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25 Years of
Audio Excellence

Throughout 2018, Vintage King will be Celebrating its 25th Anniversary

We’ll be taking a look back at the history of the company, gear that we have serviced and sold throughout the years and the customers who have made it all worthwhile. Stick around, we think you’re going to like it.

Working at the White Room Studio with Robert Bradley

The White Room

Fueled by a passion for the studio equipment that was used to create their favorite records, Michigan-based brothers Mike and Andrew Nehra began crafting a plan in their parent's garage to capitalize on a trip to Europe. That’s right, the effort to become one of the leading pro audio gear companies started in an unlikely place ­- a hotel room in England.

“I was in the studio recording an artist and he said, ‘Do you want to go England?’ and I said ‘Yeah I’d love to go,’” says Vintage King co-founder Mike Nehra. ”With the currency exchange rate in our favor, I knew we could purchase vintage gear in the UK at half the price as home. Andy had a credit card worth $4000, I had one worth $2000 and my dad had one worth a few grand. I went and spent $8000 on recording gear. The rest was history.”

Stuffing old Neve modules and mics into his suitcase, Mike brought back a treasure trove of vintage equipment from England with visions of using it in the brothers’ recording space, White Room Studio. Andrew stepped in with the idea to sell the gear and purchase even more studio equipment with the money made from sales. The brothers compromised by splitting the gear, half would be used in their studio and the other half sold to purchase more.

A classic vintage API recording console

Further Reading

The White Room Console

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In terms of the lore of Vintage King, there is probably no more important piece of audio gear than this vintage API 32-channel console. Meet the desk that the Nehra brothers worked on at the White Room and see photos of its recent transformation at the Vintage King Tech Shop.

Eric Valentine

“I've worked with Vintage King for a long time. I bought an amazing U67 through Vintage King a long time ago that I still use all of the time. It's one of the most extraordinary mics I own. I bought four original Helios Type 69 modules. This is back in the mid-90s at the very beginning of Vintage King. I've been dealing with the Nehras and Vintage King for over 20 years and they've always been just so honest and up-front. It's one of the most difficult things to find when you're dealing with vintage gear. I've interfaced with some people that are just beyond shady and [Vintage King] has always been so cool about everything. It's just very easy to trust and have confidence in them.”

Eric Valentine

Expert servicing of a vintage recording console

Further Reading

Vintage King + Resolution Talk Gear Restoration

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Vintage King has gained a reputation for reviving some of the world's most historic gear. In an interview with Resolution Magazine, Vintage King co-founder Mike Nehra explains our restoration process for classic outboard gear, consoles and microphones.

A vintage 24-track 2-inch tape machine

“We were building something. It was evolving and we could control it,” says Mike Nehra on the progression of Vintage King. “It was a more reliable way to make a living than doing the ‘musician/producing records’ thing - our hearts were torn between the two.”

While the choice didn’t come as an easy one, the logistics associated with touring and owning a studio were tough enough. Staying at home meant a more stable lifestyle for the Nehras, one dedicated to their burgeoning business.

Exchanging the road for the office quickly became a fruitful move for Vintage King. Over the course of the next two decades, the company would far surpass the brothers’ expectations, growing with their love of selling analog gear to encompass the fresh digital technology of the modern recording studio.

Dave Cobb

“Vintage King has been amazing. When I grew up in Georgia, the studios there didn't really have vintage gear at all. You guys were really the first that I was aware of who, if you're looking for the crazy Decca compressors, you guys have them and you can hear them. Pye or germanium Neves or vintage UA tube stuff, where else in the world can you find that stuff. It's amazing to see all the crazy stuff you guys get ahold of, at the same time it's very bad for my marriage.”

Dave Cobb

Present Day

“We try to do more of a boutique-style showroom where you can come in and try things out. It’s not your typical retail environment,” Andrew Nehra says describing Vintage King Los Angeles and Nashville.

With an ultimate goal of complete customer satisfaction, Vintage King spawned two brick-and-mortar locations that imbibe a sense of the ultimate studio. First with the Los Angeles flagship store in 2012, shortly followed by a Nashville location, these showrooms continue to offer pro audio fans a place to hear gear before making any kind of purchase.

The showroom at Vintage King Los Angeles Tons of amazing microphones at Vintage King Nashville

By giving audio creators, novice and professional, the ability to learn about new products while instilling the importance of the classics, Vintage King has helped to create a full-circle approach to creating pristine sound.

Styling their showroom and web presence to help customers better understand gear, Vintage King envisions a new approach to creating audio that encompasses digital, analog and beyond. The brand has expanded into new places outside of the studio world, including handling installs for EDU institutions, live sound venues and post-production facilities.

Walls of great audio gear at Vintage King Los Angeles A wall of 500 Series modules at Vintage King Nashville Amazing mics on display at Vintage King Nashville
The critical listening room at Vintage King Los Angeles Listening station loaded with great gear at Vintage King Nashville
A classic vintage Neumann mic and power supply

Further Reading

Mike Nehra on the Glyn Johns Microphone Set-up

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While in the studio and on tour with Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Vintage King's Mike Nehra employed the Glyn Johns three-mic technique on drums. Learn how Nehra used a combination of two Neumann U47s and a U47FET to get big, natural drum sounds in every venue the band played.

Joe Barresi

“A friend of mine turned me onto some Calrec modules and I ended up buying 10 of them from Mike Nehra. I still have a pair of them, PQ15s I believe they are called. Back then when we were making like $5 an hour assisting, whatever we paid for them wasn’t a ton, but it was a lot for us in those days. I think out of the 10 of them, two or three of them needed a little work. I called Mike and he was like, “I’m going to send you two or three more right now. Get them up and running and when you do, send me the broken ones back.” I just thought, “Man, who does that? You don’t know me and who’s to say I’m not going to try and keep all of this shit.” I just thought he was the coolest dude and that’s when I first heard of Vintage King.”

Joe Barresi

A New Look

A nice t-shirt sporting Vintage King's new logo

Throughout the past year, you may have noticed some things changing around Vintage King. We have a new logo, merch and more. Our recently-launched rebrand project is the culmination of over twelve months of exhaustive research, design, and deep thinking.

Check out our logo's evolution here and then learn more about the rebrand by clicking below.

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The current, evolved Vintage King brand logo

Further Reading

A New Look For Vintage King

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Want to know why we gave ourselves a makeover? Go inside Vintage King's rebrand project and learn how the company has evolved for a new era of pro audio.