Monarchy Audio SE-100 Deluxe. Sounded great, but it was a dodgy piece of engineering, and I found Mr. Poon to be a poor manufacturer/designer to interface with. I moved on and bought a Musical Fidelity A3CR, much happier. I was very disappointed by the whole experience, but that's history!
Quad989, not the performance, though a bit darkish, its a true Quad, but its reliability and its interim noises: Popping, spitting, splurting, farting, sizzling, you name it. Raising the room's humidity helped and to be fair, there are plenty of others, who are completely happy with their Quads. I just did not strike lucky. The QC-people must have been drunk, when they released my pair. All the same, three cheers for Dr. Roger West and his Sound Labs. They just make music and never fart.....
a 200lb solid state amp that i can't move without hurting myself..i'd trade it in but i can't get up the courage to box it up....oh well, i guess i'll live around it.
Jrd, you have my sympathy. I've just sold a pair of Gryphon Ref. Monos and I had to collect every trace of willpower to schlepp them around and box them up. Thankfully they are gone now. These are wonderful amps, easily putting some great SS names to shame in all the parameters we audiophiles deem necessary, but they just wouldn't shine with stators. So I suppose, good as they were, they also belong to this list of regretted purchases.
Yes, once upon a time I was resurrecting my Dual 1219 turntable after a period of inactivity. So it seemed like time for a new cartridge. Up to that point I'd had a Shure M91E, a parade of Stanton 681EEE's, an occasional Grado, and an Ortofon TM20U. I'd previously found the Ortofon at an appliance store and it was probably the best of the bunch. But by this time the appliance store had gone under. So I hoped to repeat my good experience with a trip to Circuit City. There I found an Audio Technica cartridge that spec'd nicely and cost over $100. Alas, after installing it the sound was thin, dry and void of bass. Although it wasn't a major purchase, I was shaken. So much for experiments!
Shortly thereafter fate smiled on my misfortune. I found a slide-mounted Dual 1215 at a garage sale for $3. One of its on/off switch contacts was misaligned so it wasn't working. It was an easy fix. Best of all, it contained a Shure M91ED that appears to have been protected from wear by the malfunctioning table. I slapped it into the 1219 and the full bodied sound returned! I've lived happily ever after :^)
A second from the top of the line Micromega transport/DAC combo. Nothing wrong with the performance but a residual value of 10% after six years...ouch! No more cutting edge
CD players for me.
First, GREAT Topic! :-)
Feels like a great day to unburden my conscience. Oh, but wait, you are wanting to hear JUST about the audio gear. No matter, I have plenty of goofs there too.
Fair disclosure = we are a dealer of many brands.
I hope you all get some good laughs because when I foul up it tends to be a magnitude of 5 times the average because I tend to order inventory of this stuff not just one piece.
Shall we start with tweaks:
Aurios, all sizes - not a bad little product but the surface one puts them on MUST be perfectly level or the piece will slide to the lowest corner every time. And with our luck nothing is ever level, or stays level, in our world.
FIM gold cables - these are a real hoot! So G*& D@#$ stiff every woman in the world is envious! By the time you go four rounds of wrestling with them you might be able to finally plug them in. Aha, but this certainly doesn't guaranty they will stay in!! Sneaky little devils, especially the power cords. They tend to jiggle their way out just enough to start shorting out the power connection on the component sending arking spikes of current through ones components as they work their way loose. They actually lit a solid state preamp on fire right in front of my eyes. I mean over the years I have seen many a tube piece go up in smoke but solid state with flames?
FIM cables round 2 - you want to talk about stiff, eh? Every piece of gear you own better be at least 50 pounds!! Because if it ain't it's going to be floating above the shelf it's supposed to be on!! Who needs isolation stuff when I can have power cords that lift the whole piece right off the shelf? Anyway, I had $25,000 dealer cost (50K retail) of inventory - talk about sweating bullets!!! Thank God for the audio press raving about this stuff as I was lucky to unload them and save my tail. And quality wise they are a credible sounding stuff we just went through an extensive disclaimer with every potential buyer of these to make sure they unerstood the risks.
Ensemble - Swiss right? Means great quality and great engineering right? Picked up a load of the Ensemble power stuff, those little boxes with one plug on them. This was really great! We plugged them into the FIM power cords and WA-LAH! little boxes floating in the air all over the place - what a sight! Then as we tried to pin them down, the little boxes the single plug plate they have on them began popping out all over the place, that's right the entire piece, still plugged onto the power cord mind you. Now I have floating little boxes dangling from two small connecting wires hanging out. Wow, this was a total loss, can't remember how many I had to deal with, but I wouldn't sell these to anyone regardless of the audiophile press.
I suppose I could go on for days, but enjoy the above and thanks for letting me unburden my conscience a little this morning.
In answer to your base question, I still have never really gotten to a solid equilibrium point with a system to where I had it setup the way I am satisfied enough to experience regret when taking a piece out. But hope springs eternal in our quest!! :-)
Best Wishes to All in our Adventures, Paul
Vandersteen 2CI. Tried every possible amp, preamp, speaker cables and interconnects. Always polite and blah sounding, never involving. Replaced them with 'stats and never looked back.
Biggest mistake I ever made was not the purchase of a piece of equipment, but an 'upgrade' to an already existing piece. I had a Proceed PAV, and trying to upgrade to DD,DTS on the cheap, I went for the MSB Technology 5.1 'upgrade', instead of selling the PAV and buying an AVP. Long story short, MSB ruined the unit and refused to repair it or refund my money. I'm out of high end pre/pro's now, using a Denon receiver for my HT needs. It will be a long time before I have any equipment 'modified' again, especially by someone who isn't the manufacturer.
Accuphase DP55. Just didn't sound like Accuphase at all. Overpriced for the performance.
Wadia 830. All that hype and rave reviews from Stereophile and Soundstage and other magazines. This is the most digitalized CD player that I've ever own. The guy that bought it from me sold it after a week.
Way to go Paul.Confession is good for the ?? whatever-- I doubt there are many dealers in the world whom would make such a disclosure. ( To their wives maybe;but not to us.) I still own one piece that I overpayed on; sounds like crap; and now won't even play. But hey,not nearly the same as having 10 of 'em. Also bonus points for buying something used, where you couldn't even get 1/2 of what you paid for it,a month later.
Yeah, HT gear, specifically "High-End" AV receiver, and surround speakers. I should have known that I am a music buff, NOT a video buff. Soundwise, HT gear in affordable price range is not good enough. I am no longer interested in "surround sound", either.
But hey, good news is that's about it for gears. As to CDs, too many to remember.
Heathkit 20 watt integrated amp...circa 1954. I caught the disease, and have been broke ever since!
Counterpoint SA-20- Lousy design with a designer who would not take responsibility for his Mosfets. The guy should have been bending over backwards to fix a poor choice in mosfets. Instead he overcharges to "upgrade" them.
Naim gear: Nait 3, 90/3, 92, flat cap, phono stage. All way overated, tried a ton of different speakers. Never gelled for me.
Yeah, I purchased a Talon Audio ROC 2002 sub from someone on Audiogon. I never received it and it took almost four months to get a refund. Last time I'll pay the manufacturer directly to handle the deal. Pretty disappointing considering I paid for it immediately, but wasn't given the same courtesy in kind.
Mostly wires. Never ever will be looking onto these fancy coating ever again. Pure BS.
Bought VanDenHul Mainstream Hybrid(unterminated wire leftover) lookeed under the snake and it's oxided. Hell with it! changed to homemade from home depot wires.
Boght JPS Labs Superconductor wires compared with Carol Command found no difference so why $300 JPS? Sold them with no regrets. Now speaker wires are $40 top notch great and enough!
Thx god I never got onto interconnect hassle after that. Plain and simple. Will even be simplier when I get MCM unterminated wire and sell base line of VanDenHul and AudioQuest that I currently use on some of components.
Thanks, all for the responses. I have recently "upgraded" from a simple ss integrated to separates, costing me four times as much (used). Is the sound 4 Xs better? Naw. Do I like the system? Yeah, it's nice, but I wonder if I would have been just as happy with my previous set up. I'm not going back, though. I am going to try a tube amp (I've an Aleph 30 now; VTL pre), and if that doesn't give me that audio nirvana we all so ardently seek, then I'll probably buy a used Jolida 102b with some mods and that'll be that.
Bose Accustimass 10. After that, it has been uphill all the way!!!
Fortunately mine was software. I bought a UHQR from a jerk in Chicago who totally misrepresented the LP. Rather than 'mint' it was fair/good. Box was beat up and LP had a skip. $100 was too much for this LP!
I started with a Rotel cdp and Grado headphones and went a winding route through to a Cary tube preamp, bi-amped active Linn speakers and two sources. 6 pieces of gear, 6 sets of cables. I tried at least a dozen varieties of cables (IC and sp) and tweaks for isolation, resonance, etc... Now I'm selling the whole lot, starting over with a tube integrated and some MM de Capos. I guess it's all part of the fun but when the music settles as the priority, it seems to me that a few quality pieces of gear (the fewer the better)will clean up the clutter (internally and externally). Subtraction rather than addition. Just my opinion.
Audio Research CD-2 boring and overpriced!
Yes, I recently purchased a bunch of stuff @ a garage sale down the street.
Some Bob guy (who dresses like a hillbilly) said that they were all high end prototypes (Snowporch preamp, Pssst Audio power amp, a Mockport TT and speakers, a pair of No-neck subs and a bunch of TGIF cables - pretty sure that a local restaurant makes these).
Hate to complain as the whole shootin match was only $12.50, but...
Looks like he pulled all of the tubes from the preamp & the amp - so I haven't fired them up yet, the TT is missing its multi play spindle and the speakers/subs ended up being way to big for our living room (they looked tiny when Bob was standing next to them).
So that it's not a complete loss I'll see if I can trade all of the cables for a To-Go order from TGIF's (this way I don't have to leave a tip:-). Maybe they will even throw in some complimentory tater skins?
The problem is in the cables. Do you know what "room temperature super-conductivity is?" It took over a dacade of hard research to initiate the beginning stages of this mind blowing technology. The advancement is created by generating a null or void in the electromagnetic field between the AC transmission lines;within the audio cable's architecture. You can change audio gear till pigs begin to fly;until this advancement is implemented your just pissing into the wind.
Wilson Witts. An impulse buy that I hope I'll never do again. Replaced my Straightwire Maestros with Purist Audio Colossus to take the edge off the ear slicing highs. The "one note bass" problem remained no matter where I positioned them (even after spending 3000. for the 2 version).
A reviewer in Fi said it best when he stated that the signature of these speakers is so pronounced that any music you play tends to sound alike. No wonder they are discontinued.
Lots of stuff. Since most were used, and I seemed to be able to resell most of them at a profit, no harm done.
.....bought a well respected 100+ wpc Stereophile class A tube amplifier and was totally disappointed with it-- deep but soft, boomy, bloated, uncontrolled bass, and soft, boring mids and highs-- sold it after 30 days, and happily went back to my favorite SS amp. Disclaimer: this is NOT a general condemnation of tube amps-- this one just didn't happen to work in MY system. Cheers. Craig
Making a $400 cable purchase from a local portland retailer who treated me like dirt the next time I came in.
Sdrconsultant you got any more stories like these they are absolutely hilarious. Actually Martin Logan Quest z unless you listen with your head in a vice you will be disappointed.
Any music recommended as the reviewer's "favorite". I won't name names but wish I had the money back from some of these stinkers! Never buy music you haven't heard first (Well, most classical is pretty good...). Also, bought what I thought was an AC/DC "greatest hits" album which was actually performed by "promising new female artists" accompanied by a solo acoustic guitar... Slammin'!
Ditto on the Counterpoint SA-20. Mine spent as much time in the repair shop as it did in my listening room.
I can't say I regret any purchases I've made. I've bought many components and sold them off some at a loss but most at break even. Either way, they are all valuable audio learning experiences. However, the component I sunk the most money into is an ARC CA50 amp where I had to immediately replace all the tubes with a factory set eventhough the seller claims the tubes to be fine. Well, this was my first and only tube amp.
Like explosive diarrhea all over the room.
Hey Kubla, did you ever get that movie deal going with Paul Sorvino from Law & Order?
Hey Detlof, now that your speakers don't fart, do you feel compelled to similarly restrain yourself when listening? :-)
Dekay, this is what buying cable sold at low-fi chain resturants located in strip malls will get you. I only buy mine in expensive hi-fidelity dining establishments, where there's not a bar in the middle and you can't order a batter-fried whole onion... ;^)
Zaike, now that you ask and upon proper consideration, I must admit that I do only restrain myself, when I don't listen alone. But even when alone, my system is so well set up at the moment, that I forget all about it and wouldn't even notice if it should happen, I'm so enthralled by the music.(-:
Dekay, I bet the worse part of the $12.50 you spent was hauling all that stuff back home.
Didn't lift a finger. Paid the skinheads next door a can of paint thinner and some plastic bags to move it all. LOL!
Dekay - That's some neighborhood you're in there...I guess being the audiophile on the block must make you the local weirdo if sorts :-)
oh crap...why remind me albert?
the film was shot, reedited and then a new score was added. An amazing one. all improv to the film. the guy was like a black tom waits and was perfect. Toledo. he plays around hollywood (thetoledoshow.com) amazing.
[i could go on for days)
then i got caught in a lawsuit because i found out the company was stealing the film and selling it overseas. that took months and months of my time but i nailed the shit ouf of that company like tyson going mental on a toddler. it felt good but my film is still screwed. i'm in the process of bringing it back around ... we'll see. the experience took me 10 notches closer to ...you know...'going out the window.' and i only had about 15 notches to go when i started. maybe things will work out...but at this point i'd consider a victory if i didn't wind up on the 5 o'clock news after having shot up century city (only at certain people)
while i have you on the phone:
i need to decide between two options and was hoping you could help. i have a credit and can buy either 1 - VPI Aries with 10" arm (~3,600) OR both VPI Aries with 9" arm and the VPI SDS box for controling speed. The two options about equal the same amount. im going ahead with your approval of the Luckaschek phono stage - will i have to get rid of my HO Benz Glider do you thnk?
Definitely go with the deal that includes the SDS box. The improvement that makes is significant, much more than the difference in the tonearm.
The HO Benz is fine with Lukaschek, you will have dynamics and signal to noise to "burn."
Thanks once again, Albert. The dealer offered a package to me and so i can buy a new aries with a 10" arm AND the SDS box for my price so it's no longer an either or. I think because i listen mostly to jazz that i'll go with the 10" arm and of course the SDS.