Vestax is no more. The iconic DJ equipment manufacturer has finally filed for bankruptcy, reports in the Japanese press say today, and the logo above is all that remains of its European website. Its Facebook page has gone, as has its UK shop site. It really does appear, just as was rumoured back in October, that this is the end of the road for the iconic DJ brand.
Having virtually kickstarted the digital DJ hardware revolution with the VCI-100, and followed it with the well-received VCI-300 (my personal favourite), VCI-380 and VCI-400 models, the company nonetheless found itself squeezed by bigger names entering and dominating the industry (especially Pioneer and the conglomerate-like inMusic, now home to Denon, Akai Professional and of course Numark), and the strength of the hardware/software model pursued by Native Instruments with its Traktor products.
As a smaller player, Vestax with hindsight was always vulnerable, and maybe the 2008 recession and the strong Yen (Vestax is a Japanese company) also contributed to its downfall. Bizarre shrunken hifi systems and cheap rebranded headphones in the company’s final days probably didn’t help, either.
In the bigger scheme of things, the brand will probably be remembered best for its awesome scratch mixers, its commitment to quality and its old-fashioned approach to customer service, a relic from the days when DJing was a niche industry and products hung around longer than six months before the latest, greatest must-haves rendered them obsolete. In a world of quick changes, exciting products but maybe a bit too much disposability, we’ll miss you Vestax.
What are your fond memories of the Vestax brand? Share your thoughts of your favourite Vestax gear in the comments.