Making Friends With Symbol
A gentleman from Music First Audio started talking to me and pointing at my camera: “We have a colorful preamp for you to take pictures of.”
There she was in the darkened room, wide-eyed and listening. Sitting alone. This didn’t make any sense.
Are you seriously not going to talk to her?
I tapped her shoulder: “Hi, could I ask you a question for Stereophile.com?”
She shook her head no.
Totally weak dude.
After pause and recollection, I tapped her shoulder again: “What brings you to the audio show?”
She lit up: “I came to see this awesome turntable! Do you want to come check it out?”
She took me downstairs to the Symbol room: home of the lifestyle-oriented Modern Record Console furniture piece. It is a 6.5' wide gorgeously crafted hunk of cabinetry that includes: a 15 watt tubed integrated amp, two 6.5" full range drivers plus an 8" down-firing 250 watt powered subwoofer, a turntable, a phono preamplifier, and built-in wireless streaming. The audiophile in me screamed, “RUN!”. A built-in record console?? Yuck! You need separates! You need isolation! Don’t you understand? Do I understand? I stopped myself.
“Wow! That’s interesting.” I stood from afar.
“I love it,” she pined, “but it’s $26,500.”
I paused. It was nice to see her in the light. Her coarse black hair sprawled down her back. It was the beginning of spring, and sun-freckles already dotted her gently pointed nose. But that wasn’t what did it for me: it was the loose fitted jeans, the black fleece, and torn up sneakers. She just looked so comfortable.
I tried to avoid conversation about the record console, which included a rather fine turntable (a Pro-Ject 5.1 with a Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 cartridge), and instead, we veered to music. I showed her my records, and she told me about her love of Van Morrison. We drew to a silence. I didn’t know enough about Van Morrison.
“I know you’re only in town for two more weeks, but could I get your number?”
“I’m not coming back into the city,” she said. She lived in Long Island. She was moving to Seattle.
“What are you doing right now?”
“Yeah. Do you want to get out of here?”
“Don’t you have to work?”
“No. I've been here forever."