Having anything that's too easily tipped over wouldn't work here in CA. First decent earthquake and it'd go flying. For similar reasons to Angela's I've had house cleaners. It's not that expensive and frees up some time. For safety's sake I use private parties. With a cleaning service it could be almost anyone; with an individual it's always the same person. On day one the cleaner gets a full run down of the "Do Not Touch" items. They seem to like that there are things that will be cleaned before they arrive. Probably takes some stress off them. So far, so good.
The rules for guests vary with the audience and have evolved with the gear and time, but here's the long version:
Bring music to play. The more variety the better.
Please don't turn knobs or push buttons. If you want something just ask. I shudder to think what would happen were someone to spin my "flywheel" volume knob.
Please don't set *anything* on the speakers or equipment rack. Seems like there's always someone who wants to use the speakers as a drink stand.
Don't move stuff. A friend was interested in how heavy my speakers were, so picked one up. He was not impressed when I told him it had been accurately placed to within a fraction of an inch and now had to be reset.
Which brings up one of the most important. Remember that Frank is very anal retentive about his stereo.
It's not likely they'll forget that last one. Don't I wish. For Xmas a couple of years ago one of them bought me a sweatshirt that read in bold letters "Is anal retentive hyphenated?" My response? "Of course not. Otherwise I wouldn't wear it!"
Since my house cleaner years ago, dusted off my record player and its cartridge in the process, the listening area is strictly off limits for all and the mishaps which occasionaly occur are strictly caused by my own stupidity. A much better arrangement, I find.
from the reality files: panic stricken siamese cat runs into the listening being chased by eight year old boy...boy nudges lp's over displacing cinder block bookend from planking underneath...cinderblock tips bicycle resting peacefully against the wall... bike slides down the back of a spiked 60 lb KEF tower, tumbling it onto its face ~wham crash!~ ...KEF makes direct hit on portable tapedeck lying on the floor, smashing it to pieces... would i lie to you? sure i can laugh now, haha. some food for thought :-)
What a great thread Angela! I don't use housecleanerpersons because I am such a perfectionist that there is no one in the world who can clean my house like I can! Yep, that's right I'm the maid in my mansion. This works good because my wife does the cooking (god forbid you hand the spatula to me)and I do 90% of the cleaning. This also serves to protect the Stereo equipment from over zealous scrubbers and lint collectors. I have to devote separate time to primping and grooming the stereo. I usually do this last after the floors are vacumed (stirs up more dust)and the kitchen and bathroom floors mopped. In a way I find it a nice come-down from the main cleaning. I have to be relaxed and not hurried. I previously had my Epos ES12,s mounted on stands without any adhesive between stand and spk. Big mistake. One day while cleaning the windows I wasn't paying attention when stepping back to admire my work and slightly bumped the stand. Had I not whirled around in such a panic to see what I had done, the speaker most likely would have remained on the stand. But, because of my paniced-whirling I sent the speaker crashing to the floor. Tears.....Oh, well. I had quit smoking for about a month, but the disaster was to much to take. 2 small dents now graced the veneered side of my previously "new" speaker! Well, you can pretty much guess...that ended the stopped-smoking routine. I immediately went and purchased an entire carton of cigs and proceeded to smoke them. I have since found the audio miracle blu-tak which will hopefully help me avoid this kind of thing again. If only I had known of this stuff, my spk might have remained on the stand. The other lesson is...Don't screw around, clean around, hang around, etc. by the stereo!!! This is my only rule and it's mainly needed for protection from people like myself. Natural born clutz!
Same rule. Housecleaner not allowed. All clening in listening room done by yours truly. Siamese cats (I have 3) allowed only when I'm there...otherwise they sit on the BAT preamp (it's warm!). Worst moment...female Siamese cat trying to clear hairball from throat right on top of BAT preamp. I beat her to the punch..by a fraction of a second. For the most part, the cats behave..and they are impossible to keep out of the room in the Winter (all the tubed gear makes it nice and toasty after a couple of hours)
Yesterday we had a sonic boom in LA. At the same time that I heard the boom, I also heard a clunk from the stereo cabinet (the DAC had toppled from its cone points and landed a sixteenth of an inch from a digital microwire that I recently purchased. Well last night I ordered a "real" equipment rack from Audio Advisor and plan to use the Neuance shelves that fellow member RedKiwi has had such positive results with. The Neuance is said to work best with just the components resting on their stock feet, and I will be doing away with all of my wonderfull and precarious cone points. The equipment is also being relocated to a hall closet just off the living room. This was going to be a long term project, which included me building my own rack from scratch, but now it seems that it will be completed as soon as I can justify the expense of two of the Neuance shelves (to start) with my wife. I think that I will start tonight, with a couple of rib-eyes and some creamed spinach (with pearl onions:-) I suppose that I should tell her about the rack that I purchsed as well since it will probably arrive early next week. Now that I use CD's as a source any of our guests are welcome to use the stereo rig. Before when I used vinyl, only a chosen few were allowed to operate my system. We did use a cleaner for a while when I was completely disabled, but coming from a blue collar background it felt kind of funny having someone do my own "chores", plus I was home while he was doing them. The guy (Aurturo) though was great with all of the fragile things that we have (much better than I am) and still works for a neighbor of ours.
i have two grown sons with keys to our home, each of whom frequently drop by whilst my spouse and i are away for an hour or absent for a week. they are welcome to use my audio system under these ukases: (1) you break it or damage it, you pay for it's repair or replacement, NOW; (2) you play it, you put it back where you found it; (3) you borrow it, you leave me a note--no note, i find out, i get 2 for 1 of yours, my choice; (4) you drink my beer, clean up your mess; (5) you drink my wine, you'd better figure out how to buy me a better bottle. our housekeeper is allowed to vacuum the carpets and rug in my soundroom and dust around my listening area but may not get close to the speakers or electronics. sometimes my cobwebs get their own cobwebs before i notice and clean them. BTW, anybody ever found a cob redhandedly makin' those webs?
the only problem i've had w/the stereo is my two children, now ages 9 & 5. once, when there was only one, she grabbed the wolume knob & gave it a full clockwise twist. my wife, in the room at the time took the full brunt of it. i was in the next room, so *my* ears were only sore for a couple days... ;~) dunno what my dawtah's ears thought of it!
she also knocked over one of the theil 3.5's, which happened to have its fall cushioned by a cheapie plastic table, which sacrificed itself for the good of the speaker - only a tiny dime-sized hole in the side of the grille-cloth.
my current monitors are stand-mounted - on 3 ball-bearings! w/kids, this is *asking* for trouble! well, the dawtah got one of 'em once, & the son got 'em twice. fortunately, no kid-damage, only a few chips on the back-edge of one of 'em. good thing these tings are built like mini-tanks. also a good ting the youngest, is at age 5 now - it's been almost two years since any speaker-jumping has ocurred chez-sedon. both kids can operate everything except the turntable - i tink the dawtah could do that, if she could reach it! :>)
of course, no one cleans the stereo, (except me, once in a while!); the only real rule is: NO PLAYING AROUND THE SPEAKERS!!!!!! :>)
No restrictions, but our Music room is for music. It is a seperate room with french doors to close it off from the rest of the house. I listen, no talking of noise allowed! My 18 year old does his homework with the stereo on (if I'm not listening). My wife cranks it with her Prince or who ever when I'm not home. My 16 year old daughter uses it only when she wants to hear the music, her boom box is fine with her. My 14 year old handicapped son loves classical music. He and I listen together, he seems to have a whole new level of mussle control with classical music playing, VERY COOL!
I was cleaning the music room last week-end and thought about writting regarding the effects on the sound after taking the dust out. I wonder if anyone is really that anal. I also do 90% of the cleaning, so no problems here.
Great tread Angela, J.D.
I had a friend and his 12 year old daughter stay with me for a couple of months. The first thing I did was show her how to use it. Her father thought I was nuts but when adults are away kids will play. I thought it was best if she was taught to respect it and use it properly then coming home to something broken due to misuse.
Friends are aware of my nature when it comes to the big rig and generally ask before touching. This thread has me thinking that it is a good idea really show regular guest the ropes of the system. As far as cleaning, my wife leaves the stereo to me. She doesn't have the patience for all the buttons and crevices.
My wife once drove my old amp into thermal protection mode blasting Garth Brooks. I've never had any serious mishaps ... but the potential grows with each new equipment change. Last month the monitors went on stands for the first time. Two weeks ago, 3X the old amp power. Coming next week a CJ tubed preamp and a turntable!! I'll bet that the first mishap is at my own hands.
After getting nicks on the bottom of my speakers from the vacuum cleaner banging into them, I drew the line.
My wife.. When she drives me up the wall with her pointless blath,I enter my listening room and crack open a cold one.
When each of my kids reached the age of 12, I taught them to safely use and respect firearms, but I still never let them anywhere near my ET II Tone Arm.
Hey, David, did the steaks and *pearl onions* work? and Kelly, your "rules" are great! Ever get any *good wine or the two-fer-one deal* out of the contrivance?(does that word work? I am trying to increase my vocabulary)
Angela: I went to the market and the price of rib-eyes was at a whopping $9/LB. I regrouped and made a nice repast of buttermilk biscuits with white sauce and chipped beef. This was followed by buckwheat pancakes the following night and a whole roasted chicken (74 cents/LB) -w- creamed spinach (no pearl onions) the night following that one. Tonight it will be grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. My wife and myself spent years in the high end food industry and we both really do appreciate "normal" food because this. The comfort food is not only working (I just made an offer on a pair of Target one piece speaker stands -w- my wife's approval) but it is saving enough money to actually pay for the new gear without dipping into the savings. Cooking "pheasant" food (what I call my style) was also one of my most pleasant pastimes until a year or so ago and it's nice to get back into the swing of things. I do good greens (substitute burnt red onion for pork/smoked turkey) and mac and cheese (-w- egg whites) as well. We once spent an entire two week vacation sampling biscuits and gravy up and down the West coast at every place imaginable (the best was at a truck stop in the high desert), which is why I started with them as the first "feast." If I ever decide to really splurge with this new food vehicle I will have clam chowder shipped down from the Splash in Pismo Beach, CA, which is better than any that I have ever made. So Sam, if your reading this, there's more to cinching up the old belt than Pasta. Email for recipes-:)
Never underestimate the taste of a grilled cheese and a glass of chocalate milk. Yum!