How did you get your wife to agree? I sold her the video tape of her making out with the cable guy.
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I stopped giving amounts. People just don't get it. I guess most people are just judgemental. The same peoople that look at me like I have two heads when I tell them my cart costs $1,300 are the same ones that spend hundreds of dollars going out to eat and thousands of dollars travelling. I would NEVER do that with my money (I would if I had enough for everything) but, "get it" if other people do. Seems though that, most folks think; "Why would you spend thousands of dollars on a HiFi system when you can just go to Best Buy and get the whole thing for $500?????
Just lie! But make it a suitible whopper to fit the personality of your guest. I usually tell folks its old vintage tubed equipment from the 60's, but some I tell that, believe it or not, it cost more than my 'Rolex". I never actually give someone an real number. I let them fill that in with their imagination. :-)
I really enjoyed this post; it's given me some suitable answers. I usually say something like; "oh gosh I'd really need to look that up to be sure" or for the total system costs something like; "about the same as a little car" That leaves it to their imagination. I've even given costs as a function of weight. How much is that amp worth? "Oh that...its about $75/lb". It really doesn't matter which component they ask about, the response and the look is always the same......."Shut up!! Youve got to be kidding. Are you serious....man oh man whatever you're on, I want some too. What does your wife say about this
I have my power amp sitting on the floor between my speakers and now when people ask what that big ugly thing is on the floor I just tell them its an electric furnace that doubles as an amp for my speakers. :)
I can usually always find something that a man at least, spends an inordinate amount of money on, whatever hobby they have, whether it be a 100k boat that they use 3 times a year, 18 old watches, 20k worth of power tools to make an 800 dollar house, etc. So I mention my opinion of his stupidly expensive insane hobby that(dweebs, jocks, motorheads, sex addicts, gamblers, boaters, heroin saleman) seem to find interesting.
When I think that I get to use my hobby 1 to 8 hours a day, it harms nothing but my ears, and how much my other hobby, golf, costs, in time, clubs, lessons, green fees, travel, joining a golf club, monthly fees, etc etc. If I keep the stereo long enough, and buy too many 400 dollar drivers, then the stereo is cheaper :0 not to mention, everytime I listen to a cd, my wife does not get the urge to go to the spa for three hours unlike golf on vacation.
To be honest, I am afraid to even think about what I spent on my system. The thought makes a cringe a bit sometimes so I just avoid thinking about the live blissfully ignorant, spending more and more money into this crazy hobby!
That being said, I try to avoid saying how much I spent not because I am afraid people will think I am nuts but because I do not want to go through the inevitable justification. "How much is your Esoteric better than my $50 Sony cdp?" "Can you really tell the difference"...blah blah blah. Trying to explain the value I place on audio to non-audiophiles is exhausting, fruitless work. Therefore, from my experience, the best reply is "Not much more than what you can get at Best Buy or Circuit City". That response usually ends the discussion.