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Locked groove: Vestax vanishes

A Vestax turntable
Turntable manufacturer Vestax ended operations on August 31
TOKYO (TR) – Vestax, the Japanese maker of disc jockey and audio equipment, has ended operations, according to economic research company Teikoku Databank.

The company “ended sales and manufacturing operations on August 31,” Teikoku reported.

What has happened remains unclear. Calls placed to Vestax went straight to an answering machine, and a Teikoku official told The Tokyo Reporter that his organization “had only found out that operations had stopped and could not comment on bankruptcy.”

Rumors of troubles at Vestax have been circulating for some time. “Vestax is bankrupt, or close to it — for proof, go to their Web site and call the support line,” one user wrote. “It’s for a company that they cut ties with over a year ago. They still have the outdated phone number on their Web site.”

Vestax, founded in 1977, produces mixers popular with international DJs, but appears to have fallen victim to the general decline in sales of audio hardware that has hit much of the industry.

In 2010, Panasonic discontinued its Technics turntables, though earlier this year the brand released its first new audio equipment (other than headphones) since the stoppage.

Last month, Pioneer announced that it would be pulling out of the audio equipment business.

One Japanese blogger hopes Vestax’s apparent disappearance will be short-lived. “Hopefully, the company will be able to find an investor and restart business,” the blogger wrote. “Vestax is known as a really reliable Japanese brand among (music) professionals.”