The Transformation

That first morning, I woke and immediately began to worry. How would I know what to wear? What if there were train delays? What if there had been some horrible catastrophe requiring that I stay away from Manhattan?

I was having an anxiety attack. It'll be okay, it'll be okay, it'll be okay. It had been some time since I'd had to talk to myself like this. Finally, I climbed out of bed and walked into the living room where my fears were confirmed. The television was gone for good and in its place stood my new Polycrystal equipment rack—a generous gift from my audiophile godfather, Jonathan Scull.

But it was kind of beautiful, standing there with my Exposure 2010S integrated amplifier on its bottom shelf, the matching CD player one level above, and my new Rega P3-24 turntable resting proudly atop it all. I smiled and sighed and got on with my life.

I donated the Sharp 27" television set to the junk shop around the corner—the same place where Omar had found his B&W loudspeakers. I had owned the television for almost a decade, hauling it with me from Bloomfield to Newark to three different apartments in Jersey City, up and down I don't know how many staircases. Two hundred-fifty dollars when new, the damn thing had paid itself off, for sure. How much time had I wasted in front of that blurry screen, lusting after Sarah on NBC's Chuck, laughing with Sam and Dean on the WB's Supernatural, learning with Charles Osgood on CBS's Sunday Morning?

No more. These days, I get my morning news from WNYC. In the evenings, I read, listen to music, do the dishes. I go to sleep earlier, but manage to get more done. I feel good.

The transformation from living room to listening room is almost complete.

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Ariel Bitran's picture


Buddha's picture

Well done!

Your sound will be better and your brain will be freed!

tom collins's picture

it's a beautiful sight to see. congrats.

JSBach's picture

Neither of those stools is in the sweet spot Mr M. So, do you sit on that pile of LP's when you listen? Kinky and somewhat unstable I'd think. If you don't sit there but somewhere further back out of camera range those two stools reflective surfaces are going to do nasty thinks to your imaging. Something doesn't add up.

Robert Helms's picture

What are the speakers that you use, if you don't mind me asking? It is a very nice set up.My fiancee and I did the opposite of what you did. We got a 50 inch plasma, which cost about the same as your Rega P3. Though I did not get rid of the TT I've had for the better part of 7 years (crappy Sony I got while working at Best Buy).JSBach: It looks like there is a red couch in the bottom right of the photo. My guess that is where he reads and does his listening.

Robert Helms's picture

Sorry about the large block of text, I thought I had separation between topics :(

Stephen Mejias's picture

Thanks guys. Ariel: Yes, there is still more to be done. More space must be made for vinyl LPs!JSBach: There is an orange couch, which you can see in the lower right hand corner of the frame. That's where I sit. The stools are treated with an anti-reflective treatment which preserves soundstaging. Just kidding. I put my feet up on the stools. (Don't get all excited by the image.) There is also a set of bongos to the left of the couch. That's where I put my beer.Robert: I'm using the narrow Totem Arros.

Trey's picture

Dude, never set your beer on your bong. Trust me. 8)Trey

Ima Truebeliver's picture

Nice. And with apartments as they are; lotsza bass really isn't too very tasteful, especially with neighbors gridded in 3d.Good for you!

Christian's picture

Looks pretty sweet. It sounds like the transition off TV hasn't been too difficult. I find that I turn off the TV more often to go and listen to LP's because there is nothing on. What will you do during the Mets season?

Stephen Mejias's picture

Ima: Luckily, I'm on the top floor of the building with no one directly below me or to either side. Christian: Good question. I think I'll just have to go to more games! I'm looking forward to checking out the new stadium.

selfdivider's picture

Now all you need is a pair of John's 3XLs, SM! And it's good to know that you're shifting your porn watching habits from TV screen to mags. A different, but still a monumental kind of exodus from digital to analog. =)

Chuckie Girmann's picture

All I got to say is right on brother. Freeing myself of a television was the absolute best decision I have ever made in my life. Much like you described, in its place is a kick ass stereo. Much better I must say.

Dick Gentry's picture

Congratulations on a major developmental step. I'll bet you can just feel your IQ rise without the tubal influence. The white turntable actually manages to look pretty dang fine on that dazzling stand. Hit J-10 up for a ribbon chair; wtf, he'll have to chuckle as he says no.Very nice system.

Phil's picture

My Rega P25 has had considerably more use than my Sony flat screen. Well done.

KBK's picture

You'll begin to love it.I've been able to say to people, 'What is the 'TV' thing yo speak of?" With a semi straight face. One begins to think again..for some of us..for the first time in our lives. Suddenly the pace of life slows to the point where reality becomes discernible. Instead of being mired in 'da shit' (that we wear as a face and mind that we are entirely unaware of) we are capable of discerning both the forest and the they both move - in and through - time.This is worth everything. Nature, the world, life, time, thought, actual contemplation, and the human race --come back to us.Free again!

Nick's picture

Where is the record cleaning machine and the milti anti-static gun?

Stephen Mejias's picture

Nick: The VPI HW-16.5 record cleaning machine is in my bedroom, which is to the left of the room you see in the picture. The Milty ZeroStat 3 anti-static gun is on the tall bookshelf standing against the right wall. You can actually see it there -- it's the blue shadow sitting atop a few books, just below the red box and just above the picture.

Andy's picture

I see you have the 10' Cat Power LP. very nice. Much better than TV, that one.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Andy: Yeah, I love Chan. Right behind that album is a pretty interesting Bruce Springsteen bootleg, Fire on the Fingertips, on swirly gray vinyl.

Art Culture's picture

I think I spotted a Hendrix LP in your pad — possibly Smash HIts?

Trey's picture

The most recently released Hendrix stuff is absolutely killer! I even got the mono mix of a couple. I highly recommend them.Trey

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