Wood turners: Shinola oak audio turntables are made in Detroit
December 11, 2016 | 9:42 am CST
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Sourcing the oak wood skirt from a Wisconsin wood component manufacturer, and handling assembly in Detroit, Shinola has launched the Runwell Turntable.
 
Built to deliver audiophile sound quality from vinyl LP recordings, Shinola says its Runwell Turntable was designed to the highest standards, and is built to last a lifetime.
Dense, vibration-absorbing aluminum makes up the platter assembly, which sits atop the sleek, oak wooden base with smoothly curved corners.
 
The turntable represents the latest in Shinola's efforts to tap what it identified as Detroit's highly skilled artisanal manufacturing workforce, starting in 2012.
 
"We set out to build the first watch factory in Detroit and to create jobs by doing so," says Shinola. "Today we achieved that goal and have since opene
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a leather factory, employing over 200 individuals in manufacturing through that effort." The effort coincides with a broader recovering in the auto manufacturing industry. 
The nascent renaissance is reflect in the choice of the city by Stiles Machinery as the location for its Executive Briefing Conference  April 23-25, during which attendees will tour a Fanuc robot factory and Ford's high-tech F150 automobile plant. 
Shinola says its journey into the audio category (it makes bicycles and backpacks as well) started with the Runwell Turntable.
 
"As we introduce each new category we gain further traction in reaching our goal of creating more jobs," Shinola says.  

Designers for Shinola Turntable

The turntable project was developed in a year in a partnership between the Shinola Audio team, under the leadership of Alex Rosson, who designed and engineered products for the legendary American turntable maker VPI. Initially produced in a limited run of 500 and retailing at $2,500, the Shinola Runwell Turntable components, including a moving magnet cartridge and a custom phono preamplifier, are assembled and tested in full view of the public at the Shinola flagship store in Detroit. 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.