The color of audio and ambassadorship

Lately I've been trying to be an embassador of hi-end. I fear high quality music is a dying breed with the advent of MP3's and the like. So i try to sway those who can be swayed to begin their journeys into high end audio reproduction.

When speaking to friends about music I usually ask if they have ever heard their favorite music on a hi end system. To which almost all say no, and then ask why. A fair question. I usually say something on the order of "if you havnt heard your music on a high end system then you really havn't heard your music." This bait usually gets them over so they can hear what I'm talking about. And indeed to the uninitiated, even a simple system such as mine can be quite eye opening. It was for me 20 years ago when I heard a hi end system the first time! When they ask how much it costs however, well, that's another reaction altogether. Usually I get a WTF, or "its not that important to me!" And then they ask why is it so expensive?

This is where the audiophile has to try and explain what makes good sound and how the equipment contributes to the experience. I usually try to explain it terms of high resolution photography. I try to compare a low resolution photograph taken from a cheap camera. The picture will be blurry, the colors not as distinct, and the gradations not as varied when comparing the same photo taken with a professional camera. I say both pictures will give you an image you understand, but one will be closer to lifelike. Most people then get it.

If the conversation continues and they are more interested I my talk about system synergy. This is a little bit more difficult, but they way I try to explain this is I say what most try to achieve is some form of neutrality. To this end I say let's equate neutrality to gray. A perfect middle gray, a blend of 100% white and 100% black. Each component then is a shade of gray. In a perfect system each component is a perfect middle gray. However, we know that's not the case. Some might be lighter, some darker grays. Thus to achieve a perfect middle gray, one might have a dark gray speaker that needs a light gray amp. The more equipment, the harder it is to blend the colors and achive a perfect middle gray. Thus the audiophile sickness. These are analogies of course, and it can even be taken further when you bring in transparency and texture of music, but most people can be made to understand the concept, if not the madness that goes along with it.

How do you try to be an ambassador to hi end? Or do you even try
You need to be targeting the right demographic. The 38 year old with 3 Young's kids wont take the bait. Choose empty nesters or people without kids. Speaking of kids, try to turn them on to good music. I introduced my sons girlfriend to Frazey Ford and she thanks me every time she sees me.

I like the idea of trying to introduce people to a vintage set up. The idea of spending a thousand if not tens of thousands of dollars is probably a show stopper for most people regardless of their financial situation.

Ive always tried to introduce people to new music. There's a lot of good music out there and its not easy to find. Most people just don't have the time. In the end, for me, its the music. You wouldn't have hi fi without it.

My big push has always been trying to introduce pellet to new music.
People are generally reluctant to begin a new adventure that actually requires them to sit still and shut up for any period of time.Been to a movie theater lately?
How do you try to be an ambassador to hi end? Or do you even try

I tell them stories of my audio purchases, and then I smile as they roll on the floor laughing.
If a person only listens to pop music, there is no point in spending good money on stereo equipment. Only if you listen to Classical or Jazz, from that wonderful creative era,(blue note etc...) does high end (expensive) stereo make sense. If you don't sit down and listen without doing anything else during that time, then anything will do ya.