Sorry, it’s not me, it’s you?

I’ve tried everything, but it didn’t work out.  My speakers suck.  Different cables, different music, different placement, it didn’t matter what I did.  When I replaced them with some old standbys(after burning in the new speakers for over 60 hours), the magic came back.

i just bought the speakers 2 weeks ago at the Black Friday sale, and I finally realized it was a big mistake.  So today I took them back, and frankly, I feel relieved.  
Has anyone else had this experience with speakers or components?  Maybe even after a couple of years?
Not me. Never in 50 years. Almost everything lasts me many years, and I'm happy with it right up to the day something better arrives. Way it should be if you're doing it right, eh?
I was disappointed with a preamp from the beginning. I gave it time to break-in, I rolled the tubes, but it didn't present the sound I was looking for. I wasn’t quite sure about it when listening at the audio shop but I bought it anyway.
I sold it here on Audiogon.

And I regretted buying a pair of speakers which were too bright and fatiguing. I bought them on close-out from Underwood Wally without an audition; no returns. I lived with them a couple of years all the while changing room treatments, rolling tubes and cables. Now they’re sitting in a spare room unused.

We all make mistakes. Some of us just don't want t admit it. My worst was a Transcriptor's Vestigial tonearm. Live and learn.
Finding equipment that you love,or don’t love is all part of the journey,is it not? 
Glad to hear I'm not the only one, I'm just glad I was within the return window for the speakers!  It's not my only misstep, however.

The Parasound P5.  Sigh.  I really liked the idea of the bass management/crossover for my sub.  And truthfully, it did a good job with that and integrating the speakers well.

But the dac was not good.  And the overall SQ was not up to their Halo standards IMHO.  I sold it off for the Schiit Audio Freya +.  Cheaper and much superior SQ, with fewer features.  
Millercarbon is perfect, just ask him. Apparently his favorite game as ( still as) a child was you’re it and I quit. Never ever in the kind old days of this site would you see a childish answer in a forum like this. 
All speakers are a mistake. It's only a matter of time before you want something else. 

I've owned lots of equipment over the years that I either didn't like as much as I thought I would and returned, and some that I liked for a while but fell out of love with once I got more familiar with them.  Receivers/amps, speakers, a couple of carts.  It's not necessarily a mistake, but just part of the journey to find what you love. 

I've had my current speakers for 30 years now, and have never been happier with the whole system after doing the VTA mods to my Dynas and refreshing everything. 
Hello 213runnin,

     Ah, the Parasound P5 preamp sure brings back memories.  I used one in my system for a few months as a temporary dealer loaner, while my VTL preamp was in the shop for a manufacturer’s internal upgrade. Overall, my reaction was the same as yours, a Big Sigh!
     I would describe it as awkward and annoying. Its presentation,was neutral but in the worst connotations of that word. It oddly made all the recorded music played through it sound neutral, like all the life, beauty and soul of the music had all been sucked out of it rather than letting it flow through unaltered and sounding naturally as good as the music and recording allowed.
     Here are a few other annoying and awkward qualities that I noticed about this preamp:
- While it had an attractive appearance, the component’s chassis seemed strangely to be about 50% larger than it needed to be.
- It had interesting and effective bass management controls but they were all awkwardly, inconveniently and annoyingly located on the rear panel of the unit.
- Apparently the remote was designed and made in Russia around the 1930s, based on its bulk, cheapness and lack of useful features
     Other than the exceptions noted above, I really enjoyed my brief time with this preamp. I’m just grateful that I spent no money on this preamp, it’s gone forever and that you so thoughtfully and kindly reminded me of my experiences with it.

@kenjit ,

"All speakers are a mistake. It's only a matter of time before you want something else."

True,  but getting something better is another matter altogether.

My worst mistakes were speakers that had nasty treble, usually overly sibilant. The problem was that I didn't find out til I turned the volume right up, but when I did it became difficult to ignore. 

The saddest case was with the Ruark Prologues. An otherwise wonderful loudspeaker that could have been even better with a decent tweeter. 

I've had a similar experience with headphones. Spending more will often get you less. Between £30 and £250 I can't say I've heard too much of a difference. The main action seems to be from the Sennheiser HD6xx and upwards to around £400.

Turntables were never a problem. Both the Rega 3 and the LP12 were better than their predecessors, even if the latter soon threatened to become a bottomless money pit.
1. I trusted my mother. I went to college. She said she would pack and ship my LP’s, less than 50, so I didn’t need to take them. Nope. Jogged a memory, I should have known better. When I was younger at summer camp, please send batteries, nope.

2. Went to Church Christmas Eve. Got ransacked while gone. They took my AR2x speakers, I’m still mad.

3. Pioneer 6x9 car speakers. Commuting to Philadelphia, 1hr 20 min each way for a while, I wanted to improve the sound in my 1961 VW Bug. They sounded fab in the store. Bought em, put them in the space behind the back seat, excitedly test, what the heck, no bass? Took em back to store: these no good! Guy says "Were they loose, or mounted in a panel? That’s when I learned about the back wave cancelling the front wave. Made a plywood panel, put em in, wonderful!

4. Waited, should have pre-ordered replacement tweeters. My son had some great parties here. EVERY time, they blew one or both Dynaudio D21 tweeters of my JSE Infinite Slope Model 2’s. They would hear nothing, juice the volume up, up, then figure out they had the wrong input. Bang, blast, burnt the factory tweeters. It cost him $60 or $120. each party. After research, I substituted a Focal tweeter, they could take a shot.

5. Trusted my evil stepfather. Mother divorced him. He took a collection of about 100 classical LP’s that had been my uncle’s. (my uncle died young, that’s when I inherited the Fisher President II console). Stepfather put them in storage in Maine. He agreed he should not have taken them, said he would drop them off with my mother. Lie, lie, lie. Then he stopped paying for the storage, the owner confiscated everything, nobody knows where they went.

6. Bought several used LP’s over the years, unknown artists, based on the cover design/notes. Some god awful. Now, I look stuff up on my phone when I need to.

........ other poor judgements I am sure ....

A little story about skiing, but it applies. Learning in the Canadian Rockies, my Dutch friend, Marty, obliged and took me up ever more challenging slopes at Sunshine and Lake Louise - what glorious slopes and God's majestic scenery!  :) 

I wanted to do moguls, and not waste time in learning. One time, I complained to Marty, "I'm doing a lot of falling!" He said, "If you're not falling, you're not learning!" I said, "You will never see anyone fall more than I will (translated; "I get it, and I"m going to push even harder.")

I did, and flipped forward, backward, sideways, but in three seasons I was skiing black diamond moguls! What a great time that was! Some of the most enjoyable times of my life.  

I have made many "mistakes" in speakers over the years; I can't remember them all. Most of them I rather enjoyed at the time, but would not be interested in now. But, I would not trade it for anything, because the payoff has been extreme. 

So, by all means, go ahead and make some "mistakes". Explorers make fantastic discoveries!    :) 
So that makes 2 1/2 audio geniuses, and the rest of us mere mortals.

That feeling of relief is the absolute best gauge of having done the right thing.  You can try to argue yourself into liking/keeping something, but if your gut is telling you otherwise...  For me, trying to imagine how I will feel if I take it back/send it back is the ultimate arbiter.
I had a substandard preamp for a number of years and didn’t realize it until someone here recommended I upgrade. They were right!
I’m happy not to be so insecure that I could never admit publicly I had even once made a poor purchasing decision! How pathetic and exhausting it must be to always have to be right.

I once purchased a tube amp that had a hum issue that I spent an entire year trying to remedy which led to incurring all kinds of supplemental expenses - electrician visits to check grounding, power conditioners, DC blockers, ground lifters, power cables, etc....nothing worked. I finally struck a trade deal with the manufacturer (who said nothing was wrong with my amp) that worked out well for me. That year was so frustrating but since then I’ve never had an issue like that again from my system. It was clearly a problem inherent to the amp but I did learn a lot from the process.
I took a Naim Nait 5 back after 30 days because t was starting to annoy me and there was a full value trade in offer if upgrading within a month, I traded it for Rega pre/power and got the cables included in the trade. I hadn’t done a demo of the Nait before buying it.
With speakers I’ve been able to borrow speakers from the demo stock of two local dealers to try at home before placing an order. The first set I borrowed were picked after an in store comparison but interacted with my room to sound very harsh (Focal Profile 918). They went back and I think it was the 4th pair of speakers, the second from another dealer that stayed (Thiel CS1.6). This home demo culture saves a lot of mistakes but is less common outside the UK. I’m in France now and when I asked for a demo from a local dealer I got a very funny reaction but he had neither the turnover nor the factory support to carry demo stock.
Not claiming to be good, just lucky.
The biggest risk was building DynaKits and SWTP's. But they worked out.
At least most stuff now daze comes with trial and return priviledges, because it WON'T sound the same @ home as in the shop.
The closest I came to disappointment was a channel out for years on a PS Audio Elite. About the same time that my BQII Panasonic speed switch pukedOh well, no air flange for awhile.
When I finally pulled the Elite out from the bottom of the stack it was only a dirty fuse clip.
All good.
I'm guessing the speakers in question were not a good match for your system and/or your room. Your dealer should have done a better job of recommending a suitable speaker for your situation, otherwise you may as well buy on-line. But if you buy from a dealer, do not be afraid to ask for his opinion. That's what he there for.
OH yes.  My favorite was getting speakers that in the store I LOVED.  Got them home, loved them on some stuff, hated on others.  Tried ...  Failed. ... Took them back.  Apologized.  Took my cash.  Spent days lamenting--I literally could not live without them (It was exactly like having a lover leave me).  Gathered up my courage and cash, ran back to the store, apologizing profusely, offering to pay extra for their trouble, whatever they wanted, weeping and wailing.  They laughed.  (It was a store that specialized in car audio).  "Two things" they said.  "(1) We want you to be happy.  We really do.   And (2), you know what? we just don't get people like you in here very often, and we find it very amusing."  (Still have those speakers.  A couple of years later, on a whim, I bought a cheap tube amp to replace what I thought was the entry-level hi-end amp/pre that I had bought shortly before those speakers.  The magic returned.   And I wouldn't replace those speakers for any amount of money.  It was actually quite alarming to find myself as involved in a piece of material as I was with those.
I don't think the OP made a mistake at all, they took advantage of a return policy and got to demo a set of speakers through the break in period, and returned them after being unsatisfied with them.  Nothing ventured nothing gained.

At least you don't take years to research and ponder, while listening to whatever drove you to better your listening for those same years, like someone else on here does.  Bravo for being proactive.
Flatblackround, needlebrush- how can you bash “Ike” (I know everything) MC? There are quite a few people calling him IKE for his recent posts. Justifiable, yes
I have. Bought an integrated amp from a very well-known manufacturer who was testing having this product made in China instead of the USA. Low cost (for the make), still a fairly high cost for me. Big mistake. Never liked the sound. Tried for a year or two. Never put a smile on my face. Sold it here to another 'goner and he reported he loved it. I was very glad to hear that, but never could understand why it just didn't sound good to me.
And again...bought some speakers that got very good reviews. Was so happy when they showed up. After several years they got relegated to the bedroom system that my wife listens to and doesn't hesitate to tell me she likes them better than the ones in my system in my dedicated room.
Just thought of another pair of speakers that never sounded good to me.
Oh snap! Just remembered another integrated that didn't sound good either.
Thereare probably others...
Good news is I am completely happy with my current system. 
Even though it is a very simple system (just a CDP for the only source), it sounds wonderful to me. Best sounding room and system I've ever had in 45 years of interest in this hobby.

My speakers whole system sounded fabulous in my house in New Jersey.   I moved to Arizone and for years I've tried everthing but reclaimed about 60 % of its former glory
To respond to aewarren,

Yes the dealer could have taken more time with me, but it was my fault because I basically made the buy decision based on price(2/3rds off) while looking at the speakers on their website. 
I showed up at 8:30 pm on Black Friday and I couldn’t demo the speakers much because other customers were in the speaker room demoing. I was so sure they would work out!

I’ve had quite a history with speakers in the last few years though. I’m hoping that Kef will save me from the buy/sell cycle I’ve been in...perhaps it would be better to have the emotional attachment that the fella above developed.
I don't know if buying those B&W 805S speakers (two pair because they sounded so amazing) was a mistake, but...
Local Craigslist guy was selling some nice looking speakers for 2K. Never heard of the brand, Dali Helicon 400. Looked them up, nice reviews.Had to listen to them in his garage. Sounded OK, but we couldn't hear anything coming from the super tweeters (until we put on Linda Rondstadt). Bought them, put them next to the 805's. What the hell???Suddenly my 805's were fatiguing, shrill, and lacking in mid bass.Sold both pairs within a week. These Dali's were designed for my ears.
On two other occasions I purchased speakers without proper pre-investigation. Both had replacement drivers, not the originals. Do your homework.
I am going to guess you have an acoustically untreated room. Sometimes speakers just don't work in that situation. No biggie you did the smart thing (for you) and returned them.  Then again maybe they just weren't your flavor. Again you did the right thing.

Quote by Charles Schulz “ I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.”
I hope the Kefs work out for you. System and room synergy are very important in the purchase decision and should not be overlooked. The speakers have to work in YOUR room and with YOUR electronics. There is no perfect speaker, not even Tekton :), that will integrate universally. Happy listening!
Does anyone want to guess what exactly these speakers were?

I try first 

Martin logan
I think we've all "been there, done that"  at one time or another. I recently purchased some speakers for a 2 channel setup in my bedroom. I was seeking "near audiophile"  grade Polks because I did not want to make the financial commitment of the real thing.  Well, my "audiophile" ears quickly told me that was a mistake so...since I was beyond the return period I sold them off quickly. 
Yah, some people just can’t be critical to yourself. One day they published links with the pictures how their system components changed within last 16 years and now they tell us that they never made a mistake or not satisfied with their choice... lol
Several years ago I bought a turntable with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge, it was my 1st TT since the 80'S.  I was very happy with the sound, my best records sounded way better than anything digital, and the others sounded pretty sweet as well.  All the audio sites were raving about the Ortofon Black and Bronze cartridges.  Not being a high end turntable I figured the Bronze would be a good upgrade and stopping point for this TT as it could only sound better???... wrong.  The Bronze sounded tinny, harsh, and irritating.  I tried various capacitance settings, cables, pre-amps, rake angles, etc, but was never happy with the sound. One day (possibly on this site), I read about someone with the same issues, he swapped his bronze stylus with his blue and was raving about how all the warmth came back to his albums.  I unboxed my Blue, swapped needles,  and haven't looked back since.   In fairness to the Bronze it may sound better on a higher end TT.  Sometimes and upgrade isn't always an upgrade. It was a $400 dollar lesson, If you like the sound stick with it.
I bought my first pair of speakers when I was in my 20's. I was a music lover, but inexperienced when it came to mid fi stereo equipment.

I went into a high end store in Palo Alto in the early 70's, and
as I recall, I listened to just a few speakers. The pair that got my attention were the Infinity 2000A Electrostatics in beautiful rosewood. The salesman played Tea For The Tillerman, Cat Steven's voice was clear and powerful, I was sold. Plus my wife loved the rosewood.

I was driving the Infinity's with a Sherwood receiver at about 80 Watts per channel, not the best match, but I was young and.......   

After about a year, I began to tire of the bright sound signature of the Infinity's and traded them in on a pair of SAE speakers, but that is another story.

I wouldn't say the Infinity's were a mistake per se, but a learning experience.
Very true, ericsh, as a matter of fact, I presently have a pair of Infinitys that have a bright sound signature, and they probably sound great on the right gear.  But on the wrong gear they can be painful.

I've got several pairs of speakers, and bought the Infinitys used about a year ago just because they were big and cheap, Infinity Primus 362.  I've got 2 Adcom amps, on one they sound better than on the other.  The worse sound is fatiguing to my ears, and makes them ring if I turn it up for a while.  

BTW, the original speakers that I mentioned returning because of the poor results are discontinued Energy CF-70.  

And as to my room, no it is not treated for acoustics.  It's carpeted, with a fireplace on one side of my seated position and a bookcase on the other.  Ceiling is 7'6, room is 10'10" by 18.  But it has no rear wall, it opens into a larger room that is about another 18' by 15, with higher ceiling(weird basement).  I sit about 9 feet away from the speakers.
I have nothing else to compare to as  we live on a farm in the country. Everything I have purchased sounds awesome. Except this Lou Reed album "Winter At The Roxy, The 1976 L.A. Broadcast". What a piece of reproductive garbage. And I love Lou Reed but that LP is horrific. It's all perspective.
I’ve more regrets from what I’ve sold than from what I’ve bought.

Or maybe it’s just nostalgia.
The worst mistake were the second set of speakers that I ever owned. I was in high school so that is my excuse. It led me to really research my buying habits, and consequently the next speakers I made myself. They were some of the best (in the bass mostly) that I have ever owned. It has been a pleasure owning lots of different types, brands and models. Would do it the same way again.
That reminds me of my first mistake.  I had bought a small but good set up when I was 20, including a nice little proton integrated amp.  I didn't know how good I had it, and traded it in for a Yamaha receiver that retailed for about the same amount.  Because I wanted a remote and to listen to the radio.  Ugh, I always wish I had kept it.

About 2 years later I sold the Yamaha and bought a Luxman R-115.  Kept that for about 12 years until it developed an intermittent channel.

For me its always been about finding the key to allowing components to sing together.Ive bought speakers that have taken a few years to find the right solution to extracting their potential.Its not as black and white as right and wrong just looking for those magic combinations.I agree that there are bad components.
One of my first forays into high(er) end audio was with the Luxman R-115...still have it for posterity reasons, but it has been packed away for nearly 20 years. Since then there have been dozens of ever more expensive pieces swapped in and out, but by far the biggest disappointment was a pair of Vienna Acoustics, Liszts. They were in and out of my listening room in less than 48 hours.