what is it in audio that you dislike most?

Hello everyone,

The positives in the audio hobby are extensive. incredible preserntations. sound which reaches out and grabs you physically and emotionally. it can be both soothing and exciting simultaneously.

despite its innate attraction, from time to time there is something related to the audio past time that can be absolutely irritating, disparaging, or is just plain offputting.

Now and then there is soemthing in the presentation, or at a dealership/seller you simply can not abide.

maybe it is how you were/are treated in a dealership or showroom by the salesman. Maybe its just his or her attitude that hits you wrong.

could be the system being shown is setup incorrectly.

could be too that various components are not even plugged in properly and the supposed demo is just clumsy and unprofessional.

maybe even the speakers have not been appropriately configured to the space, or the amp to speaker matching is off, reversed, or out of phase.

worse still, various items are not run in well.

Perhaps all is great at the showroom or show but in the sonic depiction there is no bass, or not enough, or it is merely a one note affair.

could be its a bright shrill, top end.

as well, maybbe you hate to find the demonstration dry or without detail and without depth.

what is the thing in or about audio dealers, demos, or listening that you find unacceptable, irritating, or that you simply will not put up with for long, or at all?

1 A sterile or analytical presentations. highly detailed yet uninvolving.
2 A bright strident top end.
3 ill defined imaging
4 Poor lower range representation.
5 A dealers condescending attitude " if they don't sell it, it is not worth owning."
6 Dealers that say, Why in the world would you want tubes and all that distortion they bring to the table?
7 Dealers that say Yes, we are an authorized seller of XYZ but we don't inventory any of their products, but we can order them for you.
8 no dealerships near by.
9 snake oil
10 price

I'm sure you've run across something about the sound or the transaction experience which you have found
makes you walk away, or want to turn it off.

what is it IYO?



good call. especially on #3

The poor sound quality of most recordings is my main complaint.

plus 2 on recording quality. it is a shame only jazz and classical seem to get better attention on the whole, than most other genres.

... and yes, I'm convinced having a dedicated low fi rig, ala desktop? is necessary to routinely appreciate those poorly done productions.

a fella in the recording mixing, and production vein once told me they would in the past mix music according to the demographic they envisioned buying it and further imagined the gear they would use for playback.

maybe that theme is back in vogue and much is being mixed for mobile device playback.

the woe of it is today the tech is immensely advanced and why labels are not striving to open new revenue streams via offering top quality HD cuts in addition to their main stream consumer slag just escapes me completely.
Audio store salesmen assuming my husband is the audiophile when we shop together as a couple.

Speakers with tipped up treble and/or narrow sweet spots.

Compressed recordings.


Audio store salesmen assuming my husband is the audiophile when we shop together as a couple.

Speakers with tipped up treble and/or narrow sweet spots.



Salesmanship today in many cases is a lost art and respect as well seems to have disappeared. I do get it. Sorry.

On that ‘head in a vice’ and tipped up treble bit, the limited sweet spot is an unacceptable proposition though a treble issue can come from numerous respects.

Setup is key and attending to electrical concerns in showrooms is not always done exceptionally well. I’ve heard far more than one demo instance where the top end was just bright or etched as the result of the PLC they were using or if no PLC was in play. Speakers not well run in, recorded material,  etc even the wires in use can either contribute or be culprits.

But I get it. The speakers sweet spot and the top end MUST be amenable to the listening experience or I’ve no consideration for it/them.

Never understood why someone would buy speakers whose presentation was properly delivered to one square foot of space, more or less.


For me, its a dry, clinical, sterile lifeless presentation even if all else is being rendered appropriately.

Music is best served wet. Or at least moist. Never dry, brittle, or crumbly or stale.

High price, low science. Always a problem, though it seems to be slowing down. More science, lower prices -R2R DACs, signal wire, waveguide/horn speakers, subwoofers, etc.

Reviewers that do it wrong. Use a speaker with (1) amp, a room too small for speaker, magazines/webzines that don’t seek a second opinion.

Reviewers who listen to pop and rock music. Good for teenagers, but I’d like to know what a speaker sounds like with grand piano, string quartet or jazz ensemble. In other words, real instruments. With start, stop and decay.

Reviewers who don’t reveal things they didn’t like. But might later -Arthur Salvatore touched on this on his web page.

Stereophile's speaker measurements. Won't rent a semi-anechoic room, even gave up smoothing-and-averaging in a room (test in driveways), no distortion, no cavity noise in db. They probably don't push an amp too hard either when testing (it).

Nasal-sounding music choices on youtube videos. I go there to hear a product with a spectrum of sound, not to hear a cello or solo violin.

People who don’t know what’s going on. In 2019, some *still* think LP sounds better than 16/44 digital, tubes have more "bloom and decay" than solid-state, switching amps "omit the highs", horns "honk", etc. These are old problems. We have moved forward.