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.
Shun Mook Mpingo Disc
Jameswei, did you at least use these products before deciding they were over rated?
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.
Dedicated Branch Circuits for each of device in our systems. Very over rated. Hey, all the circuits are connected to the same grounding means, by code!
I always buy scams to try out so i know they actually are bad. Tice Clocks, wierd stick sanyone could make for $25 but cost $2,000. HEY! its all good.
I have certainly spent hundreds of thousands on late night TV crap too. All to be certain it really is trash and not some miracle of non-traditional mumbo jumbo.
Diet miracle pills, cookware to make pancakes, back braces... You name it i got it...
The results? gee they are all crap, as expected.
For the folks who say you have to have tried them to have an opinion... Then go jump off a cliff. maybe you wouldn't fall? Superman doesn't fall down. So????
Elizabeth,Do you have pocket hose?
It's early in the morning here, but I doubt that I'll see a better post than Elizabeth's any time today. Thanks!
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.
J. Edgar Hoover to Shirley Temple: I don't go all the way.
Shirley Temple: I don't go all the way, either.
Any product by a seller who quotes J. Edgar Hoover and Shirley Temple.
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.
OK I will mention one real product:
Bryston DAC (the first model)
So all the magazines raved about this new DAC from Bryston.
No one local had one to listen to, so I bought it.
Well i get it home and it sounds no better than my old Adcom DA700.
I had also splurged on new Magnepan 3.6 speakers, and Bryton BP-26 preamp and Bryston 4B-SST² amp.
So I was rather stymied that I spent a huge (for me) bundle of cash and all I get is the same level of sound I had.
I tried all sorts of different things too. It drove me crazy thinking this new 'Super recommended' $2,300 thing did not sound any better than my old (paid used $250 for it) Adcom DAC
Well, I had also ordered a Bryston phono box the BP 1.5 and that took a while longer to arrive as Bryston had to actually build it first. But when it did arrive.. I cried listening to the first LP I played. the music was a good step up from what I had on my old system, soundwise. So it WAS the damn DAC which was just nothing special. I was really relieved my other new purchases were worth the money.
I even took the Bryston DAC back and asked them to have it checked out to see what was wrong! (since BOTH TAS and Stereophile praised it to the skies... Nothing wrong, worked perfect. So I asked the dealer to take it back even though I had it for a month. He did.
So just because TAS and Stereophile think something is really great.. Do not just take their word for it.
Either that, or my old Adcom DA700 is a killer machine anomaly with the small mods I added!
(antistatic foam filling the internal volume of the case)
A little later on i bought a used VAC Standard preamp to use as a glorified tube buffer for mu digital stuff, to remove that last trace of HF glare from the music. Worked great and I now love both my digital (with Adcom DAC) and my analog from tow TTs Kuzma Stabi/stogi S with dynavector cart, and Rega P5 with Benz Glider.
Cary Audio 303/300 cdp- truly disappointing
I was not impressed w/ Esoteric disc spinners.
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
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
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
Unstable speed, colored in reproduction, accelerates even Chamber Music to something which has nothing to do with the recording, a modern LP12
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
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.
Good looking cheaters. Good for nothing. Tooth pulling in combination with their carbon 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.
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.
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.
tell us more about the Cary 303/300 ?
Adcom AC Enhancer....if you are looking to kill dynamics thats your piece.
Too many high end cables to mention...
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.