It may seem hard to believe, but the continued growth of the vinyl market can’t seem to keep major turntable manufacturers in business. First there was Panasonic’s decision to discontinue its iconic Technics line — a blasphemous move if you ask any self-respecting DJ or this online petition, which has received nearly 23,000 digital signatures. And now there’s word (via FACT) that Vestax quietly shuttered its doors a few months ago.
The Japanese news site Teikoku News Online first reported the rumor — still not verified by Vestax itself — as part of a trend piece on the continued decline of the country’s manufacturing. DJ TechTools shared several bits of evidence about the company’s August 31 closing, including the shutdown of its LA store, the radio silence on all its social media accounts since July, and the lack of any new Vestax products this year.
“If true, this would be the end of a very significant era,” DJ TechTools wrote. “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.”
Maybe everyone is simply buying their turntables at Urban Outfitters now? Or is it Amazon? Either way, the demand for DJ-oriented turntables seems to be dwindling. Or as a Manchester DJ named Dextrous told The Independent back in 2010, “I still think [Technics are] unbeatable. But in recent years we’ve seen the march of the digital DJ. The trouble with turntables is it leaves you locked into buying records. You can’t play songs before they’ve been released, which everyone wants to now, and lots of DJs want to promote their own music, and not many of them have got it on vinyl. I’ve still got my Technics at home, but next to them I’ve got MP3 turntables.”