Getting married, and I need to redo system.. ?'s..

Hello Everyone:

How is everyone doing today??? I hope everything is going all and well for each and every one of you. Now, I have something I to discuss with all of my fellow "Goners" here at "Audiogon", and I would appreciate any input or opinions that any one of you may/will provide to me.

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way, I got something I want to share with all of you guys here at "Audiogon". The VERY thing that I want to share with each and every one of you is this. It has recently been discussed with my girlfriend of four plus years and it has been decided that we're going to be tying the knot. No date has been set as of this moment, but right now, we're shooting for the spring of 2004. And while some aspects of my life may (and in fact, will) change after I say "I DO" to what is going to be my "better half", the one thing that's NOT going to change, is that I am NOT going to stop being an audiophile. I say this because the way I see this is this. If I marry her, I am going to be marrying her for her. And that means I will have to put up with all of her. And that goes for all of the points she has about herself. Her good points and bad points. By the same token, she will have to put up with the same thing from me as well. And also, as part of the package, she has to know (in fact, she and I have already had that discussion) that she's marrying an audiophile as well. And if she is to be married to me, she's stuck with an audiophile for life. But now, with the intentions of getting a house together someday, I am hoping on getting a house in which either will have either a room that I can convert into an "audio/video room with a home office", or a basement that has a nice sized room that I can seal off from the utility room and the laundry area, and then what I will do after that is hire an acoustic technician and have some acoustic tile installed, and then hire an electrician to redo the electrical system of the whole house so that I can beef up the electrical capabilities of the room in question so that I can install the kind of system that I really want to install in the room that I have just so mentioned. What I am going to probably be doing after that is kind of redo my system up to the point of where it is going to have to be a consolidated and downsized version of the systems that I have right now. And those systems are as follows.

HOME THEATER (located in my bedroom):

Panasonic CT-27SF37 "SuperFlat" 27" Television/Monitor
Toshiba SD-2700 DVD/CD Player
Harman/Kardon AVR-210 Dolby-Digital/DTS Audio/Video Receiver
Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones
Monster Cable Interconnects
Monster Cable HTS1000 Power Center Surge Suppressor

AUDIO SYSTEM (located in my living room):

KEF Reference 102 Speaker System w/KUBE Equalizer
Adcom GFA-545 MkII Power Amplifier (100 WPC)
Adcom GFP-750 Active/Passive Line Stage Preamplifier w/Remote Control
Magnum Dynalab FT-101 FM Tuner
Terk AM FM Q Amplified Antenna
Thorens TD-165 Belt-Drive Turntable (not yet hooked up)
Grado Prestige Gold Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge
Pioneer Elite DV-37 Progressive Scan DVD/CD Player (being used as a CD Player)
JVC XL-M509TN 6+1 CD Player/Changer
Nakamichi BX-300 Cassette Deck
MITerminator 2 and 3 Interconnects and MITerminator 2 Speaker Cables
Sanus SF-24 Speaker Stands
Monster Cable HTS2500 Power Center

And now, here's what I am proposing my system will look like after I become a married man.

AUDIO/VIDEO SYSTEM (to be located in either in a den, or in a room to be determined in a basement once we get our house):

KEF Q1 Speaker System (mains or fronts in a home theater system, or the main speakers in a stereo system)*
KEF Q9c Speaker System (center channel....... to be used in home theater only)
KEF Q8s Speaker System (surround channels...... to be used in home theater only)
REL Strata III Powered Subwoofer (in a finish that matches the KEF Q1 and Q9c)***
Rotel RMB-1075 5 Channel Power Amplifier (will eventually replace the Adcom GFA-545 MkII)*
Rotel RSP-1066 7.1 Surround Processor/Preamplifier (will eventually replace the Adcom GFP-750)*
Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones (retained from old system)
Creek Headphone Amplifier (Special Edition Version)
Magnum Dynalab FT-101 FM Tuner (retained from old system)
Magnum Dynalab Indoor/Outdoor Antenna (to replace the Terk AM FM Q Amplified Antenna)
Monolithic PS-1 + HC-1 Phono Stage with matching Power Supply
Rega Planar 25 Belt-Drive Turntable (the "table" I plan to own after I upgrade the Thorens TD-165)*
Grado Sonata Reference Moving Magnet Cartridge (the cartridge I will upgrade to after replacing the Prestige Gold)*
Sony DVP-NS999ES Progressive Scan DVD/SACD/CD Player (one player will have to do it all)*
Nakamichi BX-300 Cassette Deck (again.... retained from old system)
Panasonic PT-47WX52 or PT-53WX52 47" or 53" 16:9 HDTV RPTV (but not both)*
Sony TiVo and the JVC HR-VP638U VHS Hi-Fi VCR (to replace the Sony SLV-R5UC)*
Microsoft "X-BOX" Gaming System
MITerminator 2 Interconnects (retained from old system.... new ones will be added later on)**
MITerminator 3 Interconnects (retained from old system.... again, new ones will be added later on)**
MITerminator 2 Speaker Cables (retained from old system.... new ones will be added later on)**
Osiris Speaker Stands (if they can be found, they will be added to the system later on)*
Monster Cable Reference Power Center HTS3600 (will eventually replace the HTS2500)*

* means that these components will replace the ones that was previously in my system. For example:

The KEF Q1 will replace the KEF Reference 102's
The Rotel RMB-1075 will replace the Adcom GFA-545 MkII
The Rotel RSP-1066 will replace the Adcom GP-750
The Rega Planar 25 will replace the Thorens TD-165
The Grado Sonata Reference will replace the Grado Prestige Gold
The Sony DVP-NS999ES will replace both, the Pioneer Elite DV-37 and the JVC XL-M509TN
The Panasonic PT-47WX52 or PT-53WX52 will replace the Panasonic CT-27SF37 SuperFlat
The Sony TiVo and JVC HR-VP638U will replace the Sony SLV-R5UC S-VHS Hi-Fi VCR
The Osiris Speaker Stands (if found) will replace the Sanus SF-24 Speaker Stands
The Monster Cable HTS3600 will replace the Monster Cable HTS2500

** means that more cables will be purchased later on to accomodate the additional channels that the home theater is likely require/demand.

*** means that the REL Strata III Powered Subwoofer is going to be used both in stereo and in home theater

And finally, the rest of the components that I did not name or mention in my current home theater will either be sold, put on consignment, given away to charity, or any other means deemed necessary. But the given is, they will be eliminated.

But anyway, that's the way my new "combined" audio/video system will look after I am married. And when you stop and think about, my system won't be changed all that much. It'll just be changed enough out of necessity, but my new system will pretty much look the same as my current one(s) do now.

What do any of you think???? Do any of you have any questions????

Thanks in advance for your replies.......

Charles, the room in the basement idea sounds brilliant! Your own little retreat(hopefully well isolated from the rest of the house)to enjoy. The Kef Q1's in that environment
would be perfect! ( A wonderful speaker for the $ ) Wish you
and yours the longest of honeymoons!!! I hope you find that
great house to enjoy. Bill
One thing you should know. Your explanation of how as part of the package she has to know she's marrying an audiophile, blah, blah, blah, is very logical and makes great sense to me. However, women are different from men. In general, women are more emotional and men are more logical. Sure there are exceptions, I got married because I thought I had me an exception. I didn't.
My advice: if there is anything that you want, any piece of gear, regardless of price, buy it now. Buy as much as you can now. The purse strings will tighten up after you say "I Do."
Good luck,
Forget the "audiophile" thing and start discussing the money situation. Money is the root of most divorces, so figure out who is going to be responsible for what and then keep your finances separate. If you have joint expenses, then share those and keep your earnings to yourself. She should do the same. Believe me, if you do this, you'll be a LOT happier in the long run. Just remember to take such variables as having children and her not being able to work into the equation. Sean

PS... CONGRATULATIONS. I hope you have a "keeper".

I hope you ran this proposed system by your fiance!

If you showed her the little Aego-2 system with a cd player I'm sure she'd be thrilled by the sound and the absence of it taking up so much room in your new home. Tell her you're turning over a new leaf and as a married man you'll have new priorities for your money!

If you need a home theater, try the Aego-5 along with a plasma screen.

Something small (like a big diamond) is what will impress her with your good taste.

Good luck.

Downsizing myself...
I would also heed John's & Sean's advice above, although it's difficult to sully affairs of the heart with those of the pocket (that's before you "I do" the situation of course).

Looking into the future, the HT/audio combo may prove a logistics nightmare: when you want to listen to music the rest of the family may want to watch a movie... be prepared that any rules set in advance usually don't apply when it comes to real-life situations!

How about negotiating separate systems for audio/HT?
Listen to the Psychic...

Keep audio and video separate--if you want to keep sanity in your married life!!!

It's better to have a simple nearfield setup for your audio and then a den for movies and background music...
Congratulations Charles.
I recommend keeping a copy of this page for your files. And then you can look at it in 5 years, and see whether you did what you wanted, or are listening to a Bose shelf system. Remember, women consider their men to be a "work in progress" and will try to change you over time. A copy of this page may be a guideline as to who's priorities are being met, and who's aren't. I would wonder if your fiance is making a similar list of her concessions, or instead, a list of her priorities regarding which concessions of yours you will be required to concede first. If there was a woman's website like this, there would be no talk of her conceding anything, but rather, how to get you to concede everything. Good Luck.

That being said, I recommend getting away from the Grado line as long as you have a Rega TT. The Grado's have problems with Rega's and there are alot of good cartridges out there that can walk all over a Grado, at similar prices or less. So there is no reason to "get married" to your Grado. Have a "fling" with a Dynavector 10x4 Mk2, for some High-output MC enjoyment.
Ummm . . . . maybe it's just me, but I always thought that a spouse was supposed to SUPPORT you in the things you loved and felt passionate about. Or maybe I'm just lucky -- my wife accepted the A/V rig AND the art collection and actually became a staunch supporter of both. You'd have to tear the 51" widescreen out from her dead clutching fingers if you wanted to remove it from the living room . . . ;-0)

Make sure that you get music and movies that your significant other really likes, and show her how much BETTER they sound and look on a good system. If she has decent ears and good taste (and we'll assume she does, since she's marrying you!), she'll appreciate the benefits of having an audiophile around.

Charles, don't assume that you will be beaten into submission . . . it CAN happen, but not all women are like that. Think positively, and here's hoping you got one of the good ones!

Jmcgrogan2 is definately right about the purse strings. I got married about a month ago and I'd second the advice to do as much as you can right now. This is not to say that you won't be able to do more later, but it'll probably be more difficult as a married guy.

The dedicated room is the way to go for sure. That's exactly what I did. It's my retreat from dishes, laundry, work, gardening, and sometimes the wife.

Buy what you really want now, and then dig in for the long haul. Your days of dabbling in the tweak-of-the-month club are numbered.

In retrospect, for me, this has been a VERY good thing. I'm a nut, and my wife is pragmatic, so she does bring a sense of reality into the hobby. For example, "What the F#$@!...$500 for a power cord!".

And I soon realized she's right. That IS silly when you step back and think about it. So I decided to start a few DIY projects, and spend the large dollars where they can make the most differenc: speakers, amp, and more music, etc.

No more ridiculous cables and tweaks for me...
Gthush1, when you've been married as long as I have (19 years) you'll know better than to tell her the cost of such products. I have a seperate credit card, and seperate my money. She might complain if she sees too many transactions, but she never knows the cost. Cables and power cords are easy, she doesn't see them, so as far as she knows, there hasn't been a transaction. She only notices new speakers, amps, cd players, etc.
Pat, you are lucky. I have a friend whose wife shares his audio hobby, but alas, mine thinks it 'silly'. She'd rather I invest the money in a 2003 Jaguar for her, so she doesn't have to trudge around in her 1998 Toyota Camry. Such a rough life.
Hello All:

I would like to express a heart felt thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I seem to be getting plenty of good advice as to what I can expect out of married life once I say those "all so fatal" words "I DO". And all of the advice I have received so far will be considered very heavily, or will be adheard to to the letter.

And now, I would like to make a few "individual" responses for a moment mind you????

(01). "Kotta" (Bill): Thanks for wishing me the best of luck in my upcoming marriage. I think that down the road, I'm going to need it. We won't be getting the house right off the bat. I still (and I believe she does too) have some bills that I need to finish taking care of first before there can even be any serious talk as far as us getting a house is concerned. I believe she has some other bills she needs to take care of. And I may need to pay off a student loan, a few credit cards, and still need to deal with an ongoing car payment before there is any talk of us getting a house and taking on what is potentially, a 20-to-30 year mortgage (which is something that she and I will do together...... and I will turn 40 in April, 2003. So that alone is something to think about in itself). If and when that comes to being, then I do plan to go through with the "room in the basement" idea, and I am going to be pretty gun-ho about it. When it is time to change the speakers, the KEF Q1 is going to be my choice, as it seems to fulfill all of the requirements I am looking for from a speaker. Mainly, I am going to looking for musicality first and foremost. Then I am going be looking for video sheilding (something that the KEF Reference 102's are not), and then I am going to be looking for looks and fit and finish as well, which as for now, the WAF is going to be a big factor as well. But again, thanks and regards to you as well.

(02). "Jmcgrogan2" (John): "Your explanation of how as part of the package she has to know that she's marrying an audiophile, blah, blah, blah is very logical and makes greats sense to me. However, women are different from men. In general, women are more emotional and men are more logical. Sure there are exceptions, I got married because I thought I had me an exception. I didn't.
My advice: if there is anything that you want, any piece of gear, regardless of price, buy it now. Buy as much as you can now. The purse strings will tighten up after you say "I Do"".

And my response is, you're right. Nothing else could be further from the truth. And believe me, your advice is great advice, and it will be "WELL" taken. And since I plan to trade in for a lot of my new gear anyway, most of my new gear is already going to be there when my fiance and I finally exchange our vows. All I have to say is when we are at my apartment for one last time to gather which things are going with me, and which ones aren't, all I have to do is point to all of my gear and say "honey, "ALL (and I will mean ALL OF IT)" of this stuff is going with me, and then don't bother to discuss it further with her, and then point to the other stuff that is NOT going, and say that stuff will stay, and as far as I am concerned, we can get rid of it". About the only thing that I won't have by the time we move into our new home is that High Definition Widescreen Rear Projection Television that I want so badly. But I think that with a little time, patience, and some loving persuesion and a little give and take, I think I can talk her into letting me get one of those as well. But anyway, thanks again for the great advice, John. Your advice will be well taken. And yes...... I am going to plan to maintain my own money, and I am going to have credit cards that are going to be separate from hers.

(03). "Sean": Great idea. I am going to forget that I am an audiophile, and make sure that as soon as our marriage starts, that we will have our financial house in order, and that any money matters that's going to come up before, and right after the marriage starts are going to be resolved right from the start. Any matters or situations that may come up at anytime during the marriage will be dealt with when the situations present themselves to the forefront. The preliminary thing we're going to do right now is split all of the expenses down the middle. And that will include the rent (and later on, a mortgage hopefully), the utilities, the telephone bills, the medical bills (if any should ever incur), credit cards, insurance premiums (for health, our home, and our cars), food, and whatever else may come up. I was going to even thinking about trading in my 1999 Honda Accord EX sometime after next year or so. But now, I probably just go ahead and keep it. Because with a new marriage happening and all, that alone is going to be expensive. And with that burden standing in the way right now, I don't see where am I going to come up with the money to get me another car (and I want me an Audi A4 2.8, or a Lexus GS-400). So as it stands right now, it looks like the Honda is going to be sticking around for awhile. Also, I don't know if we're going to be getting any joint accounts or not. We'll deal with that issue when that comes up. I am sort of leaning against doing that, but at least, I am willing to listen to what she has to say about that issue when that issue comes up. I prefer to take care of the expenses she and I will be incurring together, and then keeping our incomes separate after that. That is, she holds onto hers, and I hold onto mine. That way, she can buy all of the clothes that she wants to buy (and god knows what else), and I can continue to pursue my hobby, which is audio. Lastly, even though I will be turning 40 next year, biological studies will indicate that I can, and am able to father children until I am in my mid 60's. So, I have at least 25 more years to father children if I choose to do so. My new wife (but my fiance now) won't be as fortunate. She's going to be 44 in December, and I don't know how long she has to go before she starts to deal with menopause. But it is safe to say that in the next couple of years, she won't be able to mother any children after she finishes going through menopause. So, I don't think we're going to encounter any problems regarding children or anything of the sort. And I also hope she's a keeper as well. Well...... only time will tell me so, wouldn't it???

(04). "Drasta": For what plasmas go for right now, I ought to be able to get her a "GIANT" sized diamond for about the same price. And I cannot afford either one of those. She's already getting a diamond (though it won't be a really fat one...... but it will be a nice one), so I think that she should be content with that. And to answer your second question...... no...... I haven't told her about my "proposed" system yet. But since it's to be housed either in a den or in a room that is inside of a basement, and not anywhere else in the house (the living room...... god forbid), I don't think that it would even matter. Also, I plan to have a lot of this gear already before I walk down the aisle with her. So, it's not going to be a matter of acquiring any gear after we are married. It's already going to be there, and it will be going with me to the new home if and when that happens. So then, in hindsight, neither the Aego-2 or the Aego-5 systems will not do it for me. And Bose systems need not apply.

(05). "Twl": Thanks........ And believe me, I will. And even if I don't get 100% of what I want as far as a system is concerned after about 5 years of marriage, I am going to stop and evaluate where our marriage is at that point, and where it is going, as well as where it is heading. Trust me when I say this. This is not going to be the type of marriage in which I being the male partner in the marriage, is going to concede to all of my wife's needs and wants. I am going to make sure that this is going to be a 50/50 marriage. I have to give up some of the things that I want to do sometimes just for the sake of trying to keep the marriage going, and I expect her to do the same. I say this because, if it comes right down to the fact that I am doing all of the conceding, and she's hardly doing any of her own, then there is going to be problems in the marriage from the get go. And as a man, to a man, I am going to be a man of my word and stick to that ideal. If there are not going to be any potential marital problems or any causes for possible marital discord later on in the marriage, then it is going to be imperitive that both partners (meaning she and I) are going to have do some give and take sometime. That's the one and ONLY way that our marriage is going to survive. And when I get my Rega Planar 25, I will keep that in mind when I go and get a cartridge for that. And for that, I may consider either an Audio Technica AT-OC9, one of the moderately priced Benzes, or the Dynavector model you have just mention.

(06). "Psychicanimal": I would like to do that. But depending on what type of home we end up buying, that might pretty impractical for me keep separate systems. That is why I designed the system that I have designed above. So I can have the best gear that I can possibly afford with regards to musicality, and video performance as well, and try to keep things as simple and on as small a scale as possible.

(07). "Tsrart" (Pat): Yeah........ that's what I thought too. My fiance and I have already had this "ALL SO IMPORTANT" discussion, and it sounds like from the beginning, she's going to be supportive about me and the continued pursuit of my hobby. But she may be saying one thing now, and might do something totally different later on, when we are finally married. So, in that regard, the jury is still out on that. Let's give it about 3-to-5 years into the marriage so I can see as to how far she's willing to let me go as far as future equipment purchases are concerned. Or I could be down in the room with my system's volume control turned all the way up to the 12:00 or 1:00 position (which means my system will be EXTREMELY loud) and I could be tapping at a great performance that I may have in the CD Player, or I could be up and about on the floor getting my groove on, and all of the sudden, she could have temper tantrum and blow up at me either for something I might have done wrong, or she could tell me to turn it down pretty frequently (too often for my liking). And believe me..... nothing kills the moment or the mood than having your wife do that to you. So, I like your optimism. But maybe I better wait and see if I really am going to end up with a good one or not.

Well, like I said to all who have already responded. Thanks and keep the responses coming in. I definitely appreciate the input I have received so far. You all are a great bunch of people to be around.

Gentlemen, I submit my qualifications: 50 yrs. old, married 15 yrs., three college degrees (Doctorate), and sufficient life experience. Your expectation before marriage and the reality after will be miles apart. The answer lies in the advertisements for Paxil , bipolar disorder medication, etc. All the ads are aimed at women because they suffer more than men from these emotional illnesses. Unfortunately people change as they grow older and women more than men. I hope your situation going forward is different but the statistics are against you.
Charles --

I do wish you the best of luck, and hope that you have gotten a "good one."

I meant to respond to some of the other posts that have appeared in this thread, as I've been following it with some curiosity, but now I see it slowly but surely turning from "audiophile marriage advice" into something that I feel is dangerously close to outright misogyny.

Happy audiophile marriages are doomed because women are likely to suffer from emotional disorders? What??? Why not go whole hog and point out that Charles will also have to keep his system VERY quiet for 5-7 days every month, or remind him of all the OTHER ways in which woman is inferior to man?

I may not have a doctorate (I quit after my Master's), but I speak as someone who is VERY happily married to one of those women with an "emotional illness" -- an anxiety disorder stemming from 18 years of an abusive father. You might just as easily decide that you will have NO problems at all, because your wife is much more likely than you to die of breast cancer at a young age, or that it doesn't matter at all, because you will probably be spending all of your money on prostate cancer treatments by the time you are 40.

And change happens to everyone, regardless of sex, unless they choose to stagnate -- there is no growth without change, and my mother always taught me that intelligence is defined as the ability to adapt.

Wives are NOT the enemy, people, or at least they shouldn't be. It's very easy to go on about the innate evil of womankind when a man's poor choices are actually to blame . . . but that doesn't make it any less unfair.

Charles, why do you automatically assume that your wife-to-be is likely to change her tune in 5 years? Is she untrustworthy? Has she not kept her promises in the past? If so, then the question is not "How do you keep your audiophileness," but rather "Why are you marrying her?" If you expect the worst of people, they have a way of living up to your expectations . . . . if you can't at least give the woman you're planning to spend the rest of your life with the benefit of the doubt, then I'd hazard a guess that, down the road, your stereo volume is likely to be the least of your problems.

Darn it, now I've gone and responded after all . . . .

Sorry for any tendencies towards combustion in this post, but I feel very strongly about this issue.
Tsrart, I'm glad you are happily married. I've heard that there are folks out there that are. Just out of curiousity, how long have you been married? Do you and your wife have children? I ask because these generally are major factors in how happily married one is.
Good luck you will need it! I hope you have an exception to the rule.I've been divorced for over 2-1/2 years, and was with the same woman for 13 yrs. She also had emotional some problems to deal with. I guarantee you that if you get rid of something you will not get it back later. As was mentioned before she WILL try and "change" you! It's a game that you won't win,especially if and when children come into the equation. My ex and I left on good terms and she even teased me and said "now you can fix up your room the way you wanted to". Guess what, I did! Congratulations and once again good luck.

Jmcgrogan2 --

To answer your questions, my wife and I have been married for about five years. We don't, however, have any kids -- for various medical reasons, neither one of us can safely reproduce, and we don't have any particular desire to do so anyway. I realize that can make a difference in a relationship, and that IS something that I can't speak to. We do have a dog, however, who is more spoiled than most children . . . . ;-0)

Don't misunderstand me -- I'm perfectly well aware of what wives can do. I was married once before, and I experienced all of the "evils" you've all mentioned (except for kids -- didn't have any then, either). But that wasn't because my ex-wife was innately evil -- it was because I made a poor choice. My ex's priorities were clearly visible prior to the nuptials . . . I just chose to ignore them, and I paid for it.

What I find to be REALLY funny is that this discussion is occurring among audiophiles, who will diligently spend days comparing power cables to find the "perfect fit" for their systems . . . . if you were to try out a new CD player for your "almost finished" high end rig, and discovered that it sounded pretty good, but you had real concerns that it wouldn't sound good later on, after it was broken in, would you buy it?

Well, ok, maybe not the best example, seeing as how A-gon is filled with used gear . . . . ;-0)

But the analogy works in principle, so I'll keep going.

You wouldn't buy it -- you would keep looking and auditioning until you found a CDP that you felt would complement your system in the best way possible. Why? Because you know that every CDP is different, and that, somewhere out there, there is the best possible CDP to match your gear. Nothing's perfect, but you could certainly find one that would meet or exceed your most important criteria, and at least not suck on others.

That's why I'm so serious about this thread . . . . if everyone you talked to told you that ALL CD players sounded lousy after they were broken in, you wouldn't bother looking for a good one. You'd just buy whatever was most convenient and then bitch about the innate lousiness of CD players when it didn't sound good.

I'm trying to be the person who says "Wait, all CDPs DON'T sound the same. Look for one that has the qualities that will complement your system."

It's a question of priorities. What's most important to you? Since Charles started this thread, I'm assuming that his audiophilia is pretty close to the top of his list. If that's the case, then he'd better be pretty damned sure that whoever he marries is going to support that. If he suspects that the necessary support will NOT be forthcoming, and he marries the woman in question anyhow, then whatever happens down the road is nobody's fault but his.

Now, if I'm wrong, and audio gear is actually way down Charles' list, then fine -- it's certainly true that you can't have everything, and if there are lots of things that are more important to him than audio gear, then he may have to sacrifice that to get other things that he finds more important. Life is, after all, a series of compromises.

But if you assume from the very beginning that certain things are nonnegotiable, and that certain spousal traits are simply unavoidable, then you aren't truly making an informed choice.

I just want Charles, and anyone else reading this thread to know that there ARE women out there who will support you in whatever you believe is most important to you, whether that is audiophilia, a political career, or mud wrestling. But you have to decide for yourself what your priorities are, and then look for someone who complements them.

It's the match that's important -- I know lots of people who would HATE being married to my wife. She can't cook, doesn't clean, stabbed herself in the eye with a mascara brush the last time she tried to wear makeup, and can't have kids. To me, none of those things are nearly as important as the fact that she helps support my art collection, loves movies and having a great system to watch them on, backs me up on whatever I try to accomplish, makes me laugh, and brings a little more light into the lives of people who know her.

THOSE are the things that are important to me. If I had felt, prior to our wedding, that there was a serious potential for her to NOT really have those qualities, I wouldn't have married her. Period.

The bottom line, I guess, is this:

Only you know what you need to be happy, and it's your responsibility to make sure that you do everything possible to get it. If you give up, or settle for something that's not quite it, then the results are something that you'll have to live with, and there will be no one to blame but yourself.
Tsrart, I not saying all women are evil, I'm saying they are different. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. We will never understand each other, even if we trick ourselves into thinking we do. I asked the questions, because in my life experiences there are 3 basic factors behind marital unhappiness and divorce. They are, in order determined by my experience:

1) Money
2) Children
3) Time

All three are tied together. They are the stress factors that are put on a marriage. The less money you have, the more children you have, the longer you've been together all place stress on a marriage. So in my experiences, it takes all 3 stress factors to really push a marriage to it's limits. For instance, if you have plenty of money, number 2 and 3 aren't as stressful. If you don't have children, number 1 and 3 aren't as stressful. The younger the relationship is, the less time you've had to grow apart. I wouldn't want to tell Charles not to get married, as I remember no one could tell me when I was 'in love'. I simply advised him to spend all that he wants to now, because it does change after marriage. He's been married before, so he understands that.
As for your cd player analogy, I kind of agree with you. Except that you have to figure in several stress factors that could cause the cd player to not perform as it did when it was new. Like you could say not taking proper care of your software is akin to lack of money. That would make the cd player not sound as good with age. Take your beautiful new cd player and plug it into a $5 K-mart multi-plug extension cord, could substitute for having children. Time can just represent time. I was married in 1983. $500 will buy you a much better sounding cd player today than it did in 1983 (I'm not sure if they were around then). So hopefully you can see how certain situations can put stress on a cd player/marriage. Does that mean you shouldn't buy a cd player? Not at all, just so you know that there is only one today. Tomorrow? Who knows? There is no gauranteed future. Most depends on how the 2 individuals can deal with the 3 major stress factors.

John --

I can agree with you almost completely. There's no question that marriage takes an effort, and that various stress factors can certainly make it much more difficult to maintain a happy relationship. Money was certainly an issue in my first marriage (as in I didn't make enough of it to allow my ex to quit work, get her PhD, and buy a country home all at the same time . . . back to that priorities thing. ;-0))

And your continuation of my CDP analogy was great -- there ARE factors that are not intrinsic to the player that can cause poor performance, as you pointed out.

My main concern with this thread was that people were saying that you WOULD have problems with marriage, and that your audiophilia WOULD suffer, and that you WOULD be required to change yourself completely, no matter what woman you chose to marry. This is patently untrue, as your most recent post recognizes. Sure, you CAN have problems, and the probability of those problems arising is related to certain marital stress factors (money, kids, time, etc.), but nothing is a done deal.

I think that the single most important factor, though, and one that acts as a "buffer" against the others, is compatibility. If you and your spouse really complement each other, and you are genuinely best friends at the start, you are much more likely to be able to negotiate life's little (and big) stresses.

For example, I actually have MORE money to spend on my hobbies now that I did when I was single. Why? My wife also works, and we split expenses (based on our income ratio), and since she makes more than she "costs," our total available disposable income is higher than it would be if we were each living alone. So my wife has more money to spend on "collecting" exercise gear (as opposed to using it ;-0)), and I have more money for electronics and art.

But that only works because we have similar major priorities -- i.e., neither one of us wants to travel the world, or live in a huge mansion, or fill our house with designer knicknacks, or not have a career, etc.

So marriage certainly does change things, but it doesn't necessarily HAVE to change them for the worse.

Of course, kids, for example, can have a major impact -- but that's a choice you make. Presumably, if you want kids, you're willing to make the sacrifices necessary to take care of them. I don't consider "kids" and "marriage" to be one and the same, though, since you CAN have one without the other.

You're right -- you can't predict the future, and you can't forsee every possible problem or scenario that you might encounter. But that doesn't mean that you should resign yourself to an unsatisfying experience, and it doesn't mean that you can't plan for SOME things that you CAN forsee (like the ongoing desire for new audio gear), and it particularly doesn't mean that you aren't responsible for choosing your partner with extreme care to ensure that your major priorities are in line with each other.

To extend your extension of my analogy, sure, using a cheap power supply, having scratched CDs, and the passage of time will all impact the quality of your CD playback, but you're still a whole lot better off if you've done your homework, auditioned carefully, and are starting out with a Mark Levinson as opposed to a GE.


Since I am one of a handful of women that participate in audiogon, I guess I better respond with my 2 cents. Tsart, I think your wife is very lucky indeed to be married to such a man. You seem very wise and hopefully she appreciates you. I do have a few things to say as far as marriage, but I want to make it clear that I have never been married myself, but have many long term friends (men included) and have been involved in many relationships, some worked out (still friends with them), some didn't. But I have come to some conclusions about the marriage trip. As far as a women changing (or trying to change a man after marriage) when 2 people go from living by themselves and move in with another, there has to be some changes made. It doesn't matter whether the move is with a wife, roommate, back to parents, or whoever, there has to be some kind of adjustments. In other words, you can't be exactly the same living with another as you were living by yourself. It just won't work. Also, Chaskelljr, you can plan every little minute detail down to the toothpaste tube, and you will still be hit by many, many unexpected circumstances that you will have to deal with. That's the way life is because there is no such thing as planning for many of the trials & tribulations that come our way. You just have to have a good solid base to work with and the ups & downs of life will be much easier. I personally (just my opinion) think that a lot of people get married for the wrong reasons then when the problems arise, they aren't able to deal with them in a rational manner. Some of my friends got married just because they were lonely, some of them because they needed a financial cushion, others because they just wanted to be "married". None of these people are still married to the original person. We have all discussed this many times and they realize now that they just didn't wait for the "right" person. They got married for the wrong reasons, which means marrying the wrong person.
Well, I guess that's enough from me. Charles, I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your marriage, and at 40 years old, I'm sure you know that she's the one for you. Here's to a long & happy marriage.