Sota, the company as it exists now, is essentially a husband and wife operation. Wife handles paperwork, husband is a furniture builder who decided to build turntables. As I understand it, in the early 90s, the then Sota and Sumiko, its distributor, decided to stop making the turntables. Husband and Wife saw an opportunity to start a business in something they love and purchased the name and basic design from the original owners. They then proceeded to redesign both the internals and externals and offer additional models. Because the basic footprint size of the Sota has not changed, they can gut older models and put new internals into an existing Sota, saving the customer the cost of the plinth, which is considerable. They didnt buy a bankrupt company for pennies on the dollar, nor did they bankrupt a company, screw suppliers and keep the profitable pieces.
As a Canadian, like me, think of Oracle, who also went out of business in the late 80s and was resurrected by the founders nephew, jacques. May be his brother. But in any case, they are clear that they are not the same company, and that the new Oracle has no obligation for the old Oracle. However, because the footprint and design principal remains, the old ones can be retrofited to almost current standards.
Chris, I guess you think it is better that these companies just died, and their designs disappeared and left their owners without any support, and that the new Sota and Oracle used a different name and design. You seem to think that just because they bought a name and design, that obligates them to fix all these tables they did not build, do not have parts for and did not profit from. I mean really, if there are no parts, there are no parts. They didnt cause that situation, and now you want to chastise them for making any attempt to offer customers some means of salvaging their turntables.
There are plenty of examples of large and small audio companies ripping off customers. Oracle and Sota are not such examples. Go try and find parts for dozens of British turnables made in the 70s and 80s. Ask Lnn what it cost for a motor upgrade. As much as you paid for the table in the first place. Even VPI stopped supporting their HW19 series, a model that was a contemporary of the Oracle and Sota that the OP is trying to fix. How much does VPI charge for a power supply or SAMA motor?
This is a low volume business. Anyone that thinks SOTA's owners are getting rich quick is delusional. SOTA is well regarded as the most cost effective means of obtaining high end sound. Their $7500 Cosmos IV is compared to tables costing over $30,000.00. They could just charge that much and justify it by their competition. But they dont, because they know what their costs are, and they are in it for the long term. The current Sota has been around for more than 20 years. Who would have though that starting a turntable company in the digital 90s was a good idea or risk. This is the kind of company that North America was built on. Building a better mousetrap at reasonable prices.
I dont have a financial interest in any of these companies, but I do appreciate what they stand for.