Well, it was a great Christmas here. I spent Christmas evening giving my 20-year old son his present. How does that make it a great Christmas? Well, his gift was a vintage Yamaha CA 410 II integrated amp, a pair of decent Infinity bookshelf speakers and a Technics turntable in great condition with an Ortofon cartridge. I went simple throughout on this one and the turntable is a P-mount system but the cartridge gives it great sound and makes for a solid introduction to vinyl.
The coolest part was walking him through the set in my kitchen and watching as he listened to the sound that came from his "new" system. I have to say I found the Yamaha amp impressive in all directions. Great phono stage, warm clean sound and efficient use of the relatively small wattage it is rated for. We went through a bunch of my records and I discussed various things about them with him and he was just soaking it all up. I then let him choose a stack of 15 or 20 records from my own collection (with a few off limits, of course!).
And, best of all, we spent Saturday cruising used record shops in Atlanta. He wound up buying more records and adding extensively to his collection with some advice and recommendations from me and the staff at the record stores. At one point we had several people gathered around us discussing selections and a young lady was listening in and soaking up the information and buying similar material to what my son was buying. It was a cool day. One that was a nice break from the stresses of what has been a nightmarish holiday season in many ways.
So, yeah, I had a great Christmas.