getting people into 2 channel audio.....

A friend of mine found a pair of speakers cheap and asked me if I wanted them, since I collect old stereo stuff. I knew he had a boom box with an old portable hand held CD player plugged into it. I said, Keep the speakers, I have an old Kenwood amp I will give you, along with a Technics Tuner, Yamaha Cassette deck and a Sony CD player. You need a better system than that old boom box. He was ecstatic about the sound after he got it set up. He put the pieces together, I was not there to do it. He set up one speaker on one side of the room facing the sofa, and the other speaker on the opposite side of the room facing the other speaker, next to the sofa..... He said excitedly the next time I visited him: "See!! I have surround sound! This sound is awesome" He was so excited, that I did not have the heart to tell him that both speakers should be on the same side of the room facing the sofa..... I had hoped to get him onto the first step to better 2 channel stereo sound to listen to music, but I do not know.... What do you audiogoners think, and have you gotten any friends into 2 channel stereo that were not into it previously????
I've tried but my kids, wife and friends think I'm nuts. Just the other day my brother-in-law was telling me how he went into this Bang and Olufsen store while he was in Florida on vacation and he couldn't believe the quality sound it was producing. To him Bose, and the like, is what all the high end folks have.
I had something similar happen to me. My mom was helping me move, when we got everything in the new place she started telling me where she thought things should go, playing interior decorator. Her opinion was that one of my speakers should go in one corner, and the other in the corner diagonal to it so that I could have "surround sound" and of course to hide my speakers. Um...yeah. Whatever.

I've never been able to convert anyone to two-channel. People get so sucked in by mass marketed big-box store garbage that all they want is "surround sound" or something made by Bose. Something behind them and something to go BOOM.
I have gotten two friends (both women) into two-channel. Both have forsaken their previous boom boxes, but one still has and loves her Bose CD changer Acoustic Wave thing. But she appreciates her "real" system too. Friend #1 was on a very limited budget, so she ended up with used PSB Image 4T's ($450), a Cambridge Audio integrated amp (45 watts, no remote or phono, $269), and an Adcom GT555 tuner ($100) (everything from Audiogon). I gave her a CAL Icon Mk II CD player, and some Focal cones to put under the source equipment (both also purchased on Audiogon). She absolutely LOVES her system and has been buying tons of music for the year+ she's owned it. For Christmas, I got her some of Frank's Signal Cable power cords, and a used VTI 5-shelf rack I found here for $190. I installed these items recently and she is thrilled, she says things sound better, "more defined or something." I have now found her a Myryad integrated amp w/cool styling and remote (the MI-120, $500), purchased from a fellow Audiogoner, for a little more power and refinement. This friend is on the way to audiophilia.
Friend #2 said she had a $2000 budget, and wanted a turntable (!), no CD player for now, so for her I found a pair of Totem Arro's (demo pair for about $695) and an Arcam integrated with phono section (the A-80, also demo from the same dealer, for $739). The dealer provided Twisted Pair biwire speaker cables. I also got her a Music Hall MMF-5 turntable and some Atlantis Reference stacking shelves that she can fit inside the armoire she wants to put the equipment in. Everything shipped came to about $2200.
It was so much fun finding items for these two friends that I wish I could advertise my services and pick systems for people every week! My pals have never owned real stereo systems before, so the music they hear now is just amazing to them. Friend #2 now wants "some of those pointed cone things you have under your equipment." She has not asked for upgraded power cords yet.
In high school I was lucky enough to have a pair of magneplanars. Five or so of my friends at that time went from boom boxes and walkmans to good quality stereo systems after hearing the magneplanars. I'm assuming that the love of music and good sound can be at a critical forming point when we are the height of hormones and emotions. One of my friends has gotten into hi fi recently and is neering 50. I dragged him into a shop when I was looking into the Watt/Puppys. The dealer played some dynamic pop music at full volume and my buddy was hooked then and there. He is no longer a Bose person.

...and what does it take to be your friend?

Just kidding! Nice post BTW!

Recently for Christmas put the finest, musical, least expensive system together for my dad. Bought a used mint Kenwood KR-2120 Rec.($22),
Electro-Voice Bookshelf Spks.($35), 80's Hitachi CDP (1st
CDP I owned, still mint/perfect), and 25' of AQ Type 2 speaker-wire. ($10) This system sounds absolutely wonderful. The EV's lack bottom-end, but the most important mid-range is exceptional. The Kenwood will pick up stations (in stereo) w/o an antenna! He's very pleased. Everyone who's listened to one of my system's has been surprised at the sound quality possible given the cost of the equipment.
I watch little TV, few movies, but go to alot of live music concerts - all types of music. "stereo" or two - channel sound is what it is all about for me; not matter what kind of system a person can afford. I like and respect you guys in Audiogon and in the 'high end community', and log on to Audiogon every few months to read the forums.... I guess I really belong on the "audioasylum vintage" forum; I buy older stuff cheap... I guess what is referred to as "mid-fi".
I kind of knew I had an uphill battle with my friend mentioned in the post when I said, "You get better cassette copies when you hook two separate single tape decks together than with a double cassette deck." He looked at me blankly and I think he said, "what???" I did not say anything, I did not know exactly how to explain it to him.....
THAT I guess lets you know how far I am into high end sound... I still run cassettes. I DO have two Nakamichis, three three head Yamahas, And I have a five Auto-Reverse single decks hooked up to timers to record radio broadcasts....... my computer using, MP3 using, music burning friends really make fun of me and my stack of cassette decks and timers...... Hey - it is analog! We'll see ya, JB
The true test, if you are married, is whether you can turn your spouse on to the audiophile bug. That makes life much easier.