Is Vestax Out of Business?

Some potentially sad news reached our inbox this morning as a Japanese reader tipped us off that Vestax Corporation has apparently “ceased operations as of August 31st” (according to a Japanese news source). While unconfirmed, this doesn’t come as a big surprise. Vestax has been noticeably missing from action over the past few years. Lacking any new products at NAMM 2014, the trusted manufacturer was also completely absent from the recent BPM tradeshow in the UK leading many to wonder if a demise was near.

Update November 1 2014: Several recent key employees at Vestax have confirmed they are no longer operating as a company. No word on support for past customers. 

A Japanese news organization, Teikoku News Online, has reported:

Indispensable in helping to talk about the music and club scene in Japan, name-brand DJ (disc jockey) for mixer, turntable “Vestax”. Co., Ltd. has ceased operations August 31″

This was part of a larger story about the continuing slow down of Japanese manufacturing.

The news of Vestax’s closure on the front page of Teikoku News Online

Vestax has been under pressure for years, first with the decreasing value of the Yen, which made it difficult for them to remain competitive in the face of lower cost controllers from Pioneer, Reloop, NI and others. More recently they’ve faced challenges due to their lack of software and ability to compete with those who have software platforms.

DJ TechTools has reached out to representatives from the company for comment, and at this time does not have an official confirmation. There is a lot of evidence to support the idea that Vestax has ceased operations entirely:

  • All of their social media accounts stopped seeing updates in July
  • Their new LA Vestax “To The Core” store was shut down at the end of August
  • There were no Vestax reps present at BPM in September
  • There have not been any new Vestax products released in the past year.
  • American Music & Sound, Vestax’s US distributor for a number of years, dropped them in 2014
  • Vestax’s main support phone number in the US still calls up AM&S
No social media updates since mid-July – but the company was posting with weekly regularity for the entire year prior.
The LA Vestax store was quietly closed – just a Yelp review reveals it’s absence.

Finally, there’s been a lot of secondary confirmations on the Serato forums as well of people learning that the company has apparently gone under:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at Oct 15.40.08 AM
Link to the comment in context on Serato’s forums

If true, this would be the end of a very significant era. Our friends in Japan were responsible for many innovations over the years in turntables, mixers, and controllers. Most notably, it was the Vestax VCI-100 which inspired a new generation of DJs to take up DJing using only their laptops.  That controller, and it’s various incarnations, was a significant part of our story as a blog, and as a DIY community.

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