With 2022 drawing to a close and the holidays approaching, AV Therapy just held its annual fall marketing event. These events over the years have been driven by specific themes that have included fun topics like Star Trek and industry-focused events that highlighted Canadian audio companies.
This year’s event put the spotlight on analog audio—and more specifically turntables. The Nashua, N.H.-based hybrid retailer/integration firm’s featured guest for the evening was Mat Weisfeld of VPI Industries.
VPI American Turntable Institution
Located in Cliffwood, N.J., VPI Industries has been manufacturing turntables for more than 40 years, and for many vinyl enthusiasts the company is the “go-to” for analog performance.
Through its history, Weisfeld pointed out to a room full of people some of VPI’s latest products that were on hand for the annual event. Some of those products included the high-performance $36,000 Avenger Direct Turntable and Shyla phono cartridge that was developed in conjunction with Audio-Technica.
Providing some detail on the Shyla cartridge, Weisfeld recalled that as part of the unit’s development process, the company blind tested the phono cartridge at the Capital Audiofest event to gauge peoples’ reaction. The result of its double-blind testing of its phono cartridges with an unknowing crowd of audiophiles provided VPI with the feedback necessary to comfortably introduce the version of the product that is now available to the public.
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Reflecting on the past couple of years and how VPI weathered the pandemic, Weisfeld admits that things couldn’t be better for the N.J.-based company.
“People have been putting more attention into their homes,” he says.
“With more people at home, many wanted to improve their homes, including their audio systems.”
Weisfeld commented one area of growth for VPI has been its sales through custom integrators. He cites VPI’s Signature 21 as a popular solution for integrators, and he theorizes the turntable’s combination of an elegant industrial design and high levels of sound quality complements many of the homes integrators service, while meeting their clients’ performance aspirations.
Some of the other ways Weisfeld is helping to drive VPI product sales beyond the availability of new products include limited marketing promotions. A new promotion from the company he says is its “Time Travel” effort in which the company is rolling back prices to 2019 levels. Weisfeld says VPI decided to offer this promotion to help stimulate sales during the month of November.
Public Interest in High-End Audio Soars
Sharing sentiments expressed by Weisfeld, John Rein, principal partner of AV Therapy, says that when looking back at 2022, the year was strong, but some interesting trends had developed that were surprising. Rein notes that a development his business has seen has been a trend in which customers are purchasing more expensive solutions in lieu of more price-friendly options that may be available.
“Sales have been outstanding … no issues,” Rein comments.
“It [sales] may be down a little bit from last year , but if you increase 40% year-to-year for two years, sales will eventually slow down. High end is trending. The more expensive it is, the more of it we are selling. Entry level audio right now is soft.”
In addition to the VPI turntables on display, some of the other live demonstrations at the AV Therapy Fall 2022 marketing event included components from Marantz, Bowers & Wilkins, NAD, PSB, Rotel and AudioQuest.
Now with the fall 2022 event completed, Rein and the AV Therapy staff are looking ahead at the organization’s next marketing promotion, which will take place in the spring of 2023.