AnalogPlanet Visits Symbol Audio/Furniture in Nyack, N.Y.

At the New York Audio Show a few years ago visitors, especially couples, found themselves attracted to a "console stereo" featuring a tube amplifier (with Blue-Tooth functionality), a high end Pro-Ject turntable, a pair of full range speakers plus a hidden powered 300 watt subwoofer all housed in a stunning-looking solid wood cabinet.

"Console stereo" disappeared in the 1970s but Symbol Audio brought back the concept with a vengeance and while the system is costly, they've sold quite a few.

The company just introduced "The Modern Turntable", a compact, all-in-one stand mounted unit with built in amplification and speakers.

And its "disappearing" record racks should help bring records into the living room and out of the basement.

Seems like an interesting company that's bringing high quality vinyl-centric audio to a mainstream music loving audience.

Clearly this is a company run by some forward thinking individuals. Since they were close by, AnalogPlanet recently visited. Editor Michael Fremer liked what he saw and heard.

*In the video I refer to an all-in-one kickstarter funded "one box" record player that seems to have disappeared. I heard from the people involved in the +Record Player and they claim that it's still happening. They had to clear an EU technical hurdle and say they have.

Ortofan's picture

... send MF home with a sample of their record mat as a parting gift?

Any good finds at the used record shop that was only three blocks away?

Michael Fremer's picture
Didn't open for an hour after I'd finished shooting so I went home.
swimming1's picture

Very cool ,as any good woodwork looks,but do you really want your speakers and sub attached to your turntable? Seems to be be for the design and fashion crowd not serious listeners.

Michael Fremer's picture
For a "serious listener". It's meant for a more generalized music lover who wants good an attractive, well-built package that will please the entire family Meant where only furniture and not an "audio rack" will do. And it does sound quite good.
theboogeydown's picture

You should have a "non-serious listener section" then if you are going to post this stuff in with the 99% that is pretty serious audiophile. How can you expect someone to heed your advice on $10k interconnects when you're promoting something of this nature? Maybe I'm mistaken in that your demographic reach is that broad. Not a slag but a serious question, with respect.

cgh's picture

I thought the owners in the video came off as very thoughtful and conscientious; they weren't punting. Nice to see and hear. Best of luck to them. They should be able to sell to everyone in 2 boroughs.

daveberg's picture


alucas's picture

they are tapping into the largest market there is in the audiophile market. most people can not afford all the separate pieces and don't know what to buy and it takes up way too much room, i mean what woman wants to see a pair of wilsons in her living room, that would have to go in a dedicated music room. great quality! and most people don't turn them up that loud as to ruin the sound quality, or notice that it might lack "slam". great video of great information, thank you MF.

alucas's picture

they should have named the console the "coffin". it looks like a kids coffin? lol, just kiddin...

Miner42's picture

Enjoyed the video and the team seems to have a good business plan. I would but one of their LP console for storage. Nice furniture-grade quality. And, the comment above about the Polk Muzak system - Matthew Polk was/is an audio genius. Those Monitor 10 speakers shown were very good for the cost. I started my uber-audio journey with Polk RT20p towers and has led me to spending much more on my retirement funds for musical pleasure.

Ortofan's picture

... seems a bit steep considering that it includes a $2000 turntable/cartridge, a 20-watt tube amp, a streaming device and small speakers plus a subwoofer - and the cabinet.

Given that one of Symbol's Dovetail Audio Racks costs about $3K, what equipment would MF choose if tasked with "curating" a system with the same functionality as the Modern Record Console and with an upper budget limit of $17K?

Better yet, they could offer complete systems curated by various members of the Stereophile staff. Besides the MF system(s), there would be systems personally selected by JA, AD, HR and so on.

OldschoolE's picture

of vintage HiFi sitting in the cabinet to the left of the Modern units? A extremely beautiful old super-powered Pioneer receiver! That thing looked mint! Don't knock that piece because it is the grandfather or grandmother of whatever you have in your system even if what you have cost six digits, that is where it came from. You know the saying "old is gold" and I can attest on a stack that those receivers from Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui, etc, paved the way for the sound designs of today's high-end. I have a Sansui 8080db that would cost at least $12k to replace with something even similar and still would only sound close. I could also never find the same eye-candy looks for $12k. Ah, the days when that stuff was hand made in Japan to quality.
Michael, I'm surprised you glossed right over that specimen and did not say anything, even a joke!
I like their concepts at Symbol Audio although not to my personal preference, but for what they are doing or catering too, it is very nice stuff. A bit too expensive, but you also have to consider the workmanship and build quality. It doesn't get much better than what they are doing! I have always loved the mid-century look.
If I had the need and money I would have them build me a custom setup.

Ortofan's picture

... stretch. There's one available now, that's been reconditioned, listed on Canuck Audio Mart for the equivalent of about $850 USD.

Even the massive Sansui 33000 can be had for about $6K.

Same for a Pioneer SX-1980:

OldschoolE's picture

I'm talking about a modern day replacement for the same sound, not the same era. If one has the skills to refurbish or can find a near mint replacement of a vintage piece like that that has been serviced, then yeah, likely lots less expensive than a modern day replacement.
Then again buying anything off Ebay, especially something like that is asking for trouble.

gak27's picture

I have an old Lane Furniture cabinet that has a vinyl swivel bin just like that ($20 at an estate sale full of nice classical) - would love to have a newer, bigger version of it. $2400 though? Meh.

Miner42's picture

My guess is the prices are a bit steep because they don't move that many units, yet. If money was no opject I would have a nice LP storage unit with the swivel racks - a 2 x 4.

rl1856's picture

For $20k one can acquire and restore a Fisher President Console, or one of the many custom consoles stocked full of Fisher, Sherwood, Pilot equipment and Altec, JBL, Bozak speakers. A simple Bluetooth or media streaming box and there you are with cash left over to purchase lots of LPs !