When audiophiles visit for a listening session

One of the great aspects of this audio hobby is meeting new people and having them visit your listening room to hear your stereo. One of the worst aspects of this hobby is meeting new people and having them visit your listening room to hear your stereo.

Have you noticed that it is often the impatient and demanding people who keep the world moving? What would it be like if four people approached a four-way intersection and everyone had a stop sign. If not for the impatient and inconsiderate fellow in the blue Audi who really didn’t even stop, everyone else would have sat there the rest of their lives waiting for the fellow citizen to proceed first. The world needs a few inconsiderate people, for the rest of us kind gentle souls to hate and thank!

I have met a number of interesting and knowledgeable people through AudiogoN. One of the guys I encountered lives in the same city as I, when we learned this we decided to get together and listen to some music. Ermylmeyer told me he had several weeks of vacation arranged and that he could come over any time after May 25th2005. I include the date so people will understand when this happened, if they read this years from now, or incase they read it years ago. Ermylmeyer is not his real name, his name is Greg Ritter, but for the sake of protecting his reputation he will be called Ermylmeyer for the rest of this account. I invited him to come of the 25th just so if he had made other plans for his vacation, I would not be interfering.

It is fairly easy to observe the fact that some people simply don’t know when it is time to leave a party, or any social event. I’m not talking about you and me, since we are a little too self-absorbed to make this error, but other just do not know when to say good-bye. These folks, in combination with the polite host, are a tragedy waiting to happen.

I went to work early that morning to finish up several projects, so I could have the afternoon free for Greg’s visit. I was home by noon, and dusting the turntable when the doorbell rang. When I got upstairs from my basement listening room Greg was waiting patiently at the door. At this moment I should have known that only bad could come of this situation, but being the fool I am, I was none the wiser.

Greg had his arms full. He had brought a bottle of wine, or was it single malt scotch, a number of CDs, and several LPs. I helped with the burden, and we made our way down to the basement, put on a CD and let the system warm up. I asked if he would like a drink, and Greg asked if I had any organic tea. I brewed a pot of tea, and we listened to the rest of the CD. When we switched to vinyl, the listening began in earnest. Greg made all the right comments, and asked almost all the right questions, like “Wow that LP never sounded like that before,” and “The treble seems to go on forever without being strident or over-etched,” and “What the heck is that awful smell?”

It was the baked beans from the day before, but he did not need to know that!

After several hours of listening and several pots of organic tea, my wife arrived home and shouted a greeting down the basement stairs. “Oh, I better get going.” Greg suggested. “Don’t go now, we still haven’t listened to the 200 gram pressing of “Time Out.” It was about an hour later that my wife came down and informed me that dinner was ready. “I really should...” he began. “Do you have plans for dinner?” I asked.
“Well not really.” So we went up. By the time Jill announced dinner, we had finished the bottle of wine Greg brought and opened another one of mine. During dinner we talked about a lot of things that none of us remembered, and finished another bottle of wine. After what felt like hours Greg suggested he had better get going. I asked him if he had somewhere to be and he admitted he did not. He settled back in the sweet spot full of wine, tea, and dinner, looking every bit as miserable as he felt.

I began to play music that sounded progressively worse with the hope that he would be compelled to go, but his manners would not allow it. The sky was dark, the sliver of a moon hung high in the sky and we were listening to the second Headeast album, when Jill came down. Greg nearly pleaded to both of us “I really have to get going.” Jill, who was tired and unhappy with the noise, asked with slightly veiled sarcasm if Greg would please spend the night.

Greg misunderstood her tone, groaned and said he would be glad to stay. Jill rolled her eyes and stalked off, but Greg did not see it since his head was in his hands and he appeared to be sobbing.
I put Greg up in the guest room. He was broken hearted at having missed the chance to flee, when it was available. He meant to leave all day, but...

The next morning when Jill came downstairs, Greg was at the kitchen table finishing his breakfast. She tried to ease him out of the house with a joke. “If you stay any longer, I’ll have to charge you room and board.” An unhappy young man shook Jill’s hand, took out $400.00 and handed it to her, then he burst into tears.

For the next few weeks he was withdrawn, and clearly did not wish to talk. He spent most of the days in the listening room. He drank pots of tea and listened to even the most obscure or trivial music I owned. He sat in the chair and talked to the picture of Annie Lenox on a Eurythmics album. His health faded so fast that soon not even Annie Lenox recognized him.

Finally, at the end of one month, the day his vacationed ended, he passed away. I happened to go into the basement when the moment arrived. His face lit up with joy! “At last the angels are coming for me. I really must leave! Good-bye.”

Finally he was able to do what each of us had wanted him to do for a month.
Is this an invite?
I can't believe I just waisted 5 minutes of my life reading that!
Way too much time on your hands...MY GOD GET OUT ITS A HOLIDAY!
My sister-in-laws name is not Greg.
I really didn't think anybody had the 2nd Head East album-I haven't heard it in well over twenty years....thankfully.
Is it just me or do these stories get dumber and dumber ?

I know this is misc audio, but creative writing?????
Lets see if we can get a new forum, "Fictional stories by shut-ins"
I'm just dying to hear your system.
hey,you guys gotta admit nate's story was better reading than all the other dull this vs that threads weve been subjected to lately.

i for one got a good laugh!

Chadnliz...it's not just you.
Happy 4th Nrchy, After your last listening session with the door-2-door insurance salesman, I was hoping this might be the one with the plumber. Something like "From the moment I saw the crack in the moon extend from the rear of his low riding wranglers, I knew this fellow would enjoy Henry Mancini - Moon River with me on my rig". Maybe next time?
Most audiophiles are sissy types and can not drink the required amount of Jack with their coffee in the morning.

I've found that non-audiophile types know less, and buy anything you tell them, plus...they never bring their own music.

They do leave when when the beer runs out!

Thanks for an amusing tongue in cheek thread. It's been a bit dull around here lately, thanks for the humor. Let's see some more fun stuff guys.
Jond, Are you implying that this was not a true story ?
Well, you can't beat free room and lodging, plus a nice sounding 'phile system to listen to while waiting for the big send-off. We must choose our friends carefully.
I like the inconsiderate bastard in the blue Audi. My kind of fellow.
True and funny!
Why can't you just say goodbye?
When you INVITE someone, often THEY do not want to be rude and ACCEPT! even if they do NOT WANT TO.
You got exactly what you asked for.
Reminds me of the classic story of Grateful Dead fans when the boys were at the top of their touring game:
How can you tell if Deadheads have been staying at your house? They're still there...
Wow Nate, with hospitality like that, who needs Motel 6?

Leave the light on for me...
Nate, are we part of your creative writing group and just don't know it?
wid Chadlinz, waste of time....what is point of this?....Friday I mow lawn and take cat for walk. Then I drink soda and take nap. Phone ring and salesman try sell me long distance service. I tell him no thank and take off list. Take cat for more walk then read paper. Toilet at 4 then drink Martini and watch news. More Martini then take cat for flying lesson over bush. Wife shout, not like it when I kick cat. More Martini and take dump. Wake up saturday and all start over. Exciting or what>?
Keep on truckin' out those stories - they are a good read!

Steve the light is on! Where are you. I suppose I better warm a spot for Pragmatist.

FWIW I enjoy the response more than writing the story, but Cello said it first, what's with the implications that this is not true???
Nrchy, Another good story. I'm telling you--as a man who has taught and been a student of literature for 30+years--you have some talent. This one reminds me a little of the old Melville story "Bartleby", recently made into a movie, where a man is given a job in an office but proves incompetent. When the boss asks/tells him to do something, Bartleby replies, "I would prefer not to". Even when he is fired and told to leave, he says, "I would prefer not to". He dies at the end and goes to "sleep with kings and counselors".
I guess this thread points out the humorously challenged among us!

Papertrail I have no talent, everything anyone writes anymore has been done already, some people just hide their plagarism better than others! I'm just having fun.

Never read Bartleby, but it sounds like fun. I've really grown to appreciate the humor of earlier Dickens the last few years.
Nrchy, I tell my students that there are two ways to be original---1}Write, paint, etc. about a new subject, or 2}Write about an old subject in a new way. You have accomplished the latter. It's probably the only way to be original. All music comes from 7 basic notes and a few variations there of. Amazing.
The next Equipment SHOOT OUT should be held at Nrchy place. I could here the stories now on how a double blind test was conducted by 12 blind Audiophiles and how they scratched a number of his rare prized LPs. and then on the 7th day after listening to a Eagles hell freezes over XRCD their eyesight was restored!! Everyone was overjoyed a celebration was in order!!! Food, Booze, a cake and replacement LPs for Nrchy was ordered. Everyone was so happy to see who they had been taking to and to see the equipment they were using, many commented on how beautiful the face plate on the amp was. This was a real time to celebrate and just as the candles where being lite on the cake, Someone from the back YELLED out did someone turn the Gas off on the stove!!!!!! A neighbour was heard saying how there was Music coming from there all day and further commented on how great the Music sounded ,but the last song was so CLEAR he must have got the QUADS running again. I can still hear it playing in my head!! Asked what song was playing the neighbour said it was an Eric Clapton tune " Tears in Heaven " !!!!
The next idea I'm working on, is about an audiophile who disguises himself and goes to a HiFi shop trying to get good service...

Stayed tuned, or in the case of chadlinz and punkawalla, stay away...
Hey Nrchy,400.00 for a month room and board!And my own room!Do you have a pool?
Hey I cant help it I am not a fan, doesnt mean anything other than that, diffrent strokes for diffrent folks right?
The neighbors do and they have two teenage daughters.

Chadnliz, I still love you!
Nrchy, It started out with too much info, and at the end left me wanting more as it was somewhat lacking. Strange and twisted as this story was....where's part II?
In what resect was it lacking? Sometimes when one is familiar with a story it is hard for them to recognize missing detail...
Good show Nrchy! I'm looking forward to your next piece.
Punkawalla.....Your moniker says it all.....
The next idea I'm working on, is about an audiophile who disguises himself and goes to a HiFi shop trying to get good service...

LOL mebbe I'll have to don a suit and head out for some "real world fodder" for you...
Raggy, it would be a lot like you going shopping. You're an alright guy, but it takes people a while to get past the presentation. Who in a hifi shop would expect a 24 year old guy with dreads and fatigues to own Kharma's and use vinyl as his source??? BTW get those&^%$# cases out of my garage! : )
Yea, fair enough hah. I still think it's a load of crap when I get refused service though. I shall await your story with particular interest!

I had a long talk with the cases. They didn't want to leave. They said they had built a home in your garage, and raised little bebe cases for little bebe Kharmas to get shipped in, and they had grown up to ship Midi Grands. The Ceramique cases were proud of their accomplishments and just wanted to be empty nesters, leave the garage on weekends for their cottage on the lake and otherwise not be bothered. I mean, you have to look out for the interest of the cases, really. What kind of horrible person would I be to meddle with the American Dreams of Dutch immigrants, right?

But the truth is, I am an inconsiderate bastard. So I hopped in my blue Audi and rolled through a bunch of 4-way stops and came to your house and stole the cases late at night. I am holding them in my closet which has a fine view of city center.
Nrchy.I am rather late on this but...
Regarding the neighbors teenage sweethearts,uphere we say sixteen will get you twenty.LOL.
Good treatment for a scary movie?
Nrchy,,OK,,, its been over a month,,,,time for another story!!!
Ray, Chadnliz, punkawalla, and elliotb have a restaining order against my stories, I can't post anything within 500ft of them!
I thought it was half a mile, better check the order!
ITS A MADHOUSE!!!!!!!!!!
Aw come on,,,,,just one more!!!!
This took place a number of years earlier, and is in response to several requests for more, and a few 'cease and desist' commands.
I lived for a short time in Springfield Missouri a couple of years ago. While I was there I encountered the must unusual experience of my Audiophile life. Though sworn to secrecy I relate it now. I was never really much for swearing anyway, it’s just too vulgar.

While I lived there I met the brother of a lady with whom I had struck up a friendship. Through the course of time I had the opportunity to visit his home, and hear the system he had put together. As he was a tube lover, I did not know much about his specific gear other than by name, but I asked the right questions, and we got to be friends too. It was soon after this that he began to mention an Audio Club of which he was a member. Without appearing to be overly anxious I began to invite myself to this club. Eventually he caught on and invited me too.

I remember it clearly when Rob called to invite me on a specific day. It was either a Tuesday or Thursday, or maybe it was over the weekend.
“It’s a pretty casual affair.” he instructed, “You’ll want to wear a sportcoat, and dress shirt, but never a tie, at least not any of the ties you own.”

When the day arrived I was waiting anxiously in my apartment. After an hour, I called Rob to see why he had not arrived to pick me up yet. “Oh yeah,” he responded “I forgot about that. I’ll be over in an hour or so. I have to stop at the menswear shop and buy something expensive.” With that he hung up, and I stood wondering if I would look absurd in my herringbone jacket from Sears.

I was so excited I didn’t hear the knock at the door when Rob arrived. He used his key and woke me up. Rob was wearing a plaid, yes, plaid, sportcoat with a crest on the pocket, black trousers, and some kind of shirt that I’ve never seen before. I was nonplused.

“I have to explain something to you.” Rob said as we rode in a rental car to the meeting. “When we’re at the meeting, the guys will call me Robert, and some of them haven’t exactly got my last name right.”
“What do they call you?”
He looked a little sheepish, “Robert Wainwright”
“Wainwright, how did they get Wainwright from Smith?”
“Just a misunderstanding, happens all the time. Just the same, if you could call me Robert Wainwright, that would be best.”
I didn’t understand, but agreed.

We rode down Kearney, turned right on Gladstone, went over the railroad tracks and turned right into an industrial area. We parked in front of what looked like a warehouse.
“This is it?” Rob, er, Robert nodded and led the way through a rough door, across the room and up a set of concrete stairs. We went up several flights, went out a door, across the roof, jumped to the roof of the next building, in another door down some stairs. We walked across an empty room with broken windows and took a freight elevator to an underground room. I was startled to find myself in a large, beautifully appointed room. The walls were of real hardwood paneling, like one might find in an English manor, or a PBS special. On the back wall was a huge wood fireplace. In spite of the fact that it was August in Springfield there was a fire blazing.

Robert led the way to a sitting area. There were several people spread throughout the enormous room. In the distance I could hear what sounded like a Mozart string concerto. But I’ve never listened to classical music so I wouldn’t really know a Mozart string concerto. The people were huddled in small groups chatting, or drinking single-malt scotch. An elderly gentleman was passing among the others with a tray, dispensing drinks from a decanter. I asked Robert what he was serving, he told me all they served was single-malt scotch. I asked if it was good, “Are you kidding, it’s so old you can see a dust cloud over the glass when Edward pours, it’s awful. Everyone hates it, but that’s what audiophiles drink!”

I watched and sure enough, I could see the men grimace as they sipped the stuff. Robert led the way to a darkened area of the room. The system was setup on some kind of space-age looking rack made of stainless steel, wire, a rubbery looking compound, and something that looked like Nutella. Long cables ran to a pair of tube mono-blocks with outboard power supplies, which in turn ran to a monstrous pair of speakers. I rapped the cabinet with my knuckles to get a feel for their dampening characteristics. It sounded like I was hitting myself on the skull. I felt a lump sprout immediately. As a walked back to the rack to observe the electronics, a gentleman approached. I was relieved to see that it wasn’t Edward with that fowl swill. A familiar looking man approached with outstretched hand.
“Jamen Huntley-Hunt,” we informed me, “I’m in silver. He gave Robert a nod, and took it back as fast as he gave it.”
“Nrumph Krrummchs.” I mumbled, and I, of course was in... the market... for a better job. The man looked at my sportcoat, and looked back at me like a person does to someone they have encountered by change but do not want to ever see again. It was then I realized why he looked familiar. He sold me my silverware at Kroger’s. He left as quickly as both of us wanted him to go.
“This is really quite a system,” I said admiringly “I’ve really wanted to hear some of this stuff, but never thought I’d have a chance.”
Robert took as seat not far from the system, and gazed at it appreciatively.
“Those are Electro Harmonix KT 88's in the amps, aren’t they?
“Electro Harmonix KT 88's, hmm, seems like a good choice.” he replied in a thoughtful voice.
“Has the group ever considered trying some better 6550's, or even KT 99's?”
“Huhhh, wellllll, 6550's.” he repeated in an almost meditative tone. I have never seen him act like that. “KT 99's...” he said from a distance greater than our chairs.
“I have a friend who swears by Mullards.” Robert scratched, or fondled his chin. “Muullllards.”
“Hey Rob... er, Robert, do they take new members here?”
“Huh, what, new members, of yes, all the time.” He gestured toward an old stiff in an armchair and said “Why Simpson joined just in... 1993, I think it was.”
I looked around the room and heard faint discussions about fourth order crossovers, single ended triodes, phase array, and cryogenically treated silver coated copper cable. In the background, the string concerto flogged on. It felt like home.

“Well let’s listen to some music. I brought a couple of CDs” I suggested. Robert recoiled in horror. “No one listens to music here. They hold music in such high regard that none of them have ever listened to it!”
Bravo!! Very good!