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Unspeakables — Worst Speakers You Ever Heard, And Why?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    For me, I think it’d be some old ‘giant woofer’ Cerwin-Vegas... just a big ugly wall of slow, ill-defined muddy bass, and not much else. :(

    Runner-up would be some mid-fi Infinity speakers I owned early on. Had a sense of false detail via brightness, not much bass, and just kind of a flat, featureless midrange. The Spica TC50s I replaced them with were orders of magnitude better.
    .
     
  2. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    I really doubt those speakers sound bad at all.

    The bad speakers I remember are the ones that came with my first stereo in the 70's - they measured (box) 12 inch by 5inch and 2-3 inches wide with one speaker in the box. Yeah - those were pretty bad when I found out what good speakers sounded like.
     
    Dave Decadent and cleandan like this.
  3. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Drum machines are not inherently evil.

    Cool, let’s call out brands/models members have and say their equipment is garbage.
     
  4. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Oh, trust me, they did... compared to actual good speakers.

    I mean, yeah, I could’ve included boombox speakers and the like, but that’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Let’s keep it at least halfway apples-to-apples. :thumbsup:


    edit- Guess we can include Most Disappointing Speakers™️ as well..
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  5. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    It was probably 1989 - I'm at my girlfriend's crazy brother's house (she had 4 brothers and he had this lazy eye and was nuts) - we are all drinking - he was blasting Ratt - those orange ring Cerwin Vega woofers of his were doing their job. I was impressed - I'll never forget that.
     
    timind likes this.
  6. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    LOL... forgot about the Cerwin-Vega ‘atomic orange’ woofer rings! :)

    #classy
    .
     
  7. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    Unless you've kept those old speakers so that you can feed them with your probably improved equipment, I'm unsure you can know what their capabilities were.
     
    VinylSoul likes this.
  8. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    Years ago I bought a Mcintosh mc2500 and it was being auditioned on a large pair of CV's (forget the model) with a big metal tweeter. The sound was terrible and it was so bad I almost walked away thinking there was a problem with the amp. It turned out the amp was just fine and served me well for many years. But that old Mcintosh was out of it's league trying to tame those CV's.
     
    Tim 2 and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    Cool! Let's have our resident ray of sunshine barge into a thread he has no intention of contributing to and once more wag his finger.

    Lighten up, Francis.
     
  10. Claude M

    Claude M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County NJ
    A pair of speakers I put together when I was about 20 years old. I learned I needed to find a new career path, speaker building wasn't going to be it.
     
  11. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I was thinking the same thing.
     
    majorlance and _cruster like this.
  12. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    My dad who would cheapen out on audio had a pair of speakers by one of those fly-by-night manufacturers called Lazer.

    Awful in every way. The kicker was the woofer being made of foam and sounding like undefined boomy noises. Absolutely horrendous!
     
    head_unit and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  13. Are you talking about the Cerwin subs they used in theatres for the movie “Earthquake”?
     
  14. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Nope. These were full-range.
    .
     
    Khorn likes this.
  15. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I used to own a pair of restored c.1967 Acoustic Research AR4x's. Maybe it was because of the amplification I paired them with, but they sounded very dull and murky.

    They were beautiful to look at and I really wanted to love them.

    [​IMG]
     
    Tim 2 and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  16. I think the worst most disappointing speakers are ones I bought, had very high expectations of and have proven totally forgettable with time. Unfortunately that’s happened more than once.

    I’ve really had to think hard to remember all the speakers I’ve had because some were so “unmemorable”.
     
  17. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue.

    Location:
    SoCal USA
    The Bose 901. Bass from 20-20k Hz. :)

    M. M.
     
    caracallac, head_unit, Tim 2 and 2 others like this.
  18. Ditto, But, Bose 901 Everything!
    Personal experience.
     
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  19. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed El brujo del audio

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
    Purely my experience but:

    I've never heard a pair of Monitor Audios that didn't sound...um...screechingly awful?

    I know lots of folks like the planar magnetic technology, but they left me unimpressed. Can't even remember the brand.

    OTOH, there's lots of speakers I could happily live with. Vandersteens and ProAc come to mind, for a start. But my Focals ain't goin' nowhere...
     
    bhazen, Cyclone Ranger and Khorn like this.
  20. Diapason

    Diapason Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    I'm gonna move the goalposts *just* a little and say that the worst speakers I ever heard in my room were Epos ES22s. Funny thing is, in my friend's room they sounded amazing, so that was a lesson.

    I good few years back I heard some Harbeths that I hated SO MUCH it put me off the brand forever. My loss, I'm sure, and maybe I should give them another go, but for now I quite enjoy holding a contrarian view because everyone else seems to love them!
     
    Tim 2, timind and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  21. I guess I’ll be the one to ask but what exactly about the Harbeths put you off?
     
  22. Diapason

    Diapason Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    I wish I could remember the exact model, but whatever it was was from the "thin wall" school of speaker design, with vibrations of said walls considered a "good thing" rather than an undesirable side effect. As a result, it all just sounded slow and boxy and coloured and plummy to me. For context, I owned Kharma 3.2fe at the time with Accuton drivers, so my ears were tuned to something very different. I've probably mellowed a bit since, but in certain local circles I've gathered a reputation as a guy who hates Harbeth, and sure it's nice to be known for something, eh?

    I also have strong feelings about Quads, even going so far as owning a pair of 57s for a while to see if I could figure out what all the fuss was about. In fairness I grew to admire aspects of them, but as one of the guys at my local dealer put it: "they're a glimpse of heaven and a glimpse of hell".
     
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  23. I do believe one of the strengths of Harbeth is the “instrumental tuning” specially towards the string area” and this is a very admired attribute to very many listeners. And yes some of the Quads I’ve heard in the past had an enticingly “quick revealing floating in the air” effect of the mid range. Maybe the “Stradivarius” of speakers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
    Cyclone Ranger and Diapason like this.
  24. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    yamaha ns-10's, the old ones
    they had their uses but to succeed at those uses they kind of HAD to suck so I don't really blame them. special case.
     
    head_unit, Tim 2 and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  25. tyler8

    tyler8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern Cal
    ALL the blown speakers I listened to freshman year in college many moons ago. The horror..........
     

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