Worst remote nomination...

I wish to nominate the remote to my Wadia 861xi CDP as the worst of a large number of remotes I have lying around the house. The little buttons are irrationally located, have obscure labels, and need to be pushed just so to get them to work. On top of that, it practically takes a sniper scope to get it pointed so it will operate the player from just ten feet away. What were they thinking?

Sorry, just had to vent.

Anyone else have remotes they love to hate?
Yes, I have 1. The remote that came with my Directv!
It`s the universal model (HA, IF you can call it that)!
It works 6 units, BUT the 6th one is a dvd player button,
and YOUR dvd player HAS to be a RCA, or PROSCAN,
Second, when you use the VCR1 and VCR2 buttons,
the antenna button works the VIDEO/TV on your vcr,
BUT when you use the TV button, the antenna button WON`T switch to TV, Video1, Video2 on MY TV. What good is a UNIVERSAL REMOTE, IF it doesn`t work as well as
your other remotes! I STILL have to use 2 remotes!
One JUST to turn on my tv to Video1, then the directv remote, to turn on my 2 vcr`s and directv unit.
Yamaha RXV-995 remote. Never could get a clue as how to set it up. Large, clunky, poorly laid out. On the plus side, volume seemed to work just fine.
1) Original Music Hall CD-25 CD Player. Remote worked fine, but talk about FUGLY.

2) My current Pioneer DV-C503 5-DVD Carousel -- once or twice reviewed as one of the best DVD changers at the price. Fine player for the price (< $300), but the remote is something else. Skipping right to the point, there's no "Disc Skip" button, and it's a freaking carousel. Second, the remote would be small even for a pixie, and the layout is unnatural. No backlight or glo either (can't shoot the moon for under $300, but if ever a remote needed one, THIS ONE DOES!) Put it this way - I have to use the backlight feature of my B&K Ref. 30 in the dark to try to illuminate the strange keypad of this beast to attempt to operate it* and even when I succeed, it's always a rocky ride. This player has given me reliable service, but the controls are still foreign.

*(ps - any other remote I've ever owned, I could operate
in the dark)
The few remote controls I own are alright, what really bugs me are the miniscule buttons and tiny lettering on my Sony ES 9000 SACD player.

I hate it when I press the wrong button causing the CD or movie to stop when I only wanted to jump to the next song or pause play.
Albertporter: Have you noticed that some chimp at Sony decided to make you push the button TWICE to actuate the function??? This bugs the bejeezus out of me (Japanese mind games?)...
MBL's top transport. This transport runs like $17k or so, and the remote is so horrible ergonomically that it is sad... Great transport though!

Cary 306/200 CDP. This remote tries to do way WAY too much. It also has a very narrow angle that it works at.

Most Pioneer remotes... They tend to be as ergonomic as a lefty using regular scissors. Sony remotes at least have some sort of consistancy from with replacement models (I am on my 3rd Sony DVD player, and the remotes of each generation have been almost identical).

Any remote that has more functions on it than can be done by the front panel of the component it goes to. If you cannot do it on the component, you should not be able to do it with the remote. You end up breaking or loosing the remote and you are screwed.

Theta's remote for the Jade, Miles & Pearl. The buttons were so similar, you could not easily find any point of reference for easy use. Also, the writing on the buttons was almost illegible. Plus, you had to point the remote exactly right or the sensor wouldn't pick it up.
Smokester - I had exactly the same problem with my WADIA 850's remote. For some reason the remote of my 270/27 is working perfectly! I assume it is a problem with the remote's lens? I disagree with your complaint about the layout, though. I find it very selfexplaining and just works fine for me.
Good Luck!
I have to say for the money the remote on my Ayre CX-7 is poor.
It's a bit glitchy too due I think to the small buttons.
Thankfully I remove this problem by using a Marantz Universal remote.
I'll second the original Music Hall MMF 25 CD player remote.

I have it, and while it seemed to work OK for Mwilson, unfortunately, I have not had the same experience. The range is lousy, you must point it EXACTLY, and even then, it has a not every time success rating. Heck of a player nonetheless - best value for money component in audio right now.

I do agree with the "fugly" description.
Sim Audio Stellar DVD- Press button, wait 5 seconds for something to happen(really a down side of the actual player I assume)...Also the Sim Audio Attraction preamp came with a universal touch screen remote pre-programmed with the DVD functions, all functions except the play button. I guess the play button is optional.

In defense I love the feel of the Stellar remote, it's solid aluminum and weighs a ton, really cool. Not backlight of course.

Neat thread, good vent.

I think my Theta Pearl remote is caca as well. Cheap, small, every button looks and feels the same. The Simaudio Moon I-5 remote I had was a two pound metal weapon, and cool looking! I like my Sony DirecTV/Tivo and Marantz RC2000mkII remotes much better.
Sony Str-da50es touch-screen remote, without a doubt. It works just fine but it will go through a set of AAA batteries before you finish a single movie. I use rechargeable AAA's now but it is still frustrating to lose power in the middle of a movie. Just my two cents.
Audio Research preamp/integrated amp remotes. Like Smokester says, you have to point it with a scope to get it to work, then press the button multiple times and hold it down to get it to register. Plus it's a thin little plastic thing. I have a CA-50 integrated and I guess I will try a universal remote so that I can easily turn the volume up or down. Otherwise ARC is a great company!
Muse's remote for the Model Eight transport and the Connie-J remote for the PFR preamp. CHEESY and totally illogical layouts on both.
I hated the Wadia metal remote from the 850. It's receptive angle was horrible and it weighed about 15 lbs.
The remote on my Electrocompaniet CD player is the cheapest thing I have seen. Great player--just love it--but come on, charge a little extra and give us something proud to put on the table! The remote for my BAT 50SE pre is really nice.
Sure makes me appreciate the Conrad Johnson remote that came with my Premier 14 line stage and is standard (I think) with the other CJ Premier preamps all the way up to the ART. Just about perfect, IMO.
The absolute worst remote in my limted experience is the one that comes with the Arcam DV-88. Identical tiny buttons with tiny letters, non standard icons, layout and functions. A fairly expensive DVD player with a remote thats not backlit for use in the dark for watching movies in its appropriate setting. Not that it matters, it can't be read without a magnifying glass,the instruction manual and flood lighting! I guess I wouldn't mind so much that its so user unfriendly except that it does everything else so darn well! UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
I'm no fan of the Meridian "system" remote, especially since all I have is the CD player and the last thing I need is a desk-top console to change the freaking track.

That said, my absolute least favorite remote issue has to be the fact that the volume control for my preamp ALSO controls volume control on my HT reciever, the display dimmer on the pre mutes the HT receiver, standby on the pre turns ON the HT receiver, etc. . . . So I've got the lights dimmed to watch a movie (main outs running from the HT receiver into Line 2 on the preamp to integrate the two systems, with volume dialed in at 0 gain on the pre) and I, not surprisingly, want to dim the display on the pre -- viola, the reciever is muted. Wanna turn down the volume? it throws off the chanel balance by changing the volume of both at the same time and the only way to re-equalize is to get up and change the pre's volume back by hand. I tell you, what a pain in my behind.
Mezmo, while it may not be "remotely" funny to you, you brought tears to my eyes. Sorry for laughing at your dilemma.
Sim Audio Moon eclipse. The remote is fine except it weighs a TON... No kidding, the remote weights something like a pound and a half...
Mezmo, that is absolutely the funniest thing I've read in a while. I generally don't use remotes, I actually get up and adjust stuff (but that's just me). A few observations:

I had a Marantz "Remote of the Gods" thing to use with my HT setup for a while. I tried to program it, both sober and impaired. No luck. Called my dad who programmed in assembly for 30 years and ran a data center. He spent two days on it and gave it back to me half-programmed. I sold it. Ugly thing anyway. Bought a touch screen rechargeable Proton unit: dad programmed it, kids can navigate it like a charm. I don't have a clue how it works, but then again, I don't use the HT. No worries.

My YBA CD Integre remote almost reads my mind; hover your finger over a button and it does what ya want. Scary.

My Shanling remote was designed by people with very very small digits and exceptional eyesight. Great idea making every button exactly the same size. The writing on the remote... hmmm, I don't think there is any writing? Looks pretty though, it's just hard to tell it's a remote control. Looks more like a new-age vibrator to me.

My Classe Thirty Preamp remote is amusing. Weighs about 20lbs and has three large buttons. Volume up, Volume down, Mute. Even a guy with a sizeable plate in his head can operate this beauty.

My BAT VK30 remote is so damned nice I can't bring myself to use it. I do admire it frequently though. Well done Victor.

The one that takes the cake for the most obtuse and bizarre remote.... Linn Classik. A sea of buttons that even with my glasses on blur together. Linn was clever though, they figured by colour-coding the sections on the face you'd intuitively grasp what they were getting at. Two years later and it still takes me forever to put the tuner on.

My Audio Research preamp remote gradually got to the point where I couldn't turn the volume up or down. I knew the batteries were still good so I thought another possibility could be the battery terminals and the contacts. They didn't look corroded but that doesn't mean anything. I took a scuff pad that I use for scuffing paint before painting and scuffed the terminals and the contacts. The spring type contacts will tear up the pad a little but keep scuffing. A brillo pad or steel wool would probably work also. Blow out the debris and put the batteries back in. The difference in power is incredible. I've done three or four problem remotes and the difference is night and day. I wish I'd thought of this years ago instead just a few weeks ago.
Classe remotes are ludicrous. I have them for the SSP75 and the CDP-.5. They're all metal, heavy as rocks, and are sufficient to damage wooden furniture with the slightest bump. Even worse, almost all of the buttons are the same size, they are arranged in grids, and they are not backlit. Nor is there any means of distinguishing them in the dark, although a precious few are larger than the others. (The CDP remote is particularly laughable.) Fortunately I have blasted all of it into the Marantz touchscreen remote, which I have been able to program successfully. Now eleven of the twelve are packed away in boxes...

The only one that's left out is the one to my Counterpoint SA-11. Unfortunately, it uses a completely different encoding mechanism, so it CANNOT be learned by modern remotes. It has an effective angle of incidence that is almost pointlessly narrow, and it doesn't have a lot of range. Perhaps I'll have to try Jbrvo's trick.

Believe it or not, but I guess that I had reel-to-reel deck Otari MX5050 BII with remote controll that I used to connect with wires in rear pannel of the deck. It was the size of pocket cassette player and had buttons to rewind, play, fast-forward, memory reset and speed selection.
Fine, fine, laugh at my pain....(I sure do).
Recently I went to a local high-end shop and was sitting in the "good" room, waiting for the guy I wanted to speak with to finish with someone else. I picked up the remote to a $38,000 CD player and started to laugh. The other guy who worked there came by and asked me what was so funny; I said "Feel this." and gave him the remote. It was so solid and so more substantial than any remote I'd ever held before, "You hold that and you immediately understand that whatever it is that it controls is something you'll never be able to afford." Hell, the cables in the room cost more than both my cars.
While I have extensive experience with both direct tv and dish network, the one (and only!) comparitive thing I hate about dish is....the remotes. I have several sitting in a drawer someplace as they have a really hard time lasting more than 18-24 months.

I have, for one reason or another, been through three dish network receivers (two of which are currently in use) and I have only one good remote left. I shal soon be upgrading to dish network High Definition, so I get a couple of more remotes. Lucky me.
Old Marantz CD-65 CD changer remote. It's a ultra thin membrane remote. The damned thing broken on the second week. After replacing it under warranty, it broke again in less than 3 months. Gave up and used the universal remote instead.
The remote on my early Shanling CD-T100. This was the same as the one on the early CD-25 that Mwilson and others mention above. It was truly a tough remote to use. To my shame, I did not point this out in my review of the player, which later got about 3,000 hits. I thought the button layout was fine, but I never mentioned how hard it actually was to push them.

I should add that I hardly ever use a remote anyway. (You'd think that would be a good reason not to emit an opinion, but no... .)

I managed with that remote when I had to, and the company later pulled it in favour of a much better one. There is another remote I still have two of, though, that I hate to use: the Cambridge CD-4's remote has the least intuitive layout I have ever seen. I feel like I'm learning it all over again each time I have to touch it.
Wadia 861 try handing it to someone who never used it before they are totally Lost because of the non standard weird icons they use should have actual words would really help. Oh and all Wadia remotes eat batteries like crazy.
NAD T550 DVD remote. I just donated the whole unit to the local shelter that needed one. The remote is so bad I feel a little guilty about it.
How about remotes that are "too good" (i.e. controls functionality that can't be accessed from the main unit). I had a toshiba DVD player a couple of years ago that had a little joystick button that let you navigate through DVD menus. The main unit had only play, chapter skip and stop. The remote broke in an accident and then my perfectly good DVD player wouldn't play a large number of DVD's because I couldn't get through the main menu. When I found out what Toshiba wanted for a new remote I ended up throwing away a perfectly functioning DVD player.
Agree with your assesment of the Wadia remote.
I upgraded my Wadia 16 to a 16i. New metal remote came with the upgrade. I used it twice before going back to the original plastic remote.
Metal remote was much more confusing and too heavy when compared to the plastic remote. Have had it for 5 years and never replaced batteries yet.
Arcam DV27A Only reason I can figure is they put the money inside the box cause they surely did not put ANY effort into the remote design.
The ultimate Worst Remote is the one that controls the Wadia 7 transport and Wadia 9 DAC. It is a heavy metal affair about 6x4x1 inches. Don't drop it on your toe!

The roughly 20 buttons are decent sized but arranged in a rectangular grid. All are the same size and color. The labels are low contrast and hard to read. This layout is totally un-ergonomic.

I have two of these (one each came with the transport and DAC) but only use them to program my universal remote.
Emm Labs CDSD hands down. Unit sounds terrific however.
I second the EMM Labs CDSD. Heavey, shiney and gets slippery. Buttons are tiny and all the same, with no logic to the layout. Amazingly, it is machined from solid aluminum billet, you can still see the tool path marks on the inside.

The unit it controls however sounds fantastic. I just use my universal remote and have packed the EMM remote away.
I'll nominate any remote that doesn't have real rubberized/metal buttons, and uses those horrible bubble dents instead. Got one for the PS Audio Power Director and one for my Gefen 4x1 HD DVI switcher.

Honorable mentions in my house also go to the dCS Delius remote (weighs a ton and has a funky button you have to press to control the Purcell that times out before I figure out what other button to press--bonus points because the funky button is located where the bloody power on/off should be) and the Esoteric DV50S remote (which requires the use of a jeweler's screwdriver to change the batteries and does not include a power on/off function--although I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to turn a piece of gear on or off via remote). *sigh*
Mezmo wrote:
>>So I've got the lights dimmed to watch a movie (main outs running from the HT receiver into Line 2 on the preamp to integrate the two systems, with volume dialed in at 0 gain on the pre) and I, not surprisingly, want to dim the display on the pre -- viola, the reciever is muted.<<

I was wondering why you don't use the SSP input on the Line 2 since this is the HT bypass function? It esentially puts the Line 2 to "sleep" so you won't get all of the weirdness that your experiencing with your setup.
Oops, I read Line 2 as a model number NOT the function label. Never mind. My bad.
Purchase a home theater master remote for $300 on the internet. It will solve all your problems. I have one remote with amazing buttons, backlighting, full programability w. macros and works all over the house as it is both IR & RF bassed. You will love it.
The remote on my Onkyo DVD player is abysmal.

I recently auditioned the Muse UDP and its remote is ridiculous. About 50 tiny buttons, all the same size.
Interesting to see the old odometer slowly rack up on this thread. I hope the manufacturers are reading it...The remotes you love to hate.
Mezmo, I too have the laptop sized Meridian "System" remote for only my 588 CD player. Have you found any suitable replacement remote that will work?
Pass Lab X-1 Pre-amp. Small metalic remote and 4 buttons with no word/symbol...nothing.
Afx, nope. Pretty much quit looking. Word has it that Meridian intially had a seperate remote for the older 508 / 506 series players which was more managable and appropriately sized (and someone was even kind enough to send me a picture), but I never managed to track one down -- and I'm not positive it would work with your newer version, anyway. Alas. I've begrudgingly gotten used to my lovely "console."
Thsoe awful credit card sized remotes the new Krell units come with. Small buttons on a tiny remote which keeps getting itself lost.

A close second was the remote the Arcam A65+. A full featured remote with buttons for absolutely everything, but the only function that actually worked was volume...and this was a unit for my parents. Not to mention I think the remote is labeled with SYMBOLS rather than actual TEXT.
My vote would be my lost one! probably some puppyf**ker stole it from me