Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sneaking gear past the Significant Other

This was posted on another site that I frequently visit. I am sure some of you are audiophiles that regularly upgrade or change out equipment. Anyone have a similar one for us vinyl / CD junkies?

We manly men think we can sneak new gear into our audio equipment rack without it being noticed by our partners. We are wrong. We cannot accomplish this feat anymore than our wives could park the car in the driveway with a dent in the hood and hope we don't see it.

Its simply not gonna happen.

But we, being the clever manly men that we are, do not give up easily and have devised many creative ways to try to pull this off. I don't want to reveal too many secrets but I can list a few tips on the matter. I must advise you to try them at your own risk. I have had some limited success with several of them.

1) The SAME COLOR, NEW DEVICE: This is where we buy a new piece of equipment and we make sure that if it is going into the rack where a silver faced piece sits currently, it also has a silver faceplate. A different color on a piece of equipment is a sure tip off. Even going from a silver to a champagne is getting risky. Remember, no matter what, never replace a silver with a black or vice versa. It may be good to make sure the power indicator light is the same color too, just to be safe.

2) The RACK RE-ARRANGE: This is an age old trick in which we shuffle all the gear around in the audio rack in hopes of confusing the opponent. We move the CD player to the place where the DAC was and move the DAC to where the Pre-amp was and on and on. And, while we are doing all this rearranging…we slip a new piece in the mix. This may actually work, but it is a temporary solution at best. Sooner or later all the rack spaces will be full…and you will be found out.

3) The LAST PIECE I WILL NEED: Well, this isn't exactly sneaking something in, it is more like telling a little fib to allow it to stay. You get that new piece of gear and are installing it when the significant other wanders in and see you. Busted! But you are quick as a fox…"Honey, this is the last piece I will need for the system. It's done now!" Who in the world do you think you are fooling? She sees through this like it was one of the veils the new equipment is supposed to lift.

4) The SHIP IT TO MY OFFICE: Nothing is more a tip off of new gear arriving than the big brown truck in the street in front of your house. If that truck is spotted, you are sunk. No problem, you have all the new gear shipped to your office! If you can't do that you have to get creative. You have to time your arrival home after the truck has dropped off the package and before the spouse gets home. If you can pull this off you may have a fighting chance. Be sure to keep ALL the equipment boxes in the garage. The spouse will sniff out a lone box out there, but if it is in a stack with other equipment boxes you may be successful with this ploy. You will have to use one of the other methods to actually get the equipment into the rack.

5) The I TRADED MY OLD ONE FOR IT: Forgetting to tell her that included along with the old gear that you traded in was a healthy check is a lie by omission. No flowers or chocolates will correct for this. Don't even try this one. It won't work. In fact, don't even think about trying this one. If you have tried this one and lived to tell, count your blessings.

6) The LET'S GO OUT TO DINNER: So, Brown left you a box and you have managed to hide it in the garage, But you can't install it, and you are just dying to hear it. Waiting for opportunity to knock is out of the question so you must create the opportunity. So you offer to take her and the kids out to dinner. Make it on a school night. After you get home the kids will need to get ready for bed and such. Let the evening play out as usual, don't make any sudden moves or you will tip your hand. Chances are she will want to go to bed early because the day has been so long. Once she is in bed…you strike like a ninja! Open the box in the garage and sneak the piece into the listening room.

7) The MISDIRECTION: Install the new gear, and then paint a wall in the living room a different color.

8 ) The IT WAS ½ PRICE: C'mon, you don't believe it when she says it. We all know how ½ price works. A CD player that has an MSRP of 2,500 dollars and normally retails for 2,000 dollars is NOT half off when sold to you at 1,250. I know it, you know it and you know who knows it. No matter anyway, even ½ off is too much…just like that skirt she got for 100 bucks at a half price sale.

9) The I HAD IT IN THE GARAGE: This one is pretty self explanatory. When the S.O. spies the new gear in the rack you simply lie through your teeth and tell them that it was one of your old pieces of equipment that was out in the garage just being put back into use. Note: This will only have even a small chance of working if you actually keep the boxes in the garage, otherwise…don't waste your time.

10) The I BOUGHT IT FOR THE FAMILY: This is a last resort as it seldom works, and it often backfires. Claiming an audio purchase is "for the family" is as bad as buying a vacuum cleaner as an anniversary present. Sure we manly men would appreciate a new power tool for our anniversary, but the same isn't so for the fairer sex. Audio gear is NOT for the family. Not even the tiniest bit. If you try this one, you'd better be ready to go pick out a new pair of designer shoes for the family too.

11) The IT'S ON LOAN: Yeah right, like it's going back. No one falls for this one, ever. Don't try to tell them it belongs to a friend either. If you use this one, you need to prepare to "return it" tomorrow.


12) The IT WAS FREE: Man, this is the bottom of the barrel, even I wouldn't believe you, and I want to.

So there they are, a few tips on how to be stealthy when introducing new audio equipment to your system. As you can see, most rely on deception or out and out lying. All will end badly. The best thing to do really is to just be up front from the get go. You can live with what you already have can't you?

As always, comments are welcome.


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