What about a product can irritate you?

What about a product can irritate you, other than the sound?

I thought of this today while attemting to install a new pair of cables. The cables came out of the package in the shape of a Slinky and no amount of bending them, shaping them, stretching them or otherwise trying to reshape them would do any good... they are permanently shaped like a big telephone cord.

I find cables that aren't installation-friendly to be incredibly irritating.

Do you have a pet peeve?

The stock feet that came with my speakers were badly made. If I screwed them in with my bare hand they would slice up my thumb and fingers like a multiple blade razor. Beat that!
Speaking of cables.My Cardas IC's were connected on my ARC line stage for about 2 years.Man the day I tried to disconnect them,I nearly pulled the ARC female RCA's with it.What a TIGHT PERMANENT BOND that was.That was annoying.
Well, my current pet peeeve is speaker binding posts that are too close together. My speakers take banana plugs. The bananas on my speaker cable are WBT angled bananas. The angled banana is wonderful for stress relief and for cables that are a bit stiff. However, if the speaker posts are too close together, the angled bananas bump into each other and are difficult to insert. It's exacerbated by the fact that the speaker is bi-wired, so there are four of them crowding into the back of the speaker in the same small area.

I expect that people who use spades have all sorts of peeves about binding posts too.
Remote copntrols that don't work. I have a Sears $120 air conditioner beside my bed. I can point the remote at the opposite wall and the AC will respond properly, yet the 4 pound $500 wonder that came with my Wadia has to be pointed right at the CDP to work well. I had an Acurus preamp that would guess at what you wanted if it couldn't read the remote, often shifting the balance instead of the volume. As if we weren't worried about enough things already!
+1, Markphd. My fingers don't like binding posts that are too close together. I have a terrible time tightening the things down. Then there are the WBTs on my Kharmas. The only provision for spades are these little guides at the bottom of the posts that I have to slide the (in my case very fragile) spades through. The cables must connect to the under side of the posts, so my flat (and did I mention fragile!) cables must contort down, around, and up to make it to my amp's terminals. Oh, right, and then the binding posts are completely smooth. You can't get a good grip on them nor can you use a bindng post wrench. Good greif on $15K speakers. Thank goodness they sound pretty frickin' awesome.

Then of course there's my perfectly good power amp with its perfectly crappy stock power cord hardwired on so I can't try different PCs without custom ordering them nakey on one end, soldering the thing on, and crossing my fingers that I dig it. Yuck, I'm dangerous with a soldering iron.
Hi, sorry to change the TITLE a little,
but MY pet peeve is with SONY!
Every product I buy with the Sony name on it,
BRAKES DOWN EVEN before the warranty is over with.
Everything from a web-tv unit for my cousin,
to CD players, vcrs, minidisc recorders!
As of now, I will NEVER buy another Sony product!
The SAME goes with YAMAHA! Tuner AND Pre-Amp,
both broke, and Yamaha does not have the parts to fix
Indeed, markphd. In fact I'm quite fed up with the lack of standardization for cables/terminals in general. It's not fun when you can't get your dream system to connect!
Sorry to say, but appearance is high on my list of nits. I find it hard to be a fair sonic judge of FUGLY components. Maybe a black curtain or something would help.
Phono cartridge pins and connectors. Are they ever going to standardize the size? And the fact that some tonearms only allow the use of bolts and nuts and some carts are self-threaded. Mounting cartridges is traumatic enough without this nonsense to contend with.
CD wrapping. Its not enough to put the jewel case in some impermeable plastic wrapper, they have to put another piece of plastic across one edge that shreds when you try to pull it off.
hmmm? lets see...the dial until you win INPUT SELECTOR?! overshoots. undershoots. just doesnt stop! This is the sort of device that belongs on a safe and not a pre-amp. It may be odd, but in my ideal of an amp less is more. I would be happiest without a remote, indicator lights, and I prefer buttons to knobs where knobs are not necessary.
any unreliability.
When I had some Monster cables with their "turbine" connectors they loved to try to pull out the RCA's they were connected to. Gave those away to someone who I wasn't real enamored with - let them make his day!
Having black-on-black writing on the back of pre-pro's is always fun, as my close vision distance is getting more challenged by the day, and not having contrast on the input naming sorta completes the challenge. I got a couple of those miner style lamp headbands so I can make out the lettering.
Unreliable - Yamaha - my old DSP 3090 spent more time in the shop than my old Alfa Romeo, and Pioneer - I gave away my DV47 when it just decided to give up the ghost - too many times in the shop for that too. No more Yammie or Pioneer for me even for third or fourth systems.
In relation to TimF's complaint about wandering input selectors, I owned a Jolida integrated that featured a input selector that "wandered." That is, it never seemed to know where the precise setting for any particular input was. It sometimes seemed at rest, then a channel would drop out. I had not experienced that sort of shoddy construction previously (or since).
The "Standby / On" toggle switch on the back of Joule Electra Vamp is located waaaay to close to the right speaker cable binding posts. Oh well. It sounds good, so I deal with it...
My biggest are too-coarse or too-fine volume controls and tempermental remotes. The sticker on the CD edges also get to me so I echo Edesilva on that one.
Poor quality designs:
Stuff that regularly melts down or bursts into flames without provocation.

Poor quality control:
Loose parts, misaligned controls, crappy finish work, etc.

Poor customer service:
A lot can be forgiven from the above if there is someone at the company of manufacture who gives a hoot that you are not satisfied with their product. Everyone makes mistakes. But, if the company is unresponsive, rude, accusatory or otherwise unaccountable for their shortcomings, I find that totally unacceptable (not to mention irritating.)
I agree with Edesilva,that little strip of wonder tape on CDs drives me nuts !!!
I once had a preamp that arrived DOA. It would light up, but there was no sound.

While not technically inclined, I always open DOA pieces just to make sure it is not something obvious like a ribbon cable that is not firmly seated or some other such thing. Well, on this unit there was not obviously wrong, so I sent the unit back to the manufacturer.

When it returned there was a note inside the box that said "No problem found"... but when I took the cover off the unit I found the mother board, which was green, was now blue. It had been changed.

No problem found? Yeah, right!

I hate when manufactures aren't accountable.

For George with the ics problem---Did we mix up the contact cleaner with the super glue??? Recessed connectors of any kind--esp rf screw ones that Mr. Big Fingers hates. You know what burns my ass???___ (visual of me holding an arm down and my palm horizontal)--A flame about 'so-high'.
Locking interconnects that screw so tight you damage the rca jack trying to loosen them.
Poor design/location of speaker binding posts even on high $$$$ speakers-
really makes you wonder about what you don't see on the inside of the cabinet.
Also on some amps.

Massive amps that don't have dual binding posts for bi-wiring.

Volume controls that aren't sensitive enough.

I could name names, but I'll digress...
Plastic wood! Any poor design choice. Regarding you cables - try using a hair dryer to straigten them out (assuming they have a vinyl casiing). Should do the trick.

Ed, Ray and all others who are frustrated with CD packaging, the EZ CD Opener is your tool! $1.50...and the best tweak I have ever purchased.

Blindingly bright pilot lights.
Displays that blink.
Mechanical noise, unnecessary lights that can't be defeated, unusual output/input connector fittings and products furnished without a schematic.
Other Thiel owners have no doubt struggled with this one: Binding posts under the speaker. What were they thinking?! If you want to swap cables you're basically stuck with repositioning your speakers. If you have them spiked through carpet it's an even bigger chore.

The only benefit I can see to putting the binding posts under the speakers is a slightly cleaner look, but I would trade that for convenience any day.

I have decided against trying different cables many times for this very reason... On second thought maybe it's a good thing.
Stepped volume controls are the pits. It always seems the volume is too loud at one position and too quiet at the next one down. Also, any mechanical noises heard through the speaker, hum and hiss tick me off.
I have a system for removing the wrapping from CDs that works well for me.

First, I run my thumbnail along the front crease where the spine[black plastic on some] and clear front lid join when closed. This is a natural gap that aids in splitting the plastic. From there it is easy to remove the rest of the wrapping.

Second, CDs usually only have that fun tape on one side. So I unhinge the pivot on the opposite side so the lid comes off the CD tray. The only thing holding it to the tray now is the tape, so all you have to do is pull it off the back of the tray, then using the full intact leftover tape as a handle, peel it off the lid.

Very quick and easy once you get the hang of it, and best of all the tape comes off in one piece. No more digging with your fingernail and smearing goopy glue all over the case.

DVD movies are another thing. An Xacto or pocket knife does the trick on those. Just cut a slit between where the front and back meet at the top and bottom of the case. Cut through the tape and wrapping. From there peel everything off. Not quite as neat as the CD trick, but it works just the same.
Gunbei,ill try that next CD i get ,thanks
Gunbei, that's exactly the trick. The guy who showed it to me was a clerk at one of those mini-CD stores in the New Orleans airport. I bought a CD and he claimed he had a trick and was going to try to get into Guiness as the guy who could open the most CDs in the shortest time (or something equally useful...). So anyway, told him to open mine. Probably took him less than 5 seconds, unwrapped, untaped, clean, quick, no fuss, no muss. Now, I'm certainly not as fast, but it definitiely does the job.
I am on the 'no Sony' list with Stuff4Sale above. 8+ years ago, I finally just put a stop to the bleeding. I had 4-5 products in a 2-year span that either arrived dead out of the box, or bit it in the first month of ownership. All new products. The poor craftsmanship and QC on top of their horrible CS permanently put them on the 'never again' list.
Shiny stainless steel finishes that enshrine fingerprints, and smeary attempts to remove them, forever.
Mezmo, yeah five seconds is damn quick. I'm somewhere between five and ten, because I'm always careful not to break anything when unhinging the lid. It's much better than picking at a plastic scab for 30 seconds, heheh.

Good luck with it Ray! Just go slow when unhinging the lid. I cracked a few when I first started experimenting.

I followed Tvad's link to the EZ Opener. For a buck fifty, that's something worth having around.

I agree with George. I used to have a Cardas Golden Cross IC that was one tough sumbitch to remove from the jacks. Especially if I only had SIDE-RACK-ACCESS! At that angle I was only using finger power.

My other pet peeve besides "tight terminators" is overly stiff and fat interconnects and power cords. I remember a few years ago, one of them fat cables was practically balancing my Bel Canto DAC1.1 in the air like a brick at the end of a fat pipe cleaner!

Working with skinny cables like the Audience AU24 or Kimber Illuminations D60 is great. They're so flexible you could probably tie them in a knot in your mouth with using only your tongue just like young chicks do with cherry stems. Hahah!
Sony product failure is something I don't personally have much experience with, but I've heard about it from friends. None of them are audiophiles, and their Sony stuff always breaking was mass consumer Best Buy or Good Guys items.

Am I wrong to assume that this wouldn't be the case for something like an SCD-1 or the like? I don't think I've ever seen posts regarding high end Sony stuff taking regular dumps. Heheh.
"Once you get the hang of it??" Sounds like something the hang-man says to his next victim.
Having the rack to close to the back-wall, trying to connect any cable back of the equipment.

New $$ cables to connect! Eager to try them. But you can´t reach leaning over, can´t see properly from the side - as you have to many cables all over - your dearest calling that "the dinner is ready" - bad timing, but you re-position yourself, having a hard think; Maybe from this side? Nope, speaker in the way. But perhaps I can sqeeze behind it and reach? Get down on your knees - "dinner is getting cold" you hear from the kitchen - you break a sweat. Can...almost...reach. Sweat in palms gives you bad grip. Them other IC´s in the way to get a proper hold on the rca. The position you´re in gives you a bad pain in the back, but you´re determined. "We are eatiing. Would be nice to see you iiin here". Stupid...cable, you think lovingly. And connector is of a locking type. And not given slack enough to slide over the rca easy. And at the end of your fingertips you just don´t have the power to ram it on there. NOT very co-operative. You hear stirring from the dinner room.
"I´m coming" you say with your... sweetest... possible... tonal voice. You can feel the heat on your forehead. You can almost see were you´re at. Must be done now, or you´ll kill my back. "What´s so important that it can´t wait until after dinner"? More of a statement than that of a question directed to you from the diner. FINALLY you get it on there - quick now, next one - you grab it with stiff movements, lean in. Yes, yes and THERE we go.
You get up, back is soar, you wipe your upper lip. Damn it´s hot in here...

Fire the gear up. Set for ´cd´ and...no sound. What?! You realize in about three secs that you have the IC´s in phono. And not even given time to moan you find your sweetest, most dearingly flower of a woman standing in the doorway. Ready to drag you to the dinner table.

I´m getting a bigger listening room in a month...
Rannagarden, every time I get new cable[s] to try out in my system I always think to myself "2 or 3 minutes". Yeah right! 15 minutes later, raw fingers, sweaty t-shirt and arising with stiff, creaky knees, I'm reminded how much I hate doing this. Changing out a component is often easier!
That's why Man invented the wheel, lads.
I'm with Gunbei. I unhinge the CD jewel case and the tape peels right off.

I'm not with the anti-Sony crowd. I've owned at least 15 new Sony products in the last 10 years. I've had one failure. I'm not happy about the one failure, but 1 in 15 ain't bad considering the complexity of modern electronics products.


Da Weel? wat dat?

It's amazing when you think about how absolutely vital the wheel is in OUR daily life. And then find out the ancient Egyptians built the Great pyramids without it and 13th century Mongols transported over 100,000 soldiers, support people, food, and construction equipment all over Central Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Eastern Europe without it. And kicked everyone's arses who used them damn wooden donuts too!

Weez wimps!
Damn. You guys are smart.

The little EZCD tool may still be worth the money, 'cos half the time when I try to open a CD wrapper by sliding my thumbnail up and down, I end up with the functional equivalent of a paper cut trying to unhinge more of my fingernail. Those hurt. Especially when you immediately thereafter grab a fistful of buffalo wings...
Edesilva, it sounds like you're describing one of the old Billy Crystal/Christopher Guest SNL skits.

BC: You ever get a, a, ah, ah, ah...

CG: A CD jewel case?

BC: Yeah!

CG: ...and you rub your thumb up and down it until you get a Saran Wrap paper cut?

BC: Yeah, yeah! Then you grab a, ah, ah, ah...

CG: A fistful of buffalo wings with your raw fingers?

BC" Yeah!

{BC & CG together]: Boy, I hate when that happens!
The asking prices for LP's on AudioGon. $400 for an Eagles LP? Good lord....
Valve gear in general. Drives me nuts I have to turn it on then wait 20 minutes for it to warm up before listening to it, and knowing that it will keep improving for a couple of weeks if I left it going that long. But if I leave it on all the time those expensive tubes I bought are just wasting away while I am at work. And then there is the fact that my tubes are always either gradually running in or running out. Yeah, yeah, I'm neurotic, I know. I should just accept that whatever state it is in it sounds better than the solid state equivalent - but it still bugs me.
Redkiwi, my tube amps level off after an hour or two of play. Not so bad, and I will spend the 20 minute warm-in picking music, cleaning records, going to the john, making a sandwich, whatever. Allows for a nice chill session before I sit down for some listening.

I frickin' HATE phono cartridges that aren't threaded. I just can't deal with those tiny little nuts...too much fumbling that close to a fragile stylus/cant. They're a complete PITA during cart alignment. It would have to be one seriously incredible unthreaded cartridge to get me to buy it.
Practicality in design:

one pre I used, had the two pre OUTputs on EITHER side of "pro in", at the back of the unit, the unit being large and deep of course (so, no visibility from front). So, 9/10 when I changed IC, one of the amps was mute OR one channel on one amp was mute -- and I'd invariably get a small heart attack wondering what the H blew and why... until I realised I'd connected the pro-in.

The Thiel engineering hurdle, as per Ketchup above. To visualise the problem, think of THICK cable and trying to screw it on UNDER each spkr, when the nut rolls away... majestic!

The Valve Conundrum, as per Redkiwi:

*Am I burning IN or burning OUT?????

The "deep class A" solid-state challenge:

*whether 'tis better to leave it on all the time and foot the bill and risk burn out if high ambient temperatures BUT enjoy the music at guise OR, switch it off/on as required and sleep at nights and stick to being PATIENT (until it reaches optimum operating conditions by which time it's usually other peoples' bedtime).

Gimme a boomblaster
How about The titles on CD jewel cases being written so small , or in illegible script. Trying to read a track name in a relaxed low lighted listening room is close to impossible and unnecessary . The purpose of writing something is so we CAN READ IT.
Great laughs with your post.!!!