Impressing friends with your rig

I don't have any friends into hi-fi so it was a rare occasion when I had a musician friend over who loves music but has no clue about "stereos" or formats or equipment AND who wanted to hear the system.

First off, they were very impressed with the fact that some of my gear is vintage. That the slate plinth weighs 70 pounds, and that the table, speakers and amps are over 50 years old. They were intrigued by the tubes, blown away that a 6SN& could cost $150, and stunned that the cartridge replacement cost was around $2000.

After showing and explaining the equipment, I demoed a few tracks on some 60s analog vinyl. It was pretty cool to watch their reaction when the needle dropped. Live jazz with lead trumpet, female blues vocals - you know the drill!

All they could say was how real it sounded, how they’d never heard anything like it. It was also one of those days when the rig sounded really good.
What experiences have you had like this?

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@elizabeth At least they don’t think they’re heating radiators like my Quads.
I take it that your Maggies play excellently at low volumes.
I have one friend who regularly stops by to get out of the city.  When he comes, he asks me to turn my system off so he can just listen to the silence.  He does appreciate my system, but he is just as happy listening to his mid fi system.  He loves the JBL L-166 speakers I gave him that he powers up with vintage Sansui gear, of which he has quite the collection.  My other friends couldn't care less.  One of them has around 7000 lp's.  They like music and vintage gear, but my gear doesn't impress very much.  They tell me it sounds nice.  That's fine with me. 
Your comment makes me think of Spinal Tap - the band with the loudest reputation with volume level 11.

I must say that most people who do listen think its 'all about the bass' but then they realise it is the enveloping 3d sound staging and how they can listen into the music. They usually start of listening to one track and before too long have heard around 10!

I can't lie when I say I take real pride when somebody hears what I hear so to speak
I don't get to show my system off very often.Most visitors are content with background music.One exception was the father of one of my son's school mates who also happened to make his living in his younger days as a rock musician.He noticed the equipment and asked to hear something.He was astounded, literally.He declared it was the best system EVER and nothing could be had that could better it(hahahaha!)Right.Whenever I run into him or his wife they always mention that evening.
@jtcf Tektons look great on those stands.

@abucktwoeighty That's got to be RI!
My audiophile friends love the system. My non-audiophile friends think I’m bat-s*it crazy. My kids and grandkids have removed all doubt .... they know for sure that I'm nutz. 

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@elizabeth - I have avantgarde's and exactly the same reaction - "they must play loud". So I always start with something soft :-)
@tpreaves - I've also built a stereo for my tastes and needs - I find that I need music in my life. But I love sharing it too, and am lucky enough to have a small number of good friends, male and female, who have a passion for music and enjoy coming around for an afternoon and a beer. Even better if they bring some new vinyl.

But most of my non-audiophile friends see my stereo as a bit of an indulgence, and don't really get it. They are intrigued to start, but rarely hear what I hear. In my experience it takes a certain sort of person who can sit in front of two speakers, close their eyes and allow themselves to be transported. Most are quickly bored, fidget for a while, and eventually need to start a conservation. So I've stopped offering to turn on my gear for most of my family and friends, and for casual acquaintances - only if they ask. Each to his or her own.
I've done this quite a lot over the years. Its almost always much more enjoyable, with by far the better reactions, doing it for regular people than anyone even aware of the word audiophile.

Not that there haven't been some notable exceptions. One time at a party this one guy wanted a listen. Turns out he had put a fair bit of time and money into one of his own. I did what I always do and asked what kind of music he likes. Which of course I almost never have what they say, but find something similar. When the song ends I look at the guy and his reaction is, "Please play another one." The guy was beside himself with pleasure. 

Just one of many great reactions over the years. Before the projector there was a TV between the speakers, kept covered with a thick blanket to dampen reflections. One friend from work kept asking how many speakers? Over and over again I told him, "Just the two." But he kept looking around at where the "extra" speakers "had to be". Finally he gets up, walks up and looks under the blanket. "What are you doing?" I ask. "I was sure there was a speaker under there!"

One of my favorites was the wife of this hard core audiophile. This guy had made it his mission to buy all the best most Class A gear he could find, used of course to "save money". Just to judge by the names you would have to think nothing could be better. I brought a CD one time, popped it in, jumped out of my chair. Had to check. Had to. He must have switched and put another CD in there. No, it was mine. Damn. Would never in my life have imagined anything could sound so bad.

So one night we're playing tunes and after a while his wife comes up to me and with the most beautiful look of incredulity says, "I could listen to his all night!"

One of the more common things that happens is people want to know why, how, is it possible??? Of course I am honest and tell them we don't know. All we can do is try and compare and select what works. Which is true. Or sometimes I tell them well there's big differences in recording quality and the ones you're hearing are way better than average. Which is also true. Which is what I was telling this one work buddy when after some Terry Evans he says you know I think that last one was even more clear and detailed than the others. So we pulled the jacket and looked and sure enough, that was the one track on the side that had been recorded direct to two-track.

Another work buddy thought I was nuts telling him flipping off breakers improves the sound. I said bring your wife over I'll prove it- only she has to bring a CD of her favorite music. Garth Brooks or something like that. So I ask her is there one track you won't mind hearing twice? She has no idea why. I go flip the breakers, come back in, still no clue, play it again.

Soon as it's over, "What did you do?!?!? It sounds so much better!!!" I look at Ron. "I didn't tell her! And I can't believe it but you're right its a lot better!"

I put on a movie one time and the first thing the guy heard was the MGM lion roar. It startled him!

I'm telling ya folks, I got a million of em!

@millercarbon Good stuff. I had a girl over once many years ago. I'd just bought a new AAA record Talk Talk Color of Spring which sounded so good through my massive homemade speakers with 12" Mckenzie's, she stayed the night. 
There was a time not too long ago that I wouldn’t let anyone in the house unless they agreed to be blindfolded.
A true friend is someone who will keep his damn mouth shut when he listens to your system with you. 
geoff, geoff, geoff, 
So they have to be blindfolded & keep there mouths shut (LOL). Does anyone visit? 
C'mon Boxer.....

You know Geoff is not about to share his headphones with anybody!

In the absence of " true friends" it is just easier not to let anybody listen to my gear. Not even the wife......

Shoot , I have enough self doubts on the direction of my equipment, just think if some nosey Parker started commenting on my stuff.....
Geoff's afraid he'll be called out on all the weird tweaks. ;-)

Uber, there was a time I had that paranoia but it's been on song recently. This is the second or third time anyone's ever listened apart from herself.
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None of my friends or family appreciate great audio, with the exception of my Dad.  He always had a nice system ,  still does.

I am pretty humble so I don't show it off , but if someone asks....

My system is a constant hang out for my friends inside and out. I moved to the Vegas strip a little over a year ago into a small apartment with an amazing view of the strip and blocks from the Convention Center (home of the CES). Now, I'm on my fourth setup in a neighbor's home. We're like a little listening village.

I'm always surprised to hear that folks can't get their friends to listen to their systems, I have to fight for my chair sometimes lol.


@michaelgreenaudio - That's my old neighborhood! DI & Maryland Pkwy (a quarter mile due east of Sunrise Hospital on Golden Arrow Dr). Worked at McCarran for TSA for 11 years. 'Vegas not my cup-o-tea and, like SRV, COULDN'T STAND the WEATHER! Glad you like it, however.

Oh Wow, we were very close dweller. I lived on National Golf Course for 3 years when I first moved here, Ottawa Dr. Now I'm on the other side of the Strip behind the Strat.

How long ago did you move out of town?

Yep, I love my Vegas town. Always said this will be where I live when I get off tour. Been here since 04 now.