We handcraft modern audio HIFI consoles and vinyl LP storage cabinets in the tradition of fine furniture. Our consoles bring together time honored analog electronics with digital technology to deliver audiophile sound enriching the connection between the listener and their music. The collection is designed to provide distinctive audio products for the design and quality oriented consumer and is a singular alternative to impersonal mass produced consumer electronics and storage cabinet options available on the market currently.
The Beginning / Blake Tovin
Blake Tovin discovered his interest in furniture design working summers in an architectural mill during art school. When he graduated, he found that there was a market for handcrafted furniture and one for large-scale production, but that he didn’t quite fit into either camp.
He eventually got a job working with Jack Lenor Larsen’s textile company in New York. Larsen applied hand weaving techniques to production textile manufacturing, and Blake ran the furniture division of the company. He learned a great deal about how to make high-quality furniture at scale in German and Italian factories, and found many parallels to what he wanted to one day create on his own.
Blake eventually developed his own furniture collection, and found himself on the licensing path: selling to retailers such as Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware. His business grew with the success of these companies, but he eventually tired of designing for someone else’s brand. Wanting to get back into making things, but not yet sure what, he bought a warehouse in Nyack, New York and converted it into a design studio, prototyping shop, and multi-purpose showroom/gallery.
The idea for Symbol Audio came out of a lot of soul searching about what kind of product to make, and Blake spent a good year toying with different ideas. He was interested in music, and found himself frequently engaged in conversations about vintage audio equipment. A rekindled interest in vinyl and the ability to stream high quality music files emerged as two concepts that he imagined could be creatively incorporated into a single product.
The idea started to unfold: reinvent a console stereo system that combined modern technology with a vintage amplifier, and house it all in a beautifully handmade piece of furniture. The whole thing seemed like a really exciting idea, and we were suddenly off and running.
It took our team less than six months to put the entire concept together, including branding and photography, in order to launch at the 2012 ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair). Symbol Audio made quite a splash at the fair, and we were immediately picked up by major design blogs. By Monday, our website–a site that didn’t even exist a week earlier–had received over 50,000 hits!
We've been on a roll ever since.