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With ski season approaching in Colorado I am reminded of the futility of trying to talk someone out of being intimidated by merely telling them they shouldn't be. Doesn't work.

Imagine standing at a steep cliff and intimidated at the prospect of imminent doom should you ski down it. Your buddy standing next to you says "don't be scared". You're still scared. But if that same buddy says "just go around the corner and there's an easy way down" you're all better. When someone is intimidated by a big expensive stereo system, maybe it's better to let them know they can have something that's close in performance, without breaking the bank, instead of letting them walk away shaking their head.

They can, you know.

Reading one of the stereo mags about the last consumer audio show, RMAF, and one of the reviewers was waxing about the great experience in the most expensive room at the show. He comments that with all that invested in the equipment ones expectations were high and he's gratified to not be let down. I think the room must have had a quarter of a million dollars in gear. Quite a treat for anyone to hear such a system. But intimidating at the same time.

I think it may be disingenuous for us to keep the high price myth alive. You know, the myth that you have to spend megabucks to reach audio nirvana? It just isn't so.

The vast majority of people who would not consider themselves Audiophiles instantly pickup on better sound. It never fails in a demo. And yes, they are wowed by the big system, the expensive system, the over-the-top system. But they are even more impressed to hear an affordable in-reach system.

So too are we Audiophiles. Isn't what we all want a setup we can play with pride? To be able to listen and enjoy music without having to make excuses about this or that lacking?

The next time your friend reads about such a system or stands in front of yours whistling at the expense, maybe realize you have an opportunity to turn his intimidation into a win for both of you.

Great systems don't have to be expensive.

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Paul McGowan

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