How to create a sustainable future for vinyl | The Vinyl Factory

Carefully Extracted from Anton spice Article in VF

Rob Noble – Southern UK Sales Coordinator, Rega Research

UK-based turntable manufacturers and audio hi-fi company Rega Research have quietly been going about their business for over four decades, building a strong and dedicated following for their turntables, which find a sweet spot between high-quality components, detailed engineering and affordability. Since 2007, they’ve seen huge growth in demand and are one of a handful of turntable manufacturers seen as respected alternatives to cheap all-in-one models at the lower end of the market.

How has the last 10 years and the escalation in vinyl sales affected Rega?

Considerably. Turntables have always been the lion’s share of production and turnover, and the increase in sales has placed significant demands upon limited resources. In those ten years the number of turntables has risen from 8,000 to 45,500 per annum, and has required not only additional production space and staff, but a much greater emphasis on the supply chain and the consistency of high quality components.

Ten years ago we were fighting against the commercial tide but now it’s the other way around. Rega has never really chased business as we have always had a sustainable business model but it’s always nice to be in demand.

What are the ongoing challenges faced by Rega as a turntable maker in the current climate?

To ensure that the business remains sustainable. By this we don’t mean that we need or expect to keep growing at the rate at which we have been for the last few years – which has been healthy double figures per annum – but rather that we can maintain existing levels or increasing ones should they happen.

A significant and key challenge for any business is finding the right personnel and we’re no different here than most other companies.

Macroeconomic factors are particularly relevant in the short and medium terms as issues such as Brexit and exchange rates present a variety of issues, although as a company we’re quite sanguine about the longer-term impact and economic picture.

Further afield the growth of developing economies place an ever increasing demand on raw materials and this could clearly influence availability and prices of valuable commodities which are needed for manufacturing industries.

What do you consider to be the most important step that needs to be taken in order to create a more sustainable future for vinyl?

The products need to be more visible. Exposure to a wider audience is essential for the growth of the industry. If the mass media embraces vinyl then we’ll see increased demand. If it provides a valuable revenue stream to record companies such as Sony etc then we may see a repeat of what happened with the arrival of compact discs – customers replacing their music catalogues on a new format. It’s a motivating thought.