Vestax to return with new DJ products this year
Vestax has been creating innovative audio equipment for DJs and producers for over 30 years. In 2014, however, the company’s future came to an abrupt halt when they declared bankruptcy. While many anticipated the situation after mounting debt from the Japanese electronics company, fans around the world were unequivocally left disappointed by the news. Now, however, Vestax has officially confirmed the relaunch of the brand in 2016, including the manufacturing of new DJ projects.
Hidesato Shiino, the original founder of Vestax, broke the news over a blog post on guitar site Paco 1997. Shiino’s post narrates the story of the company’s financial struggles, while also announcing the plan going forward. For the time being, that plan includes the manufacturing of a new Vestax mixer, before eventually moving on to other products like turntables, pre-amps, and signal devices, according to the post.
Read Hidesato Shiino’s full message below:
VESTAX, a company I established on November 8, 1977, had been listed as bankrupt in December 2014. No one knew the truth as to how on earth this had happened. But as its Founder, I now have the duty and obligation to report it to all.
The VESTAX Group was running very smoothly up to 2002 – a profitable and debt-free enterprise. I decided to retire and leave the management and operations of the company and its products to a younger, “Under 40yo” generation in April of that year. What drove me to move on was that I had become disillusioned by the vulgarity of the “money game”, and how it was depriving the human spirit of manufacturing-creativity. I felt the shallowness, and an emphasis on price over innovative technologies.
“Manufacturing requires boundless passion, and a person must be driven, and aggressively and progressively create and produce – by inspiration and perspiration, while learning by trial and error.”
This is the motto I have aspired to in manufacturing. I had been working hard to convey such thinking to my employees to focus on ideas not products, and that it was become an era of no interest in people. It was difficult. In other words, a “money game” type manufacturing industry began to be the popular business form.
Some three years after I left the company, talented people started to leave one after the other, and the manufacturing company began to collapse. After five years, the constitution of the company had completely changed, with scandals involving its proprietor, and interest in the company began to vanish. “The times they are a-changing” – economic primacy eliminated human dignity. Such was my feeling. Toshiba, Sharp, Yamaha – Japanese companies once known for their specialized fields – also changed to fit this global attitude, and lost sight in their direction. Surprisingly, Sony also followed this pattern. It is unfortunate that the no one understands the mission statement written at the establishment of Sony by its Founder Mr Ibuka.
It is a style that permeates the world, and companies that manufacture their own line seem to be disappearing. The trend now is low-end disposable products have flooded the market and on the other hand small groups crowd around ridiculously expensive goods. Therefore over these last 15 years, I can see that the identity of this industry has completely changed, though this has no relationship with the damage to my own company.
For some years the management position was “We can’t make something from scratch” as “new products can’t be sold”. As a result, most people left the company and disappeared. Upon the company closing, a check was made on product-quality, and was found to be quite inferior when compared with the 2002 output. The company closure is still being deliberated at the Tokyo District Court, and is not yet concluded.
And I sincerely apologize to the many DJ’s who have endorsed and still love VESTAX, as well as to those who gave great efforts to develop and sell our products in the DJ world for this strange ending. Away from the company for 13 years, I entrusted the management, but they did not perform for you as I hoped. Everyone regarded VESTAX as a company with strong sense and that as a Japanese company it would not fall to novelty. I think it lost sight of its core manufacturing purpose and direction, as I have described above.
I would like to send this heartfelt message to everyone, to spread to the DJ World that I seriously considered restarting the VESTAX of 2002, but large-scale mass production of new units is not possible. However, I have decided to release and sell the first of a range of products from March 2016, as I have sourced the production talent of 2002 levels. I plan to produce limited quantities (10~20 per month) for direct sale to end-users.
While my purpose is not commercial-level output, I will release a Mixer rebranded as STP/VESTAX with our VESTAX image, in order to support and keep our global VESTAX fans, and I hope it will receive strong, warm encouragement. There is significant experienced thought behind the development and production of this mixer, as top-quality sound has been the priority behind its development. It is also matched with a distinct yet subtle design. In 2016 we will sequentially announce a range of new acoustic products such as a power amplifier, signal devices, turntable, SP system, and pre-amplifiers. We think that no matter how the music world is changing, there will always be real die-hard music lovers.
Hoping for your understanding and future support,
Vestax Corporation Founder: Hidesato Shiino
Via: DJ Tech Tools