Name a very overrated item -- whether a speaker, an amp, cable or treat Was it positively bad or just was it on a par with various items at much lower price points? I'm interested in both items that you could never get to work and, more interestingly, just bad items.
I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but here are three items that I think were over rated. (Sorry to admit that I never owned them myself, but of course that would only be natural given that I regarded these things as over rated.)
To be fair, perhaps there are members who owned these and liked them.
Sorry to say, I did not get around to auditioning these products.
My opinions are based solely on reviews I have read about them, as well as reading their manufacturers' ad copy.
There are so many products, and I have had to be selective about what I would spend my time listening to. I had to screen out a lot of products just based on what I had read -- like "Gee, I know I'm not gonna like this one, so I'm not gonna spend time listening to it."
As I said, perhaps there are people who have owned and like them. I'd be interested in reading any of their opinions.
The cork and rubber vibration pads that sell for 25.00 for 4. You can go to most any hardware store or order from the internet and get a slab thats 6" square of this stuff for around 5 bucks at most and cut it yourself.
I see that most have responded to tweaks. I'll go in another direction. I have owned and listened to many, many pieces of audio gear in my room in the last few decades. The one piece of gear that stands out above all the rest as shockingly disappointing was a Mark Levinson No. 38S preamp.
I was stunned by how poorly it performed in my room. My wife, who rarely comments about changes I make in my system said "What happened? This sounds worse than my car radio!" LOL!! The gent I sold it to loved it....go figure. I suppose it is all about system synergy.
Jameswei, I never said you were wrong. In fact, I'm sure I would agree with you, just wondering who actually uses those discs. As for me, first on my list are the Sequerra Met 7 speakers. They were rated Class B in Stereophile mainly, I guess, on Sam Tellig's review. Absolutely lifeless in my room. Luckily I got a super deal on them and passed that good deal on to the next buyer. Not sure what he thought of them. Over rated? The Jolida JD-100 cdp is one on my list. Nothing standout at all about this player IMO. Of course there are many who will disagree but this is my opinion.
Karan K180 integrated, dull, lifeless and a hard to cure DC hum from the transformer. Conformed my lifelong prejudice against SS amps. Luckily I bought it second hand on this site and could resell at a small loss
Goldmund Reference The shifting Arm always changes Azimuth and with classical music it is not able to do any separation, good soundstage but dynamic mud. I asked after 15 min to stop
Magico Q5 Amplified with the very best Spectral combo (their Top Preamp with Mono amps), sounded dead, dead and dry. No "Gestalt", no holographic Picture, real music sounds definitely different
Raven turntables Unstable speed, colored in reproduction, accelerates even Chamber Music to something which has nothing to do with the recording, a modern LP12
Garrard 501 2 words: Soundstage mud Koetsus (Coralstone, Onyx, RSP, Urushi..) Midrange pushers, no existing highs, weak lows, a compensation for sharp sounding Systems but overall a Denon 103R is more true in reproduction
Kuzma 4P simply soft in dynamic reproduction, lush and nice sound but far away from any top Arm
Lyra Connaisseur Phono and Pre 2 words: Ear cancer It was the Importers Demo and it sounded so sharp that my ears were bleeding. It was so sharp that I sat there for 1h because I simply could not believe it that something can be such a pain
Pass Phono (any) Good for amplifying something which has nothing to do with good recorded music, dry and boring. And sonically really dead in the higher gain stages.
Clearaudio Turntables Good looking cheaters. Good for nothing. Tooth pulling in combination with their carbon Arms...
Schroeder Arms An Arm has to guide a cartridge, it is called Arm Geometry and that one has the do-whatever-you-want-Design. Arch Angle? For what? The cartridge guides the Arm and when the sonic result is not satisfactory, then the owner simply uses the wrong cartridge. Modern High End.
Nagra VPS Phono At very best it is average from sonics, the SUT's are a joke, small like a coin but premium price for nothing inside. An empty box, but the logic is simple: What's not inside can't degrade sonic quality.
EMT Turntables Tests in the 80's showed that they are wrong in the higher frequencies (nothing changed btw.) but EMT was never interested to change that because they were used for Radio Stations and they have had no highs anyway, same for Bass.
Nordost Odin Powercords We replaced them in a listening session with normal stock Lamm Power cords (a few $) and no one missed the ODIN's. No idea for what they are good for.
SRA Stands same. Nicely painted wood is hardly an engineered solution for vibration transfer
One must realize that syntax is good friends, maybe even a business partner, of a designer that has, let us say modestly, less than a stellar reputation...poor designs and simply a character failure to deliver paid-for products. Hence, the root cause of this bavarian's redundant poor comments regarding other German audio designers...especially those that have wonderful reputations along with well-received products.
The syntax may simply fall under the shadow of an inferior orientation...
My Music Reference RM200 required service and I was loaned an Audio Research VS115 that my dealer was sure I would find an acceptable substitute. On the contrary, it reduced everything to a colorless and dull caricature of music. It altered timbre to the point where instruments appeared almost out of tune. Listening to music actually made me angry when it was in the system. Hated the damn thing and was delighted to return it.
I was also underwhelmed by the Hovland HP100 preamplifier, which was praised highly. It was pretty sounding most of the time, but failed to generate the dynamic projection that can make some recordings so compelling. The dealer was amazed that I returned it, but my then current preamp whomped its ass at a quarter the price.
I spent $2,000 for a line doubler back before HDTV - It didn't do much; I paid $1,000 for the 1st LG bluray/HD dvd player - didn't work until the upgraded software was released months later; I paid $4,000 for a Meridian 588 10 years ago and it did not sound much better than my $1,200 Rotel.
I've had minor aesthetic issues with some used stuff bought relative to pics on ebay, and a piece or two that needed a thorough cleaning inside and out, but really nothing ever truly bad. Most cases when things don't work out as well as I hoped, the blame probably lay with me for not doing the necessary homework up front.