WEL -- Wife Equivalent Language

All in the name of fun...

Let's agree, for sake of argument, that our hobby is 100% meritorious and therefore deserving of it's central role in our family spending patterns (both in terms of time and money)! Afterall, it's a gospel truth - we know it and can feel it deep in our hearts - hallelujha - that the world revolves around sound, and there is no sweeter sound than the one produced by our latest tweek.

Yet, try as we may to convince her, she just doesn't seem to get it. Communication is the key! Yes, it's the key to maintaining that healthy balance between our love for her and our love to hear (those sweet sounds that matter little to her ear). In this regard, I'd be interested in knowing what your favorite WEL buzz terms (and other WEL expressions) are when discussing all things audio with her. Here are some of my favorites:

Cables and interconnects - "wires and plugs"
Line conditioner (especially an expensive one) - "power box"
Electrostatic transducer - "sound radiator"

I'm still working on a WEL term that will explain the check I just wrote for my new DAC...
Well, being that my wife is a scientist (at least that's her job description) we are extremely technical about these terms. So let me try & be as accurate as possible. I first must preface my system by saying there is only one blue LED on at anytime except when putting a CD in. The CD display will show for a few seconds but I have it set on no display. The blue LED is on the pre amp. The following is a typical interaction if she wants to put a CD on.

Flip that silver switch up. "This one?" Yep. OK, now push the first button on the CD player.(She puts CD in) OK, now push it again. Now push the next one. Yeah, with the little arrow. Like a greater than sign. Now turn the volume up. On the pre amp. That black thing. "They're all black". The one with the blue light. "This one?" Yeah. Turn the knob to the right. The knob on the end. The other end. Yep. That's all there is to it.

This is a good thing. At least she wants to play a CD on it.
I try to couch everything in language she will understand and bond with. Usually that entails analogies to the latest Prada styles.
I find it very important to understand all WEL spoken words and terms. It does help with my upgrades when applying with the WAP (Wife Approval Program ).
Digital gear is easier - you just point out that it's "just like computers - they're obsolete in 2-3 years". There's a lot of truth (at least that a lot of progress gets made in 2-3 years in the digital realm) but it's a framework any computer user can relate to. -Kirk
Well, If you want your wife sometimes to operate your gear simply write down(or clearly type) operating procedures and squencies on the paper and display it on the wall and you won't have to tell where and which button she have to press.
Good thread -- shouldn't it be SEL (for spouse -- pun intended)?
I use "Power Supply" for conditioners, "CD Processor" for DAC (could use "CD amp" -- far less accurate but sounds more necessary) and "preamp" for, well .. preamp. Speakers are "speakers", power amps are "amps", speaker wires are "speaker cables" (sounds more impressive and actually more accurate) though my wife calls them "snakes", interconnects are "connectors". Still haven't figured out what to call the MIT box. Kthomas, I love the PC analogy.
She calls the amp "the stereo",preamp "the stereo",DVD player "the stereo",etc.All speaker cables,power cords,ic's,and whatever is cluttered-looking behind the system are "cords".But she knows I love it 2nd to her and she tries to be patient with only occasional fits of anger for the "compulsive buying".Occasional encouragement from me for her to buy something nice for herself at the mall helps keep the tranquility in the home.
Kthomas - nice use of the "computer obsolete" thing. you are clearly an experienced practitioner of the audio purchase art. My wife is actually very good when it comes to letting me buy stuff, but here are a few of her standard responses and their translations.....

What is that for? (How much did it cost?)
Why does that thing have two boxes? (Did it cost twice as much?)
Didn't you just get one of those? (I think you should take me out to dinner, or maybe to Florida.)
I liked the last one just fine. (We REALLY need to redecorate the living room.)
What have you done now? (Have you lost your mind?)
Maybe you should hold off buying anything else for a while. (I want a new car.)

My wife has actually come a very long way (use to call speakers "Weepers and Bleepers") and in fact is very proud of the stereo room and it's ability to amaze and astound friends and relatives. However, she wouldn't be caught dead listening to it by herself - it wouldn't do for her to actually be found enjoying it......
Esoxhntr,I couldn't have said it better.Your wife seems to be a clone of mine.It is obvious she loves you and that's bottom line.
Esoxhntr, I love your series of WEL questions and your interpretation of their hidden meanings!

I'm laughing about: "Didn't you just get one of those?"

I can hear those words ringing in my ears. Watch out when you buy one amp and then decide a month later that you like it so much that you NEED another one to run them monoblock bridged! I just did this with a pair of Bel Canto EVo200.2 digital amps. What about 7 Bryston 7B-ST's for an HT rig? Believe it or not, it's been done (not by me... I value my life too much).
Ever try to explain how the Pronto remote works...After spending 24 hours (literally) programming and tweaking the Pronto I thought all the hard work was over and I could enjoy the fruits of my labor. WRONG!!!
WEL put! (I just couldn't resist the cheap gag). You have hit the nail on the head; though not always completely understanding why I am spending significant sums of cash on audio, my wife is hugely supportive. I consider myself very lucky, and from the sounds of things, so do you. Hats off to both our spouses!

Esoxhntr-Your not suggesting a trade with another mans wife are you? ;)

My girlfriend always reffered to the tubes in my amp as the "glowy things". Other then that no problems, just tell them how to play a CD and they seem to be happy Seeing as my player is located on the floor I enjoy watching a young lady change CD's, I guess its my dirty old man side coming out early :) ~Tim
My wife and I have been married for twenty years and we love each other….now.

My wife wants to support me because she loves me but just can't get what the interest is and can get jealous if she isn't careful.
1. "You love that stereo more than anything"
("You love that stereo more than me")
2. "Are you going to listen to that thing all night?"
(“Can you show me the same affection you do to that stereo” or "You love that stereo more than me")
3. Song is playing “I hate that, it gives me a headache”
(“Are you going to listen to that thing all night” … “You love…)

Since I have a good friend who is a dealer and I was part owner of a Home Theater business I have had a tremendous amount of equipment through my home and my wife lost track of what is mine and what is on loan. This was accidental but has worked well because she stopped trying to keep up with what we were buying and what we were auditioning.
(In other words, start auditioning equipment (the more the better) until it is too confusing to keep up with)

Also my wife used to take care of the budget but it was too much stress and so I reluctantly took it over trying to relieve her the headache. This has required more work on my part but it also means she doesn't see when/where all the transactions take place (wink wink). And because I am a good loving husband, I don't burden her with "expenditures" that would stress her out.
(In other words, take over the budget)

How she refers to the everything:
My growing CD library: your music
All equipment and wires: the stereo (usually said with a mild hint of disdain)
DVD and now the VCR sometimes: the stereo (usually said with a mild hint of disdain)
Equipment rack: stereo stand
Remote: the wand

How I refer to the same things:
My growing CD library: my music
All equipment and wires: the stereo (usually said with a wild hint of destiny)
-the amp = the amp
-the pre-amp = the thing with the knobs
-CD player/transport = the CD player
-DAC = the CD player
-cabling = speaker wire and interconnects (yea, one I can say normal – but of course never single ended
or balanced
-tubes – glowy things (must be universal)
DVD and now the VCR sometimes: the stereo (usually said with a mild hint of patients)
Equipment rack: stereo rack
Remote: the wand – the “thingie” (said while holding your right had out (if your right handed) thumb leading showing a squeezing motion)

How to handle the check when unavoidable?
1. Buy something she wants for the household first – the more you spend on her (in our case household improvements) , the more the piece of equipment can cost.
2. Proactively say in casual conversation while fixing dinner in between discussion about how the day went, something about how good a deal you got on the new ________ you fill in the blank. Change subject quickly to avoid troublesome questions.
3. On the day you know the question is coming and you can’t avoid any longer, send her a simple group of flowers with a nice card. Make sure you do this once in a while between purchases or the connection will be made.
4. “Can we afford that?” … “Oh yea, were fine”
5. If pressed then just say “bonus” or “tax return” – this is good even months after the fact if you are careful how you manage your finances and set expectations with your wife. You want to leave the impression that this money has still not been spent.
6. Remember, balance your own check book and audition equipment as often as possible.

As proof, I sold all my expensive stuff off about 8 months ago and have only recently begun to put together a new entry level system with a plan to upgrade slowly. I have gotten everything except a CD player and have had several in house trying them out. I just returned the latest player and said something about being frustrated that I was without a player. She said, “I thought you bought the last one” and I said “No, I was just trying it out” She said, “You know, you seemed to like that one player best, you know that one in the big box (8 or 9 months ago), I said, “You mean the Waida (860x)” and she said, “Yeam that one” I said well that was a little more than I wanted to spend, after all it was a $7,000 player. She said “Oh!” with with great surprise. I haven’t told her yet that I just ordered a Gamut CD-1 less than ½ of the Wadia (he, he). But we did just buy almost 3k worth of new furniture over the weekend…you know Bouns and Tax Return.

Your prelate's ex usually spoke of "that THING in the other room" as though it had a life of its own.

When she felt I was getting too hifalutin, she would affect a British accent and talk about "vahlve ahmplifiers" and faceplates made of "meticulously hand-machined alyouminium" and power cords connected to the "mains supply."

Come to think of it, I don't miss that sarcasm.

Oh my God guys, IT HAPPENED!!! I caught her listening to a CD red handed! She was actually enjoying it too. Her response:
Well....I like that song.... WEL translation: Holy sh** that sounds good, but if I tell YOU that you'll just go out and buy more f***ing stereo gear. Stand fast boys, there may be hope yet!

George, I can feel your pain. For Mother's Day, I had to buy her the latest Celine Doin CD! It reminded me of the first time I had to buy tampons for her! "Oh no, it's not for me... I don't listen to this..."

In fact, I'm always teasing her about her musical taste which ventures all the way from from solo famale vocalists to... WEL, solo female vocalists. And speaking of Celine, I do love that song from Titanic, especially when she goes into the extended "Neeeeeeeeeear, Faaaaaaaaaar" bit. It reminds me of Grover from Sesame Street when he schuffles up to the front of the screen and says, "Neeeeeeeeeeeeear" and then schuffles to the back, almost out of sight of the camera, and says, Faaaaaaaaaaaaaar" She even laughs about it now!
mocking your wife's musical taste is hardly a way to win her over...encourage every sign of life and suppress your true feelings, I think you will get a little further a little faster…find things to like and encourage every nuance she notices….try to find something you like too about her music and share them with her…Ok I am going to admit it but I like Titanic, I am normally a big Jazz/Blues fan with hard rock roots but I dig the emotion of the music in Titanic. Plus Titanic is one of my reference CD’s for finding out just what kind of deep slam a piece of equipment has (along with a Boys to Men, Bella Fleck, Aria 2, Foreplay, and Jennifer Warnes)…there is something good in all music

That was funny because it is soooo true to life. You know that your wife is right, if she did encourage you in ANY way you'd go on a conscious free buying spree...I know I would. I am still waiting for the day, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting….you get the idea.

Be carful with that new celine dion cd, DO NOT play it in your computer!! there is a warning right on the cd itself and the cover expressing this. It causes the computer to crash, no loss of memory but some problems including in some cases not allowing the cd to be removed from the drive. I am not kidding either it is Sony's attempt at reducing unlicensed copies from being made, I will not support this act in any way shape or form. I don't own any cdr's or any form of copied music, and I don't believe in it so it doesn't hurt me(in particular with Ms. Dion's music-not a big fan :) but I do from time to time listen to music through my computer, so it does effect me. Also there are some concerns with the quality of the recording being comprimised when this sort of encoding is introduced. Well I guess I am just saying be carful with where you play that particular cd. ~Tim
Thanks for the warning, Tim. I'll encourage her to use our Creek OBH-11 SE / Sennheiser HD 600 headphone set-up when she's on the computer, and never through the computer's CD drive. This combo is quite nifty BTW, and she seems to enjoy it because of it's ease of use.

Thanks also to Bbtuna. I know what you're saying is serious and is definitely good advice... for sake of clarity, I really am quite supportive of her musical interests, and she often is of mine. I've gone through the same phases as you've described, from heavy rock to classic rock to a preference for blues/jazz (mostly), but with all sorts of other stuff mixed in here and there. On occasion, I go the headphone route myself when I know it's about to get on her nerves. She actually likes Hendrix, Marley, and Lennon (in small doses), and I'm getting her hooked on Sarah Vaughn (my favorite solo female vocalist) so it's not as bad as I've led you to believe.
My ex-girlfriend once referred to my stereo as "the radio". At the time I didnt even have a tuner! Go figure!
David, maybe that's why she's your ex... After I spent hundreds of dollars on an assortment of interconnects and power cords,my wife asked me recently if I was finished buying for a while( WEL= " Would you stop squandering our money?!) I proceeded to tell her that I was presently happy with the sound,that the investment in top-of-the-line cables was well worth it, and asked her to sit down and listen with me for a while. Ater a few cuts from a CD we both were familiar with, I turned the volume down, turned and asked her what she thought. Her comment was, " Well, it sounds good,much better than my boom-box I listen to in my exercise room, but it sounds the same as it did when we both listened together last time." ( WEL= I was right.You have been squandering our money and to think of how many nice outfits I could have bought at Dillard's!!)
I used to explain my latest purchases to my wife and what the new equipment did better or different than before. I learned QUICKLY that if it took more than a brief sentence to explain a blank stare would come to her face. I think she started to form an axiom that the longer it took me to explain, the more expensive it was. I have found the best solution for this is to tell her everything I buy is "bigger, better, faster!" While not always accurate, it has worked well now for the last couple of years:-)!!!