What's the Single Worst Piece of Audio Equipment You've Ever Experienced?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Best Coast USA
    Another thread where ppl were talking about the Elys cartridge ( and how much a lot of ppl just hate it) got me thinking about this.
    As in, "Just how bad does it really get?". :idea:

    So, given that... tell us what's the Single Worst Piece of Audio Equipment™ you've ever experienced?

    As in, you heard it and it caused something akin to this reaction in you:
    (could also be never-ending repairs/hassles)

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    MisterNines and nosliw like this.
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon w/ 2M Red that my friend had. Noisy with a nasty, sibilant cartridge.

    For myself it was the Schiit Mani phono preamp. Works great until you move to an area near a large city with too many radio and TV stations nearby. Why they did not design for this factor I have no idea. Got tired of futzing with it and sold it.
    DrZhivago, ukrules, Adam9 and 4 others like this.
  3. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Someone once woke me up from a friend's floor with a spoon and a steel mixing bowl, so I'm going with that. :frog:
  4. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Arlington, VA
    It was the early 1990s. Married for just a few years, we had just purchased our first house. Having no basement or other likely listening space, we decided to ditch the collection of mid-fi junk that we brought to the marriage, and get something "unobtrusive" for the living room. It was a Bose Lifestyle 30 and it was awful. It took me a few years, and a new house to get around to replacing it (I gave it to my middle schooler niece, who loved it to death).

    Made the living room sound like a classy elevator.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  5. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Without a doubt- Dynaco PAS-3 preamp. Would not respond to coupling capacitor upgrades, tube rolling or bypassing the tone controls. And, some are asking $600 for this? I would not pay $1.
    MisterNines likes this.
  6. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

  7. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    No single worst but lots of pieces that made me absolutely cringe when listening and were big disappointments-

    1) Audio Note AN-J speakers. Great bass, dull sound overall. Huge disappointment for such a regarded brand.
    2) Rogue Audio Sphinx V1. Possibly not broken in and with bad synergy but intolerably bright and edgy. Yikes!
    3) Rega RS7 Speakers. These were absolutely horrid. Dull treble, warmed over veiled midrange- but the topper was that the side mounted woofers had directional midrange output that caused the vocal image to shift from the side to the front center of the speaker then back to the side and front / side front- sounded like bad multi-channel audio. I thought Van Morrison was playing hide and seek!
    4) Dali Epicon speakers with the ribbon super tweeter. Made everything sound like an FM radio station that was just out of range with this ultra high frequency static and hash.
    5) Hegel H160 amplifier. Really looked forward to hearing this very hyped amplifier. It was punchy and dynamic but so veiled that I thought that the speakers had no tweeters.
    6) Martin Logan Montis speakers. Wide and big clear soundstage but very edgy and blurry at the same time. The included woofer had great punch but was completely disconnected from the rest of the speaker's sound.
    7) Rega Planar 6 with Ania. So much looking forward to hearing the storied Raga turntable. Looked really cool and had good energy and dynamics but sounded soft and edgy overall and off pitch. My 30 year old Technics with P-mount audio technica cartridge sounded better.
    8) Rogue Pharaoh. Sounded OK until it warmed up then it suffered from bass bloat with a midrange that I could not find regardless of speakers.
  8. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Orlando, FL
    I did the Van Alstine mods to the one I had. It was a fun project and sounded nice when it was finished. I didn't like it at all stock though.
    doak likes this.
  9. MichaelXX2

    MichaelXX2 Forum Resident

    United States
    Magnepans - the 1.7 all the way up to the 30.7. These turned any ounce of midrange into glass, and bass was simply nonexistent. I can't imagine how people get along with any speakers in this range.
    cdgenarian, layman and Fruff76 like this.
  10. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    Except from the Rega Elyse2 which almost turned me off LPs, i have been lucky. No issues apart from needing to do some room treatments when money allows
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  11. noway

    noway Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    Technics linear tracking turntable with P-Mount cartridge.
  12. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Parts Unknown
    B&W 805D. I didn't know whether the amp or the speaker was broken when listening to it at first. Changing the amps confirmed that the speaker was voiced to sound like an icepick drilling directly into my brain. The loudspeaker equivalent of Grado headphones.
    SirMarc, F1nut, Don Parkhurst and 5 others like this.
  13. Dolemite

    Dolemite Forum Resident

    DL-160 Cart, I know this LOVED more than anything other budget cart on every forum, but nothing but hum, sibilant and IGD for me. And it wasn't an alignment issue either, try different ones, had dealer check too. I guess I got a bum cart but it burned me enough never to try another Denon again
  14. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Mid South
    For me it was the PS Audio GCPH phono stage. A hum and buzz box if there ever was one.
  15. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Ironically, I think my SL-QL1 is one of the finest turntables I've heard (running an Audio Technica AT450 now).
    tmtomh and johnny q like this.
  16. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Orlando, FL
    Bad setup or a poor choice of upstream components. What you describe sounds the exact opposite of mine.
    Frost, jbmcb, Sugar Man and 6 others like this.
  17. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Best Coast USA
    Aren’t Maggies legendarily fussy when it comes to setup?

    As in, very very sensitive to it? :rant:
    carrick doone, Frost and displayname like this.
  18. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Sounds like my GF.
  19. gibby299

    gibby299 Forum Resident

    I sold an Ariston RD 11 and bought a B &O Beogram RX. Very stupid.
    Ghostworld likes this.
  20. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Burlington VT USA

    I loved my Technics SL-5 back 30 years ago. I recently dug it out of the back closet, and gave it away to a friend of mine who is a broadcast engineer at the local NPR radio station. It needed some repair work, which he did, and he loves it.
  21. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    I heard a CD once.......
    eflatminor, brew ziggins, trd and 5 others like this.
  22. slovell

    slovell Retired Mudshark

    Chesnee, SC, USA
    I had one of them briefly. I didn't like the volume control or the sound from it. IMHO my Jolida JD9 just walked all over it.
    MisterNines likes this.
  23. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    These threads are fun until someone who likes their gear has their gear disparaged. :sigh:
  24. h46e55x

    h46e55x What if they believe you?

    Gitmo Nation West
    You think B&W 805s and Grado headphones sound like ice-picks drilling into your ears? Just proves it's all subjective. :)
    Audionerd likes this.
  25. stetsonic

    stetsonic Forum Resident

    Long ago I had a cheap no-brand phono preamp that became subject to product recall sometime later, apparently because of electric shock hazard from the built-in transformer. A piece of bad sounding gear is kind of a downer but if it has the potential to actually kill you, that's an entirely different level of offensiveness.
    saturdayboy, SBurke, thxdave and 8 others like this.

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