Other than a well reviewed Kenwood amp back in the late 80's which turned out to be rather edgy when pushed, nothing springs to mind. Since then, I've been more careful about purchases, and even though I've had a lot of equipment over the last 30 years, I wouldn't say that anything else has been regretted.
DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.
"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"
My worst purchase was Grado SR60i headphones, after much hype on reviews here and elsehere, I found to be very trebly and sibilent so sold them off on the bay.
Very happy now with my Beyers, very happy with the rest of my kit..............
Very Delighted with the amount of replies!!!..Keep them coming Guys...
Its somehow an educational experience as it may deter some of us from falling in the same traps..
But however the big question remain.!! .How can so many of these products mentioned on this thread had been granted 5* awards.?? .Example Yamaha AS500..It could have been perhaps more demystifying if the partnering equipment involved in the test, could be revealed more often in the award reviews....as many of us find it hard to express the same sentiment after owning these equipment..
About 40% of products reviewed gain 5 stars so its no big deal. Also many reviews are done on expensive systems not your typical budget systems, also in expensive treated rooms, again not your typical living room.
Careful auditioning is part of the answer, home trials are even better rather than just going on reveiws.
BigH wrote:About 40% of products reviewed gain 5 stars so its no big deal. Also many reviews are done on expensive systems not your typical budget systems, also in expensive treated rooms, again not your typical living room. Careful auditioning is part of the answer, home trials are even better rather than just going on reveiws.
Yup, dont buy on hype or reviews. Go hear it yourself first.
Or, like me you dont mind going through a lot of kit to try, and take a little loss on it when you move it on, dive in at the deep end and just buy what you fancy!
Only other item I bought that was not great at all were the Antique Sound Lab Wave 8 Monoblocks, that was based on 'hype' reviews, mind they were cheap but still, there is a reason you dont get good small valve monoblocks at £100/pair.
Loads in the past (mainly from following reviews and buying without a proper audition) for example:
Kenwood 3020SE - Spitty, brash, reasonable detail retrieval but NO control.
KEF Coda 7 - the boxiest pile of plastic junk I have ever owned
Tannoy 603 - Pleasant enough but stupidly short end stops on the bass drivers. So you had to turn the volume back and they then became dull
AR Red Box 2 - Just because they were so disappointing compared to the Red Box 1
Pioneer A400 - Great detail, and energy, but no musicality and could not drive anything bigger than a standmount properly
KEF Q3 - Midrange weak, and what there was of it was very cuppy sounding
Cable Talk Talk 3 & Linn K20 - Both turned out to be nothing more than 79 strand mediocrity
Linn K5 - replaced an Audio Technica...only to find out it was made by Audio Technica for Linn based around the one
Mordaunt Short MS10i/20i - Great drivers, but uninspiring crossovers and cabinets. spent a lot of time tweaking them to work how they should
But to balance things out there have been buys that have been a pleasant surprise!
Royd Minstrels - Wonderfully Musical
Mission 760i - Lively little things given the price
Rotel RA1062 - So Much better than the Rega Mira that you'd think would go with the...
Original Rega Planet CD - Lively engaging, different from the usual tray loaders at the time
Marantz CD42 - One of the few cheap Bitstream machines not to be as soft as treacle
Mordaunt Short T2000 Centre Speaker - Looked mean, sounded dynamic and clear. Shame the "matching" satellites were just ordinary
And when I was very young (5!), an Amstrad RP10 Disco. Had disco lights in the lid and a BSR rim drive deck. Onboard amp was quite respectable, but I plagued my parents to change the speakers (horrible things even to a 5 year old) to a pair of Toshiba SS-20s. Later fed a Crown top loading CD into the DIN input and I can remember many an hour of listening before bedtime with the disco lights illuminating the bedroom!!
Thankfully I still had enough of my childhood outside, so not to end up being too much of a nerd!
Monitor Audio Bronze B2 speakers which I bought in 2004 for my first proper separates stereo system - 5 star rated and apparently, alongside the NAD amp and CD player I bought, the absolute best budget system at the time.
They sounded great and way way more detailed than my old Mission 700 front of my 5.1 system but became fatiguing very, very quickly. I strugged to listen to a whole album..
Mine was a Cambridge Audio DVD/CD player ... can't remember the exact model other than its colour being silver.
The remote was truly awful, loading times were slow and very picky which discs it could be play.
Bought the model owing to my 'breaking' my beloved Pioneer DVD player and needed a player ASAP as I was addicted to the TV show 'Lost'.
To this day, on seeing any Cambridge Audio product's bring me out in a cold sweat.
Like may reader of these forums, by and large many of my audio/video purchases have proved to be satisfactory
I went to buy a Cambridge Audio blu-ray player but neither of the ones in the shop would work, maybe a lucky escape?
Arcam Solo Movie 5.1.
From day 1 it was going to be an issue as the HDMI board packed up.
Got a 2nd one and the same thing happened.
Got a 3rd then the DVD drive stopped closing properly.
After contacting them 'it will need a new drive at x amount' I took it apart and bought an X Box drive belt off eBay and fixed it myself for 3 quid!
Oh and the remote corrupted itself, goodbye 80 odd quid.
Utter load of overpriced rubbish!
Never ever again will I buy Arcam.
Changing Hi Fi setup for Surround Setup to fit in with new home / kids.
Not that it was bad stuff (Arcam AVR280 B&W MT-20)
But ultimately the musical experience just wasn't there.
Now happy again with Hi Fi system, albeit a minor pain to setup speakers for listening to.
Didn't buy them as such as they were free with my A65+ & CD72T, but my original VDH The Bay I/Cs were very dull sounding. Wasn't long before I'd ousted them in favour of some used Kimber Silver Streaks, which may have pushed the sound a bit too far the other way, but were still a massive improvement.
Beyedynamic t5p headphones.
I think the main lesson here is not to buy bassed on Magazine reviews but to go and audition carefully every component before buying .
Hi Fi : Proac Studio 140MK2 > Rotel RC 1580 > Rotel RB 1582 > Rotel RCD 1520 > B&W P7 >Tellurium Q & WireWorld cables
KEF LS50. Bought with high expectations, and to be fair at mid and high volumes they performed as expected.
However, at low or levels where i could still hold a conversation with the family, the LS50's sounded dull and unexciting.
Such a shame really. Bought the e305 system thinking they would be better with the powered sub, again when cranked up they are fine.
Maybe it's a feature of the uni-q driver that they need to be pushed hard.