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Symbol Audio Combines Past and Present in the Modern Record Console

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Take a moment to appreciate the Symbol Audio Modern Record Console. It's been a couple of weeks since the New York audio show, and that's one thing I saw that I regret not writing about. The very antithesis of the modern surround-sound system, Symbol Audio's consoles harken back to an era when phonographs and tube amps ruled. The flagship product is a work of art—the Modern Record Console pays homage to 1950s-era all-in-one systems.

 

 

All-in-one, yes. Portable? No.

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger

 

The specifications of the main stereo speakers and amp are literally from another era, with a tube amp feeding a pair of 6 ½ inch full range drivers a total of 30W of power. Distortion at full power is listed as "under 3%." However, amplifier frequency response is listed as 15 Hz to 30,000 Hz with only 1 dB of variance. Furthermore, the drivers are truly full range and exhibit perfect phase and time accuracy.

 

 

The amplifier looks like something out of a '50s sci-fi movie

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger

 

The full range drivers possess perfect phase and time accuracy

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger

 

The Modern Record Console features a Bluetooth input and has a subwoofer craftily concealed in the base. The turntable features a carbon-fiber tonearm and a Sumiko Blue Point #2 cartridge. The unit itself is made from solid American Walnut.

 

 

A carbon-fiber tonearm betrays the modern origins of this unit.

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger

 

 

A craftily hidden subwoofer extends the frequency response of the Modern Record Console down to 26 Hz

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger
 

This is a truly unconventional approach to "high fidelity" given that we are in the 21st century. However, there seem to be merits to the approach, because the concept really got my attention and is a favorite amongst some of my audiophile friends, the ones who are less obsessed with technology and more inclined to like something because it is well-designed and crafted.

 

 

The Modern Record Console is a handcrafted thing of beauty

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger

 

 

Because of the retro, angular look of the unit, it's going to be either love or hate at first sight

Photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger
 

Symbol Audio is located in Nyack, New York, along the Hudson River. It creates a handcrafted product in an age of mass-produced mediocrity. The Modern Record Console may seem modest in terms of capability compared to a 9.1 surround system, but it certainly beats the pants off any Bluetooth iPod dock I've ever seen. Prices are only available upon request, which means I can't afford it.


Edited by imagic - 4/30/13 at 10:28am
post #2 of 16
How much?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by john barlow View Post

How much?

 Symbol Audio says it not ready to talk pricing yet. So says Gizmodo. There is no pricing information at the show.


Edited by imagic - 4/30/13 at 5:08am
post #4 of 16
Ugly. eek.gif
post #5 of 16
That is really a great piece. You gotta love the exposed tube look and evidently it's more than just good looks. Too nice to hide in a bedroom, and possibly would appeal to 2 channel enthusiasts. Thanks for the article Mark smile.gif
post #6 of 16
the idea of the Console is still valid... provided top components are in it.
post #7 of 16
WOW! this is cool!

This looks like a complete style piece though, which is fine with me, but the ipod lovers might disagree. I would certainly put it in my house.
post #8 of 16
It's beautiful, but then I'm a fan of walnut and the midcentury look. However, I think most vinyl fans are too geeky and custom-oriented to have someone else decide which components are to be in their system. I see more appeal for the design-conscious than the audio enthusiast.
post #9 of 16
It is certainly beautiful, but it is not an audiophile piece. Turntables typically need to be physically isolated from other components, especially vibrating ones like speakers and sub-woofers. Otherwise, the vibrations are picked up by the arm and needle and added into the sound path. No wonder the harmonic distortion on this thing is so high.

This piece of kit is an exercise of style over substance. And my best estimate for price: somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000. A lot of money for decoration.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcity View Post

It is certainly beautiful, but it is not an audiophile piece. Turntables typically need to be physically isolated from other components, especially vibrating ones like speakers and sub-woofers. Otherwise, the vibrations are picked up by the arm and needle and added into the sound path. No wonder the harmonic distortion on this thing is so high.

This piece of kit is an exercise of style over substance. And my best estimate for price: somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000. A lot of money for decoration.

I see your point regarding vibrations, a dual opposed subwoofer could have helped in that regard. Those complaints don't apply if you're just streaming music to it through an iPhone or similar device, and I suspect that's what this console is intended to be: a giant Bluetooth speaker.


Edited by imagic - 4/30/13 at 11:03am
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchu18 View Post

the idea of the Console is still valid... provided top components are in it.

I agree wholeheartedly. I think that top-notch components housed in a more furniture-looking type of cabinet (such as the Symbol) would more easily pass the WAF (wife-acceptance factor) than a rack-type system with separate speakers.smile.gif I'm all for it!!
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by john barlow View Post

How much?

Yeah how much for the beaver ? biggrin.gif

Djoel
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Yeah how much for the beaver ? biggrin.gif

Djoel



Lmao.
post #14 of 16
1 full range 6 1/2" driver? Bye bye high frequencies....

I like the look, but for me to be interested they will have to do sth more...
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 802Diamond View Post

1 full range 6 1/2" driver? Bye bye high frequencies....

I like the look, but for me to be interested they will have to do sth more...

That's not the case with high-end, modern full range drivers. A high quality 6 ½ inch full range driver—and I'm guessing they used a decent one here—will play up to 16,000-20,000 Hz, while also playing low enough to cross over with the sub. What it will not do is play incredibly loud, or handle tremendous amounts of power.


Edited by imagic - 5/1/13 at 7:46am
post #16 of 16
Beautiful! Style to the max. WAF will be super high. Yes, it's for style and beauty rather than audiophillia. If it's more than $5k, it's too expensive.
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