MUSIC. During his tenure at ALFA, he played instrumental roles in establishing Studio “A” and eventually assumed leadership of the recording department. With his extensive expertise, Mr. Yoshizawa contributed to recordings for esteemed artists such as Yumi Matsutoya, Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), and Haruomi Hosono. Particularly noteworthy is his role as an engineer and mixer for YMO’s late 1970s recordings. Presently, he serves as the Representative Director at AST Mastering Studios, where he continues to shape the sonic landscape of the industry. Additionally, he holds the position of Advisor for ALFA Music’s original master management, ensuring the preservation and quality of the label’s musical heritage.

■ALFA MUSIC' Essence is Condensed Within

Producer and Media Art Studio “Akasaka Base” Representative

Toma Campbell

“I am grateful to have been involved in the planning of this groundbreaking cartridge. I first heard about the new product concept from Mr. Yukihiko Nakagawa, President of JICO, at the end of the summer of 2023.

It was mentioned that they wanted to develop a new cartridge with a new supervisor as a successor to JICO’s BASIE ARTIST model stylus. When I heard about this, the first thing that came to mind was the voices of the vibrant music production scene in Japan, which is renowned worldwide. In recent years, there has been a global reevaluation of Japanese City Pop vinyl from the 1970s to the 1980s, and during that era, there was a label that was constantly injecting innovative sounds into records. Yes, it was ALFA Records, which gave birth to artists like Yumi Arai and YMO. This ALFA model is the perfect cartridge for listening to City Pop music on vinyl, proudly made in Japan.

The soul of the illustrious ALFA MUSIC, born in Japan, is condensed within this cartridge.

I encourage you to enjoy your favorite records with this cartridge.”


After diverse experience in television, advertising, music, and the web, he founded “AkasakaBase” Media Art Studio in 2019.

Here, he crafts audiovisual equipment, creates media art, and explores various creative ventures like novels and music.

A dynamic multi-creator, he founded Monophonica Records in 2004, won the Tokyo Interactive Ad Awards in 2006, and opened “AkasakaBase Sound Goods Lab” in 2019.

■Not Just Excitement, but also Anticipation Makes it Genuine


President: Yukihiko Nakagawa

It’s been nearly four years since we introduced the ARTIST Series No.1 “BASIE MODEL.

” Since 2023, I’ve been pondering the idea of launching No.2. Along the way, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Kunihiko Murai, a composer, arranger, producer, and the founder of ALFA Records.

Upon explaining the ARTIST Series concept to him, he enthusiastically suggested, “That sounds fantastic!

Let’s create the ultimate model for enjoying the records I released in the 1970s and 80s.” Together with Mr. Norio Yoshizawa, former head of the recording department at ALFA MUSIC, we spent months conducting auditions at Sony Music Studios/Mastering Studio in Nogizaka, Tokyo.

I’ve always cherished the journey from product conception to mass production.

While discussing the plan with Mr. Murai, I felt exhilarated, and when we finalized the sound with Mr. Yoshizawa, I felt a tinge of nervousness. I’m confident that people worldwide will appreciate it. Dive into the essence of craftsmanship that JICO advocates.”


Born in Osaka City, he began his professional journey at a bank-affiliated securities firm after completing his university education. With approximately 25 years of experience in sales, he advanced through various roles at JICO, ultimately assuming the position of President and CEO in 2020.

Under his guidance, JICO embarked on a significant transformation in 2023, converting its factory into an open factory concept known as “Feel Records.

” This initiative marked the company’s entry into the tourism industry. In April 2024, he further expanded JICO’s presence by opening Feel Records “Kyoto Hanare Store”.

Collaborating closely with his brother, who serves as the representative director, he remains committed to driving JICO’s growth and success into the future.

【Order Acceptance Date】

April 17, 2024

【Estimated Shipping】

July 2024