Men who listen part 3 "man caves"

By Avis Cardella

It’s a concept audiophiles know well: a designated room for listening. Keep out! Leave me alone! No girls allowed!

Listening rooms, I’ve come to learn, are highly sought after spaces, and once established they are cherished and guarded. It’s the place Men Who Listen go to to be alone with their gear, and their music, and to soldier on in the important business of perfecting sound.

I call them Man Caves.

So, when R describes why he listens as a “form of meditation” I can see the appeal. What better place to meditate than in your own private, Idaho!

But, then, R pulls out some photos of his listening room!

“You’re kidding right?” I say.

“No, seriously,” he replies, with his sly, emoticon smile.

He hands them to me… these photos of his listening room… with its swanky … decoration… I remember something with antlers mounted on a wall… a reel-to-reel, a turntable…and an animal skin rug… or is this just my imagination. These hunter/gatherer clichés might be lodged in my cerebral cortex. (Or is it the hippocampus?)

Whatever, the place looked great!

Then there’s P. For him, there’s no question that a listening room trumps a home cinema. It’s a no-brainer: “I’m not a videophile, I’m an audiophile,” he explains. “The differences in video don’t intrigue me. But I’m interested in how audio can get better.”

No surprise that P lights up like a Christmas tree when he explains that the new home he’s building with his wife includes—drum roll, please—plans for a private listening room.

Congratulations P!

Finally, there’s M, who has a fabulously revealing “Polygraph Test” moment when I ask him why he listens: “Maybe it’s a way to keep the mind quiet. If you believe the whole universe is chaos, than music is just organized chaos. It’s just organized noise,” he says.

So far, so good… before the truth comes rushing in: “My motivation to make my listening room was to protect the neighbors,” he continues. “But that’s dishonest. I wanted to protect myself—close myself in a bubble.”

I like that!

Thanks for sharing, R, P, and M….and, happy listening!

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