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|Formerly||Shiino Musical Instruments Developing Corporation|
|Industry||Electronic musical instrument|
|Founded||November 1977Tokyo, Japanin|
|Defunct||5 December 2014(bankruptcy proceedings decision)|
|Headquarters||1-18-6, Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan|
|Kanako Ohsawa (trustee in bankruptcy), Toshihide Nakama (previous president)|
|Products||DJ equipment (DJ mixer, CD players, turntables, phonograph cutting machines, DJ controllers), multitrack recorders, effectors, guitar preamps, electric guitars, etc.|
Vestax Corporation was a Japanese musical instrument, turntable and audio equipment firm founded by Hidesato Shiino in 1977. The company started by designing and manufacturing electronic guitars. In the 1980s, Vestax produced multitrack recorders and later moved to making DJ mixers, professional turntables, compact disc players and signal processors. Debt troubles lead to the company's bankruptcy at the end of 2014.
The Vestax Corporation of Japan began in 1977 as a designer and manufacturer of electronic guitars. In the 1980s Vestax introduced a series of cassette-based multitracks, including the Vestax MR66, to challenge established products from Fostex, Yamaha and Tascam's portastudios.
Competing in the turntable market
During the late 1990s Vestax launched a new flagship range of professional DJ turntables. The PDX models had higher specifications than the two market leading products from Technics and were priced in direct competition with the Technics SL1210/SL1200.
However, the industry standard Technics SL1210/SL1200 models remained the favourite of DJs worldwide. At the time they were an established brand with a twenty-year head start. There have also been some build quality issues reported throughout 2008 and 2009.
This pattern of events has been replicated by other DJ equipment manufacturers such as Numark, Gemini and Stanton. These turntables have either a higher specification or lower cost, in sheer numbers sold they are still dwarfed by the various versions of the Technics SL-1200 & SL-1210 series.
In 2006, Vestax moved into the burgeoning digital DJ market and released the VCI 100, an all-in-one DJ controller used to control digital DJ software. Its design of jog wheels and a mixer in a single compact frame sparked a revolution in digital DJ hardware, quickly becoming the blueprint for most DJ controllers and helping to re-establish Vestax as a major player in the DJ market. The company has subsequently solidified this position by launching a highly respected range of DJ controllers from low-end consumer models to more highly specced pro versions such as the VCI-380 and VCI-400.
In the 2010s Vestax focused on high-tech musical electronics, creating signal processors, DJ Mixers, professional turntables and Compact Disc players. The company also reduced its range of turntables, but kept the PDX-2000mk2/2300mk2 for mainstream DJ use, and the PDX-2000mk2pro/PDX-2300pro with a new tonearm suspension system for increased skip resistance. In conjunction with DJ Qbert they have also released the QFO and QFO LE models. These turntables have built-in mixers, and a portable turntable/mixer 
In mid-October 2014, many websites reported a speculative piece investigating reports from the Japanese news source "Teikoku News Online", that Vestax was ceasing operations. Retailers in the US closed shop, and there was a lack of representation or new products being revealed at trade shows. On 5 December Vestax started bankruptcy proceedings with a debt of 900 million yen (roughly $7.5 million USD).
Vestax innovated with their turntable using a straight tone arm, which gave greater tracking force; useful for complex DJing maneuvers such as scratching or beat juggling. This has been adopted by virtually all other turntable manufacturers, with the exception of Technics. Some maintain however that the straight arm increases wear upon the record. This is based on the premise that the original 's' shaped tonearm is so designed as to naturally gravitate toward the center of the record. The straight arm will not do this, and so will theoretically drag more as the record rotates, wearing down the grooves. Vestax however have consistently denied this.
For many years Vestax had been creating professional mobile DJ style mixers, but in the early 1990s they started creating mixers focusing on the developing Turntablism scene. Two of the first early attempts were the Vestax PMC-05FX and PMC-05 Trix mixers. These were simple mixers which were endorsed by famous DJs and had a stripped down layout. They had features (like a centered crossfader which was replaceable). They were also a small size which made juggling and other techniques easier. But they lacked some key features like a smooth crossfader, hamster switch, EQ controls, and an unobstructed crossfader area. During NAMM 1993 Vestax began talking to DJs (including DJ Shortkut, DJ Rhettmatic, and DJ Q-Bert) about creating mixers which took some of the best features from previous models and catered to the emerging turntablism scene. The PMC-05 Pro was the first model which came out of these conversations. It was a major step forward for DJs competing in DJ battles. It had a smooth, quick cut crossfader which was adjustable. The crossfader was also not surrounded by any screws or physical barriers, which made scratching and juggling easier. Other features included headphone cueing, 2 band EQs, and independent gains per channel.
- 05 Series
- PMC-05Pro Limited Edition
- PMC-05ProD Samurai
- 06 Series
- PMC-06ProD Samurai
- 07 Series
- PMC-07ProD Samurai
- Club Mixers
Vestax focused on the needs of nightclubs and Disc jockeys and their mixers became favourites of international DJs such as Carl Cox, Jeff Mills, DJ QBert and Cut Chemist. Mixers such as the various iterations of the PMC-05pro have become staples of the Hip Hop DJ community, and they also have manufactured signature models for DJ's such as Carl Cox and DJ Qbert.
"Hidesato Shiino (1947–)". Music-Trade.co.jp. Yokohama, Japan: Dai-Show Corporation.The person who involved with a lot of remarkable guitars including: Yamaha FG series, replica models by Fernandes and Greco, H. S. Anderson brand (known with MadCat model used by Prince), establishments of ESP Guitars, Vesta Graham & Vestax (now known as DJ brand), Akai Guitar 1997 series, re-issue of D'Angelico Guitars, etc.
"ＤＪ用ミキサー・ターンテーブル製造「Ｖｅｓｔａｘ」ブランドを展開ベスタクス株式会社破産手続き開始決定受ける" [Manufacturer of DJ mixers & turntables under Vestax brand, Vestax Corporation received bankruptcy proceedings decision]. Large Bankruptcy Information (in Japanese). Teikoku Databank, Ltd. 10 December 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2014.[In English: Vestax Corporation (...) have received bankruptcy proceedings decision by Tokyo District Court on 5 December 2014. ...]
- "Vestax Officially Bankrupt; Who Could Buy The Brand?". DJTechTools. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
"XW-J1 DJ Controller - Special Features". Products. Casio America, Inc. (casio.com)."Powered by Vestax- The XW-J1 delivers all the legendary quality of Vestax professional hardware. The mixer controls are built using high quality faders and rotary knobs."
- that is capable of battery power.
- "DJ Equipment Producer Vestax Has Reportedly Filed for Bankruptcy". Billboard.com. www.Billboard.com. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
Pinch, Trevor; Bijsterveld, Karin, eds. (2012). "Analog turns Digital". The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 517. ISBN 978-0-19-538894-7."As these events unfolded, small groups around the world were working on a technical solution to this problem. One avenue under development was custom-cut vinyl records. Smaller companies, like the now defunct Kingston, designed devices that straddled a turntable and received a music signal from an analog or a digital input source to drive a cutting blade to inscribe sound into a black vinyl disk. This process, if carefully done, allowed for a simpler means of producing individualized custom vinyl. The dream was to produce a readily available, low-cost, easy-to-use device for everyday DJs. The Japanese company Vestax was the only company to succeed in creating one of these devices with a price point in a consumer's reach (US$10,000). Announced in the summer of 2001, the Vestax VRX-2000 is a stunning and efficient machine, but by its own admission Vestax has not sold many in the last few years. As enticing as this expensive device was for some, it was not a hip-hop community-wide solution to the analog/digital problem."
Acland, Charles R., ed. (2007). "The Residual Soul Sonic Force of the 12Inch Dance Single". Residual Media. University of Minnesota Press. p. 105. ISBN 9780816644728."An affordable vinyl cutter was even introduced in 2001 by DJ equipment manufacturer Vestax, allowing home vinyl cutting of new mixes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to |
- Hidesato Shiino Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2011)