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Old 28th May 2003, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Can Women Hear It Also

THE QUESTION: Do women PROCESS sound the same way we guys do? Now I know this subject has been discussed at length ever since Hi Fi became a male dominated sport but Iíd like to take this opportunity to put my 2 cents worth into the pot. And ,of course, your comments and arguments are encouraged.
Over the years Iíve come to the conclusion that, for the most part, women are primarily VISUALLY stimulated creatures.

The first time this possibility came to my attention was years ago when my girlfriend, at the time, dragged me off to Dodger Stadium to hear the Beetles on their first U.S. tour. During that 3 hour concert I, along with every one else attending, didnít hear one word the Fab Four sang because the girls never stopped screaming at the top of their lungs. So if they werenít there for the music, what was it that stimulated them into such an emotional bru ha ha . Maybe this was just some teeny-bopper phenom right? But that doesnít explain the 30 and 40 somethingís that follow Tom Jones , Englebert Humperdinck, and Michael Bolton. Does anyone out there really believe that the ladies would be throwing their panties on stage if Tom Jones looked like Meatloaf ????

Back in the 70ís I read an interview, I believe it was in Rolling Stone, where John Lennon stated that, in his opinion,"Roy Orbison possessed the greatest Rock & Roll voice of all time, that had he just looked a little more like Elvis a different King would be occupying the throne."

Now Iím not saying that our ladies donít enjoy good music but I suspect that if the VISUALS arenít there, the music, on its own, might not be given a fair chance. That the same is NOT practiced by the guys is evidenced by the heights reached by singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Mama Cass Elliot, Arithea Franklin, Janice Joplin, Sarah Vaughan etc.etc.

Most of us know that our sound systems are tolerated only if our 3 way floor standers somehow fit into our ladies decor. Should a fire storm threaten our homes giving us time to only grab a few hands full of items, my first instinct would probably be to pick up those non-replaceable vinyl discs but, for sure, my lady will grab the photo album.

So I come back to the question, do women PROCESS sound (music) exactly the same way we do or are we wired so differently that this can not be the case? When she sets in the sweet spot and listens to a great piece of music, does she react emotionally with the attendant chill up her spine the way we do? Would it help if while the music was playing, we displayed a video for her of Chippendale dancers synchronized to the music?

Thereís always exceptions to any rule of course, Iím thinking Joni Mitchell now, and the only way to prove or disprove it would be to somehow occupy a female body for a day or two but until science finds a way to do that I guess weíll just have to leave it all to speculation. Come to think of it, science has already done it.
Are there any Audiophiles out there who have gone through the gender change process, and if so can you shed any light on this subject?

Your comments are welcomed.

Chuck Richey
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Old 28th May 2003, 07:01 PM   #2
Rarkov is offline Rarkov  England
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I'll tell you what: In my reply to a comment about my system - my mrs says "I know, I know - I can hear it!!! Can we go out now?!"

I think this is sure proof that women CAN hear - when they want to go out!

Gaz
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Old 29th May 2003, 03:13 AM   #3
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I'd say women scream over male performers. Men stare silently and drool over female performers. Vice versa = nothing. Same goes for strip shows I'm told.
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Old 29th May 2003, 09:34 AM   #4
MadMax is offline MadMax  New Zealand
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Quote:
THE QUESTION: Do women PROCESS sound the same way we guys do?
Hell no!
Just the view of a MSP
Cheers Max
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Old 29th May 2003, 09:51 AM   #5
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Quote:
Do women PROCESS sound the same way we guys do?
They probably:
Listen to all the instruments individually, but simultaneously, and record them word for word - for use at a later time
Cannot appreciate the sound-stage due to poor spacial judgement. (It's a bit like parking really ).

Joking aside, my wife is completely uncritical (of audio). My daughter, even in her teens, thought CD's sounded "coarse".

So there you go...
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Old 29th May 2003, 10:15 AM   #6
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a woman's hearing is particularly acute when you are coming home at 3:00 a.m.
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Old 29th May 2003, 10:19 AM   #7
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Quote:
Originally posted by jackinnj
a woman's hearing is particularly acute when you are coming home at 3:00 a.m.
But surprisingly bad if you wake up at 3AM
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Old 29th May 2003, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by dhaen

They probably:
Listen to all the instruments individually, but simultaneously, and record them word for word - for use at a later time
Cannot appreciate the sound-stage due to poor spacial judgement. (It's a bit like parking really ).

Joking aside, my wife is completely uncritical (of audio). My daughter, even in her teens, thought CD's sounded "coarse".

So there you go...
Hi John,
Same with my (ex)wife. She now is listening to plastic loudspeakers saying it is perfectly OK.
My daughter, just 17, collected all her savings and some of her mothers to buy a new stereo set.
I was done by critical listening at the dealers showroom and I must admit the sound is nice and full of bass from remarkable small loudspeakers.
Apparantly she has the same desease as her father, I don't blame her for that...
The set is a Technics minitower with biwired(!) loudspeakers.

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Old 29th May 2003, 11:15 AM   #9
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Default Hi-Fi or music

Chuck asked

Quote:
do women PROCESS sound (music) exactly the same way we do or
An interesting question... but a little misleading in that Chuck (apparently) assumes that music and sound are an identity when they are not.

Music is something we experience through sound that alters our emotional state - and women certainly experience that the same way that men do (within the normal wide human lvariation). Of course a concert experience is much more complex than listening at home but again the emotional modifiers are dominent and can drive the 'mass hysteria' reaction that some concerts generate. And mass hysteria can be very sex specific. Witness the female reaction to the Fab Four concerts or male reaction at certain Heavy Metal concerts.

Analysing sound, as opposed to music, is not something most women find interesting (not something they can't do just something they don't feel they want to do). HiFi, in particular isn't interesting to most women but music certainly is.

I recently returned to valve amplifiers and fullrange speakers after 25 years of solid state amplifiers and multiple driver speakers. My wife, who loves music, now tells her friends that I have finally given up HiFi and now just play music!

Sometimes less is more... and women, in general, have stayed at the heart of music - it's emotional content and context.

ciao

James
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Old 30th May 2003, 04:56 AM   #10
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and women certainly experience that the same way that men do (within the normal wide human lvariation).

James,
In all fairness, I believe that statement begs the question.
It is my contention, or at the very least suspicion, that if, in fact, women to a greater degree than men are primarily VISUALLY stimulated creatures, then by default, their ability to focus accurately on reproduced sound would necessarily be compromised.
For us audiophiles, when it comes to speaker design, the accurate reproduction of sound is the primary goal and the overall appearence of the finished project, although important, is secondary, but our ladies will always sacrifice sound for appearence.
Take a look around your own place and count the number of non-functional dust collectors that reside there. How many colorfull throw pillows do you need to remove before you can crawl between your sheets each night?
Today, more and more women are getting involved into woodworking hobbys, furniture building, home remodeling etc. So much so that Home Depot is now offering free classes to women in the proper use of power tools. Woodworking mags. are seeing huge increases in their female subscription base but not so with Speaker Builder or even Sterophile.
In my experience, women tend to value those activities in life which involve them emotionally over all others. It would seem to follow then that if they responded emotionally the same way that we do to the accurate reproduction of music that a good sound system offers, we would see many more ladies involved in our hobby.
Just a thought
CHUCK
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