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I wonder why we don't have a lot of women in this hobby


wgscott
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Recently had a young nurse tell me, while I tried to get working some electronic medical device on the fritz, in a most serious tone as if saying something deeply profound, "I have this pet peeve about equipment. It should just WORK."

 

Guys at least want to know how it works or at least feign knowing what works best. Women just want such things to perform as they should. Like magic, and I mean real simple magic.

 

Now this isn't terribly profound either. Women just want to buy some stuff to listen to music, and if they spend a goodly amount it should very simply allow that at high quality. Nothing in this hobby is put together that way. Maybe it is because of the DIY history of home audio which was the only way to have it way back in the early 1950's. The industry has us put stuff together, figure out what works, and what works best. And for some reason us guys are okay with that or even like it. Women would just want to buy it and say there I have a good music listening thing going. Maybe Devialet or some similar thing would come close to just buy it, it works simply and works good.

 

Now I am not assuming this is really true for each and every woman, but generally so I think. Nor is it denigrating to them. If anything we guys are stupid to put up with this fragmented mess. It should have ceased to be necessary long before now. I fear the fragmentation is only increasing and not to our benefit.

 

As for the photo in the OP, I like attractive women in ads. And our hobby is mostly men. I too paused a second or two on that photo however. Something about it just didn't sit right. ;) Were I a principal in that company I would have nixed that photo for my company.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I enjoy tinkering, my wife doesn't. We both enjoy music. I ripped my wife's entire CD collection to FLAC and made it available to her in both iTunes and Roon using an AirPort Express attached to a portable music player and installed the respective apps on her iPhone and MacBook Air and showed her how to use them. She still listens to her CDs. That being said, she has no problem listening to Podcasts on her iPhone using earbuds or the built in speaker.

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I didn't want to derail an excellent thread, but one of the photos kind of creeped me out. WTF?

 

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Because ladies are wired differently from guys. Most have no interest in gear. That's why there are so few female car crazies, so few female engineers, and so few lady audiophiles. Most women seem to think that their husband's/boyfriend's hobbies are silly and a waste of time and money. Are there exceptions? You bet, but not many

George

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The hobby tends to be age specific as well. I don't know a lot of younger adults who find the attraction of being an easy chair audiophile. Majority of folks seem to be baby boomer types (many retired) who visit the audio sites.

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I don't find it provocative at all, it's a nice professionally taken photo. Pretty lady too. (catchline maybe a bit of tease though). The Devialet Phantom one is more towards the creepy side, but given French taste, it's more acceptable.

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Because they have no visual design input on the equipment?

 

JC

 

While true, we have a choice of what we buy. A lot of audio equipment IMHO is ugly. Just look at those ugly Totem speakers. I prefer pretty speakers with the woofers and tweeters hidden behind nice looking grill cloths. And the speakers should have good looking woodgrain that polishes up nicely. I also like the beveled sides of my speakers.

 

In the following order:

  • My audio equipment must be affordable.
  • My audio equipment must look nice and match my other furnishings.
  • My audio equipment must be easy to set up right out of the box.
  • My audio equipment must be easy to use.
  • My audio equipment’s sound must be comfortable and easy to listen to with the music I love.
  • I would also like it to sound and feel as realistic as possible to music I hear in a live setting but not if it sounds strident or ugly.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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I enjoy tinkering, my wife doesn't.

 

I don't enjoy tinkering and I don't like comparing stuff. I only do so when something breaks and costs too much to get repaired.

 

We both enjoy music. I ripped my wife's entire CD collection to FLAC and made it available to her in both iTunes and Roon using an AirPort Express attached to a portable music player and installed the respective apps on her iPhone and MacBook Air and showed her how to use them. She still listens to her CDs. That being said, she has no problem listening to Podcasts on her iPhone using earbuds or the built in speaker.

 

I tried ripping a couple of my CDs using the .wav format in Foobar 2000 and I thought they sounded better played as CDs on my Yamaha Blu-ray/SACD/CD universal player. I also admit I like playing my physical formats (Blu-ray, 24/96 DVD, SACD, HDCD, CD, etc.) more than playing digital files on my computer and Teac DAC. So perhaps she just likes playing her CDs as CDs?

 

Anyway, I wouldn't have the patience to rip all my physical formats to my computer, it would drive me totally bonkers.

 

I'm sure I don't like many things, you wife does, so it is hard to generalize. I don't like cell phones or remote controls for example. I mostly select an album to play and turn on the system, and when that ends select another album. For TV, I select what TV programs to watch a week in advance using the TV Guide on-line, and print out the sheet. So all I mostly do is select the correct input and adjust the volume. None of that requires a remote control.

 

Update: Personally I just can't see myself ever ripping anything to my computer from any physical format that suffers no wear with play. I understand some do it for the iTunes database, etc. or as a safeguard in case their home catches on fire. But it just looks like at lot of work to me.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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I'm going to take at a shot at this although I recognize there's something a little silly about a bunch of (mostly) men trying to establish what women are thinking.

 

But, not being above looking foolish, here's my theory:

 

In general and only in general, women tend to focus more on feelings and men tend to focus more on things.

 

That's it.

 

i'm open to finding out that I'm unbelievably and breathtakingly wrong.

 

As regards women (and a whole bunch of other stuff) it wouldn't be the first time.

 

Joel

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I didn't want to derail an excellent thread, but one of the photos kind of creeped me out. WTF?

+1 ... there is a time and a place ... and on a HiFi advert is neither the time nor the place!

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The Totem poster shows a lack of marketing savvy. Not because of the woman, because many ads intended for women are far more creepy, but because of the focus. Once the eyes have been "caught", the product is now in direct competition with the woman. In a room full of guys, what do you think wins out?

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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I think "it should just work" is a reasonable expectation for a lot of consumer electronic devices without a lot of software involved like amps and CD players and soforth. We've had 30-something years to perfect the operation of digital audio playback devices, amps a lot longer.

 

Once you introduce software into the mix then the complexity level goes up considerably and then one is required to really understand the workings and nuances of the interface and functionality of it.

 

The devil is in the details as they say. The gear is ultimately just a tool. I try not to let it become a distraction between me and the music.

If I am anything, I am a music lover and a pragmatist.

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Because ladies are wired differently from guys. Most have no interest in gear.

Many, if not most, of my male friends have no interest in gear either (at least, audio gear - they do go after what they care about, which is sporting equipment, boats, motorcycles, clothing, wine cellars, tools etc etc). They buy Bose Wave Radios and wireless systems like Sonos for their homes, and they listen to music as much or more on their iStuff and Androids as they do on any stationary system. Many of their wives and SOs do listen to music at home, but they also seem to want the simplicity of a Bose thing or an iPad. And they don't want to bother with multiple remotes, proper power-on sequences etc "just to hear music".

 

Women are a lot more engaged with electronics than most men realize. Per Mediapost, 30% more women than men (36% of all men surveyed and 47% of women) regard their phones as the most important tool for making buying decisions and use them to do research before making a decision. And a Harvard Business Review study found that women make the decision in the purchases of 51% of consumer electronics. If my experience is typical (after 44 years of marriage), most women aren't as competitive with each other over most stuff as we men are, so they simply don't care about specs, reviews etc. They want their appliances to look good to them and work well without hassle, and media devices get no special treatment. Of course, jewelry, clothes, personal grooming etc may get preferential exclusions - and we know many women who are into cars but whose husbands drive garden variety 4 door sedans.

 

Women are equally competitive (or more so) over things they care about passionately (which, I hope, includes us), but cars and audio equipment seem not to be the focus of as many women's attention as they are for men. But we know a lot of female golfers, bicyclists, climbers, hikers, surfers etc who are as into their equipment as any man, except that they don't seem to suffer from acute upgrade-itis as frequently and intensely as we do. So if they're truly wired differently, it's not so much about stuff itself as it is about their relationships with stuff and how stuff pleases them. Their interest in and desire for gear stems more from what it does for them, rather than from the gear itself -so they won't spend more for something if the added cost doesn't bring them more of the functionality they want from a product.

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From my experience, women just don't care to sit down and seriously listen to music. They like or even love music, but they don't seem to care to sit and seriously listen. Perhaps they are more visually stimulated and require a visual component to be engaged, I don't know.

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I have to admit that when I reacted to this photo, I hadn't even considered a woman's alleged unwillingness or inability to turn a screwdriver.

 

I wonder if some of the guys who are ok with this would be happy to see a huge photo of their wife, or daughter, or grand-daughter (pick whomever is most similar in age) straddling the speaker? Would you also be equally comfortable with a huge photo of a guy without his pants dry-humping a speaker?

 

Let's spread the harmless fun around!

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And our hobby is mostly men. I too paused a second or two on that photo however. Something about it just didn't sit right. ;) Were I a principal in that company I would have nixed that photo for my company.

 

Judging by a cross-section of folks here, a fair number of potential customers who are men are gay. I haven't asked, but I would think some of them might find this kind of thing off-putting too, if not laughably gratuitous.

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Would you also be equally comfortable with a huge photo of a guy without his pants dry-humping a speaker?

 

Let's spread the harmless fun around!

 

Well picturing that image I laughed. Clearly they wouldn't be marketing to me. But it seems laughable.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Computer Audiophile mobile app

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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My wife loves music. If there is no music in our house, my wife will often be the first person to ask me to make a selection. If I'm away from home, she uses the digitally (Aurender) music but not CDs or vinyl.

 

True, I'm the one who does all of the buying, setting up and fiddling with

equipment. On the other hand, when I replaces my Paradigm Signature 8 speakers with a pair of Revel Salon 2s, my wife was the first person (with seconds) to notice the difference in sound.

 

We don't have a dedicated music room and, quite frankly, we won't ever have one. We both enjoy long evenings listening to music and reading.

 

When it comes to our kids, my daughter is the music lover. She listens to a wider number of genre than do I. On the other hand, my son, who is an engineer and s gadget fiend doesn't seem to care too much what he's listening to or what he's listening through.

Music Server(s): Aurender N100H, Digital to Analog Converter(s): Audio Research DAC 8, Digital to Digital Converter: Bryston BUC-1, Preamplifier: Ayre K-5xeMP, Amplifier(s): Ayre V-5xe, Loudspeakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Interconnects: Kimber PBJ, Cardas Clear, Bryston AES/EBU, Loudspeaker Cables: Kimber PR8, Miscellaneous: Oppo BDP 95 disk player, CJ Walker turntable Jelco SA-750D tone arm, Ortofon 2M black cartridge, Magnum Dynalab tuner, Dream System: I've got it!, Headphones: Sennheiser HD600, Grado PS500e, Headphone Amplifier(s):Graham Slee Novo

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I wonder if some of the guys who are ok with this would be happy to see a huge photo of their wife, or daughter, or grand-daughter (pick whomever is most similar in age) straddling the speaker?

Wow - that's a pretty deep dive into uncharted water. You're absolutely right, of course - but I'm not at all convinced that such righteous indignation means anything, given the widespread bad behavior that's regularly unearthed in generally respected people who present themselves as socially conservative in the extreme. We all know and/or know of many men who set themselves out as dedicated, loving, loyal husbands, fathers, friends etc while they have affairs with girls young enough to be their daughters and with women not unlike their wives. They'd be horrified if their own wives or daughters behaved this way, but they manage to put up with it for their own gratification. One of our neighbors was having an affair with his kids' babysitter while another was carrying on with his secretary. The men were twice the age of these women, and they were both seemingly devoted husbands and fathers who went to their kids sporting events, took them to music lessons, kissed their wives when they came home from work and put on all the trappings of stable, happy men.

 

And, of course, these models know and accept what they're doing. So I could suggest that there's neither harm nor foul because they willingly present themselves as sex objects. I almost said that men who would object to such behavior wouldn't marry women who would do this, so it's a moot point. But many men marry women they were first attracted to by such physical attributes and behavior, immediately becoming "protective" of them as you suggest but moving on to have affairs with other women who offer the same attractions all over again. My wife and I know many men who have 2 or 3 ex-wives each of whom traveled the same path. At the marriage of an old friend of mine to the woman with whom he cheated on his first wife for a few years, my wife said "Is she so dumb that she doesn't think he'll do the same thing to her?" He's now on #4 (and #3 really took him to the cleaners).

 

So all in all, I can't get too worked up about a picture of a gorgeous woman straddling a speaker (or whatever the heck that thing is). If it helps the audio industry, it's OK with me.

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I'm not trying to play American Taliban.

 

I was thinking about it more from a purely pragmatic point of view, i.e., what effect (if any) this might have on women (or gay men for that matter) who presumably we want to be a part of the hobby, or in the case of the vendor, as potential customers?

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To be frank, most women in my circle bridle at being portrayed as adjuncts to a sales rap. Draping a long-legged woman across a speaker doesn't, in my view, increases the speakers attractiveness. On the other hand, such tactics to tell me how the vendor's mind is ordered. More directly, my music loving wife would say something derogatory if she were faced with such advertizing.

Music Server(s): Aurender N100H, Digital to Analog Converter(s): Audio Research DAC 8, Digital to Digital Converter: Bryston BUC-1, Preamplifier: Ayre K-5xeMP, Amplifier(s): Ayre V-5xe, Loudspeakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Interconnects: Kimber PBJ, Cardas Clear, Bryston AES/EBU, Loudspeaker Cables: Kimber PR8, Miscellaneous: Oppo BDP 95 disk player, CJ Walker turntable Jelco SA-750D tone arm, Ortofon 2M black cartridge, Magnum Dynalab tuner, Dream System: I've got it!, Headphones: Sennheiser HD600, Grado PS500e, Headphone Amplifier(s):Graham Slee Novo

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