Vestax Officially Bankrupt; Who Could Buy The Brand?

We read the signs of a dying Vestax Corporation a few months ago in an article – and now it has been officially confirmed in Japanese media. The Tokyo-based hardware manufacturer of DJ gear has declared bankruptcy.

Teikoku Databank, an Japanese online credit research company, reported that Vestax started bankruptcy proceedings on December 5th in Tokyo District Court, having gone into debt for 900 million yen (about $7.5 million USD). The main reasons cited for the debt seem to include (based on Google translated text):

  • low-cost Chinese-made goods sold by competitors
  • slump in exports due to the strong Yen
  • the recent 2014 Japanese recession
  • stagnation of the entertainment market as a result of the 2011 earthquake in Japan

On the main home page of Vestax Europe, there’s just a simple classic logo. Vestax’s main web presences have disappeared or becoming completely inactive (in the case of almost every social media account).

Valuable Asset: Who’s Buying?

The question on a lot of DJs minds is clear – who will snatch up the company, brand, product lines, and supply chains? The company absolutely has value, even if its current financial state is a mess.

Vestax was behind some of the most important elements of modern DJing – from incredible turntablism mixers to some of the first digital DJ controllers (that helped spawn controllerism and DJ Techtools). We can think of a few potential buyers who might want a piece of the action:

  • Pioneer DJ: The now-independent DJ division of Pioneer has a lot of mobility – mainly because they’re owned and backed by a major investment company we’ve speculated might be willing to inject cash into the company to make it even more of a powerful brand. Owning a secondary brand isn’t something that Pioneer has done before, but considering they’ve killed off their low-end gear (specifically mixers – an area where Vestax has always done well), this could be an interesting option for them.
  • InMusic (Numark, Denon, Akai, M-Audio): This is the obvious choice, only because we know that InMusic has historically been willing to grab up powerful brands that might not be doing so well financially. Folding the company into the InMusic family could be a good choice – but then again, does InMusic really need more brands?

What do you think should/will happen to the Vestax brand now that the company is bankrupt? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Comments (38)
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  • keith

    Low cost kit from China? They moved their production to China. Coming from the vinyl community I can assure you nobody is going to drop 800 bucks on anything made in China. Seems the DJ community has been their worst enemy. Serato did a few things. The first it made the quality of the turntable unimportant . The second it took the fun out of seeing a skilled DJ at work. Then you have stars of your community outing themselves as bunch of idiots waving their hands in the air doing absolutely nothing. The Dj community as best I can tell is dead. Unless you are impressed by a basic percussion beat created by Q Bert and self proclaimed not to even know how to balance a tonearm.

  • B-SIDE

    My 0.06 cents (2 cents x 3 LOL)

    – In Music : Probably Not – They recently acquired Denon – they are still trying to stabilize that move, so I doubt they would jump in just yet, plus word on the street is Jack O. is looking to buy a lighting company not another DJ brand. (With that said if a major competitor was sniffing around, Jack would possibly shut them out)

    – Pioneer : Seriously doubt it – Another recent acquisition looking for stability not volatility. Given the conservative nature of the new parent investment company, this doesn’t seem like a logical move for them; Although it would make perfect sense for the rest of us.

    – Gibson : Slight possibility -but they are running out of capital given the past few years of acquiring brands like Stanton (somewhat alive – but only for turntables), Cerwin-Vega (moving cautiously slow to develop and release as always), KRK (the golden child of the monitor industry), and not long after that the U.S. portion of Onkyo – still going strong, AND the overwhelming purchase of TEAC/Tascam….. the latter two appear to be unaffected by the Gibson Acquisition poison that most brands they acquire suffer.

  • soldjure

    I think InMusic picking up the Vestax brand would be a good decision. I find Numark products to be entry level and not even closed to the same build quality at Vestax. I currently own a VCI-400 and I love it. I DJ with many other artists who also use controllers and have compared our gear countless times. Vestax holds up to any controller out there, and would argue it is on the same level as the DDJ from Pioneer. I’m just glad I still have a copy of the driver file for the controller, because the support site on Vestax is now non-existent.

    • alweer (ze Germans) is still online. Anyone in need of
      drivers/manuals/mappings could pick them up there. Just bought a
      VCI-400DJ and found it all

  • einstyles

    The VCI-400 is the best controller of its kind on the market. totally kills it compared to the s4.

  • noxxi

    i blame their overseas marketing, I’ve always seen Vestax as an obscure “old school” brand, one that’s not relevant anymore.

    • soldjure

      Very true. There brand presence in North America was very niche. Trying asking people if they’ve heard of Vestax who isnt a music professional.

      • noxxi

        same here in the uk, in fact the only reason it didnt fade off into ghost territory long ago was simply because they were lucky enough to have ean golden tout their products for a few years. i remember wanting a vci 400, but thats only because of djtt, and even then i didnt want the normal one

  • Dancefloor

    sh… sh….
    My favourite brand in Djing.
    So many perfect products…
    I will keep them as long they last : maybe 2 lives!!

  • Mutis Mayfield

    Native Instruments should buy it and improve their actual products + release its own digital turntable… Wait! It is not going to happen…

  • Shem Shearwood

    Imagine if Sony Corp,. bought them.. O.o

    But it would be nice if Pioneer DJ bought them but now that i think about Sony…

    • GusK

      Sony is struggling with their own business, especially with Sony Pictures trying to pick up the pieces from that epic hack! I think they’re putting all their eggs in console gaming.

  • chris

    more interesting, and sustainable, than the rescue of an bank.

    • Marco Hooghuis

      Hell no. Vestax is not in any way required for the survival of an economic ecosystem.

      • chris

        sustainability means not only to recycle. It will be an big part for the competition, also for innovation and keep jobs on market. After this big crisis we had to clean our heads from this cash-hoarding nerds.

        • Marco Hooghuis

          What does that have to do with anything you or I just said? You were talking about how it is better to rescue vestax than a bank. I showed you that you’re wrong, and now you’re talking about jobs.
          I repeat, Vestax is not in any way required for the survival of an economic ecosystem.

          • chris

            are you talking to me, that i mean that vestax is more interesting, and sustainable, than the rescue of an bank ???

          • Marco Hooghuis

            Isn’t that what you said? Your original post was “more interesting, and sustainable, than the rescue of an bank.”

          • HSSL

            you didn’t show him anything. You just made a statement.

          • Marco Hooghuis

            You’re right, I should’ve phrased it differently. But I can show you anyway. Take a look at the fall of Lehman Brothers. The government didn’t bail out Lehman, which caused a chain reaction and played a major role in the economic crisis which was almost the end of our economic system. Don’t take my word for it, look it up. Vestax doesn’t even compare to any of this.

          • HSSL

            you trying to school me on macro-economics?

            So you’re implying the bail-outs were a good thing?
            The one flaw in your statement is that banks don’t really do shit anymore. They ‘gamble’ on high-stake games. Vestax manufactures high quality products. They create wealth… when people buy it. That’s been the problem, so they went under. It is what it is.
            Hopefully they get to continue tho, preferably with a Made In Japan label on it.

          • Marco Hooghuis

            Bailouts were not good, but necessary. I agree that the banks are to blame, but we shouldn’t let the whole world suffer just because of these idiot bankers. When big banks fall, we are obligated to keep them upright. If we don’t, we hurt so many more than just the bankers who created the problem.
            In an ideal world we’d have laws that let banks pay for the bailouts or limits on their size, but until then this is the moral thing to do.

          • HSSL

            everything you claim is highly debatable, but I’m not gonna bother.

            Vestax is dead, long live Vestax!

    • Dan White

      Thanks Rob – we fixed it 🙂

  • bidders

    can Djtechtools get together with a company and step in? or at least help provide a firware update to the vci380/400 to allow dvs control with serato? you were able to update firmware for the old vci100’s so it surley can’t be that different.

    • aw81

      I wonder if we could start a kickstarter campaign to pay someone to make the firmware…

      • bidders

        would love to see it but i personally don’t have the faintest idea how to go about it or have the time to do it myself, fingers crossed we will see the updates eventually. pretty gutted as i updated my vci100 firmware years ago and bought my 380 recently having heard updates were in the pipeline for it.

        • aw81

          This is my problem, no idea where to start!

          • bidders

            okay, come on DJTT!! you are making controllers that rock already, that coupled with vestax’s mixer know how is surely a way to progress to the next level to bring a combined DJTT mixer with Vestax inside. I’d love to see that in the future!!!

  • Doobidoo


  • Mark Goertzen

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gibson be in the mix to purchase the brand. In the last year or two they grabbed KRK, Stanton, and Cerwin Vega.

    • Dan White

      Fantastic point – I’m sure they’re happy with CV and KRK – wonder how Stanton products are doing these days..

      • kebzer

        Stanton currently dominates the turntable market with the ST-150. I know it sounds weird, but every DJ who wanted to change/upgrade their turntables setup (from mk2s or PDX) they went the ST way and seem pretty happy.

  • bidders

    hope someone saves the brand. Vestax have been a major part of the DJ scene for decades producing quality mixers, would be a real shame to see them wiped out completely