DETROIT – Shinola is pleased to announce the launch of its first Audio product, the Runwell turntable, set to debut in select locations November 2016.
For the past year, the Shinola Audio team, led by Alex Rosson, has worked with partner VPI of Cliffwood, New Jersey, to create this first turntable and set up turntable assembly in Detroit. Rosson, Director of Shinola Audio, grew up in sound stages and recording studios in Los Angeles as a professional musician, engineer, and producer. He redefined the high-end headphone landscape when he founded Audeze, and brings a reputation for quality, authenticity and love of music to Shinola’s new Audio initiative.
“Watching this American team, their love of music and passion for quality, has been a wild and inspiring ride and we can’t wait to hear how our customers react,” said Tom Kartsotis of Shinola. “Our goal was to marry the Shinola visual ethos with an incredible sounding, state of the art analog product. It had to be substantive and beautiful, set the right tone for our foray into audio and show the special connection Detroit has to music. We think Rosson and VPI’s Harry and Mat Weisfeld might just have pulled it off.”
“We are approaching Shinola Audio products like we’ve approached every other product development strategy: with respect, quality and detail, an incredible team, and the right resources,” said Rosson. “Our first product is a turntable, and who better to help us develop a remarkable turntable than VPI?”
Just like timepieces, great turntables are high-precision instruments. Reproducing quality vinyl recordings requires detailed engineering, use of the best materials, precision machining and skillful assembly.
VPI founder Harry Weisfeld and son Mat partnered with Shinola on the design, specification and manufacturing techniques of The Runwell Turntable. Precision-machined aluminum components like the main-plate, platter and tone arm are being produced by MDI of Lakewood N.J, a key VPI manufacturing partner. American Board Assembly of LA is supplying the circuit boards.
“VPI Industries has been dedicated and takes pride in American craftsmanship in high-end audio and engineering,” said Mat Weisfeld. “The American worker is the life blood of every company, large or small. We are excited to team up with Shinola to continue this journey while creating more American jobs.”
The Runwell is a two-speed, belt driven turntable with an integrated phono preamplifier and will be equipped with an Ortofon 2M blue phono cartridge. The clean lines combine solid aluminum, steel and wood to generate a modern American aesthetic. It is designed inside and out for the discriminating audiophile yet easy to use out of the box by any music enthusiast.
Production of The Runwell Turntable will begin in the Fall of 2016 and will be available in Shinola stores, online, and select domestic hi-fi retailers. The initial 500-piece limited-edition Runwell Turntable will be priced at $2500 and can be paired with a limited run of active bookshelf speakers.
The turntables will be assembled behind glass and in full view of the public, with the same intergrity and pride as all Shinola products, at our flagship store in Detroit.