Getting friends to listen to your stereo

My main stereo is very good but except for a couple of friends who are into the gear and music like I am ,it is tough to get to get somebody to simply sit down and listen for music for an hour or so even if they listen to music on a casual basis daily. I usually get comments like "wow that really sounds nice" or "it's almost like you are there". I will play music they like or request but after a couple songs it usually devolves into a talking session. I use a sound level meter and keep the levels between 80-85 dba so it can't be a volume issue. When I was younger ,I regularly got together with friends for music either at my place or theirs to share music, drinks and maybe tryout some speakers, amps etc. Yes, I understand that as you get older there are more constraints on one's time and everybody has different priorities but I always make time to listen to music and with the equipment available today, it is simply amazing the sound one can get in their homes even for a modest expenditure. Is it just me or do some of you experience the same thing?
I listen alone, yeah, with nobody else. You know when I listen alone, I prefer to be by myself.

I don't exactly know what the point of your post is, are you upset because you need to have others hear your rig and tell you how great it is? Why do you feel the need to have others validate your audio purchases?

When I was younger, I used to have more listening sessions with others too, at my place or theirs. Albums laying around all over the rooms. Times, change, people change. I'm lucky if I can schedule enough listening time in for myself, I don't have time to worry about scheduling in time for others. Most people I know are the same. People are busier these days. Work and families demand more of our time then in our youth. Just play some music, and you have a whole band or orchestra in the room with you. Enjoy the music.
Only two options I can think of to achieve the goal:

1) chain these people to the chair so they have to listen
2) get some new friends who are also audio hobbyists

Or both.

Seriously, intense listening to music is pretty much a solo activity, not a team sport or social activity, at least for the most part with a few exceptions perhaps.

Two things that can help is to perform some other quiet socializing activity while listening. A nice game of chess or backgammon works well for me. Even cards or any activity mutually enjoyed that is also quiet.

Also letting the person listen to what they want to listen to helps, if things even get to that point.

Lubrication also helps sometimes. That might help explain why this was not so hard when we were younger.

Few people are ever interested in the equipment and how or why it sounds as it does, especially these days. OR evenif they are, the interest is fleeting, not perpetual or ongoing as a hobby.
Truth is most people have little interest in Music beyond the sex,drugs and rock 'n roll phase.
Less than 5% of Americans listen at all to serious music.
If I was you I would consider joining an audiophile club so you could interact with other members. Best regards
For the majority, music is a multitasked medium. Solo critical listening is abnormal by today’s standards. Your friends are normal.
Try asking your friends if they want to listen to music. Also, let them control the volume and music selection.
For the majority, music is a multitasked medium. Solo critical listening is abnormal by today’s standards. Your friends are normal.
Ha! Agree! I've given up asking.
Yeah, alcohol and other substances definitely help, but for most of us, those ended with college. I remember my Friday routine in college was going over to friends, getting high, and listening to Miles or whoever…in total silence. Try doing THAT with your work colleagues or buddy from work! Audiophiles are a different breed, and most people really don't get it or care :(
Thanks for the responses! Let me give you a little more background. A few months ago I was meeting with a new client. Once business was out of the way, I asked him" are you a tube or a solid state guy?" The look he gave me was priceless. I told him I saw the latest issue of Stereophile on the corner of his desk and that's why I asked. He said he was currently a solid state guy but he was curious about tubes. I said I started out solid state but I am a tube guy now. I asked if he would like to come over to my house sometime to play some tunes and he said sure. After we agreed to a day and time,I told him to bring some music he really liked and knew well. My wife made a nice dinner after which we went downstairs to play with the toys. To make a long story short we each had some music that the other never heard but we liked it after hearing it. So we both got some new leads on music and we have become good friends even though he says I have cost him over $10K and counting. The most recent time he was over, I asked if he sat down with other friends to listen to his very nice stereo and he responded "I cannot even get my girl friend to sit down with me for a listening session, she will say it sounds nice and that it is it". Nobody else is even interested. To me this is sad, like I said previously the sound you can get in your home today is simply amazing and I would really like to share this with others. Maybe if somebody who likes music heard it on a decent system, they might invest in something that would make listening to music more compelling. I think we live in the golden age of audio and if people going forward are not willing to sit down and spend some time listening to music on a decent system then there will be no market for the manfacturers which is really worse then sad.
This sort of activity requires being comfortable enough with other people to be silent with them for long periods of time. That actually requires a certain level of trust and familiarity.
Sorry, but you just cannot force people to do something that you enjoy. Trust me, my mother always enjoyed painting, she found it very relaxing, and spent decades trying to stimulate the 'joy of painting' within me. It never worked. My wife loves watching home remodeling shows and tries to persuade me to share her enjoyment, sorry I can't become fascinated about constantly remodeling the home year after year. You either enjoy something or you do not. You can not force your joy on anyone else though.

Neither my wife nor any of my three adult sons share my enjoyment of audio equipment, though they all do enjoy music. If they find an Ipod as entertaining as my expensive audio system, that is fine with me. I am uncomfortable trying to force my good times on others, probably because I know how uncomfortable I feel when others try to force their good times on me.
Yeah really ... doesn't asking others to share the peace, solitude, music, nostalgia and memories gained in the man-cave defeat the whole purpose ab initio? I find it intrusive when my wife even comes downstairs to head into the laundry room. Sorry ... it's my last vestige of peace and quiet left to me.
I think that people today have much shorter attention spans than they did back in the 60s and 70s (in my case) when listening to music with friends was a regular social activity.

I think it's unfortunate that that is the case.
+++Jmcgrogan2, very well put
I love music. My family accepts it but doesn't really share my love for high fidelity. It's ok for now but I hope my children will come to appreciate it more in their later years. Maybe I planted the seeds but nothing has sprouted yet! :) Bill
If you ask a non-audiofile girlfriend if she prefers “Tube” or “SS”, all she will hear is “Lube” and “S&M”. No wonder you get little to no response.
I have over the years really enjoyed listening to my system with my daughter, who is now 19. I think I brain washed her early enough to like some of the same music as I do and we can have the stereo on for quite a while together and really listen. Some fun discussions between album sides.

My wife however seems to be unconsciously driven to come in to talk to me while I am listening, even at a pretty decent volume level, which requires me to get up (no remote), turn down the volume, engage in the conversation, re-set the volume, and then repeat every 5 minutes.
A lot of it is that fewer people are exposed to live un-amplified acoustic music than ever before. Electronic amplification is almost always involved when most listen to music nowadays, and along with that has come all the new ways of listening today, especially using more portable devices.

Headphones are the part of old school audiophilia that perhaps thrive today still more than ever to accommodate common modern listening habits best. There are so many and decent ones are better than ever and way more affordable than most good pairs of speakers.

Then there is the intrusion of audio/video home entertainment that started back in the 80's as a result of the VCR for home playback and recording, and then all teh various follow-up formats of a/v as well.

So that does not leave much room for old school audio throwback types like most of us here on a'gon. I suppose that makes us more special than ever. :^)
All that blaring music is the only peace and quiet I get.
01-07-14: Truemaineiac
My wife however seems to be unconsciously driven to come in to talk to me while I am listening, even at a pretty decent volume level, which requires me to get up (no remote), turn down the volume, engage in the conversation, re-set the volume, and then repeat every 5 minutes.

I must have married your wife's twin sister! LOL!! I think she used to constantly interrupt me with the hope that I would just give in and turn the music down to office music level so that she could comfortably talk anytime she wished. I'm at the point now where I don't even bother to fire up the rig when she is home anymore. That is why I like to find jobs that have working hours which vary from her hours. I call it creating space for me time.
Tomcy6 makes a good point, the young in my family have the attention span of a cockroach.
I'm old enough to remember when there was no TV, IMHO the most significant sentence uttered in the last 100 years was
" The medium IS the message" .
TV is an utter disaster and rock music is not far behind.
I tend to ignore her regularly. This way, it's not a big deal when the music is playing.
Serious music listening is a solo endeavor. Even sharing listening sessions with fellow audiophiles, it's inevitable that the silent listening will eventually evolve into system critique.
I'm not going to bother reading the responses to your post. Give up on your friends. It's a hobby and it's your hobby. Don't try and push it on your friends. I'd be turned off if one of my friends tried to get me into remote control helicopters or H.O. trains.

Seriously, don't waste your time. It's your time to do what you're into.
+1 Donjr. The only caveat is if your buddies are Gomez and Pugsly Addams who invite you to play with their Lionel 3-rail gauge train layout and plunger detonators.
Brf- did you used to date my wife? ;-)
We have many musician friends and when they visit I usually play music very very quietly and if the subject of my stereo comes up, I'll turn up the music for a bit and let them listen. Folks are usually pretty quiet and attentive and make comments about the warmth or how the sound fills up the room and then I turn it back down. I had one guy get totally wrapped up in the sound and the rest of the evening became about music. Most people are not into hi end audio and listen on iPods so this experience might be the first time they have ever heard music played through tubes and it is usually obvious that this music makes an impression. I simply leave it at that. It's up to them to how they want to hear music. Then there are the evenings when we invite people over to specifically listen to music and that is a different thing altogether.
Solo hobby no doubt! Audiophile clubs with nerds like us or forget it. Most don't know there is a high end audio industry.

I did play an audiophile trick on a group of guys that work for me (they had no choice). We were out and about stopped in a high end shop and in the main room was Magico M7's, MIT's best, spectral, nagra, basis 2800 TT ....drool....

When they found out the cost - 170K for the speakers and 40K for the speaker cables that just could not wrap their head around it. 5K for the cartridge or as he put it "needle," the look on his face was priceless! Absolutely flabergasted! One commented he could get a studebaker for the price of the speakers and I said who the hell wants a studebaker???? LOL!
"When they found out the cost - 170K for the speakers and 40K for the speaker cables that just could not wrap their head around it. "

I would sit quietly and listen to that all the while thinking to it worth it?

No doubt I suspect most normal people would do the same sitting even with poor little me.
Just today I mentioned to a friend that after my new speakers had the requisite hours on them, she should come over and listen to some music. She didn't seem remotely interested despite the fact that she enjoyed a concert that we went to and that she has a ticket for another upcoming concert. I suggested that she bring over something that she loves. She asked me if when I listened to music I sat down, or if I had it on in the background. It's true that no one can force one's passion onto another but I understand wanting to share something amazing with another person.
My friends can't take their eyes of my glowing KT-88s and 5v4s long enough to listen to the music. I have to say, "Hey, my speakers are up here!"
01-10-14: Stewie
My friends can't take their eyes of my glowing KT-88s and 5v4s long enough to listen to the music. I have to say, "Hey, my speakers are up here!"

LMFAO!! Stewie wins the prize!!
Yes tubes are curious devices these days for many and do tend to draw attention. Mine are mostly hidden but most do react with interest when I mention they are there. The glowier, the better!

most people today, in 2014, do not have the patience to sit down for some undistracted listening sessions. That said, the number 2 factor is the cost of today's gear. Again, people are mp3/4 hooked via the computer or iPhone...
Thanks for the great responses some are not only very good but made me laugh as well. I just got the latest issues of The Absolute Sound and Stereophile in the mail & in the latter; Jason Victor Serinus who must be of my generation talks about this very issue in the "As We See It" column.I think that if people who truly enjoy listening to music heard songs or albums they like over a high quality system, we would have more participants in this wonderful hobby of ours. I have friends who will say they want to watch a certain concert or movie on my system but to get them to sit back and just listen to music is a different story. Obviously, there is a visual component with videos that you do not get with listening to recordings but the sound quality is not the same.I get a big kick when somebody says" I must have heard that song a thousand times but I never heard it like that!" I truly appreciate the comments that were posted in response to my posting and thank each of you for your input.
Schubert's initial post said it all. I will paraphrase his two sentences together:
"Most people have little interest at all to serious music"
"Most people have little interest at all to serious music"

What is serious music???
"What is serious music???"

Anything good worth listening to but can't really dance to maybe?

Waltzes included?
If one can't tap their toe or hum along, it might well qualify as 'serious', or at least boring if not 'serious', by some folks. :-)
I bemoan the fact that very few people consider listening to music an active endeavor. Why? Most other art forms require the person to be active, including movies, looking at artwork, etc. Is that because for those you need to use your eyes? Why can't people just sit down and listen, really listen, to music? It's even better with your eyes closed.
"Why can't people just sit down and listen, really listen, to music? It's even better with your eyes closed."

It's kinda like a form of meditation.

Many people might find meditation to be a challenge, but might well be better off were they to tackle it. Probably same true with serious listening to music in general.
I wonder if folks who enjoy other hobbies like golfing, boating, painting, knitting, dancing, etc., spend as much time wondering why other folks don't enjoy their hobby as much as their fellow hobbyists do, like so many here seem to do.
"I wonder if folks who enjoy other hobbies like
golfing, boating, painting, knitting, dancing, etc., spend
as much time wondering why other folks don't enjoy their
hobby as much as their fellow hobbyists do, like so many
here seem to do."

To me the difference is that almost everyone listens to
music. Not everyone knits.

My wife loves music, but even when I play her favorites on
my system, lossless, she's bored. She's happy with Pandora
on the B&W Zeppelin. To her, like most people, music is
what you listen to while you're doing something else.
Alright then, let's compare our hobby to say culinary arts. Since as you say almost everyone listens to music, yet it seems to frustrate some here that some do not listen seriously enough. I know that everyone eats, yet how many care deeply about how every morsel that they put in their mouth to wish to know all of the details of how it was raised, prepared, etc.? Most folks simply want to eat something that tastes good without having to know the full history of the meal. I wonder if this irritates culinary artists. I suppose it does irritate the ones who are not grounded enough to realize that people are different, and others may not enjoy food the way that they enjoy food. However, I still feel that the majority would realize that just because culinary arts mean so much to them, they are the different ones, not the majority who do not care about how produce was raised or prepared.

My wife and children (all grown adults) all listen to music, yet none of them share my hobby. So what? I'm grounded enough to realize that I am the one that marches to the beat of a different drummer, they are the "normal" ones. Just as everyone who drinks alcohol does not become addicted to it, not everyone who listens to music becomes addicted to it. That's life, deal with it.

Reading again your wife's bored reaction to listening to music on your system reminds me of my wife's reaction to music on my system, and my reaction to her TV programs on homes, relator shows, home improvement shows, etc. She could watch them 24/7. Now I live in a home, and I have all of my life, but her shows bore the hell out of me. Yet, being a normal person, never once did she show any concern as to why I couldn't share her enjoyment of home shows. She, like I, realize that what we enjoy is what we enjoy. Simply enjoy it, and don't waste your time trying to force your enjoyment on others, or get upset because others don't share in your enjoyment. Unlike this post, life is too short. ;)
+++ Jmc.

Getting even audiophiles together and expecting them to all like the same thing is like getting three normal people together and expecting them to all go gaga over the same meal.

It can happen, but not that often. Usually, the best one might expect is a general consensus that the meal was either good or not.

IF they all think not, well, time for a new chef I suppose!

Dangerous waters indeed! Gotta laugh!
When there's a will, there's a way. The self-defeatist behavior will get you nowhere. That's why there's audio clubs! This should be a shared hobby from time to time, not a solitary one! If you are in the Las Vegas area, and want to socialize with like-minded individuals, check out our club, the LVAC.
"When there's a will, there's a way. "

A reasonable budget to help finance the changes and tinkering sure to result can't hurt either. :-)
Yes, of course, but isn't exactly necessary. To me, anyway. On the other hand, upgrading and tinkering is part of the fun. The thrill of the chase, I suppose. haha.
I usually listen by myself since most people can't stand to be quiet for any period of time especially in this day and age of instant messaging, twitter etc. In addition, most people don't care about listening to quality music and only listen to background music. I myself tend to multi-task with my latest audio magazines and bourbon on the rocks.
That's too bad. No offense, but I would go insane being that solitary. But, some people are hermits, and that's the way it goes. However, for me it's like being in a prison cell. It's just not fun to me being all alone all the time.