They are smarter than we are.
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I think you have to be a music lover before you get interested in equipment and the rest of audiophilia. If you don't like music, what's the point?
My wife loves music but was never exposed to good gear until she met me. As our system has improved, so has her enjoyment - her ears are at least as good as mine, and she listens differently than I do, a helpful complement. While she doesn't have the level of interest I do, she's happy that I have a hobby that keeps me in the living room next to her. Since she works a lot from home and listens during the day, she's a direct beneficiary of my tinkering.
My experience is that almost everyone likes some kind of music, and they may not even know what it is because they haven't heard it yet. Find the music your wife likes, play it for her often, tell her how much you enjoy sharing your audiophile interests with her, involve her in your decisions about your system, love her deeply, and cherish your time together listening.
A good friend and industry contact once said to me that "An audiophile loves music, a stereophile loves equipment."
I think people come at their entrance to the HiFi world along a continuum between the two poles. And to relate to another HiFi lover (HiFiphile?)it helps to know where they are coming from.
Personally, I have zero musical instrument training, nor any measurable talent, yet according to the tests, have near perfect pitch, and great ears. I am definetely motivated by being moved by the music, and hearing things in it I have never heard before, which is the underlying motivation when I buy my gear.
Some people, on the other hand, just like big shiny boxes with blinky lights on them, and expensive braided cables as big as your wrist. They like HAVING the gear as much or more than listening to the gear.
S7horton said: Saying you have to be a music lover to be an audiophile is like saying you have to like getting from point A to point B if you are a car lover."
Not to split hairs here, or mix metaphors more than needed, but I would say its more akin to saying you have to like driving to be a car lover.
While I agree, you could be an audiophile for the equipment; I believe most audiophiles are combination music lover/gadget freak. Perhaps men in this age are far more likely to be gadget freaks than women. My girlfriend of many years has enjoyed my hobby, and listens all the time. She has a preference for what little good vinyl we have over redbook CD, but she just isnt as into the actual equipment as me.
A lot of audiophiles claim to be "music lovers" but hey, actions speak louder than words - and all the evidence you need is two pageclicks back from here:
--- Amps Preamps (11301)
--- Cables (4041)
--- Music (2598)
There are almost 4 times as many threads about Amps and Preamps as about Music, and astonishingly (IMHO) nearly twice as many posts about freakin' CABLES as about Music!!! I find that rather sadly telling.
Armstrod, tq for yr advise. Will work on it. Is glad that my wife is understand. I got started into audio gears abt 15mths ago. Gone overly excited abt it so much so that I subscribed to 5 audio/home theatre magazines and 1 online magazine. Not once she complain despite me spending so much money and time on it. I suppose men are more extreme in their interest. Ladies are probably more practical. Anyway m really glad to discover audiogon.com. Learn so much and saw so much exciting gears in members sytem.Happy listening
Let's face it, this hobby has a lot in common with 60's and 70's muscle cars. High performance, powerful, fast, and slick looking machines.Absolutely. The fastest car. The most powerful amp. The biggest fish.
"My big brother's gonna beat you up!"
"Oh yeah? Well, my monoblocked big brothers could kick your big brother's ass!"
"Oh yeah? Well, my power cord smokes yours."
"Smoke this, idiot, because power cords don't make any difference, especially yours!"
Men and their genitalia. Did you think this was about something else? Read the threads. We may as well be droppin' trou for a locker-room dangle-off.
"I'll show you my system if you show me yours."
"I would, but for me, it's all about the music."
"Uh-huh...bass clarinet fan, right?"
The way this thread has gone - it seems to me that more focus on the Music and less on the equipment would entice more women to become Analog(y) Lovers, which leads me to an idea - I've started a thread over in the Music section entitled:
"Music Your Wife Will Really Listen To (with you) ?"
Maybe we'll find a common denominator to seduce our Significant Others into more of the audiophile experience.
A music lover loves music, an audiophile & a stereophile are the same thing.
An audiophile/stereophile is a person who has $0.87 worth of software & $100,000 in audio equpiment. And two or three audiophile approved CD's/Lp's. I think many in this hobby start to loose focus of what the hobby is about. That is to bring a live performance into your home & to enjoy music.
I know a few (audiophiles) people who buy nothing but audiophile recordings & constantly evaluating there systems.
If you will not listen to music that sounds bad you might be an audiophile.
While I agree with Opalchip and all the others that, at least here on Audiogon, gear is emphasized way more than the music, I still haven't heard anyone chime in and say they're NOT a music lover, and only in it for the hardware. Does a great interest in equipment preclude a love of music?
Audioblazer, women are and have always been way more practical than men, mostly out of necessity. It's a wonder they ever keep us men around... :-)
All my wives (I'm on my third) were in to audio. The last and the present were not until they met me.
I admit - I'm in to the equipment more than the music.
I will totally enjoy listening to music I do not necessarily like just because it is a great recording and pressing.
However - I will listen to music I like even if it is a terrible sounding recording/pressing.
It's the game of "how real can it sound"
My current wife never heard good equipment before me and she quickly started liking audio.
She was amazed by the sound reality of electrostatics (Quad 63's)
2 weeks ago when I got my Quad 57's - we hooked them up and after about 5 seconds - without my prompting - she bugged out her eyes, said "holy #&*@" and said they were far better.
I didn't have the heart to tell her - wait till they are properly set up
Krellm7, I don't think I can buy your definition completely. Being an audiophile/stereophile doesn't correlate with the with price tag of your system, but more with the lengths you have gone to in maximizing the performance of your system.
I'm a pretty budget oriented stereo guy, and my purchases are made with maximizing value as my foremost priority. Even if my means were unlimited, I suspect that I would still be a value shopper, just with a bigger price tag :) . But I put a lot of effort into dialing in the controlable variables in room setup, configuration, fine tuning, etc.
In response to Opalchip's contention that we care more about gear than music, I would suggest that the evidence (the number of posts under Cables v. the number under Music) does not necessarily speak for itself. I already have a number of mechanisms in place to discover new music and share with others music that I like (a good public library, a good independant music store, a radio, friends with diverse tastes in music, etc.). What I didn't have, prior to discovering Audiogon, was a mechanism to ask questions about and share my (very limited) knowledge of gear.
My wife was a music major at college and she definitely loves the music more than the equipment as one would expect. However, she really enjoys the incremental improvements I've been making over the years although she doesn't always notice the difference between this cable or that even as I swear I do. Often she tells me "it sounds really good right now" which is one of the best compliments an audiophile can be paid.
It's true, almost all of my male friends are gadget freaks to some degree (not often audio gear like me though but phones, computers and "devices") but very few of my female friends care for a gadget much. I think men are more likely to be engineers and more likely to be into gadgets and gear for the same reason: I read once that we are slightly more autistic that women, so that might have something to do with it.
Everyone in the audiophile press and on websites like this is always saying "forget the gear, just enjoy the music" but I laugh when I read that. I can enjoy music on my AM car radio but i enjoy it *more* on my expensive home system.
I am a female who loves audio equipment as well as the music. I have to admit that there are very few other women that I know of that are into amps, preamps, cd players, etc. as much as I am. Most of my female friends are more into the words and music of a song instead of the quality. I was actually like that at one point until I listened to some very highend gear at a shop one day. I realized then that my music could sound much better if played through better equipment, and have been interested in high end gear ever since.
smw30yahoo.com, glad to hear fr a female audio lover finally. I believe you are right. Ladies are more into words than men. I suppose ladies are more emotional than men as such words of the songs are more important. Men are probably too logical and analytical. That's why i am always on the look out for better tweaks, upgrading etc. Happy listening
Like Smw30yahoocom, I am a female who loves audio equipment and music. Music entered my life at a very young age, when I purchased my first 45 (Herman's Hermits) at age 5 (early 1960s). I officially entered the audio equipment end of the hobby in 1977. I must thank fellow audiogoner, Albert Porter, for introducing me to great equipment and wonderful music at that time...he was involved with a local high-end audio salon, Arnold and Morgan.
Of my four primary girlfriends, only one has a true interest in music. She is a first class pianist, and shares the love of music.
For me, the music is first (and what it is all about). But, I also spend a fair amount of time researching and investing in the audio equipment end of the hobby. I prefer analog/vinyl but enjoy digital on occasion. My digital listening time may change when I purchase the latest Ayre Acoustics universal player.
In addition, I am an auto FANATIC, particularly luxury sports cars!!!! Fortunately for my budget, I do not trade every 18 months like I did in the past. My last purchase, a BMW 530i series (last year of the old body style), is paid off and will be driven until the wheels fall off.
My interest in music started at a very young age. My Grandmother told me once that she would take me to church when I was 5 months old and I would sing real loud (I guess I thought I was singing) and dance while she was trying to hold me. She said she would be embarrassed because she couldn't keep me quiet when it should have been quiet. Maybe people are born liking music???
My wives, only 2 not 3, have shown an amused tolerance to my HiFi Journey over the years. They have enjoyed the results, but would have been just as happy with a supermarket silver box. Face it chaps, with a few honourable exceptions, the ladies view us as "boys with there toys".
There was a nice article a few years back in HiFi+ by a women journalist, to the effect that a womens magazine survey had found that men with an interest in HiFi were becoming irresistably attractive to women as it showed a sensitive artistic nature, or some other rubbish. Then after a long gap at the end..."sorry guys, I could'nt resist it". We just have to accept it we will always be "anoraks" to the ladies
Translation of anorak to our colonial cousins. An Anorak is an unattractive type of rainware, usually worn with wooly hats by English trainspotters and other "hobbiists". They serve as a source of general amusement and benign contempt to other occupants of the British Isles, with sensible, useful hobbies like ours. Now if only we could convince the fairer sex that we were right.
A happy Christmass from over the pond.