The worst piece of HiFi Equipment you've ever owned?

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews & Opinions' started by Inspector_Sw, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Vintage999

    Vintage999 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Reading some of the early entries made me remember a Sony clunker I purchased.

    A techy friend of mine was convinced in 1978 that v-fets were the future and that the Sony v-fet integrateds were superior to anything else ever made, afterall, he bought one. So I bought one to... about 70 wpc (I think, don't remember for sure). It sounded terrible and had me yearning for the big Scott receiver (70 wpc, and I'm sure of that) I had traded in. Then the Sony started blowing output devices - over and over again. The repair man at the "authorized Song repair center" told me, after putting my third set of v-fet outputs, that the design was flawed (we had become friends) and that I should trade or sell it ASAP. So, I did.

    I called my techy friend and told him what I thought about his recommendation and just how bad it was. Turns out, John hated his too, got rid of it, and built his own amp which he owned for years. I think of John (now deceased) and the wretched v-fet amp whenever I see one for sale on e-ripoff advertised as "rare." There is a reason they are rare!!!

    Good listening.
     
  2. wcward

    wcward New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Worst equipment I ever owned was a Kenwood preamp with a set of matching 150 WPC mono-block power amps. This was back in the early 1980s when audio was still a thing. Bought them brand new and had nothing but trouble with the preamp, It would quit working regularly and need a trip to the shop after about the 6th time with some lame excuse about a cold solder joint somewhere, I told the store I wanted a replacement or a trade or something because this was BS, they wouldn't do anything for me. I went as far as contacting the regional manager for Kenwood products to do something for me....nope, sucks to be you. Told the guy and the store, enjoy my money cause' you'll never see another penny from me. Took the preamp home, propped it up against a cement block and shot it with a 410 shot gun (I lived on a farm then). Sold the amps for what I could get for them. Both Kenwood audio and the store I bought this junk from went out of business.....funny that.
     
    PAGS likes this.
  3. Ds2000

    Ds2000 All About every cool stereo component. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,616
    Location:
    New York City
    Ugh this one. Bright and hard as nails. No redeeming quality to be found anywhere.
    IMG_1059.JPG
     
    MarZutra likes this.
  4. billinkansas

    billinkansas Older I get, better I was Subscriber

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Mayby not the worst, but certainly by far the most disappointing piece I've had was a Mac MR77 tuner, reworked 3 times by one of the more visible shops that has a banner here, who shall remain nameless (not Terry).. It sounnded great on crappy staions above about 97 mhz, but would absolutely reject signals below 93mhz. My stations are all 91.5 and below. I have excellent antennas.

    I sent it back twice - they did not charge me, but I paid shipping. I finally had enough of it and sold it locally with all documentation and full disclosure. The new owner just likes the looks of it, so he's happy.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    RockFanatic likes this.
  5. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Messages:
    3,699
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    Bill, good to hear from you! You just never know - I found one of the best tuners I ever owned in a junk/thrift store in Wyoming for five bucks. I swapped it, and some other gear, the other day for a nice Denon power amp.
     
  6. triode17

    triode17 Active Member

    Messages:
    333
    I don't remember the model, but it was one of the first Technics, microprocessor controlled cassette decks. It would occasionally jump into Pause/Record that even though I could just hit Stop to end it, it would shove the erase head against the tape and erase a hole in the music! Some of which was live concerts that couldn't be replaced. I gave it away.
     
    asilker likes this.
  7. Harryconover

    Harryconover Active Member

    Messages:
    479
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    The worst would be the frist I got it at a milatary suplus store very home made tuber intergrated amp had two different output transfomers ! this was forty years ago , and I liked it then driving speakers made from old speakers from dead tvs in cardboard boxs ,no tweeters and all different drivers .
     
  8. billinkansas

    billinkansas Older I get, better I was Subscriber

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Hey! Thanks for the post. There are indeed el cheapo gems to be had. I just did not expect a high end, high dollar component to be such a turd.
     
  9. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    589
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Bose Acoustimass 5II 2.1 speaker system. My wife wanted something very unobtrusive after she redecorated the family room. It was about 5 years before I got the leverage to make her accept some PSB bookshelfs.
    I am on the fence about a Thorens TD-180 I have. It certainly doesn't do the Thorens name proud, but I believe it cost very little when I got it to play my parents' 78s. I never did get to a point where I could stand listening to the 78s and it certainly won't do for my good 33s; but I recently got a smaller, 0.7 mil conical stylus for the Stanton 500 it came with. It's now a pretty good option for older 33s that got their battle scars from conicals when they were young. I has saved me from throwing out some fond memoties from my childhood and 70s rock LPs that my sister ruined on her cheap table.
     
  10. 1984_C10

    1984_C10 Active Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Rio Pardo, RS, Brazil
    A Denon DCM-360, awful device, i don't even know if it could be considered hi-fi...
     
  11. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Messages:
    3,699
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    If you still have it, and it has a digital output, try connecting it to a good DAC - that is what I did with a Yamaha carousel machine, and they may have been built in the same factory.
     
  12. kirk57

    kirk57 Some guy on the Internet Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    Chicago's North Shore
    That was my impression on the ESS AMT-1 as well. Driven by a Kenwood 9340 receiver. Probably not an ideal match, but the tonal balance of some Bose Interaudio 1000 driven by the same receiver was better to my ears.
     
  13. 1984_C10

    1984_C10 Active Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Rio Pardo, RS, Brazil
    Unfortunately it didn't have a digital output, it was analog only. The motor on the carroussell stoped working after a while, and i got a NS900V from Sony to replace it, now that's a good machine!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  14. armyslowrdr

    armyslowrdr I don't want one..LOL

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Killeen, TX
    A late 80s Yamaha carousel type CD changer. The mechanism was always breaking. I bought a Sony one of VERY similar design a few years later that does DVD and SACD too, and it is still going strong.
     
  15. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    4,365
    The AR amplifier. Noisy and strident.
     
  16. BillJGW

    BillJGW AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    SE WI
    As a few others have said, a Marantz 2270. A gutless wonder.

    However, even though it was my parent's "system" when I was a kid in the '60's, the Sears Silvertone takes the cake. It had a fold down turntable with an arm/cart/stylus that could burn through your vinyl in one play. The speakers were anemic, it probably put out about 0.1 wpc on a good day, and the speaker cable was so thin you could bite through it with your teeth. This was my introduction to the world of audio reproduction. Needless to say, things only got better from there.
     
  17. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

    Messages:
    43,095
    Location:
    Schwarzwald, Deutschland
    Tandberg owners - please don't be offended. No offense is intended.

    The worst piece is my Tandberg TR2080. I got it seven years ago, professionally refurbished ("Good Old Hifi", Niemegk/Berlin). Poor sound, bass like a kitchen radio when hooked for example on Bang&Olufsen Beovox S120. When I held the receiver on the side panels, the left one broke off. The reason is that the panels are mounted by a lousy plastic construction.

    However - it looks nice.
     
  18. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    589
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Actually, I should correct myself. It was a pair of Stax headphones I bought in the '70s. Before that I lived in blissful ignorance. After hearing them I wanted more and more and more. I did recover or go into remission when the kids were born. Then I bought another set of Stax headphones and totally relapsed. Now I have a $3,000 a year habit again. Not even trying to kick.
     
  19. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,236
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    I could not stand my JBL 4311b. And I gave them a full recap, new mids, and months of time. The upper midrange was so hot.
     
  20. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Plasicky early 80s ADC turntable with no redeeming qualities - sonically or athestically. I returned it and swung a deal for a Luxman table outfitted with a Signet TK7E cartridge.
     

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