Cast your mind back to early decades of the twentieth century, and chances are that the wireless was one of the centrepieces of a room. In the pre-transistor age, the physical demands of valves, speakers, and wiring made early radiograms more akin to traditional wooden furniture than a piece of technology. It took the best part of half a century for audio equipment to shake off its relationship with wood, only for the material to re-surface in the modern era as a way of expressing warmth, craft, and authenticity.
Wrensilva was founded in California in 2016 by Greg Perlot, formerly of Sonos, and Scott and Debra Salyer. Intended to ‘honour the ritual of vinyl,’ each of the company’s elaborately crafted console systems combines a high-end traditional analogue record player with Sonos-compatible streaming, theoretically giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to listening to music old and new. Each cabinet is hand built and comes in three styles, the M1, the Standard, and the Loft. Now the company has launched special ‘Club Series’ editions of all three, with enhanced materials and detailing that’s intended to evoke the feeling of late nights at a favourite music venue, with low lighting, strong liquor and smooth tunes.
Both M1 and Standard models are finished with a curly ash exterior, while the more compact Loft model goes with natural ash hardwood with an ebonized oak grille. Details include mother of pearl inlays, woven metal speaker screens and tweed-wrapped components, creating an overall ambience that’s part vintage club backline and part bespoke cabinet. However good it looks, a Wrensilva console also needs to sound the part. Here’s where the expertise of the company’s founders come in. Each piece is hand-built in their Californian workshop, with a process that includes proprietary acoustic and electronics design as well as skilled woodworking and marquetry.
In addition to a belt driven turntable, equipped with a Grado® Prestige Gold MM Cartridge and a 1” thick aluminium platter, the M1 features a host of additional inputs, including two RCA auxiliary jacks and a 3.5mm jack. Of course, there’s also streaming on hand, with full Sonos compatibility as well as faithful old Bluetooth. The Standard is similarly specced, but on a slightly more compact platform. Both have space for your favourite records in a vertical pocket by the turntable, while the cabinet itself can become another treasure trove of old media. Finally, there’s the standalone Loft model, which does away with wired connections to other gear and focuses purely on the vinyl and Sonos experience.
The consoles are shown here at Pappy & Harriet's, an iconic music venue in the Californian community of Pioneertown in San Bernardino County. You’ll also find Wrensilva gear in the homes of music producers like Rick Rubin and Mark Ronson, and the brand’s mid-century aesthetic is a perfect fit for the archetypal Californian modernist abode. The vinyl revival is still in full flow –pressing plants are even experiencing a backlog and 2020 was the best year for record sales for three decades. What better way to treat the trend for lavish new vinyl releases than with a machine that puts the music centre stage in your home.
Wrensilva Club Series, M1 ($11,999), The Standard ($9,999) and Loft ($5,999)
More at Wrensilva.com