Your most disappointing purchase or audition?

I've had a few.

bought a Naim Nait 3. Loved it in the store. Returned it within a week- way forward at home

Brought home some CJ preamp to audition perhaps 22 years ago. Noisy as anything and a turn off transient destroyed a tweeter (though years later i bought a CJ 17LS2 which I thought was the finest preamp I ever heard in my home)

Auditioned a VPI table (HW19) in a store- the store just could not get the belt to stay on. Bought a Rega instead. This was in perhaps 1990.

Fortunately, I never really experienced buyers remorse say 6 months or more after settling on a piece of gear.

Finally, there have been too many speakers that got stellar write ups which I just didn't care for.
768e3cdc b761 4131 ab7d b47af0995626zavato

Showing 22 responses by roxy54

I have said it before in other threads, but since this thread asks the question, I would have to say the Pass Labs X 250.5. I used it in single ended mode, which I was told later was not optimum, although I never read that in all of my pre-purchase research. I bought it and auditioned it with 5 different speakers in my system, and in each case, the sound was thin and electronic. It was a really shocking disappointment.
Thanks for reminding me about the Krell Kav 300i! I forgot all about it. I borrowed one for a week from a high end store in Pa. years ago when Stereophile was singing its praises. My feelings echo yours almost exactly. Thin, sterile, completely amusical. Unlike you though, I didn't find the bass noticeably better than the McIntosh that I was using at the time. A member here, (Dave b) has often spoken of a different Krell integrated, a 400xi or something like that, and still swears that it is the best amp he has heard. (I saw a recent post on another site) Apparently, on the strength of his positive feelings for that integrated, he is buying a new one that they are coming out with.
I can only think that the one he has is an entirely different animal than the one I tried, because that was awful.
I learned a lesson from my experience with the Pass X 250.5. I bought it mainly because of all the positive professional and user reviews that I read. Since then, if I am unable to listen to a speaker or component before buying it, which is almost always, I rely more on Audiogon members whose tastes are close to mine in the components they own, and the type of sound they describe as their preference. It has worked out better for me.
Earlier in this thread for instance, one member said that he really disliked the Coincident Total Eclipse. I never owned them, but I really like them. I respect his opinion and preference, but realize that we have different priorities in sound reproduction. There are other members who like many of the same things that I do, so I put more weight on their recommendations.
I feel for you, but I think your post would have been more appropriate in the "disputes" forum. This is supposed to be about specific components, not deals gone bad.
I take your point as well...those incidents are frustrating and can stay with you for a long while. It has happened to me as well.
I think that part of the point that Tubes108 was trying to make was that he was not so much "upset" with Atmasphere, but like everyone else on this thread, was relaying what he considered his most disappointing purchase.
I saw the quoted post as a stated opinion, and as far as violating Audiogon standards is concerned, I have read, and been the object of posts which make that one look like a milk fed puppy.
I don't think that Audiogon moderators looked upon it as being a very serious breach either, as his subsequent comments are being posted promptly.
Although Charles used a stern tone in the post that you cited, there was no crudeness, and I don't see what he said as an attack. He is usually very much a gentleman in my experience, so yes, in this case, I don't find fault with what he said.
By way of comparison, here is a thread that was addressed to me recently. I wouldn't bother reporting it to the moderators, because a person that writes like this is not hurting me in any way, they are only exposing themselves.
Still, I post it here as an example of a truly crude post.
I have been harsh at times in the past, and because I see that posts that are needlessly unkind ruin the fun we are supposed to be having, I have tried to think before I write now.

07-31-14: Avgoround
Plain and simple..THOSE OPINIONS ARE ALL ROXY54's OWN ISSUES!!! Bottom line, PERIOD,..whatever people agree on or negotiate for is WHAT IT IS!! Nothing more! .. THATS IT!
Hey look, I too used to work as a hifi salesman in 4 different ultra hiend audio salons as well as in 2 retail AV chain stores in both the hey days and at the collapse of AV retail, in mid 2000's! And, you know what?..IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY ZERO DIFFERENCE whether some nonbuying, internet searchin, used gear looki-leach walks into ur struggling Retail store, with no intention of letting you know that he ain't buyin! It's up to YOU as a salesperson to qualify the bastard, and find out if he will buy., and then SELL HIM SOMETHING!! And if you think he's wasting your time, you have two either let him look around and remain friendly to the guy, if he's no harm, OR U CAN BLOW HIM OUT OF UR SHOP N TELL HIM TO GO BUY SOMEWHERE ELSE!! That's your choice! Conversely, if I'm some joeshmoe walk in in off the street, minding my own business, or if I feel like conversing about AV gear and discussing opinions, I DONT NEED TO TELL U , A SALES PERSON, JACK SQUAT, IF I DONT FEEL LIKE! ..NOR AM I OBLIGATED TO HAVE TO BUY NOTHIN! ..and, if u don't like it, either leave me alone, or kick me out, and I'll gladly be on my way!!! - and I'll not lose a nights sleep over it...not my problem..I owe u NOTHIN! Just don't sit here and tell me that the problem is the customer who's not going to buy...CAUSE THE REAL PROBLEM IS CLEARLY YOU, ROXY54!!!
Fix ur own problems n don't cry to us!..CAUSE me or any other tire kicker ain't the problem if we don't open our wallets for YOU! ..then again, if u can't deal with that, maybe u should quit or become a better salesperson???!.....what a total cop-out!
See this way you don't need to look in the mirror and make healthy effective changes in YOUR life..and you can just go on unchanged, blaming non buyers, slow economy, and so forth fer all your problems! Been there ..done that. It's same kinda position people take all the time! -Blame Enron and Fannie Mae for all the money they lost ( they shouldn't have put all their eggs in one basket, PERIOD, lazily and greadily, without doing their homework, in the first place!) , or the economy for causing them to lose their jobs, and now they can't pay their bills (u spent ur wasted hours watching Seinfeld reruns, instead of planning a separate investment bankroll, and actively multiplied by learning to invest, u slacker!!..Yes, own that!)
I have never heard a pair of Acoustic Zen speakers, although I know that they are very polarizing with opinions of their performance swinging both ways.
I went to Legacy headquarters once years ago when the Focus was in its 2nd version, having read glowing reviews, and was also very underwhelmed by the mediocre performance.
I owned the same model of TDL Monitor transmission line speakers twice, and agree that they were special. Not perfect by any means, but great in the way the bass could breathe in a naturally, and pressurize a room without overwhelming it.
I thought of 2 more that I really disliked. I borrowed for an audition in my system a Plinius integrated when they first came out. (9200?) Terrible. Solid state at its worst, and I am not opposed to solid state at all.
Also, a stand mounted speaker by Hales. I can't remember the name or model number, but it had a distinctive grill with a protruding diagonal piece of heavy gauge coat hanger type wire behind the cloth grill. They were very unbalanced, unnatural sounding and fatiguing. I wasn't surprised when the company went under after that experience.
So far it appears that the Krell integrated may be winning on votes as the most hated audio purchase.
I know that Ralph of Atmasphere enjoys a good reputation and is generous in these forums with advice etc, and he and his company are as able as any of us to make a mistake.
All that I would like to add is that I have felt from your first post on this thread that you were being truthful.
I thought your last long post was clear and concise, and answered all of the allegations that you really didn't have an obligation to respond to. I agree with you that you contributed your experience like anyone else, and did not deserve to be butchered for it.
These forums can be very brutal at times.
I know that Atmasphere isn't a large corporation, but wouldn't they keep records of things like this, or isn't there a serial number that Tubes108 could provide that would clarify age etc?
At this point, Tubes108 seems to have bowed out of the conversation, and I guess I don't blame him.
You may have given this information earlier in the thread, but I am curious about what year you bought the amps, because the company has been around for quite a while, and I am wondering if it was a "growing pains" thing, which of course would still be unacceptable.
Since you are still in the discussion, why not clarify for everyone, including Ralph, when this occured. It would certainly add credibility to your statements.
I think any question is valid as long as both parties continue to participate in the thread.
I agree, and as Ralph has pointed out, he tried to take it offline directly to Tubes108 without success. I also understand that if I was in his position, I would also want to protect my good reputation as long as allegations were still being made on the thread. I just find it so interesting that even though Tubes108 has presented his case in a seemingly sober and dispassionate way, he doesn't want to talk about dates.
As he said earlier in the thread, he just answered the OP's question, and wasn't looking for all of this controversy that has followed, but of course when a trusted and well known brand is involved, it makes members more curious.
Tubes105 still won't say when he bought it. I'm done.
Now Tubes 108 is getting cagey. He responds to the question by saying he told us before but it disappeared. Fine. Could you spare a few words to tell us again?
I've had a few bummers over the years. The two biggest disappointments that come to mind are the Pass Labs X250.5, and the Reference 3A De Capo.


It sounded thin and very "old school solid state" on 4 pairs of speakers that I owned at the time. I was later told that it would have sounded better if I had run it in balanced mode, but geez...

It sure looked pretty though.


I sold my Mac MC 300 to get it because there was so much hype at the time, and I felt so bad within 1 night. The member who sold it to me bought Mac 402 monos to replace it, and admitted to me on the phone that they sounded much better, and that he never really liked the Pass.