Renaissance distribution deal set to turn heads

John Carroll, founder of Edinburgh-based Renaissance Audio, with VPI's Classic 3 turntable. Picture: Cate Gillon
John Carroll, founder of Edinburgh-based Renaissance Audio, with VPI's Classic 3 turntable. Picture: Cate Gillon
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A SCOTTISH audio company has landed a UK distribution deal for one of the world’s most-prestigious turntable manufacturers amid an on-
going revival in vinyl.

VPI Industries, a New Jersey-based firm whose designer record spinners can sell for more than £10,000, will be available through a select network of dealerships after its agreement with Edinburgh-based Renaissance Audio.

Lady Gaga is part of the vinyl revival

Lady Gaga is part of the vinyl revival

The deal is seen as a major coup for Renaissance, which is based in the Newhaven area of the capital and has four staff. The company was formed in 2007 to take on the import and distribution of the Moon electronics range from high-end Canadian hi-fi outfit Sim Audio.

As well as Moon and its latest deal with VPI, Renaissance represents Black Ravioli, a Scots company which specialises in vibration control pads to place beneath audio products, and cable manufacturer Studio Connections.

The deal with VPI, which has been in business for more than three decades and also designs record-cleaning machines, will involve the setting up of a UK dealer base, with training and after-sales support provided by Renaissance. A number of marketing initiatives are also planned.

Renaissance founder John Carroll said it was a good time to add a turntable brand to the firm’s product portfolio.

Sales of vinyl albums have been rising sharply as the format enjoys a revival among music lovers looking for a tactile alternative to digital downloading.

According to industry figures, sales of vinyl LPs in the UK surged 40 per cent last year while CDs suffered a further decline. While records make up only a small percentage of the overall music market, a number of artists – including Lady Gaga – have been putting out vinyl-only releases to mark events such as the annual Record Store Day.

Carroll said: “Our experience in the audio industry reaches back over 25 years and this was one of the main attractions to our new business partner VPI Industries.

“With the recent revival, and indeed boom, in vinyl-based music, manufacturers of turntables are back on the business map again.

“VPI’s origin was in building record-cleaning machines soon followed by their amazing turntables.”

Carroll, who is also a director of audio and home cinema dealer Loud & Clear, said the launch of a “more-
affordable” model called the VPI Traveler, which sells for £1,350, will expand the reach of the brand.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.