High end audio gatekeepers

August 13, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

9 comments on “High end audio gatekeepers”

  1. Yes,the audio culture oscillates the same as politics and gender issues.
    I remember back in ‘77, I popped into a cool little shop in my home town to get lay with a Nakamichi cassette deck. They were cool and non-pressure. After some time I spoke with someone there and they offered to have me come listen to someone’s home system. I took an off-the-shelf yinyl with me..
    This guy had built a sub, and had a stunning TT. No snoot at all, but as we listened to the CTI label, we agreed it was recorded with too much compression and was hard/flat.

  2. I think it is even kmore apparent when you are a woman. I’ve been into audio and gear since I was a teenager in the 50s. I used to stop in at audio stores and check out what was new and it often seemed as if they didn’t take me seriously. One ultra high end store in Palo Alto always made me feel as if I was a peasant among royalty.
    I owned an expensive Bang & Olufsen Beogram 4004 turntable and I had run into a complication and darn it, too many years have passed and I’ve forgotten the nitty gritty details but I do remember it was pretty complicated. The salesman challenged me and suggested I draw a diagram, which I did. He later apologetically admitted he didn’t believe a woman could understand what I had just diagrammed.

    1. Hi Jan,
      I genuinely mean it when I say to you that it is refreshing to have a female audio
      enthusiast stop by here & leave a comment; please share with us more often.

      (I’m not including Cookie Marenco from Blue Coast Records as she is a
      professional within the Home-Audio industry)

      The last female that I encountered here on the PS Audio site used to
      start her posts with, “My husband says…”

    2. Good morning Jan!
      Everything you said about women in audio, is so very true!
      But as for me, I try my best to go by what the bible says.
      “Do on to others, as you would have them to do on to you.”
      Lets just say that, I had a hifi shop.
      And you were the lady that walked in to it, to check out some stereo equipment.
      I would not treat you, as if you were a lesser person.
      Just because of the fact that, you’re a woman and you got put down?
      People that do those kinds of things, are heartless in my book.
      If you came in to my shop, you would be treated like a family member.
      This is the kind of a man I am.
      A side from this, I truly believe that, you and my wife will get along, really well.
      My wife can replace old burned out vacuum tubes in amplifiers.
      I know that, for the most part, I’m the one that taught her how to do that.
      But just because she’s a woman, doesn’t mean that, she can’t do a lot of the same things that a man can do either.
      We’re just about on par with each other.
      To me, it doesn’t matter what your sex or the collar of your skin is, you would be welcomed in to my shop with open arms.
      And you would get the best treatment that I can muster up.
      If there was someone working for me that didn’t do that for you, and you happened to tell me about it, that person wouldn’t have a job for very long.
      To me, a person is a person.
      We all have feelings.
      And they all deserve to be treated equally.
      Man or woman, if you happen to know something that I don’t, I will encourage you to share it with me.
      No put downs here!

    3. Hi Jan,

      I wish there were others like you that shared this hobby. My wife’s hearing is better than mine and she often hears small details in ambiance that I miss. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one job a woman cannot do ………………… wait for it ………………Male Stripper! 😉

  3. In 22 years of Hi-Fi retail I always treated prospective customer with respect & always encouraged them to learn some of the basics of how to successfully choose their own home-audio gear.
    You will always get some customers who are not confident or are unsure in their decision-making & would ask me to make the choice for them, which in some ways is flattering as it showed that they trusted me, however the statement, “You are the one who will be listening to it, not me, & so it’s really important that you decide.” would usually persuade them to make that final choice for themselves…phew!

  4. in the 70’s I was a kid, I had no money, I never bought anything and yet, the hifi sales guys, for the most part, treated me like I was royalty. It’s kind of hard to believe now because so much has changed in the retail world. My hat is off to all the sales guys that let me ask questions and listen to so many different kinds of gear. It was a different time.

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