How to let people down gently

May 9, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

18 comments on “How to let people down gently”

  1. The real conundrum is, why do people need other people’s approval of their
    home-audio rigs?
    We all perceive sound differently; it’s very personal & subjective.
    Your ‘truth’ in home-audio is not necessarily someone else’s truth.
    This constant need for approval from others in this ‘hobby’ has me stumped.
    If your home-audio rig sounds good to you, well, GREAT, that’s all that matters
    …that’s what I tell people who ask me what I think.
    However, if they ask me how I think that they could improve their sound…
    well, that’s a different kettle of fish.

    If you want REAL approval, bare your soul to others.

    1. I agree. Each of us has to learn what works for us and then should be able to accept criticism. The main thing an audiophile (in our universe of good apples and good oranges) needs to learn is which kind of compromises can welive with. First what characteristics are so offensive they must not be there. Then which ones are absolute musts or the system will never satisfy us. And then there are the ones we’d like but in the right combo we can live with or without. If you’re lucky enough to get to that point you can build your system and live with any comments on it from any reasonable person.

  2. Well founded as they may be, some of the answers here have gotten away from the initial point; letting people down nicely… no, effectively as a leader.

    Assuming your opinion is revered… Just find something you genuinely like and with judgment, move on from there to helpful points that build on the goodness you started with.

    “The bass in your system really takes advantage of this difficult room. How did you accomplish that?” And move on to cures for the lack of center image and poor depth.

  3. There is no accounting for tastes! Or individual preferences and individual value systems. Or religions/strong beliefs. Or art or haute couture or haute cuisine. And as an engineer should should always find an agreement about a reference system/value before starting a discussion or comparisons. 🙂

  4. The reason is some of us have empathy and respect for others’ feelings of something they love, yes, you can be truthful and mean at the same time, or understand it what they love and enjoy, I might say it sounds great to you but it is not my cup of tea, but this is what I like about it, but if it is really bad then what could anyone say, they have no idea what they are doing and yes, I hate hearing music played at me at 100 plus db. Shows do it, audio stores do it, and some feel they have to do it to show off their system, play the music for the size of the room you are in.

  5. We are all biased when it comes to our systems. My system is great and very reveling. Class A sterophile stuff. I don’t need anyone telling me it’s not great because I know it is. If they don’t like it who cares? Heard lots of the best out their at local audiophile businesses and I don’t hear anything special that I need to part with what I have.

    1. If you have Sterophile class A rated components from 20 years ago and they are in good working condition there is nothing today that blows it away.

  6. 10 minute editing removed. I edit a lot in that 10 minutes. Maybe it’s aggravating if someone is watching every post like a hawk when they have to keep checking what’s said. Post paranoia…lol.

  7. When I visit my local audiophile store I try and think of what to say as to let them down gently but I usually just say your shit is no better than what I have and in most cases worse.

  8. Some people love a 57 Chevy. Some love a split window 63 Corvette. Some love a 69 Hemi Charger……..Dont express arrogence. Be kind and gentle when belittleing. Be tactful. Some people just like ketchup on their salad.

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