Have you ever taken a drink out of a fire hose? That’s what I faced in August of 1998 when I learned that V-M Corporation had to vacate their last remaining building in Benton Harbor. V-M Corporation’s business at that time had dwindled to parts and literature sales. All the remaining parts, service manuals, owner’s manuals - not to mention a whole lot of history contained in the business files from the various departments - engineering, purchasing, marketing, etc., were also in the building. It would all go to the landfill if someone didn’t act quickly!
I had decided that after a long association with owning V-M products since being a teenager in 1970, that I would step up to the challenge in what I now look back on as the Rescue of '98! I reasoned that if I got such enjoyment out of my V-M tape-o-matic® and appreciated the quality, reliability, and serviceability so carefully designed in by V-M engineers - that there must be others out there like me. I also published the V-M Collector’s Voice Newsletter from 1996 through 2000, and had gotten to know many of the people who designed and built these products! I have to tell you - what a wonderful and talented bunch they are! V-M Corporation was (and is) a family run company - and all the ex-employees tell the same story - it was a great place to work! For all these reasons, I wanted to be a part of furthering the V-M legend for the future!
In September of 1998, the final day arrived. With the help of friends and rental trucks, the previously mentioned building contents were largely saved. At the peak I had four storage units to house it all. In November of 1998, I set up V-M Audio Enthusiasts, LLC to resume the availability of parts, accessories, owner's manuals, and service manuals that had abruptly ended when V-M Corporation was forced to end business operations. Putting the "s" in "Enthusiasts" was a conscious decision - for all of you out there - but would I be right? Are there "enthusiasts" out there?
Thanks to the power of the internet, I discovered there are plenty of enthusiasts out there! There are Voice of Music original owners and new owners just discovering these Made in USA marvels, along with people specifically interested in owning or collecting certain era phonographs, tape recorders, and component amplifiers. The new technology of the internet has helped all of us save and appreciate the old technology!