29 March 2018
Despite having been relegated by most to the shelves of the storeroom, its place taken by the more modern and cheaper CD, the LP is making a comeback. Market data show that, in recent years, vinyl has been coming back into favor with audiophiles all over the world at an exponential pace. And so, in step with the multinationals of music—like Sony, which has started to produce vinyl discs again after a gap of 30 years—manufacturers of turntables have got going again, betting on the distinctive acoustic quality of analog recording and on the beauty of the object. One of the companies that has chosen to go down this road is the American Shinola, set up in Detroit in 2011 by Tom Kartsotis, one of the founders of the Fossil brand of watches. Like Shinola’s other products, the turntables are made with handcrafted care and a great attention to quality, along with an emphasis on the fact of their being “Made in USA.” The Runwell project, in particular, has been entrusted to Alexander Rosson—a musician, engineer and producer from Los Angeles—who has guided the team in Detroit along the path of excellence. The specialist metal components, like the platter, its base and the arm, have been engineered and manufactured by MDI Audio, longtime supplier of VPI Industries Inc., the brand of reference in the sector, while the electric ones come from another outstanding partner, American Board Assembly of California. The belt-driven motor reduces vibrations considerably, and this allows the radial arm to move silently in a fluid, frictionless manner, helping to improve the listening experience. The wooden base, finally, is an aesthetic detail capable of turning the Runwell into a cult object in its category.