"Loudspeakers are really ugly - big, grotesque and major eye sores."
"Yes, dear."
"Couldn't they make 'em small and unobtrusive like those Bose thingies?"
"Well, you see, that's like watching Lord of the Rings on a 14" screen."
"Who cares about Lord of the Rings, darling? I like watching When Harry Met Sally."

Silence. Then macho man has one rare flash of brilliance.

"Let's go antiquing, dear."
"Really? Well, that's marvellous. You're on, baby!"

A smart man knows better than to put his two rusty cents into matters of decorating. It's the rare bloke who grasps the significance of difference between Art Deco and Art Nouveau, never mind Biedermeyer, Colonialist and Imperialist. In fact, he'll invent styles that never existed just to appear less ignorant. "That's Louis the 18th, isn't it? Really groovy lines if you ask me. Remind me of my 6th-grade teacher."

Right. But not to worry. Here's your new best friend Keith Brandman. Can you spell Audio Nouveau? (Hint, that's 21st century Californian.) "My speakers start at $6500 per pair and are about 92dB efficient. They have been favorably compared with B&W, Thiel, Paradigm and Wilson (some of my customers have made the switch from these brands to mine)."

If you let him do the talking, you get to have your cake and eat it, too - big speakers that won't need a subwoofer (another one of those hard-to-explain-away items) and will gain the approval of your better half who is the sole reason that your home doesn't look like a cave dwelling in the first place - you know, with remotes, popcorn and porn magazines strewn all over the floor, overdue bedding growing stains, naked walls, dying plants and festering things in the refrigerator

An audio equipment cabinet that goes with the speaker decor that goes with the other furniture of the living room and is finished to heirloom artisan standards? What a concept. You're saved. "Yeah, but how do they sound?" Geez, some guys simply are never satisfied. Okay, expect a review sometime in the first quarter of 2006 to answer that question. I bet you right now though that they'll sound a heckuva lot better than Bose. And it isn't as though Keith were the first furniture maker who's gone speaker designer. Just think Terry Cain and Louis Chochos (in recent memory) who have become sonic, not just pretty-looking successes. End of pitch. Now you're on your own, buddy. Don't think so? Here's a riddle then. Is Chippendale's a furniture style or just a lady's P&A show?