The Good, The Bad and the Ugly


We always talk about the great equipment we own or owned. What about the bad and the ugly?
Here are my choices and you have to have owned them! Provide links so we can see also.
My choices for terrible and ugly are The Transcriptors Vestigial Arm and the Win Labs Strain Gauge Cartridge.
https://www.google.com/search?q=transcriptors+vestigial+tonearm&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS869US869&sou...
https://www.google.com/search?q=win+labs+cartridge&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS869US869&source=lnms&...
The arm was a pitiful looking tinker toy which certainly did not engender pride in ownership, but worse the vertical effective mass was so low and warp wow so severe it was virtually unlistenable. I had it mounted on an LP 12.
The Win Labs was a poor tracker and was too bright in my system. I can't remember which arm I had at the time, may have been the Itoc. It was a cheesy plastic thing, glued together with adhesive oozing out of the seams. 
Both items only lasted a few months. The arm was a design failure. The cartridge needed a lot more development.
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Very sad story sorry about that.
My biggest disappointments have been pieces I like but had poor or inaccessible parts.

rca jacks pre-mounted to pc boards, easy to push in too hard with a nice tight connector and break them. Speaker wire terminals that become loose somehow, foam rot on woofers surrounds, glued on feet, one that walks off the job one day. Other things I don't remember. 

It's hard to complain about maintenance of vintage equipment, but when rubber gaskets to isolate the counterweight section wear out, it ain't easy, i.e. SME 3009 rubber sleeve; JVC Tonearm rubber washers. 

It's a darn shame equipment, especially vintage with POTs & Switches don't have easy access for periodic cleaning, i.e. entire front panel with slack wiring behind, loosen two side screws, pull out, hose em down, back together.
I loved my Thorens TD124, (it with aforementioned SME 3009), could take it apart, clean/adjust, replaced the rubber suspension grommets that had hardened, made custom wood base

but, the bearing, incredibly machined, was highly sensitive to vertical vibration, a bad combination with my springy floors, I traded it for a Fisher 500C I seem to remember. Lots of switches and pots to clean on it.

I found this interesting

https://www.woodsongaudio.com/service/thorens-td124-main-spindle-bearing-rebuild

It was absolutely amazing to drop that heavy platter and bearing shaft into the bearing sleeve and see how long it took for the air to get out of the bearing to allow it to descend. 
For a while I had a real love hate relationship with a Graaf GM20.
while with a bit of nudging (adding autoformers to improve driving ability) it could sound wonderful and looked glorious, it equally was prone to heat a room all by itself and each time the tubes needed biasing had to be dismantled to get to the biasing points. In the end I decided it had to go.
Not necessarily bad or ugly, but my biggest disappointments were a Phase Linear 2000 preamp , which looked pretty but sounded terrible and was an almost empty bow with a couple of pcb's, and deHavilland 845 monoblocks which just didn't sound good.  
There's two kinds of people in the world, Tuco 


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I had a three C4 or 8s Macs (If I remember, 52 years ago).
Good Lord, GOOD BY. Forever cleaning pots and fixing a flippin carbon comp resistor popping or some such crap.. drove me nuts.. I was to busy chasing skirts, no time for that stuff. WORK dog gone it.. I had a Thoren 184 or 5 I can't remember, good mono or stereo unit..

Regards
Tuco?
Please regale us with tall tales of nada disappointment due to superior intelligence.

When you have to shoot, shoot don’t talk!  
https://youtu.be/JrYtD7gSWsI?t=56
* Adcom GFP-565 preamplifier - Circa 1992. Very veiled. replaced with a Classe 6. Hoochie Mama!
* Magnepan SMG - Circa 1986. What a stinker. Didn't know how bad it was until compared to a Conrad-Johnson Synthesis floor stander.
* A round bubble level, that can be had for $5 at Home-Depot, being sold for $50 by a premier turntable company (you know who you are).
*  Sony DVP-S9000ES SACD player - Circa 1999. Built like a Rolls-Royce but, unfortunately for me, had trouble playing SACD's. Junk.
".... those with guns and those that dig."
Ya know dweller, I still use the ES series of Sony, 5400, 777, I have two more here somewhere. I had some small problems, BUT CD playback was and still it great for me.. I paid 100.00 for a 5400 (? or something).
I don't think it was ever used. LOL I cleaned it and did my door lube deal and added a IEC. CAN'T beat it.. I like Denon too for a sound CD spinner.. Easy to use.. Lots of options for a pro unit..

Regards
Hands down SAE integrated amp all solid state. When I received it the volume and balance buttons were reversed had to send back at my expense to be replaced. Over time small issues turned to big issues. Dropped off at local repair shop he informed my the entire unit was cold soldering on all connections. He redid all the solder connection and it worked for about 10 years after. He also told me he would never do this again for anyone. One day I pushed the on switch to only hear a pop an no power. I did not even look at it just carried out to trash can and never looked back!
THE GOOD - my Bryston B135 Integrated amp - love it !!!
  • not the best looking amp on the market
  • but it is very functional, with lots of inputs
  • excellent sound, huge image, great bass, very articulate
  • superb dynamics
  • 20 year warranty !!!
  • Made in Canada :-)

THE BAD - my NAIM 5i
  • loved the sound,
  • loved the style,
  • but having to replace the power supply Caps after only 10 years put me right off NAIM gear - for life!

THE UGLY - my Raysonic SP120 integrated tube amp...
  • Beautiful to look at and sounded smooooooth, but it lacked dynamics
  • Having to replace all tubes after 6 months - not good
  • discovering it had the wrong transformer that resulted in high tube temperatures really sucked
  • getting it fixed - ca-ching$$$ - OUCH!!!
  • my first AND LAST foray into the world of tubes.

Regards - Steve

A wise man once said: "There's two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don't."
@williewonka , There are some great tube units out there so don't judge all of them from one unit. I leave my ARC PH3 SE on perpetually and I change the Tubes every five years or so. 

anton99, There are way more than 2 kinds of people depending entirely on how you categorize them. I have three categories, people I can be friends with, people who are ok but we have nothing in common and finally people who you really want to stay away from.

sgreg1, SAE's were notorious for blowing up. Surprisingly, Fuzz Linears were actually very reliable.