Aristo - new info

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by George Collier, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I spoke with the primary customer service person for Aristo, now an employee of Voltarc Technologies, the company that bought Aristo. She emailed me a statement that the company is comfortable having on our website, to avoid numerous calls and inquiries. However, letting the company know of the global interest in their products might not be a bad thing, as they discern the future of them. See below:

    As of July 2009 Voltarc Technologies Inc. /Aristo Lighting Inc. went out of business.
    In mid August Light Sources, Inc. bought the physical assets and intellectual property rights of Voltarc Technologies Inc. /Aristo Lighting Inc.

    Right now Light Sources Inc. is in the process of re-installing the vast amount of equipment from the 50,000 sq. foot Voltarc/Aristo plant into their own manufacturing plant in Orange, CT.
    The Aristo product line is on hold pending it’s re-installation into it’s new home.
    This re-installation is taking longer than expected and could be a few more months.

    My current understanding is that the management is undecided as to how much of the Aristo product line they will produce. Replacements lamps should be fine, but the fate of the complete electrical units- cold light heads, light boxes and the like is unclear. I will not have solid information until management is actually faced with installing this production cell.

    As for technical support – I have been trying to answer each customer the best I am able.
    I no longer have any engineer to rely on for technical information. As a result I may not be able to answer some questions to your satisfaction.

    Any customer that is looking for lamps and material – I can only ask that you send me what you are looking for with your name, address and e-mail and when the status of the Aristo products is clearer I will contact you with what can be done.

    I do appreciate ALL the support and friends I’ve made while servicing the Aristo product line.
    Its history has been remarkable for the vast variety of clients and markets it’s serviced.
    I thank you for your support.

    Best Regards,

    Louise M. Kessler

    LCD Lighting, Inc.
    Voltarc
    37 Robinson Blvd.
    Orange, CT 06477

    Tel 1-203-799-7877 ext 3163
    Fax 1-203-795-5267
    email: louise.kessler@voltarc.com
     
  2. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    That is almost good news! Thanks for the update.

    I hope they continue to make an 8x10 cold light that is adaptable to different enlargers.
     
  3. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The news is welcome, the content was to be expected.

    I'm putting an Aristo Cold Light Head for my Durst right under the Pocket Spot from Metered Light in my note book of products that might be could be but perhaps won't be.

    Thanks for the post,
    Curt
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the update.
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I hope they decide to continue producing their cold light heads. I purchased one directly from them several years ago, dealing directly with Ms. Kessler. I also have had a couple of follow up transactions with them as well, and was extremely impressed with the customer service that she provided.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If they don't resume production the void could easily be filled by a company making affordable LED heads.
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I sent an email a week or so ago and the company representative said they would decide what and when to restart after the first of the year. I just checked for the reply but I can't find it right now. They may come back but in what form who knows until it's a reality.

    Curt
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I, too, have been gently pinging Light Sources/Aristo regarding their ongoing status with the Aristo product line. I have told them I am prepared to immediately place an order for a new 4x5 VCL unit for my Omega D5-XL as soon as they might be ready to take my money. I have also been advised I must be patient and wait until after the first of the year for product line decisions to be made.

    So right now I currently have $1,500 in cash in a small envelope with Aristo's name on it hanging in my darkroom. That's about all I can do at this point to show support.

    Ken
     
  9. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Any News of Aristo V54 lamps?

    Anybody have any Current info about what is happening with Aristo? I got a V54 lamp about 8 years ago and do a lot of printing, and I will be shifting to a new darkroom and I think I should get a backup lamp.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    My advice would be to jump over to the Aristo web site at: http://www.aristogrid.com and ask Louise Kessler directly by clicking on the email link at the bottom of the page.

    I currently have $1,500+ sitting in an envelope waiting to purchase a new VCL4500 series lamp assembly for my D5XL enlarger. I have been in periodic contact with Ms. Kessler over the last few months, but would not wish to characterize her comments to me publicly without her permission.

    It can only help if you should decide to contact the company directly through her about purchasing any of their products.

    Note that their web site is still up...

    Ken
     
  11. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Yeah, I got the 'standard reply' about the company from her.
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Go to the Forum for Product Availability - Look for the thread "Aristo - new info" by me, not too far into the second page - Posted is her official statement, she knows we are all waiting for news when she has it. The new company is determining which Aristo products they will go forward with.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Thanks, George.

    Nothing I have personally heard from Aristo since your posting of that official statement is at a variance with the contents of that statement. Ms. Kessler has been very generous in keeping me updated with the ongoing status of things. She has advised patience due to the large scope of the relocation and reinstallation, and I have taken her advice.

    While I realize that the eventual product line decisions may go against my wishes, I also note - again - that the Aristo product web site is still up and running.

    I believe that if a final decision to shut down the Aristo line for good had already been made, they would not be hiding that decision from anyone. There would be no point.

    Ken
     
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  15. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    Talked to Ms. Kessler about 10 days ago. They haven't even been able to go through the old Aristo inventory yet to see what they had. She couldn't promise when they would but suggested that I send her an e-mail saying what I needed. She said she already had a good list. (I need a replacement bulb.)
     
  16. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Yay! Just the chance of getting some new old stock of V54 bulbs for a D2 head is great, we should suggest to her that announcing on APUG remaining stock would reach the broadest amount of potential purchasers.
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The last time I contacted Aristo I was told in the first part of this year some decisions were to be made. It would be great if someone picked up the action on that company or at least release any inventory if there is any. They provide many products and I wonder how industry is handling the loss of specialty bulbs.
     
  18. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Yeah, I did a basic search of the other companies affiliated and its really broad, tanning beds and all. I just want one or two bulbs, mine has lasted a long time and I'm sure 2 spares would be enough to last until the middle of the century.
     
  19. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I just got an update here in March from Louise Kessler at Aristo/Voltarc/LCD Lighting about the status of cold light lamps and lamp assemblies. I got her permission to post this here on APUG.



    "This company purchased the rights to their product [Aristo] but has not acted upon it as of yet.

    The cold light fixtures (complete assemblies) will not be produced.

    I've just found the production templates on some of the lamps used in the Cold light heads last week. Currently I'm working with engineering and production to see if these lamps can be revived.

    I also understand that the Aristo site will be changed around over the next few months to show only what is truly available.

    Best Regards,
    Louise M. Kessler
    LCD Lighting, Inc.
    Voltarc
    37 Robinson Blvd.
    Orange, CT 06477
    Tel 1-203-799-7877 ext 3163
     
  20. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes, I was already aware of this decision by Aristo (or rather LCD), but wasn't going to say anything until having permission from Louise.

    Prior knowledge of this decision directly factored into my winning bid on that evil auction site last Friday for a rare "near-new" complete VCL 4500 unit.*

    Given that LCD may not revive any of the former Aristo product line, perhaps there is someone - or a smaller existing company - that may be interested in picking up the line, if it's available?

    My understanding from Louise was that Aristo was forced to relocate somewhere in Connecticut. Reportedly all of the tooling and other manufacturing items were packed into a truck that went unloaded for several months.

    Since one of the only supposedly growth areas of film photography right now is large format, perhaps this might be a business opportunity for someone. If all of the tooling really is packed up and currently available, no major capital would be required to recreate it. And R&D would be minimal, as the product line is already mature and highly respected for its current functionality.

    Maybe someone whose future depends on analog, and already manufactures small-scale, niche-market darkroom equipment might want to take a look? Might you be listening Photographer's Formulary? Or B&S? Or anyone else?

    Ken

    * If anyone reading this was one of the other bidders, I'm "h***y"...
     
  21. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Two threads merged.
     
  22. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Let's keep our fingers crossed Ken as this was/is indeed a worthy product.

    Mike
     
  23. SusanK

    SusanK Member

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    Damn... my old oriental seagull head is about to die. I was just searching the net for the aristo vcl 4500 cold light heads when I found this thread. I really hope the complete kits continue to be made. I'd purchase a complete kit and two spare bulbs immediately.

    Has anyone heard anymore news re: these heads???
     
  24. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    In my most recent communication (about a month ago) with LCD/Aristo I was informed that a decision had been made to discontinue producing the full head assemblies. Presumably this means in all formats. I believe Aristo has all of the product manufacturing tools in storage at this time.

    However, Louise did say that she was attempting to get the company to restart production of spare lamps. She has also mentioned working with individuals to help solve some individual issues. I'm guessing this related to other spare parts on a case-by-case basis, but that is just speculation on my part.

    There are also purportedly plans to update the Aristo website to more accurately reflect their new, reduced product availability. But I do not know the time frame for this update.

    Personally, I am on record as willing to purchase a 2-lamp replacement set for my used VCL4500, if they can be produced. I would also like a D5 enlarger mounting bracket, although I'm going to fabricate my own workaround this upcoming weekend, just in case.

    I might advise jumping over to the Aristo website at: http://www.aristogrid.com and clicking on the Customer Service email link at the bottom of the page. Louise is friendly and willing to help, to the extent that she can.

    Ken
     
  25. SusanK

    SusanK Member

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    Thanks, just sent an email off to Louise.

    I read the full thread, so I'm aware of the situation with Aristo. I was just curious and am hopeful (as are others) that another company might pick up the rights to manufacture and distribute the VCL4500 full assemblies.

    Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I wonder we some handy APUGers could rig their own ultimate cold light head made out of LEDs? It's low power and no warm up time. Another advantage is that their dimmable which can be a plus with adjusting exposure. If someone makes one. Give me credit for this idea or may be a piece of the action ;-).