I was going to give my son a system, with brand new Solid Steel rack but he has AirPods???

AirPods and iPhones have replaced good 2 channel audio, it's criminal. They don't buy albums, CDs, or even the full album downloads. They've replaced my old 45s with mp3s.
I got him a Solid Steel rack and I can't return it, so what do I do? Sell it on eBay for local pickup or wait for him to get smart. You would think a mechanical engineer wants a Scoutmaster and a beautiful really well designed audio rack. I get he doesn't necessarily want my old Rotel amp and preamp, but I have a set of B&W CM2s on stands and he could get himself a home theater integrated amp and use the system to watch Movies at the least.
Where have we gone wrong?
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It's interesting that this generation *does* like high def video. Why is there a taste for video clarity and definition but not audio? That's a question which I bet goes beyond marketing/advertising to the way we process and/or prioritize sight over sound, biologically.

One thing I appreciate about other audiophiles is the ability to slow down and pay attention to sound. You find this, sometimes, in other realms of appreciation (food, wine, art). It's a basic skill -- paying attention -- but it also speaks to someone's wider set of habits.

In our increasingly online existence, what pays the bills for many (e.g. Google and anyone who need "engagement" from "eyeballs") is "clicks." People click on things when they're prompted, and so our online world is one of constant prompting. Thus, this argument goes, we are increasingly habituated to fast-clicking. The end result is a habit that does not want to slow down and pay attention, calmly. In fact, one doesn't even *consider* slowing down.

Here's nice TED talk on this. Possibly of interest. https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads?...
There may be a problem beyond; when you attempt to force your kid to like, enjoy what you do. You wish to berate your son for not seeking the same toys that you use?  You seem to expect him to act, appreciate and appropriate as though HE grew up 4 decades ago.  :(   Selll it and learn not to impose. 
Finally, maybe he's smart and will be investing  all the saved money from not buying a media collection. I for one don't think its advantageous to curate a media collection today, and I am hard core Audiophile. He may be scared witless about the economic future.  
(Qeue the disturbed on this site who attempt to turn every thread into a political scree.)
At least he’s listening to music.  As an aside, kids today have access to all kinds of music that we could have only have dreamed of when we were their age. 
It's all about fashion! And the fashion for today's younger generations is portable on-the- go devices connected to the 'Net.
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Ease of use and portability....When they are enjoying endless stream of music through AirPods there is nothing between them and the music.

And the alternative, dare i say most of us are so obsessed with extracting every ounce of goodness from our audio system and the lengths we go to accomplish that goal :-)
He doesn’t own a system and the first thing you buy him is an audio stand?  What teenager doesn’t like “furniture” as a gift?  
My kids love music, but they prefer to listen on their phone or in their car.  I don't want to try to force my generation's aesthetics on them or place a negative value judgment on them for their tastes and preferences in music.  Maybe that's where you went wrong.
Where have we gone wrong?

You haven't "gone wrong" nor has your son. Don't beat yourself up.

Maybe start with an Airpod "competitor" along the lines of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 or their CX 400BT or another brand equivalent...so he can compare sound quality and figure out, for himself, if he values the differences.

All the best.
What are the involuntary commitment laws in your state?
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OK. So, I'm not trying to force him to do anything, so hopefully that's cleared up.
I bought him the stand because I Bought one for myself and figured at least he could put his TV on it along with something to go with it like the turntable, or home theater receiver, etc.

I think the larger statement, which I didn't relay, is that of all the people I know, hear two of them play music aloud at home- and one is my daughter.
Get him a really nice set of cans instead he'll likely love that and it can start the convo on better sound in an organic way.
Definitely not @we”. My kids love my 2 channel systems. They’ll be fighting over who gets what when I pass on one day. 
My 2 boys are like Mickey B’s. Love two channel. My old stereo is split between them now and one day my main system will be as well.  I love that we have that in common though neither, at this point, is as afflicted as their father. Mainly I’m just glad that they love music and have found their own ways to pursue it. 
@hilde45 "It's interesting that this generation *does* like high def video. Why is there a taste for video clarity and definition but not audio?"

I think the attraction to  high def video revolves around the straight forwardness of it versus the shit-show that is high end audio.  I have  two 55" TVs. One is an LG OLED and the other is a TCL LED. Anyone  with decent eyesight will instantly agree that the OLED trounces LED. Now ask the same question about any two speakers, amplifiers, DACs etc all within the same price and performance ballpark and the responses will be all over the map.


I can be considered an “old” millennial.  I like and enjoy hi end audio.  You didn’t go wrong, but I believe he didn’t go right.

I’m exposing my kids early... in hopes that they will latch on.  My 6yo keeps asking, where’s the record player?
Also trying to figure out what to give my (grown-up) kids. For sure it’s gotta be active and app-controlled. No cables. The Naim mu-so been appreciated so far, but want to find something more capable. The new active Buchard system maybe. Welcome to the future. Old hifi with all it's curious tweeks is dying.
I don't know; when I was growing up I'd likely be found in my bedroom listening through my (craopy) David Clark headphones (eventually replaced by Koss, which really weren't that much better), if not my Rectilinear XI speakers driven by Sony TC230 R2R with internal amp.  My step daughter (14 years older than my twins) got into vinyl and received my hand-me-down Rega Planar 2 (later Planar 3) and Maggie SMGa's; I don't think my twins could care less one way or the other (although they've benefitted from great sounding systems at home their entire lives).  Different era; different priorities.
What, did I take a wrong turn and end up in the "Ask Amy" blog? :)
No, it's the age-old situation of buying something for someone that they didn't want, which usually means you 1.) didn't pay enough attention to their preferences and/or 2.) you're trying to "improve" them by forcing your ideals upon them.  Example: "I bought you this book on how to organize your life - I think it might do you good".  My suggestion is to get rid of anything you have that you've offered to him that he didn't want, because if you keep those things around you will only be reminded every time you see them that he "rejected" your gift.  People do change, but they need to get there on their own.  I've tried to get my daughter to listen to my system to see how much better it sounds than her cheap Apple earbuds (actually bought her some Tin Hifi IEM's to get closer to better sound) and she'll listen the appropriate amount of time to not hurt my feelings, but it's clear she's not interested.
I went through this with two of my kids about a decade ago.  As they got their own places I showed up with good used equipment that I had carefully shopped for, or in some cases handed down.  After setting everything up they both dismantled it and gave it away or threw it out.  Ironically one of them did want something better recently for their TV and Video gaming so they took an AVR off my hands and I happily replaced it with an Anthem AVR with ARC.  Different Generation, Different Priorities 
I have two sons.  One lives in CA the other about 10 minutes from my house here in MD.  I have a ton of vintage gear that I've been giving away to family and god children, and had planned to buy each of my sons a decent 2-channel system. 

My CA son wanted money instead, which is fine.  I sent him a check.

My MD son wanted some of my vintage gear because that's what he grew up with, and he's really into music (as I am).  I gave him a Pioneer SPEC-4 power amp, Rodec mixer, Soundcraftsman EQ/Pre, Technics SL-1600 MK2 TT, McIntosh CD player, McIntosh Tuner, and DCM TimeWindow 3 speakers.  I offered him a complete McIntosh stack but he didn't want the McIntosh MC-2600 power amp or McIntosh 31v preamp/controller.  I'm OK with it because I'm just trying to downsize. 
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Here's the deal you've a hobby, a sound system, maybe extra equipment. Your kid's probably grew up in your house and likely were exposed to hearing and all involved. The key word is they grew up, and developed their own way of thinking wants and needs, bingo you've done your job.
We can't expect the dumping of unwanted or unvalued junk on them to be accepted. Attempt the turn over if excepted fine if not there's always ebay...
Move on.
My daughter just started graduate school, and moved in with the Boyfriend.  I gave them a McIntosh RS100 for their new apartment.  They love it.  Can't wait to show up and hear it.  Obviously better than an Amazon Echo!  Plus, now they are a proud part of the McIntosh family without having to drop thousands of bucks!  It is a parents role to properly indoctrinate your children!
My son is in his early 40’s. He grew up listening to music on my various systems, mostly vinyl and CD. He was always interested in music as a kid and has been to many concerts. He was also in a band for a few years until marriage and kids took priority.

About 8 years ago, without any encouragement from me, he started buying used LP’s and playing them on a Crosley type record player.

A couple of years ago, I started upgrading my system and gave him a Rega P3-24, Harbeth C7es3’s and a Yamaha integrated. He is absolutely thrilled with the sound quality. Now, he even buys the occasional new LP.

Just recently, for his birthday, I gifted him a Node2i and a subscription to Qobuz.
It gives me immense pleasure to see him enjoy good quality audio.
Oh boy did I take a bit of lashing from some of you. I didn't say I was crying over it, I just wanted to share, discuss, and listen.
I come from a musical family, and my son plays a clarinet really really well. He loves music, I thought I had an opportunity to do something nice for him, which he always appreciates, and was surprised. When the family is all together (5 of us) we play cards, board games, and other stuff, and all 3 of my kids pull records off my shelves, clean them first, and put on what they want to hear. We must have had the TT spinning 5-6 hours a day during the previous hard months of COVID. Naturally, I thought this would be a great no reason present for my son who is going to school for Mechanical engineering, He loves the TT's and watches reviews on YouTube with me, and thinks it's a good looking rack. He actually picked the SS rack and put it together for me. I thought he would enjoy my gift. Some of these comments seem like I'm a jerk. I'm not.
If anyone can suggest the best place to sell the rack I would appreciate it. I got all kinds of scams from Craigslist when I sold the heavy bag I had in my basement, and who wants to pay shipping on something this heavy.
You did do something really nice for him. You tried and, believe me, your effort won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated......in his way and time; just like the way he chooses to listen to music....his way. Don’t beat yourself up over this and don’t attach undue significance to common generational differences that are not that important in the scheme of life. We’re talking about someTHING you value and not about a life VALUE.

Having had similar experiences with my sons, I can tell you that there is something for us aging audiophiles to learn from events like this. First, the quality of sound available to your son from his portable devices is infinitely better than what was available from portables when we were his age. We do get conditioned to listen to music a certain way and with a certain type of gear.  I suspect that had decent sound been available from portables back in the day, there would be fewer audiophiles (as we define the term) today. Perhaps unfortunate, but probably true. Along with that comes the reminder that it’s the music that matters most and as nice as audiophile sound is, it is not necessary to enjoy music in a meaningful way. Take your son to some quality live performances; that may really rock his boat.
Thank you Frogman.
My son has been to the N.Y. Philharmonic, but I couldn't get him to the operas (no surprise there); he himself has played and competed on the state local, regional and state levels and scored extremely high.
He loves a lot of good classic rock and a little classical. He's into the indie bar scene and listens to a lot of alternative music on Spotify. I told him I'm saving the equipment a while for him in case he changes his mind. The rack I have to sell because it's still in the box and it will go down in value, whereas the other equipment has kind of plateaued in value At not much at all.