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StanleyB
25-09-2008, 20:56
I was thinking about some HIFI bits I have bought in my time that were a waste of time and money.
Top of my list is a Linn LK2 power amp. Darn thing needed a special lead and was odd sized so it didn't look right under anything wider.
Next was a JAMO subwoofer. The 'subwoofer' part was probably left behind in the factory.
Next was a Sansui integrated amp, the model escapes me right now, that was supposed to be one of their best ever. Nice wooden sides and a lovely smooth volume control. But it had no slam. The bass was bloated. The only good thing to say about it is that it was heavy.

Anything in your collection at some time that you forever regretted buying?

Iain Sinclair
25-09-2008, 21:56
A Technics direct drive turntable.

Only joking! Actually it was a Sony direct drive turntable, which killed the music stone dead.

Marco
25-09-2008, 22:06
There were a lot of D/D turntables around in the 70s/80s that were total crap and fit only for use in cheap midi systems of the day. Happily, though, the SL-1200/1210 didn't (and doesn't) come into that category ;)

Marco.

Togil
26-09-2008, 05:49
The Audio Research D 125 amplifier.

Terrible sound and an unreliable cooling fan which kept stopping.

One of the few products where MC got it totally wrong, imo

alb
26-09-2008, 06:10
Thorens TD150, never seemed any better than the Connoisseur it replaced.

Several run of the mill Jap amps in the seventies. Trying to find a good one, but should have bought something decent in the first place.

KEF Coda 9 floorstanders. Bought secondhand as a temporary measure. Very temporary... they were crap.

Neil McCauley
26-09-2008, 16:43
Anything in your collection at some time that you forever regretted buying?

Pioneer SA9100 Integrated amplifier. Beyond horrible. In 1973 I realised that amplifiers sound different. I didn't tell anyone though, reasoning that either I was nuts, or would be considered nuts - or both.

Yamaha C1 preamp. Magnificent - if all you wanted to do was look at it.

Fidelity Research FR64FX. Nowhere near as good as the magnificent FR64S

Michaelson & Austin TVA preamp

Meridian 504 Tuner

Anything from Nytech

Beard valve preamp

DC upgrade to my Michell Gyro

Mark Levinson ML28 preamp

Isobariks. As unpleasant as the Pioneer, but uglier and more expensive.

Any Linn speaker (please see above)

KEF 105 Series 1 speakers. All that lab work, and then this. Arghhhhh................\


---//---

Rick O
26-09-2008, 23:53
DAB Radio: 'nuff said.

MartinT
27-09-2008, 00:27
Nordost El Dorado mains cable. Silver, expensive and crap. Replaced with Russ Andrews Reference Powerkord and music replaced noise again. Put me off Nordost cables for life.

Marco
27-09-2008, 07:41
I can't say that anything I've had has been crap. Sure, the stuff I used to use is a lot worse than what I have now, but that's natural.

Maybe it's because I audition stuff very carefully first before buying? That kind of negates the purchasing of anything crap, I guess ;)

Life's too short to buy bad hi-fi!

Marco.

MartinT
27-09-2008, 08:01
You can't always audition equipment, sometimes (especially when you can't afford built equipment and buy kits) you just take a punt.

I did that years ago when I decided the MOSFET amp route was for me. I bought a couple of kit modules based on the classic Hitachi design note, together with two 625VA transformers and a killer power supply. It was a brute and could arc weld in its spare time. However, it sounded flat and undynamic (just like the Hitachi, in fact) and was a dead-end in my quest for improvement. Lesson learned - it's not about whether MOSFETs are any good (I have them now in my Chord), but the criticality of the circuit design.

Togil
27-09-2008, 08:16
Marco, as an example, how do you audition the Transparent cables and then by them in the US ?:(

Marco
27-09-2008, 08:20
You can't always audition equipment, sometimes (especially when you can't afford built equipment and buy kits) you just take a punt.


I understand and appreciate that, Martin, but it's just something I've never done, and I don't buy kits :)

The only thing I can think of is, like Rick says, a DAB tuner I bought from Richer Sounds. You can't really audition tuners easily at a dealer's, so I took a punt on it, as such, and after living with it for about a month I'd had enough of its bright, tinny, sound and sold it for a lovely Quad FM4, which was much more like it!

It was yet another example of classic equipment outperforming the latest 'super-duper' technology ;)

Marco.

Marco
27-09-2008, 08:24
Marco, as an example, how do you audition the Transparent cables and then by them in the US ?:(

Hi Hans,

The first Transparent cables I bought were from an Absolute Sounds dealer in London (Trevor Martin from Guildford Audio). I liked what I heard with those, bought them from him, and then bought some other stuff direct from the US in order to obtain a full Transparent cable loom for my system whilst saving a fortune in the process.

Ain't no flies on me, my friend! ;)

Marco.

Beechwoods
27-09-2008, 08:27
My Sony SACD player. I couldn't find any interesting multi-channel discs (other than DSOTM and 'Tubular Bells' and have never been able to get a satisfactory multi-channel speaker setup, especially since having kids... little fingers, wires and 5.1 decent cones don't mix. All my kit's ended up in in my loft listening room and is purely 2 channel.

Tony Moore
27-09-2008, 08:37
Early MP3 player. Put me right off the whole compressed music thing.

I admit that my Sony ATRAC portable is not bad for nights away in a hotel but it's still an insult to my ears. :doh:

Oh, and early AMSTRAD IC 2000 Mk3 amp in the 70s. My first audio item. :steam:

Tony

Iain Sinclair
27-09-2008, 08:44
Anything from Nytech



Seconded, though I know some people regard them as 'classics'.

StanleyB
27-09-2008, 10:31
Oh, and early AMSTRAD IC 2000 Mk3 amp in the 70s. My first audio item.
The Amstrad IC2000 was terrible, and the matching 3 spoke turntable even more so, but I didn't regret buying them. Many a female class mate was more than happy to listen to it in the back ground whilst we ruffled the bed spreads:eyebrows:. So no regrets:smoking:.

MartinT
27-09-2008, 10:35
it's just something I've never done, and I don't buy kits

Neither do I now, but as a poor student I did as it was the only access I had to decent sound quality. And some of them were classics like my Linsley-Hood 75W amp and Conoisseur BD1 turntable, which I loved at the time.

theophile
27-01-2009, 15:38
Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid preamp.
Raved about on the 'net.Just about as uninteresting a performance as can be imagined.

Togil
27-01-2009, 16:02
Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid preamp.
Raved about on the 'net.Just about as uninteresting a performance as can be imagined.

One man's most uninteresting component is another man's most neutral component.

Covenant
27-01-2009, 16:02
Garrard Zero 100SB turntable. Very blingy in its day with a tangential arm. But sound quality-oh dear......

alb
27-01-2009, 16:19
Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid preamp.
Raved about on the 'net.Just about as uninteresting a performance as can be imagined.
__________________

Usually when something makes big news on the net, there is some truth in the hype.
What we don't always know, is the benchmark people are using to compare things to, and what equipment they are partnering it with, and what their preferences are etc etc.
Maybe it just didn't suit your system. I doubt if there are many universally compatible audio components out there.
I've been underwhelmed by purchases in the past, but probably didn't have the experience to get the best from them. Or maybe they were just crap.:)

griffo104
27-01-2009, 16:48
A NOS DAC. Got swpet along with the forum hype when I first started reading forums seriously.

these were such a boom but it was simply dreadful, supposedly analogue like it simply gor rid of any extension (high and low) and simply pushed mid-band at you. I tried so many different type of digital cable to get the best out of it and then gave up.

Thankfully the boom was still on and I didn't lose any money on it.

Truly awful.

And also the Rega Super Elys cart that came with the P3 I bought 2nd hand. The £200 notes I think the P3 is a great sounding deck but that cart was dire, truly dire.

Dalek Supreme D L
27-01-2009, 17:35
Hi Guys

Pathos Logos MK1.... way to heavy bass and very slow to track changes in the music. Reviews said not to use with full range speakers mine were two way...still wrong... Pathos Classic one mk 2 much better.

Marantz SA 11 s1.... Ridiculous level of mechanism noise while playing SACD discs. A second sample was not quite as bad but still to loud. Got rid of it.

Thats it.... Only two bits of kit I ever got rid of, because I could not live with them.

Regards D S D L----Neil :)

Marco
27-01-2009, 19:04
A NOS DAC. Got swpet along with the forum hype when I first started reading forums seriously.

these were such a boom but it was simply dreadful, supposedly analogue like it simply gor rid of any extension (high and low) and simply pushed mid-band at you. I tried so many different type of digital cable to get the best out of it and then gave up.

Thankfully the boom was still on and I didn't lose any money on it.

Truly awful.


Hi Griffo,

How's it going, matey? :)

Like anything else in hi-fi, NOS DACs are not 'magic bullets'. As usual, it's all in the implementation. Out of interest, which DAC was it? Name and shame, I say...

As I said earlier in the thread I've never had any crap equipment, only good to my ears, and even better (when I upgrade), quite simply because I always audition things very carefully before buying them. Life's too short for shite hi-fi! ;)

Marco.

Filterlab
27-01-2009, 19:22
Cerwin Vega VS-10s, I soon learnt that Cerwin Vega don't make "hi-fi" speakers. :lol: They looked great and kicked butt however no detail, no depth to the imaging, no delicacy, peaky response, boxy sound and poor build quality.

Great for cinema though!

Mad red cone surrounds too. :)

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/RSFFinal1.jpg

Mike
27-01-2009, 19:32
They looked great

Are you pissed!?! :nocomment: :uhho:

Beechwoods
27-01-2009, 19:36
They looked great and kicked butt however no detail, no depth to the imaging, no delicacy, peaky response, boxy sound and poor build quality

Moving them apart a bit and away from the wall might help with the depth of imaging, boxy sound and peaky response, Rob :lol:

Filterlab
27-01-2009, 19:42
Are you pissed!?! :nocomment: :uhho:

A little. ;) I meant in the 'kick butt' sense of good looking.


Moving them apart a bit and away from the wall might help with the depth of imaging, boxy sound and peaky response, Rob :lol:

Ahem, yeah...

:lolsign:

That was the eBay photo - I dispensed them for more than I paid and within about a week!

Filterlab
27-01-2009, 19:46
The only other naff bit of hi-fi I've owned was the Alchemist TS-D-1 24/96 DAC. The sound was respectable but no better than the Denon HDCD player I was using it with, although that wasn't the problem. It had almost no output whatsoever, such little gain in fact that often I ran out of volume on my pre-amp (8000Q). Shame, I liked its quirky flying saucer looks and the multi-coloured LEDs on the fascia.

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/DSC02849.jpg

chris@panteg
28-01-2009, 00:16
I made a number of mistakes or wrong turns with hifi over the years but the one
that sticks out for me is a set of Audioquest crystal speaker cable.

Ohh dear :doh: it was rank and i mean rank nasty, i feel so ashamed at ignoring friends advice at the time :confused: but i came to my senses and got shot of it.

And although i have never owned linn speakers' i agree with Howard they are not my cup of tea at all.

Yiangos
28-01-2009, 07:21
My worst hi-fi purchase was actually a complete system upgrade(downgrade actually).
That was ages ago (i was still in high-school) and had the following system :
Sansui loudspeakers (can't remember the model but it was one of those 16" woofers 75 ways 100 drivers hugh standmounts lol
Sansui AU-9090 amplfier
Thorens TD-125/SME 3009 s2 improved/shure M75 ED-ii
After reading certain magazines,decided to move into the "esoteric" side of hi-fi,so,sold the whole kit the purchased the following.
Pioneer s1010 (i believe)(horn midrange and 14" ABR if that rings any bells)
Accuphase C-200/P-300 pre/power
Linn Sondek LP-12 / SME series 3 / Shure M95 ED
The only real upgrade was the shure cartridge,the rest was total crap,especially the Pioneer and Accuphase. As for the Linn,well,it wasn't bad i have to confess,the only problem with it was,no matter how accurately you set it up,you allways had the feeling that something wasn't right with it.

jimdgoulding
28-01-2009, 08:04
Well, I haven't tried any personally and this may not actually be what you would call a hifi experience, but speakers in discos and Mexican restaurants would be hard to beat!

griffo104
28-01-2009, 08:50
Hi Griffo,

How's it going, matey? :)

Like anything else in hi-fi, NOS DACs are not 'magic bullets'. As usual, it's all in the implementation. Out of interest, which DAC was it? Name and shame, I say...

As I said earlier in the thread I've never had any crap equipment, only good to my ears, and even better (when I upgrade), quite simply because I always audition things very carefully before buying them. Life's too short for shite hi-fi! ;)

Marco.

Hi Marco,

It was Shek dacs that were so popular a couple of years ago. I was using my Denon DVD2900 as an interim cd player - excellent for SACD and not bad as a standalone CDP, I thought it was worth the £90 gamble on the dac to see if it would iron out one or two problems I had with the CD replay. Vinyl is always number 1 for me so a player that could do DVD/SACD and CD had some benefit. I hated it though.

Ironically the improvement I got from the Denon for CD replay came from a ISOL-8 filtered mains cable - not that they make any difference of course :ner:

For the money it was worth the gamble and I managed to offload it for the same amount I paid for it so no harm done. Ultimately the Audio Analogue Maestro I now have has made listening to cds much more pleasurable.

For any major component I've bought I've been very happy with.

griffo104
28-01-2009, 08:56
As for the Linn,well,it wasn't bad i have to confess,the only problem with it was,no matter how accurately you set it up,you allways had the feeling that something wasn't right with it.

Ah the paranoia of the suspended deck owner :)

I've got one of those air isolation decks which I put my turntable on as it makes quite a nice difference to it but each time I went to start the deck up for a session I ended up getting paranoid that some air had leaked out and that the deck was always optimally set up.

In the end regardless of the benefits I decided to dump the platform under another component - it was just doing my poor little head in.

Marco
28-01-2009, 09:37
Griffo,


It was Shek dacs that were so popular a couple of years ago. I was using my Denon DVD2900 as an interim cd player - excellent for SACD and not bad as a standalone CDP, I thought it was worth the £90 gamble on the dac to see if it would iron out one or two problems I had with the CD replay. Vinyl is always number 1 for me so a player that could do DVD/SACD and CD had some benefit. I hated it though.


Interesting. I guess that I must be somewhat out of touch because I've not heard of the Shek DACs, never mind about them being popular! :eyebrows:

Shek - who are they? Do have a link which shows any of their products? Just curious! :)

Marco.

alb
28-01-2009, 09:44
I think there was a Shek DAC at Owston, the time before last.
Don't think it aquitted itself very well.

Marco
28-01-2009, 10:02
Ah right, Al - in the DAC shoot-out? I think that I remember it now - it was just as Griffo described! I can't say that I've ever heard of the company, though, or these DACs ever being popular...

I guess that it depends popular where and amongst whom :)

Marco.

theophile
28-01-2009, 10:10
One man's most uninteresting component is another man's most neutral component.

Not in the case of the Grounded Grid.Unless the definition of 'neutrality' has been expended to mean gross loss of resolution.
More often for me a component is uninteresting,simply because it fails to be neutral.To that degree,I agree with your postulation.
Components which truly divest themselves of a fingerprint/impose less of their own 'personality',don't lose huge amounts of resolution.That is one the sins which belong to components which are imposing themselves between the software and the listener.

Marco
28-01-2009, 10:29
Theophile,


More often for me a component is uninteresting,simply because it fails to be neutral.


Indeed. But what exactly is "neutral"? One man's "neutral" could be another man's 'coloured' ;)

Also, what is perceived as sounding "neutral" in one system could vary quite wildly elsewhere when differing colorations imposed by other components come into play and skew results. The fact is, there is no true "neutral" in any piece of equipment. All we can do is guess what we consider as such.

That's the diverese and wonderful world of hi-fi! I think we should just concentrate on what is considered as being most enjoyable to our ears rather than worrying about any notions of 'neutrality'.

Marco.

Mr. C
28-01-2009, 10:40
Tuff question, have to be honest and 2 pieces of equipment here, Boulder (US) mono block amplifiers, promise so much delivered so little.
Digital wise, has to be the Burmiester 001, again a damp squib.

theophile
28-01-2009, 11:37
Components which truly divest themselves of a fingerprint/impose less of their own 'personality'......... sins which belong to components which are imposing themselves between the software and the listener.


Marco,
My take on neutrality is contained in the rest of the body of my post,which you chose to exclude from the quote which was included within in your post.
I have restated my thoughts by including some of that which was excluded by yourself,above



Theophile,



Indeed. But what exactly is "neutral"? One man's "neutral" could be another man's 'coloured' ;)
The fact is, there is no true "neutral" in any piece of equipment. All we can do is guess what we consider as such.


Marco.
I would agree that there are no components which are absolutely neutral.
I also agree with those who consider that there is interaction/synergy between components.Some of which can be boiled-down to objectively definable parameters(such as Gain vs Signal to Noise ratios.Impedance interactions,and others).Some of which may be due to subtle or not so subtle deviations from absolute flat frequency response,which then form complimentary or antagonistic results when individual components are hooked-up together.
The nature of each particular system is uniquely bound-up not only in which particular components are used(let's include the health or otherwise of the mains,the cabling,supports and the room in this definition of 'components'),but also how they are used.
When all of what I have just said is taken into account,it would be very difficult to render any absolute judgment of a component in isolation,if the the above factors weren't being acknowledged or taken into account.
However one still has to try to draw some conclusion from assessing a component within one's own system.
I personally consider the term 'resolution' in it's broadest sense.
The resolution,of all the elements which give rise to different possible expressible(and those we haven't yet found ways to communicate)terminological categories used when attempting to discuss sound quality.
Resolution,to my way of thinking is The Gamut.The 'Whole',with nothing extracted.No category of consideration falls outside my personal definition of 'resolution'.Whatever it is that can be expressed,communicated,given a 'terminology,it is or can be,resolved to a greater or lesser degree.
Hence to my way of thinking a component which fails to 'resolve' to a gross degree,is a disappointment.
Going back to what I said about there being no such component in existence which could truly be labeled as 'Absolutely Neutral',therefore there is also,by inference,no such thing as a component capable of 'Perfect Resolution'.(Unless of course you believe the marketing departments/advertisement copy of some companies)
That is my stance on the matter of the 'Absolutes' in Hi-Fi.

griffo104
28-01-2009, 12:43
Griffo,



Interesting. I guess that I must be somewhat out of touch because I've not heard of the Shek DACs, never mind about them being popular! :eyebrows:

Shek - who are they? Do have a link which shows any of their products? Just curious! :)

Marco.

Not so much a company as a one man show - Derek Shek, who was selling them via ebay. I know Audio Note and 47 Labs also make NOS dacs but I tend to find the Audio Note sound a little lacking for my tastes from the few show appearances I've heard them, maybe this is why.

People were flogging serious DACS for these things and yet when I heard it I was shocked at how lacking in dynamics and extension it had. It's hard to complain abut something so relatively cheal - and well put together - but it was a serious disappointment

Marco
28-01-2009, 12:53
Not so much a company as a one man show - Derek Shek, who was selling them via ebay. I know Audio Note and 47 Labs also make NOS dacs but I tend to find the Audio Note sound a little lacking for my tastes from the few show appearances I've heard them, maybe this is why.


Ah, that'll explain it - I rarely buy hi-fi equipment from Ebay; mainly just accessories and things that I know from experience will work, so I've never heard of the guy. I know what you mean about the AN and 47 Labs DACs but if you ever get a chance you should have a listen to a properly implemented high-end TDA1541 NOS design from the likes of Marantz or Sony. I think you'd find the results somewhat different ;)


People were flogging serious DACS for these things and yet when I heard it I was shocked at how lacking in dynamics and extension it had. It's hard to complain abut something so relatively cheal - and well put together - but it was a serious disappointment


Jeez, it just shows what sort of shite some people must have been using to start with and how "serious" those DACs were in fact not! Either that or people were being taken in by Mr Shek's marketing spiel...

There are an awful lot of pretenders out there who think that they know what they're doing when in fact they don't have much of a clue.

Marco.

griffo104
28-01-2009, 13:06
Ah, that'll explain it - I rarely buy hi-fi equipment from Ebay; mainly just accessories and things that I know from experience will work, so I've never heard of the guy. I know what you mean about the AN and 47 Labs DACs but if you ever get a chance you should have a listen to a properly implemented high-end TDA1541 NOS design from the likes of Marantz or Sony. I think you'd find the results somewhat different ;)



Jeez, it just shows what sort of shite some people must have been using to start with and how "serious" those DACs were in fact not! Either that or people were being taken in by Mr Shek's marketing spiel...

There are an awful lot of pretenders out there who think that they know what they're doing when in fact they don't have much of a clue.

Marco.

I've usually quite enjoyed Marantz higher end players I've found one or two of the more recent ones a little soft for my tastes but then I like the modern view of analogue as made by the likes of Lyra

One of the things I quite like about my AA cdp is that it serves up a decent amount of detail and yet never really shouts about it allowing you relax and let the music flow and yet still has that edge that allows you to pick out the rythmic stop-start of the piece. I find the Esoteric players I've heard excel in the is area as well.

This is a similar reason why I prefer the Michell decks over the Linn ones. they get that balance just about right for me.

Marco
30-01-2009, 08:03
Hi Griffo,

Some of the recent Marantz CD players can sound a bit soft, so I know what you mean, but we're talking about NOS. Have you ever heard a Marantz CD7? It uses Philips TDA1541 double crown DACs (IMO the best DAC chips ever made, bar none), and epitomises the 'classic' NOS DAC sound when done well, albeit further upgrades can still be made by the likes of Audiocom International which truly lift this player into the big league. However, it has all the right basic ingredients and looks the part, too. Another classic Marantz player worth modifying is the CD12/DA12 transport and DAC combo, favoured by the likes of Ken Kessler.

Those are two examples of 'where it's at' with NOS DACs, including of course my Sony DAS-R1, which exhibits the very characteristics you describe of your AA and of the Esoteric. I can assure you that there is nothing 'soft' about the sound whatsoever, whilst at the same time it has the beautiful tonal richness and musical authority of high-end analogue devices.

As for T/Ts, you know my feelings on that score and so I won't be rushing out anytime soon to buy a Linn or a Michell. And as for Lyras or any other modern cartridges of that type, let's not go there! ;)

Marco.

Ammonite Acoustics
30-01-2009, 08:47
.....................Jeez, it just shows what sort of shite some people must have been using to start with and how "serious" those DACs were in fact not! Either that or people were being taken in by Mr Shek's marketing spiel...

There are an awful lot of pretenders out there who think that they know what they're doing when in fact they don't have much of a clue.

Marco.

Steady on there! A few years ago I bought a Shek TDA1543 NOS DAC (actually made by Moodlab) and it was actually OK, being notably more musical and enjoyable than my then Arcam Alpha 9, if far from the last world in resolution. Derek Shek never (to my knowledge) indulged in marketing spiel, so I think you are doing him a disservice by suggesting as much, from an uninformed viewpoint - he was just a really pleasant chap to deal with. Coincidentally I have just sold the Shek DAC and the purchaser is perfectly happy with what it does for very little money.

On the subject of this thread, my worst purchase has to be a pair of KEF Q35 floostanders, which were so awful that to this day I cannot take KEF UniQ seriously.

Edit: Just remembered the Olson "Sounds Fantastic" mains block. It didn't, but once the filter, screened cable and internal wiring were ripped out and replaced with (respectively): nothing, solid core copper/PTFE tube, Kimber powerkord, it worked well. Lesson - the basic Olson block is good - forget paying for anything above that!

Marco
30-01-2009, 08:57
Hi Shuggie,

Point taken and you're right. I apologise for any offence caused.

Griffo had indicated that people were selling "serious" DACs in favour of the Shek. My point was that considering how bad the Shek had performed (certainly how Griffo considered it had sounded in his system and when I heard it in the context of a DAC 'shoot out' a year ago) then those DACs people had couldn't really have been very "serious" in the first place - or at least not what I would consider as "serious".

I don't doubt though that the Shek would be an improvement from the DAC used in an Arcam Alpha 9.

However, I was perhaps a bit harsh on Derek Shek himself. I'm sure that, as you say, he's a pleasant chap to deal with and offers an honest product :)

Marco.

griffo104
30-01-2009, 11:43
Hi Griffo,

Some of the recent Marantz CD players can sound a bit soft, so I know what you mean, but we're talking about NOS. Have you ever heard a Marantz CD7? It uses Philips TDA1541 double crown DACs (IMO the best DAC chips ever made, bar none), and epitomises the 'classic' NOS DAC sound when done well, albeit further upgrades can still be made by the likes of Audiocom International which truly lift this player into the big league. However, it has all the right basic ingredients and looks the part, too. Another classic Marantz player worth modifying is the CD12/DA12 transport and DAC combo, favoured by the likes of Ken Kessler.

Those are two examples of 'where it's at' with NOS DACs, including of course my Sony DAS-R1, which exhibits the very characteristics you describe of your AA and of the Esoteric. I can assure you that there is nothing 'soft' about the sound whatsoever, whilst at the same time it has the beautiful tonal richness and musical authority of high-end analogue devices.

As for T/Ts, you know my feelings on that score and so I won't be rushing out anytime soon to buy a Linn or a Michell. And as for Lyras or any other modern cartridges of that type, let's not go there! ;)

Marco.

Hi Marco,
I have had a listen to the Marantz CD7 twice, once around someone's home and another under show conditions, both times I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. An excellent CDP, especially when you enjoy it under show conditions which can be a little messy at times.

Of course you are wrong with regards to Lyra carts :ner: ;)

promachos
13-02-2009, 11:17
However, I was perhaps a bit harsh on Derek Shek himself. I'm sure that, as you say, he's a pleasant chap to deal with and offers an honest product :)

Marco.

He is,and he does !

I have a "Shek" DAC in my second system and it does a good job.
Not the "best" but good value for money.

foxysounds
13-02-2009, 15:13
I bought an upgraded interconnect once (I think it was a Black Rhodium "Rhythm") and hated it. I promptly switched back to my current interconnect which I think is a QED QNect II.

Simon.

muffinman
14-02-2009, 19:48
RA powerblock
in my system it did absolutely fook all
and when i told customer services it was on its way back - they didn't believe me:)

break-3
01-03-2009, 17:02
An Inca Design Talon amp. Sound was uninspiring, but what I really hated was the digital volume control. The lowest volume level was far too loud for background listening (yes, sometimes it's required, in my house at least) and the steps between each level were too great, so I could never get it to the right volume. Didn't keep it long.

Tolstoi
04-03-2009, 20:10
A Denon DP-47F turntable. I used to have the 37-F as I was young and the looks of the 47F and a bit of nostalgia led me to buy one way too expensive. Realized that the sound was only mid-fi quality, a lot of plastic trimmed to look like aluminium and a crap plinth. Only got the half on my money back as I sold it.

Cheers

Joerg

twelvebears
08-03-2009, 13:39
Can pointless 'tweaks' from the 80's be included?

In which case the MOST pointless would have to be the Green Edge CD pen....

Beechwoods
08-03-2009, 21:15
Can pointless 'tweaks' from the 80's be included?

In which case the MOST pointless would have to be the Green Edge CD pen....

Only if you spent good money obtaining the pen specifically to find out if it worked ;)

Marco
08-03-2009, 21:29
You also get extra 'geek' bonus points depending on which make the pen was!

Marco.

Peter Stockwell
10-03-2009, 14:57
TDL RTL3 things that went boing in the in night

MartinT
10-03-2009, 17:16
In which case the MOST pointless would have to be the Green Edge CD pen....

I think Peter Belt's sticky black triangles were even more pointless. In fact, all of his offerings are either ludicrously expensive (Morphic Message Foil) and/or utterly barmy (aligning the slots in screw heads).

http://www.belt.demon.co.uk/product/product.html

Spod
20-03-2009, 17:32
Mid-80s, A Radio Shack graphic equalizer with "Surround Sound" effect. :doh: Well I was only young and you have to learn somehow!

DSJR
20-03-2009, 19:55
TDL RTL3 things that went boing in the in night


Take an original RTL3 with bubbly plastic veneer (not the better finished SE version), change the resistor across the bass units' crossover from 15 Ohm (IIRC) to 30 Ohm and the mid lifts in level, the tweeter integrates better and the bass doesn't dominate. Not bad at all, if fugly as heck when viewed from the side :)

The Vinyl Adventure
30-03-2009, 17:38
mine was probably the yamaha 759 cinema amp i still use. its not the fact that it sounds bad, once you work out how to turn all the silly sound effect things that it can do off, its actually pretty good sounding.
the main problem i do have is the fact the bloody thing is silver and it looks crap in my all black system. i know that this is purly aesthetic but i really regret not finding something in black as i now realy realy cant justify replacing it just to get a black one.
its even more anoying knowing that in use with one of the blu-ray players that have multi channel out it will efectivly do hd audio better than useing hdmi on a new (in my hyperthetical price range) amp so i cant even justify it that way

in the words of paul whitehouse as that old guy on the fast show..... bugger!

Barry
19-04-2009, 18:27
Can't say I have ever had any item that I have regretted buying. There have been some items (usually cartridges) that I have not kept for more than a year, but generally no regrets.

I have, of course, heard items either in shops or at Hi Fi shows (never the best places to hear anything in my opinion), that I have thought were truly awful these being:

Linn Isobaraks (go down as the worse speakers I have ever heard),
West A1 electrostatic speakers (suspect the demonstration room was far too small),
Gale speakers (don't know the model, but they had chrome ends/sides),
Mission 770 speakers.

I would also add:

Anything by Bose

Barry

daveyboy
21-04-2009, 00:10
The Cambridge D500 cd player, that will be the first and last time (i was new to hi fi at the time) i listen to a sales person only. I was intending to buy the Sony XB930 but was talked into CA instead, it sounded very dull with dance music or that matter anything which tested the frequencies. It had a very cold sound to the music also, I can't quite describe it but I was glad to get shot of it.

speakers-1989
04-05-2009, 12:50
My worst HiFi purchase.

Linn Sara

Rega Ela MK2

Bose 301 V

Shure V15 Type 3 and 4.

James G
05-05-2009, 05:35
I think Peter Belt's sticky black triangles were even more pointless. In fact, all of his offerings are either ludicrously expensive (Morphic Message Foil) and/or utterly barmy (aligning the slots in screw heads).

http://www.belt.demon.co.uk/product/product.html

OMG, these are the most unbelievable products! :lolsign:

theophile
03-10-2010, 22:09
I am going to eat a crow the size of an elephant here,and I'm not ashamed,because I'd rather admit that I failed to take something into account rather than mislead someone(even if by accident).

Some background to my ownership of the Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid:I bought it in 2003 as a kit from the USA.An experience tube technician assembled it for me.My preamp at the time was the very good Yamaha C2x.

I didn't like the Grounded Grid from the moment I first used it.It simply sounded horrible.It sounded worse than anything I'd heard in 30 years.So the GG sat aside gathering dust.I'd hook it up every time I got another preamp just to reaffirm and my impression was always the same.

I'd come to the stage where I thought that I should sell it.This meant that I had to hook it up in order to check whether it was operating properly prior to selling.I placed my black cover Cantate Domino on the platter and sat back.

Oh what a mess!! :(

And yet....there was something under the 'mess' that was very uncluttered and transparent.The nearest analogy was an analogue TV broadcast where there was some 'interference' overlaid on the signal which was badly screwing-up the picture.This was something that I'd never noticed before(that there was something interesting going-on under the interference).The penny dropped that I had probably never used the preamp for any length of time,and that the capacitors had probably not 'formed' properly.The damned thing was still breaking-in.

Over the next few days I left the preamp in the system,and watched as the 'interference' dissipated and a very nice even-handed pure sounding component stood aside and presented all of my music to me sounding fresh and inviting.

I had been telling anyone who read my non-expert posts,that this preamp was the worst I owned.That's because;that's what I was hearing.I apologise for any error on my part.


Well,aside from the spectacle of eating humble pie in front of the entire world,I've got no more to add to this post.

Snoopdog
03-10-2010, 22:25
I always find these type of threads something of an 'own goal.'

The poster slags off a particular component that he has bought and then proceeds to talk it up in Private Exhibitions when offered for sale!

chris@panteg
03-10-2010, 22:31
:pat: well i had some Rogers LS7t's , which had a nasty titanium tweeter :(

I thought it would calm down in time:rolleyes: , 8 years later i got shot of them.

Still a happy ending for your GG:)

Rare Bird
03-10-2010, 22:31
Gale speakers (don't know the model, but they had chrome ends/sides)

Mission 770 speakers.



:scratch:

The Gales are '401A'

colinB
03-10-2010, 22:42
The Cambridge D500 cd player, that will be the first and last time (i was new to hi fi at the time) i listen to a sales person only. I was intending to buy the Sony XB930 but was talked into CA instead, it sounded very dull with dance music or that matter anything which tested the frequencies. It had a very cold sound to the music also, I can't quite describe it but I was glad to get shot of it.

God that reminds me when Richer Sounds used to sell only Hi Fi.
I once saw a Nad cd player advertised in the What Hi Fi classified going for a bargain price so of i popped to Richer. When i got there they told me " oh its sold out but weve got this one here cheaper and just as good"
Never heard of the asian sounding name before and never heard it again but like a mug i bought it. And what a pile of shite it turned out to be.

Techno Commander
03-10-2010, 23:03
Cerwin Vega VS-10s, I soon learnt that Cerwin Vega don't make "hi-fi" speakers. :lol: They looked great and kicked butt however no detail, no depth to the imaging, no delicacy, peaky response, boxy sound and poor build quality.

Great for cinema though!

Mad red cone surrounds too. :)

http://s560.photobucket.com/albums/ss49/aos_images/random_stuff/RSFFinal1.jpg

I had a pair of the Cerwin Vega AT100's. Bloody huge things, the size of a fridge with a 15" driver.:eek:

http://www.minhembio.com/bilder/bild/?pic_id=135330.jpg

I agree their sound was a bit flakey to say the least. However, I decided to persevere with them and address all the failings. I ended up making the following modifications.-

Reinforce cabinets by gluing 4" x 2" timbers between baffle and rear panel and between the side panels.

Remove "shouty" tweeter and replace with Morel MDT33

Remove mid drivers and replace with visaton drivers.

Rebuild crossover with decent components and totally rewire with 2.5mm OFC cable.

Add bituminastic lining and some acoustic wool.

By the time this was done they actually sounded quite good and their high sensitivity allowed me to run them on a pair of Quad II's and an Audiolab pre amp.

Shortly after getting them sorted, I was offered a good price for them by a pro DJ and decided to offload them while the going was good.

sparrow
04-10-2010, 15:12
My first CD player an Aiwa only worked properly for a week then after 5 repairs went in a skip.

Haselsh1
04-10-2010, 15:45
Strangely enough a CD player and a single ended 300B valve amplifier. They were both Chinese...! Need I say more...?

Haselsh1
04-10-2010, 15:48
An Inca Design Talon amp. Sound was uninspiring, but what I really hated was the digital volume control. The lowest volume level was far too loud for background listening (yes, sometimes it's required, in my house at least) and the steps between each level were too great, so I could never get it to the right volume. Didn't keep it long.

Sounds remarkably like the volume control on my Croft combo. I use the word 'control' loosely.

technobear
04-10-2010, 20:41
A long time ago I bought Technics SUV-505 amp. Absolute pants!

I also swallowed the hype on the TDL RTL3. Boom and tizz. Wish I'd known about that mod.

In more recent times, the only product I have bought that failed to impress was the Lavry DA10. The bass was pathetic. The Transporter's own DAC outperformed the Lavry so I got shot of it quick. Luckily it received so much love on a particular forum that the price was ramped up after I bought it and I was able to get back almost what I had paid.

Effem
06-10-2010, 20:12
Now there is a coincidence you posting there Mr Technobear, because the worst piece of SHITE I have ever bought came in fact from your good self.

No, no, no, not the fine Castle speakers you sold me my good man, but those 3 inch lengths of QED SA that came with them :ner: I could not believe that 3 bastid inches of this horrid crap could mess up a system so much. Rave reviews aplenty, QED must have sold a zillions miles of this poxy stuff because how many queries do we got on forums from folks who are "looking to improve the sound", so we look down down their component list and see nothing untoward that would account for this musical dissatisfaction and then they finish with the words "I am using QED SA" Aaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!!! :doh:

Up until then my worst ever purchase was an Arcam CD72 CD player which was out of the box, on to the rack, switched on, played one track, switched off, back in the box and listed on ebay in less than 20 minutes :doh:

technobear
06-10-2010, 21:53
Oh good heavens yes, how could I forget QED SA?

Absolutely horrendous stuff. Harsh. Harsh. Harsh.

Rare Bird
06-10-2010, 22:39
Up until then my worst ever purchase was an Arcam CD72 CD player



:scratch:

DSJR
07-10-2010, 08:19
Right you lot (Mr technobear and Filterlab)..

The Cerwin Vega's need a pillow in each unlined box and/or a bigger magnet to control the bass unit. Those drivers are basically ok, believe it or not and the crossovers used decent polyprop caps as well. Wouldn't have taken much to properly sort them, but sensitivity and price would have suffered.

The RTL3's had a deliberate and impedance-killing recess in the midrange. Changing one crossover resisistor from 15 Ohms to 30-35 Ohms would have removed this as well as lifting the midband impedance to a more acceptable level. All bigger IMF/TDL's tended to have a recessed midrange (the lovely RTL2mk1 didn't as it happened) and when I had to modify the RTL3 so an unventilated Audiolab 8000P wouldn't shut down through overheating, this was what the drive unit and RTL designer told me to do (final "voicing" on these TDL's was done by TDL's John Wright, no mean designer himself - he designed the Goldring G800 cartridges in the 60's and possibly had a hand in the 820's too). We sold hundreds of pairs of RTL mk1 models and I got to know then inside out. The RTL4 was the weakest 'cos the box wasn't up to it..

keiths
10-10-2010, 14:02
Linn Helix loudspeakers. They were much worse than the Heybrook HB1s they replaced.:doh:

DSJR
10-10-2010, 14:04
if you thought Helix's were bad, you should have tried the incomparably worse Nexus models :D

Hydie
10-10-2010, 14:33
My worst purchase was a Tube Technology Synergy.... very unreliable... but sounded OK. Cottage Industry rubbish.:(

markf
10-10-2010, 18:57
I liked my Linn Helix loudspeakers,that was my first serious HiFi:- Townshend Rock, Naim Nait2 and a pair of Helix speakers.
I still have the speakers I use them as the rear speakers in my AV system. (the front are a set of linn keilidhs)

DSJR
10-10-2010, 19:04
You want to know where the Linn-devotion went? The Helix have too much midrange if anything (although better than the Index), but the Keilidh's used passively don't have any by comparison. A total lack of continuity during these times..

keiths
10-10-2010, 19:13
At that time I had Linn Axis/LVX/K9, Naim Nait 2 and Heybrook HB1s on HB1s stands. I think my dealer at the time was trying to follow the 'religion' when he suggested I replace the HB1s with the Helixes, though it was entirely my fault as I auditioned them before I bought and at first thought them fine.

One of them quickly exhibited a tweeter problem that took a while to get sorted out - by which time I was well and truly fed up with them. Really wished I hadn't sold the HB1s to a friend.

Got rid of the Helixes as quickly as I could.

Cheers,

campbell mac
10-10-2010, 20:29
Recently bought an Arcam Delta 170 transport on Ebay for £100. It lasted about 45 mins before it started making screeching noises when loading a disc. Oh well.

goraman
10-10-2010, 20:45
By far the biggest mistake I have ever made in audio was in 1982.
I went to a high end department store called Macy's and laid out $1,000 dollers for a Fisher studio standerd 100wx2 inegrated amp a horable DDTT,casset deck,partical wood,vynil clad 12'3 way speakers and a rack on sale year end close out from 1,800.00

The old BIC TT with a Kenwood TK88 reciver and KLH modle 6's put it to shame.
So I went backwards for the sake of blue meters and black faced aluminum with modern looks. I learned then looks mean nothing!

It's how it sounds that matters.

The Grand Wazoo
10-10-2010, 21:09
Surely a pair of Helix speakers would be Helices?

MartinT
10-10-2010, 21:23
I can't decide whether Linn Kans or Indexes were the worst speakers. Both horrible.

chris@panteg
10-10-2010, 22:46
Martin ' do you find Linn speakers tend to have a strange unatural quality in general or have you found some you liked ?

Barry
10-10-2010, 23:02
Martin ' do you find Linn speakers tend to have a strange unatural quality in general or have you found some you liked ?

The only Linn speakers I have heard were the 'Army-barracks'. They did it for me: so utterly awful, I have no interest or incentive to listen to any other Linn speaker whatsoever, new or old!

Regards

MartinT
10-10-2010, 23:03
Chris - I'm afraid I've never heard a Linn speaker I liked, although to be fair I've not heard recent models.

Thermionic
11-10-2010, 09:36
I once heard a pair of those ‘Army-barrak thingies at an audio show and wondered what all the fuss was about, so thanks for exploding that myth.

The worse thing I ever bought was a Sony digital tuner when such things were new. I liked the digital display and the shiny bits. But while it sounded ok in the shop, when I got it home and compared it to my Dynaco Fm3 - oh dear…

DSJR
11-10-2010, 14:35
In shows of old, 'Briks run passively nearly always soundee coloured and "dirty" sounding. The Naim driven actives at shows were thin toned and tinny (although far better in client's homes, to be fair). I still remember the enchanting sounds my mate's old "bolt up" naim and chipboard 'brik PMS active system made, it really was awsome and far better by miles than the grainy, ballistic noises Linn were making ten to twenty years later with their gear.

jbloggs
11-10-2010, 19:59
The worst hifi purchase in recent years was a Beresford 7510 (I think this was the model number) MK2 DAC, no improvement in sound whatsoever, in saying that, it didn't make it any worse either...

Neil McCauley
12-03-2011, 03:57
As a retailer in the 1980's, all and any Linn amplification. No amps = no agency!

As a 'civilian', a Yamaha C1 preamp

chris@panteg
12-03-2011, 11:19
Hi Howard

At the 1990 Penta show , i got chatting to Bill Miller (Linn chief engineer at the time) and I'm afraid i sort of put my foot in it regarding Linn amps , all i said was ' they haven't been very well recieved have they ' he proceeded to take the piss out of me with his fellow demonstrator's .

He was very uptight about it all , which is perhaps understandable and actually gave me the impression he was very proud of the LK1/280 , especially in terms of the technology .

Does he still work for Linn ? I thought he was quite a nice chap and aproachable , just don't mention those amps though .

Marco
12-03-2011, 11:51
At the 1990 Bristol show , i got chatting to Bill Miller (Linn chief engineer at the time) and I'm afraid i sort of put my foot in it regarding Linn amps , all i said was ' they haven't been very well recieved have they ' he proceeded to take the piss out of me with his fellow demonstrator's...


Disgraceful. I know what I'd have done with him - the cheeky f*ck.... ;)

Marco.

prestonchipfryer
12-03-2011, 12:07
Well at one time I'm sure that if a dealer wanted to sell Linn they had to stock every Linn item , even if they only wanted to sell turntables. It was not 'allowed' to pick and choose. Sort of makes sense, but I know of one dealer who stopped selling Linn. This was quite a number of years ago now, but am I right in thinking that they have now changed their policy.

John :eek:

chris@panteg
12-03-2011, 12:09
Marco , i can imagine you would have torn him to shred's :eyebrows:

But i felt and got the impression things were not going too well with these amps and i wasn't that offended , i laughed it off (tentatively) and quickly changed the subject , to valve amps and my recent conversion , he was less than impressed with that as well so i thought to myself ' just shut up and move to the next room .

Another interesting experience was meeting PQ demonstrating Valdi/AI/Snell system ! The conversation went something like ' i have a concordant pre amp ' PQ ' oh yes ' not bad at all , me with an LP12/Ekos/Troika , PQ ' blank stare , and the chat came to an abrupt end.

Interesting experience's :)

hifi_dave
12-03-2011, 12:37
Well at one time I'm sure that if a dealer wanted to sell Linn they had to stock every Linn item , even if they only wanted to sell turntables. It was not 'allowed' to pick and choose. Sort of makes sense, but I know of one dealer who stopped selling Linn. This was quite a number of years ago now, but am I right in thinking that they have now changed their policy.

John :eek:

Not the case with all dealers as we used to 'cherry pick' from their range with no pressure from Linn at all.

That was until the 'great cull' in the late 80's when they tried dictating to dealers what to sell, how to sell etc. That was when we bowed out.

hifi_dave
12-03-2011, 13:02
As a dealer, I have bought in some horrors in the past and almost exclusively products which were raved over by the mags.

It doesn't happen anymore but back in the 70's and 80's, when products had a good review, that was all that people wanted to hear. A good review would signal a rush of eager customers, desperate to hear the latest XYZ product and often it wasn't that good. The mags had such a hold that dealers would need that product or else the customers would go elsewhere. So we used to buy them in and then bang them out a few months later when the fervour had moved on to another product. You have to give the customer some choice.

prestonchipfryer
12-03-2011, 13:04
Not the case with all dealers as we used to 'cherry pick' from their range with no pressure from Linn at all.

That was until the 'great cull' in the late 80's when they tried dictating to dealers what to sell, how to sell etc. That was when we bowed out.

Yes it would have been the late eighties that I'm referring to. Getting back to the most regrettable piece of kit; it would be the LP12 I owned, was always going 'off'. :brickwall:

John

Ergoline
12-03-2011, 13:46
There are two products that come to mind for me. One I genuinely didn't like, and the other I bought without any real need.

I bought a HRT Music Streamer I for $99 new and hated it. It's a nifty little DAC in a nice box, but the sound is pretty much the opposite of my preferences. Very bright and forward, and the (relatively) high voltage output didn't jive with my amps, even after bumping up the input impedance on one of them. The soundstage jumped forward several feet, but in an annoying, abrasive way. I still have it, but I might put it on eBay and try to get a couple bucks out of it. If you had a mushy sounding system and needed a bit more clarity, or if you were running tubes which always seem to respond well to a stronger input (in my admittedly limited experience) it might be just the ticket.

The other product I bought and sold shortly thereafter was a Decware Zen Head portable headphone amplifier. I really don't have any complaints about this one; it performed as advertised. However, my receiver's colored sound was the breath of life my AKGs were looking for. Also, after a couple days with a metal brick in my pocket I'd had enough. Worst of all, a dedicated headphone amplifier is a certified chick repellent. :lol:

Marco
12-03-2011, 14:58
Hi Dave,


As a dealer, I have bought in some horrors in the past and almost exclusively products which were raved over by the mags.

It doesn't happen anymore but back in the 70's and 80's, when products had a good review, that was all that people wanted to hear. A good review would signal a rush of eager customers, desperate to hear the latest XYZ product and often it wasn't that good. The mags had such a hold that dealers would need that product or else the customers would go elsewhere. So we used to buy them in and then bang them out a few months later when the fervour had moved on to another product. You have to give the customer some choice.

Indeed. But funnier than that (based on memories when I used to work in various hi-fi shops) is when customers walked in with a copy of 'What Hi-fi?', or some such, under their arm (containing said 'rave 5-star product' reviews inside) and asked for the specific CDP, amp or speakers which were being raved about.

Now you knew from experience there was better kit in the shop, and sometimes even cheaper, so you tried to do customers a favour by pointing this out and offering to give them a listen to the kit in question, in order for them to compare all the options, before coming to a decision on what to buy.

More often than not, however, the twats would simply insist on buying the raved about '5-star product', regardless, either without even bothering to audition the other options, or worse, even after listening to the other kit, and hearing themselves that it was better, STILL walked out with the (obviously inferior to them) 'rave 5-star product', contending that 'the experts' must know what they're talking about...!! :doh: :doh: :rolleyes:

You just can't help some folk!! :lol:

And so no wonder so many gullible fools have bought shite kit, and for years have owned crap systems, which have brought them nothing but dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

It hammers home the fact that people often find it very difficult to trust their own ears when buying equipment, and so would rather opt out of the process altogether and allow so-called 'experts' to make their decisions for them - or simply buy on brand name and/or reputation - sad, very sad.....

Returning to the thread question, I could probably count on one hand the bad hi-fi purchases I've made over the 25+ years I've been into hi-fi, quite simply because I'm meticulously thorough and extremely fussy with the equipment I buy, always trusting my own ears and experience before the (often heavily biased) ramblings of hacks in a hi-fi magazine, or succumbing to the latest 'must have' fad.

There's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere! ;)

Marco.

hifi_dave
12-03-2011, 15:23
Back in the day, Saturday was the day when the youngsters came in to buy their first proper Hi-Fi system and very often their chosen gear was a list of shite raved over in Grot Hi-Fi magazine. Sometimes, I bought in the latest raves so that we could show them how bad some of this gear was up against what we knew was better but often, as you say, they would still go off and buy the hyped junk.

We also used to get a fair few lads in, hot from the local chain store where they had bought the 'rave' system and were bitterly disappointed. We used to enjoy giving them a five minute blast of what they could have bought and watching their faces as realisation set in. Some of those youngsters have been great customers over the years.

chelsea
12-03-2011, 16:12
Audiolab 8000a
pioneer a400

Both highly rated but i found them sterile and cold.

Spur07
12-03-2011, 16:21
Back in the day, Saturday was the day when the youngsters came in to buy their first proper Hi-Fi system and very often their chosen gear was a list of shite raved over in Grot Hi-Fi magazine. Sometimes, I bought in the latest raves so that we could show them how bad some of this gear was up against what we knew was better but often, as you say, they would still go off and buy the hyped junk.

We also used to get a fair few lads in, hot from the local chain store where they had bought the 'rave' system and were bitterly disappointed. We used to enjoy giving them a five minute blast of what they could have bought and watching their faces as realisation set in. Some of those youngsters have been great customers over the years.

When I first went looking for separates in the early 90's there was a £200 Kenwood amp (can't remember the number) that consistently got rave 5 star reviews from 'What Hi-fi'. (looking back it was probably no coincidence how much advertising space Kenwood use to purchase from the magazine).

Anyway, fair play to the staff working in the first shop I ventured in to grab a listen - they were much more persistent then you Marco :lol: descriptions like, "complete load of crap" and "the worst pile of sh*t I've ever heard". They then sat me down and played me a back to back test between the Kenwood and a similarly priced (3 star What Hifi reviewed) Arcam amp. Needless to say the Arcam blew it away. I dont think Arcm and What Hi-fi must have got on very well at that time.

tommy6206
12-03-2011, 16:24
Well so far 50p :steam: for a Frank Sinatra LP although it was in mint condition.I think its just one of them cheap pressings. I'm very happy with every thing else and all bought on a very tight budget.:)

Analog Addict
12-03-2011, 16:31
My worst purchase was buying a new pair of JBL Radiance 55 speakers in 1981. Spent nearly a month's wages on them and kept them less than a year. Impedance could dip low enough to blow the fuses in my A60, the tweeters couldn't handle much power and the finish wasn't up to much. They're the only speakers I was ecstatic to see go, despite losing a bundle on the sale.

Mr Pig
12-03-2011, 17:11
The purchase that sticks out in my mind is a pair of Wharfdale 505 loudspeakers.

http://i38.servimg.com/u/f38/11/18/43/84/wharfe10.jpg

I'd had a pair of MkII Diamonds which were nice little things and all of the magazines raved about the bigger 505s, giant killers, all the usual crap. Looked ideal, like the Diamonds except better.

So I phoned Stereo Stereo, Glasgow's Linn/Naim dealer and asked if they had them, surely they would have such a great speaker? They said "No, we don't stock them, they're rubbish." But how can that be, five-stars have they, etc etc? "Well, if you want them we'll get them for you, but you won't like them."

So I found a more compliant dealer and bought them. Clean, detailed and as boring as you get! No matter what I did with them they refused to make any music interesting, nothing made your toes tap or sing along.

I think that was a record, sold after about two months and a lesson learned. Replaced by a old pair of Linn Kans, the first of three pairs, which were just great. Rubbish if you like Hi-Fi, superb if you like music! ;0)

tannoy man
12-03-2011, 22:10
Logic DM 101 mk 1, fantastic sound but the belt kept falling off the motor spindle at 45rpm. I sold it and bought a mk 2 with electronic speed change and was much happier.

Audiolab 8000a mk 1, it could not drive my Audio Technica Electrostatic Headphones for more than 30 minutes without the protection circuit shutting it down.

Rega RB 300, sounded hollow.

Technicks EPC 205 mk3, complete mistake with my Ittok.

And back in the 1970`s a big flashy PIONEER GRAPHIC EQUALIZER my mates loved it, and I was thinking it must be better it cost £100.:doh:

chris@panteg
13-03-2011, 15:00
Logic DM 101 mk 1, fantastic sound but the belt kept falling off the motor spindle at 45rpm. I sold it and bought a mk 2 with electronic speed change and was much happier.

Audiolab 8000a mk 1, it could not drive my Audio Technica Electrostatic Headphones for more than 30 minutes without the protection circuit shutting it down.

Rega RB 300, sounded hollow.

Technicks EPC 205 mk3, complete mistake with my Ittok.


Sounded great in my QL1 :smoking: