Buyer's remorse - your worst purchase?

We've all done it - you just want to kick yourself for spending the money on a stupid tweak or something. High expectations, great reviews, no results. Help me out as I am new to the audiophile world and feel myself being sucked in by ads and hype.
Back the 80's I wanted new speakers. I had to have Polk, just because my cousin had some and he said they were good. I was going to buy Polk 10's, that's all I can remember of the name. When I went to buy, they were having a sale on Polk SDA 12c's, I thought, surely bigger is better! I wouldn't admit they were lousy at the time.
I upgraded to an expensive Surround Sound Reciever from a lesser receiver and wish I had taken the oportunity to go to two channel then. It ended up being two years later that I dumped surround for pure stereo.
I wanted to save a few bucks so I bought a "B" stock Jolida 502A from Audio Advisor for $600.00/$1000.00 It sounded pretty good but it looked like it had been dropped from a 50 foot window.The transformers were all bent and dented,the paint was chipped and scratched.I couldnt stand to look at it so I sent it back and bought a Dynaco ST-70 for $150.00 that TROUNCED the Jolida!
I can honestly say it has never happened to me and I have been at this high-end business for about 15 years or so. The key thing is don't buy impulsively. There really isn't much reason for getting burned in this day and age. You have access to a great amount of information, especially on a forum like this. If you read and listen carefully, you will develop a feel for the characteristics of products that appeal to your own tastes and your knowledge will grow. So far as cables and tweaks go, make sure you can send them back if they don't work well in your system.
I wonder how many MIT,Nordst purchasers will have the guts to come forward.
My first attempt to put together a decent system. I bought Joseph Audio RM22s based on the rave reviews. I had listened to many speakers and was getting a bit frustrated. When I hooked them up to my Krell integrated, I was horified. Thet were bright, lean and lacked any coherence. I almost gave up. I was able to trade them in for a pair of Aerial 6s. More money, but oh so much better. Don't buy based on reviews. Listen for yourself.
Let me first say that I just want to parallel the thoughts of Tubegroover. I have been buying stereo equipment for about 15 years. Have yet to buy a dud. Number one reason? I audition, audition, audition. And I KNOW what I like and what I don't. I just don't understand people who buy gear of the month. I especially don't undertand someone who pays $5000 - $10000 on a piece he's never heard(or ever heard anything from that company). They're playing with fire. If you don't LOVE it, why buy it? The thing that really gets me are the threads along the lines of(tongue in cheek), "I am in the market for new monoblock power amps. I have narrowed it down to either the Cary 2A3's or the Krell FPB-600's, any thoughts?" What the @#$%? Do you have any idea of what you're doing? I love when people ask for advice on two products that are as different as it gets. You know they're only in it for the ego trip. C'mon, invest some time in listening to what's out there(dealers are OK with this, if you buy once in a while), and formulating what you like. Listen to everything BUT the dealer(they often say what they are not trying to sell you is crap). Then when you are ready to buy, you know EXACTLY what you have. Look Ma, no turkeys! Good Luck!
Tubegroover and Trelja, you're both right, research is the key and audiogon has been very helpful. I thought it my be interesting/fun to hear about some the mistakes people make. Fortunately for me, my buyer's remorse has been limited to software and not hardware. I will take your advice and hopefully be as fortunate as the two of you have been with your systems.
A little bit of arrogance in some of these responses. It is of a truth that nothing can match an audtion, especially in home. But, not all people live where there is access to all brands! Reading others opinions, especially more than one!!! well as reviews can be very helpful.
auditioning a product is, of course, the best way to shop, but as said before, it's not always possible. so, the best thing to do is as much research as possible - forums like this *are* very useful. also, if you're gonna buy something that you haven't heard, i strongly suggest either a demo or used piece - that way, if ya don't like it, ya won't take such a bath unloading it.
GTA SEP-1 Preamp. Bought it cuz I liked its looks. The pre was the worst sounding piece of junk I ever bought. They still are. Luckily for many of the uneducated GTA is out of business for the time being.
Polk Signatures,Biggest mistake,only lasted a month with me.Ended up trading them in with some cash for Martin Logan Sequels..Still have them after 5 years.The other was a Jolida it couldnt drive the Logans.Ended up breaking even on that one.
I started with a pair of tube monoblocks and took them around to speaker retailers, hooking them up to their demo speakers until I found a match (with Dunlavy Sc-III). If the dealer won't let you try your amps (or preamps, cd transport, DAC, etc) with his inventory, PASS on the dealer. Move on to the next one. Any experienced dealer or audiophile knows that you MUST match components with the equipment you have by listening and comparing. There is no other way. Some dealers are no more than audio hustlers. Do not be discouraged by negative responses from these guys, and ignore their recommendations, or hostile comments. The goal is the quality of SOUND reproduction. If you are presuaded to purchase brand NAMES based on the name alone, you are buying their marketing effort, not an objective evaluation of the equipment. Just some thoughts that can help eliminate buyers remorse.
The two products I purchased giving buyers remorse were both purchased from dealers who lied in one case and failed to provide needed information in the other. Be sure to ask a lot of questions because many dealers use the net to unload outdated merchandise. Always ask if it is the latest model and request a serial number to make sure.Otherwise you may end up with an old model the has highly diminished value even if it does come with a factory warrantee. That doesn't mean it will sound bad and you won't like it but it may make a good value a bad investment. Bottom line, you will take a bath when you plan to upgrade. Luckily both products I got duped on were very good performers and I owned them for several years before moving on. I never did get over the feeling of being suckered however and that is not a good feeling.
krell kps30i 5000 for junk my new sony dvd 7770 list 1200 blows it away
Amongst the main miscosceptions of life : assuming what comes easy to you,is easy for everybody.I never heard any of the pieces I own before I bought them.In a showroom,I am "putty"waiting to be molded. Heck,I'm not much better on the phone with a dealer.(So I am finding out).If read a "HOT"review,(Kharma EXQ) and if I have the means:that's it,the mold is ready.Buying this way hasn't hurt me;(still in Permanent Denial)Just paying to much. I'm catching on a little.Sounds like an AA (Audiophiles Anonymous) meeting going on here. Thanks ,Tmi2 for the tip on Nordst & Mit.So as you can see I am a loyal supporter of the genera,Keep those Bucks cirulating,guys,It is FUN!!!
OK - OK!! I was one of those Nordost takers who violated the first rule of Audiophilia (listen first) and spent a lot of money on Quattro-Fil and SPM Reference based on the press. It simply did not sound good in my system at all. Fortunately (for me at least), there were eager takers on Audiogon so the pain has been eased somewhat.
I am one of theose "Nordost takers" that recently upgrades to Red Dawn Rev II speaker cable (Bi-Wire) and SPM interconnect and could not be happier (I did listen first). I firmly believe that anyone that listens to these cables in a high quality system will be quite impressed. Also, not to get off track, I think my worst purchase was a Audio Alchemy DTI Pro (not the 32).
Oddly, I have never had a "worst purchase" until two months ago. I bought a Monster Power HTS3500 line conditioner after reading Robert Harley's rave comments in TAS about the HTS2000. I assumed that since the HTS3500 offered another filter stage, it had to be better than the HTS2000. WRONG!! When I installed the 3500 in my system (which is a pretty decent one with Bryston amps, Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers, etc.), there was a noticeable deterioration in the overall sound quality. My wife said it sounded like I had substituted some really bad speakers, or a bad preamp. After several weeks, I read a couple of comments in "AudioReview" by other owners of the HTS3500, who had the same experience I did. At that point, I sold the 3500 and bought two of the HTS2000's. BIG DIFFERENCE!! The sound quality of my system not only returned to its previous state, but showed improvements in the deep bass and high end, plus an improved video quality on the TV. So, I guess the lesson here is that more features and higher cost doesn't guarantee anything. For anyone considering the purchase of the HTS3500, I'd strongly recommend getting the HTS2000 instead.
Lexicon CP2. The MOST sterile sounding processor/pre out there. Not only that, it spent more time in the repair shop than in my rack.
SDcampbell, I am one of those who posted the "warning" in AudioReview about buying Monster HTS 3500 thinking it is even better than HTS 2000......I immediately noticed drop in overall sound quality, returned item immediately for HTS 2000 and Robt Hartley was right on, a very noticeable improvement in all respects, I agree that for the money there is no other product that offers same degree of improvement to ones system......BTW I hope you didn't overpay has HTS 2000 for $125 new, Sam
Megasam: I got my pair of HTS2000's from Global Mart, and bought a couple of demo units they had for $105 each. At that price, I feel like I got a great deal.
Probably the KAV300CD was the worst because it was grinding and unlistenable in the long run. The Classe CDP.5 was exactly the same as a Marantz 63SE sound wise so I consider it a Rip Off. Two of the most bogus products in High End Audio.
Did you try the HTS 2500? I to am ready to pull the tigger on the Monster but like the rack mount style of the 2500 as opposed to the 2000. What do you think? Does the 2500 sound like the 2000 and unlike the 3500? Thanks In Advance
I owned a pair of Paradigm Studio 20s for a day or two before packing them up and trading them in (for B&Ws). The drivers sound like a pair of trash can lids, and the sound was very boxed in. They're garbage just like the rest of the paradigm line.