Survival Tips For Living With An Audioholic

PO/SSSLQs (footnote 1), SOs (footnote 2), & Spouses of audiophiles: Linda Tasker (aka Mrs. Kevin Conklin) has some advice for you!

Mrs. Kevin Conklin, who operates professionally under her own name of Linda Tasker, is obviously not a devotee. In fact, when KC is in a particularly disparaging mood, he has been known to mutter, "What do you expect from her---she listens to Country-Western music!"

When Stereophile confronted her with this information, Mrs. KC confessed, "Yes, that's true, but only in my car---and that is my designated listening room."

As you might gather from her lucid description of the ideal audio house, Linda is a registered architect. She and Kevin are expecting their first child, which should provide new audio experiences for the couple. If the demand is sufficient, she will consider starting a support group for Relatives and Significant Others of Audioholics. Part I of this article covers the importance of stuff to an Audioholic. Part II relates to the space in which to appreciate the stuff, as in "I love you---but I need my space."

Provide a Designated Listening Room
Recognize that the audioholic's collection of recordings and components is very important to him/her. More important than the car. More important than any other cherished possessions. Even more important than the Three Stooges video. It is debatable where children rank compared to these collections.

Creating a sanctuary for listening provides several benefits. Of utmost importance, the listening room becomes off limits to most other activities. This is important, because the dogs will not knock over the speakers, children will not reorganize the albums. It reduces the probability of dislocating sensitive and tenuous cable connections.

If a dedicated room is not possible, I would suggest using the Living Room, as most are only used infrequently for company. With advance notice, it may even be possible to entertain guests in this room. My experience is that the various collections also make good conversation starters:

"What are those glowing tubes in the metal cages on the floor?"

"You sure have a lot of records. How many are there---about two, three thousand?"

George Carlin is renowned for his stuff. Similarly, the audioholic needs a place to keep his stuff. A secure place, where no interlopers will violate his stuff. An intimate place where he can be alone with his stuff. A private place where he can enjoy a good fix. As the Significant Other of an Audioholic, you must understand, tolerate, and respect these needs.

I learned about designated listening spaces the hard way. When Max, our German Shepherd, knocked over a speaker (which was atop a metal stand and balanced precariously on three tripod-like cones), I spent an hour sitting in the driveway awaiting Kevin's return in order to prepare him for the apparent ruin; I feared for the dog's life. That violation resulted in the dogs being banished from the room.

The next serious problem arose about six months later, when I backed into a speaker while vacuuming. The slightest bump sent it gracefully arcing to the floor. In fear of my own life, I invited the neighbors over for cocktail hour, knowing that Kevin would not commit mayhem in front of witnesses. That violation resulted in my banishment from the room; however, it also absolved me from all responsibility to clean the room.

Footnote 1: Persons of Opposite/Same Sex Sharing Living Quarters; pronounced "POS-sel-cues."

Footnote 2: Significant Others