I recently talked to Roy Feldstein, Chief Technology Officer of VANA about the brand E.A.T. and the resurgence of profitability in the turntable market.
Maureen Jenson: Hi Roy, VANA is an importer of world-class audio products, can you tell us a little bit about the company’s history?
Roy Feldstein: VANA was originally founded by Kevin Wolff and based in Washington State. My brother and I acquired the company in January 2016 and merged it with our distribution company, created by my nephew Justin, to distribute Okki Nokki record cleaning machines.
Today, VANA represents E.A.T., Audio Physic, Okki Nokki, and Revolv—and we are exploring relationships with other manufacturers of premium audio products. VANA is based in Lake Grove, NY.
MJ: Tell our readers a little bit about your relationship with E.A.T.?
RF: VANA is the North American distributor for E.A.T. (European Audio Team) and we work closely with the company headed by Jozefina Lichtenegger. To date, VANA has helped E.A.T. realize significant growth in our market as well as increased brand visibility and we are very proud to be a part of their worldwide success.
MJ: The Prelude from E.A.T. is an affordable high performance turntable; tell our readers a little about what makes it special?
RF: The E.A.T. Prelude may look like a conventional turntable, but it has been designed to give a wide array of consumers access to truly high-performance at a lower price than many traditional audiophile solutions. To reach the price target, E.A.T. focused on the key areas vital to performance: a heavy-weight platter for speed stability and uncompromised dynamics, a mass-loaded free-standing motor with no connection (except the drive belt) to the turntable chassis and a lightweight, carbon fiber tonearm optimized for MM cartridges. Equally unusual at this price is the bearing block for the tonearm. The mass bearing block behaves like an energy sink for all resonances from the cartridge, as well as the low frequencies from the plinth. You only need to hold these elements in your hand for a moment to understand how different the Prelude is from competing products.
MJ: Years ago the demise of the turntable seemed a fait accompli, what happened?
RF: There are many explanations and countless debates tied to exploring this subject, however I believe it is a combination of factors that has helped bolster vinyl sales. Consumers have no way to physically connect with their music when accessing downloads. LPs solve that and provide tactile, visual eye-candy to enhance the experience. LPs provide a great source of nostalgia to an older consumer, and the youngsters are fascinated by it and think LPs are hip. And to top it all off, they sound great! Add it all together and suddenly you have every major recording artist popping up on late night TV with their new LP in hand. Marvelous!
Stay tuned when next week I ask Roy about E.A.T. dealer support and how to sell the Prelude turntable. Part 2 here.