My system has just received the ultimate insult

The girl I have been seeing recently has shown complete indiffrence to my system. (Melos MA-333, Adcom GCD-750, Oddesy Stratus, ML SL3's) Yesterday, I brought up the subject while in my car and she mentioned that she had bought a pair of speakers for $100 that sounded the same. How I wish that were true! I mentioned that she (like others) has no ability to hear or appreciate the difference. She of course disagreed. I said, that is like saying "all people look just about alike and are equally attractive". She again could not see my logic. When we got home, I played a track for her on my $150 sat/sub with a $20 portable CD player and asked her to listen to it. I then played the same track for her on my system and to my amazement, she said it sounded noticable WORSE! She described it as sounding like a radio station that was not tuned properly with lots of static. What I am assuming is that she has never heard a system that had any kind of hi-freq extension and likened it to "static". Others have heard my system and are completely blown away with every aspect of how it sounded. We have much different tastes in the music we listen to. I have 2 questions to ask, 1) is it possible that she could enjoy listening to 'Her' stereo as much as I enjoy listening to mine? 2) may I continue to be involved with her and still have the respect of my peers?

For the record, I listened to it last night after the insult, and it sounded as wonderful and envolving as ever!
I imagine she has various talents that make her a good choice for you, tossing her away may not be the best bet. Does she care if you spend an irresponsible amount of money on your gear and music? Does she find your system ugly and wouldn't be able to live with it? If not, keep her. Although it is understood that most females have better hearing than most males do, it's entirely possible she is tone deaf. If all else fails..dogs make terrific companions
Wow, that's rough! But you have to understand that not everyone's hearing is the same. It seems to me that many women are much more sensitive to high frequency brightness than men. My wife used to complain about my system sounding too bright when I thought (or wanted to believe) it was just fine. I found that when I toned down the highs a bit with careful component matching that she no longer finds the highs offensive and can sit and appreciate the music with me. Before I revoiced the system it would drive her out of the room. Also, once I had a female audiophile friend over for a listen to a new phono preamp. To me the unit sounded a little bright on certain recordings, but acceptable. In her words, it sounded "brighter than the sun," and she couldn't take it. It sounds like your girlfriend may be very sensitive to highs and what you consider alright makes her crazy. If you have a way to roll the treble off in your system, you might want to experiment with that and see what her reaction will be.

I wouldn't trash the relationship over differences in aural perceptions. If you experiment, you may find a balance that you both can live with. If not, just don't ask your girlfriend's advice (or take her comments to heart) regarding the sound of your system.

In answer to 1), yes.
2), it depends on whom you consider to be your peers, but since you asked the question, perhaps not.

I bet she'd like mine better than yours. My wife appreciates it,
If you're really getting insulted everytime you have to break up.

If you will consider girlfriend and your audio as two separate issues that aren't compatible and should be treated separately absolutely without paying attention on how they "interact" mutually, it's OK to continue relationships.

My wife also doesn't hear the differences (she can only say that it sounds louder than in the boombox), although she respecs my listening time like she would respect my dinner or breakfast time.
Don't give up on her. My wife was the same way when we married. However after listening to my systems over the years, her ears are now better trained and she now appreciates the difference. Although not at the same level of distinction as mine, she is far more able to judge now than when we first married.
My wife of 20 years never used to care about my audio
system except for the amount of money I spent on it.
(Usually the case in most marriages). But now, after many
years, if we're visiting friends and they turn on their
"Best Buy" system, she always comments later how bad
it sounded! So, at least she knows what music is supposed
to sound like, and cuts me a little slack when it's time
to upgrade.
Try a tube amp with the electrostats or maybe she is trying to get you to break up with her before she breaks up with you. If she ever moves in - your system will go while hers stays so if that is the future plan than go over to her place and get use to hers and start building a great car system because that is the only area you will have for yourself (at times).
Slip out the back Jack.
does this mean i have to sell my prized melos music-director? a boom-box system sounds better? ;~)

i'm w/ljgj - i tink she's tryin' to break up w/ya. either that, or she has a great sense of humor, & is pulling yer leg, cuz she thinks it's a hoot that anyone would spend more on a single component than a whole system costs! :>)

doug s.

You may be faced with a situation in which you are preaching to someone who simply does not care about audio and is perhaps not even seriously 'into' music as it were. You may also be faced with some more abastract issues. Perhaps she perceives your audio-hobby as a threat to your future relationship or at the very least a 'waste of time'. Due to this, she may take every opportunity to downplay it's significance and/or audio-superiority. That aside, the very forceful presence of a good system can be a bit intimidating as it virtually commands attention. This is something which I think is unappealing to a lot of people (it isn't background music anymore and this what a lot of people relegate music to). However, referring to what is obviously a fine system as 'static' is not something I would perceive as a sincere reaction. This seems to be a very calculated response thrown out to be contrary or even combative. Generally speaking, one of the hardest things to do sometimes is change someone's mind and I would not expect a complete turnaround from one casual exposure.

I certainly wouldn't bag a relationship over something like a difference of opinion in audio, although if you find this type of attitude stretching into other issues it may give reason for pause and reflection.

Best of luck to ya'...
There may be a scientific explanation to some of it! I have a male friend that has some type of "problem" with his ears, by his own admission. Loud sounds give him a crackly sound in his ears. Perhaps some kind of overload or something. He has repeatedly told me my system AND his start to crackle his ears after a certain volume.

Now, if this is a possibility, then add to it the fact that us males, especially audionut males, tend to crank up our system way beyond what "normal" people listen at, especially females. Add to that the extra crank of the volume knob that we subconciously turn when trying to impress someone. Add to that the amount of real energy in the high frequencies that our systems put out, compared to junk or even every day sound.

So, maybe you are just OVERLOADING her more virginal ears with too much SPL and dynamic range?
I think audiofile 9 may have nailed it on the least I liked the answer given...anyhow, dont worry about the perceived insult. The real insult is when your girlfriend/sister goes out to a department store and spends $1000+ on a rack system with a dual cassette deck, million disc changer, turn table, lighted eq etc etc when a much better 2 component + speakers system could be had for the same price. Hope it all works out.
Women are generally more sensitve to high frequencies acording to some scientific/anthropological studies. Women tend to notice the digital glare of many CD players more then men. Maybe this is a good excuse to try an analog turntable rig!!! Also, many people are used to drinking crap soda-pop like cheapo wines and actually think these taste great (lacking a trained pallate and the ability to deal with fine wines' complexities!) I'm sure that the same holds true for the audio world.
There is one more 'scientific' possiblity. Given your system's higher resolution than hers, she may be hearing actual static on the recording (older, poorer recordings?) that she couldn't hear on hers. As to whether she can enjoy her system as much as you enjoy yours...unanswerable question. How do you quantify enjoyment? It's impossible really, but there are some points to consider. First, which would you enjoy more - music you hate on your system, or music you love on hers? Probably the latter, right? Proper reproduction isn't everything. Some people just don't really care about that, and just love the music. If she is one of those types, I have a theory. Most mass market systems are actually quite well balanced. Not too bright, not too warm - it's an unavoidable part of their inherent suckiness. Once you have a system that has good resolution, it stands out of it's out of balance (too bright, too thin, too much mid-bass, whatever). This would probably sound worse to a person such as your girlfriend than a system which wasn't that great, but which was unobtrusive in its character. I've put cables in my system that made it just sound awful, even though each individual component is allegedly an audiophile piece of gear. Anyway, I'll refrain from giving advice about the relationship. What the hell do I know.
"I have 2 questions to ask, 1) is it possible that she could enjoy listening to 'Her' stereo as much as I enjoy listening to mine? 2) may I continue to be involved with her and still have the respect of my peers?"

1) Absolutely
2) God I hope for your sake she never gets a hold of THAT question. (if she means anything to you, that is)

dbw1...Right On!!

On a further note...if you have to crank it up for YOU and your audio cronys to enjoy, chances are good she might think it's a "guy" thing. It you "transcend" towards low level resolution where you don't have to listen so LOUD yet still enjoy, maybe she'll eventually come around...just some food for thought. Not saying you do, but do you?
run, don't walk
if this is the most pressing conundrum thus far manifested in your relationship, i'd advise your purchase of an engagement ring. at least a carat. emerald cut. -cfb
Hey the music not the system. Got It?
I'm not sure about that one Kelly, more then one girlfriend has left my life due to her poor taste(not always my choice, but for the better in the end). I would run like the dickens, poor taste is like a bad wine it gets worse with age, if she is suffering from some sort of superiority complex it will get nasty for you, and by that time you will be listening to BOSE, which we all know is a fate worse then death. Let her know audio is important to you, and if she is kidding its cool but if not you need to figure out what the deal is, if she has no respect for what you like she will never respect you. If for what ever reason she doesn’t like/respect your ideas/ opinions/ hobbies remind her that you like her, and normally people with poor-> no taste hold a consistent lack of taste through out life, I believe the Russians call this Nekulturny. Good luck with this highly sensitive situation, just remember one member here had his gear referred to(by his current girlfriend) as electro-smog, needless to say she hit the road with in the week.
Having owned electro"static" speakers for 20 years, I know they're not everyone's cup of tea. They're large (male ego thing), they have a small sweet spot and they sound "different." Keep the music low, light a candle and sip some wine. That'll make your system sound a lot better.
tim: please try to remember that i'm old enuf to be your dad. what the hell, maybe your granddad. as you know, i've been married to the same woman for damn near 35 years now. my bride and i have been able to suffer one another for all that time by recognizing the difference between what's really important and what we may think is important for the moment. children are important. parents are important. love is important. even music is important. but in the universe of values, beliefs and yearnings, your audio system, at any given time, is but one of a million, billion, trillion stars. it's a lucky astronomer, indeed, who might detect it. and one more fortunate still who can appreciate its relative luminescence. -cfb
Married 21 years and going strong ... and I completely agree with Kelly. Try the fix-it suggestions, and it'd be great if they work, but so what if this is just your hobby and not hers too? You need to be n sync (ouch) on the important issues, and this isn't one of 'em.
Lots and lots of perfectly good dogs looking for a home at the dog pound. Dogs don't nag you to pick up after yourself. Dogs don't care if you eat cold pizza for breakfast. Dogs understand if the contents of your fridge is limited to liquids only. Dogs intuitively understand that the best place to tune up your skis is the living room. Dogs don't care what your rig sounds like, nor do they care how much you spend on it. Dogs do like to be scratched behind the ears.
PM, before following Cornfed's excellent advice (is he doing divorce cases as well?!) I'd have the lady's ears tested. Maybe she can hear like a bat and you DO have static above 20khz. If the test turns out positive, ask her, if she has relatives in Transilvania. If that turns out positive as well, follow Bob_ Bundus advice at once, RUN!!!!(-;
I used to think that it would be the ultimate to find a woman who liked my hobbies as much as I do since I had a lot of experience finding women who actively didn't like them. I now realize that I found the perfect mate because we're VERY compatible on kids, family, religious outlook, politics, etc., and she is completely apathetic about my pasttimes (as I am hers) - she is more than happy that I enjoy sitting around watching basketball and listening to music endlessly. She's just glad I don't make her do it with me. I guess if I could have everything else the same AND have her be passionate about music and gear, I'd love that too, but not at the expense of giving up something else. And I couldn't go back to having a significant other who resented my pasttimes.

I certainly wouldn't get out of the relationship based on this experience (actually, I wasn't sure that was a serious question), but I'd certainly try to understand what it's telling you if this has the potential to be long term. If she's telling you she resents the hobby, the money, etc., and those things are important to you, you need to decide how significant they are to you. -Kirk

Very true, I suppose there is a reason why I am single! I am fairly young/ignorant often, and am sure I have a lot to learn about life and relationships but in the mean time I am aloud to be super particular, unlike Sinatra-The pickin’s AREN’T slim, yet, but there is still room for doubt. To me at the point I am in my life if a girlfriend could not appreciate the system she would hit the road, my theory may change with age, who knows? But either way it is food for thought. Tim
Am looking for woman who likes audio, kids, dogs and various other furry critters. Needs good ears, patience, cleaning skills,and must have loving disposition. If not into audio, must at least be able to not passive aggressively use it as a weapon ( or aggressively, for that matter).Total picture: 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 ferrets,1 Russian dwarf hamster, 3 audio systems, & 49.5 yr. old widower.So,be patient, but there are a lot of other issues that will come up as well, so see how this one works out, and keep Kenny Rogers advice in mind-" know when to hold 'em", when to fold 'em........" esp. before tying any knots.
Make tracks pal. It's love me, love my stereo. She obviously hates you.
I used to think it would be nice to have a girlfriend or wife that I could enjoy listening to the system with. The wonderful girl I married likes to listen only occasionally (at lower volume and with some lights on). Now I realize it's good this way because most of the time, not only do I get to hear the music I want to hear, I get the sweet spot all to myself!
I have enjoyed the feedback. As an update, this was posted perhaps to get a bit of sympathy and get a few laughs from others with like interests. She treats me quite well. I am just amazed that she views my system as such. On a portion of a musical track that has no hi-freq material, the 'offending distortion' is gone. However, all of the wonderful attributes of the remaining sound presentation are completely without merit to her. I have had lots of other speakers, amps, and preamps and do not find this system to be bright. As others have mentioned, she does not care to have the volume as high as I like it. I recently had the oportunity to test our abilities to hear high frequency (at a science museum) and I surprisingly had a bit of an edge on her. It is also interesting to note that she almost never plays music for herself. The good news is that she never tries to discourage me from 'listening' and even 'tolerates' my crappy sounding stereo because she wants to be with me when I listen. Needless to say, I won't be asking for her opinion when auditioning new equipment!
I see some folks desire for Audiogon's dating service?
I think that it's cool to be a gay in audio(I've seen a couple myself at the dealer)since 95% of audiofreaks are males. In most of the cases they will be the perfect couples. Otherwise compromises must take some place in mutual life.
The lack of discernment in audio can be compared to other 'specialties' like "wine" etc, which take a long time to learn the subtle nuances. If someone shared a bottle of Mogan David 20/20 with me... that would be just as good as any $1,000 stuff... as far as "I" am concerned. (I feel some of you shudder) To some folks a car is just a means to get from a to b... for others, a car is a special experience and driving a pleasure. I am sure your girlfriend is just "not interested" in audio stuff, nor in the aural experience. So what... If she doesn't care for music very much, though, you may be headed for trouble.