Have you ever had your audiophile heart broken?

Have you ever had your audiophile heart broken?
Yes, it was bad
55% (77 votes)
Yes, but just a flesh wound
33% (47 votes)
12% (17 votes)
Total votes: 141

Sometimes we fall in love with the idea or potential of a product, only to be disappointed with the real thing. Have you ever had your audiophile heart broken?

Mark in NJ's picture

I always have been somewhat of an audio stalker, reading and lusting after gear. But my "mistress" has always been faithful.

tonyE's picture

I fully expect that no stereo can come close to the experience from our mid orchestra seats. Indeed, as my main stereo system gets better, it reveals the location of the microphones above the orchestra. Since we don't hang over the conductor very often, the sound is unrealistic. Hence, I prefer some euphonic distortions—of the thermionic type—in our system to give some semblance of soundstating. However, Zappas' guitar must come through unscathed. Indeed.

Yves Simon's picture

Superb look / build quality / features, but very disappointing sound: NAD S500i, Cary CDP-1, Musical Fidelity A3 CD, Adcom GDA-700, Rotel RB-1070, Parasound Halo A23, and Bryston 2B-SST.

Thomas's picture

MartinLogan CLS IIz; has an ultra-clear presentation but it's extremely fussy, Sometimes even thin/white character proved to be disappointing and stressful in the long run. Good looking, though.

Hans A Polak's picture

Based upon the fantastic looks, and very positive test, I bought an ML 320S. The sound in my installation (ML 20.6 + ESL 63) turned out to be very chilyl and without any emotion. Big, big disappointment.

Douglas Bowker's picture

Well, not so much an audiophile product, but having just bought a sweet new HD-DVD player three months ago, I'm still smarting about having the format dropped so soon after my purchase. D'oh!

macksman's picture

Heartbreak is way too strong a term but every piece of PS Audio gear I've had in the last 25 years has quickly or eventually disappointed. And, yes, there were several from amps to CD transports & D/A converters to power gear.

l wincz's picture

Yes. I shelled out $1600 for a Bose 901 series 5 speakersback in 1990. I never did get the things to perform properly. I ended up selling them on eBay for $1000 a year later

Dennis's picture

My jumping into SACD two years ago with a $7000 Musical Fidelity kW. It only ever played one SACD—it couldn't even play the SACD that it came with. Also had the noisiest transport I ever heard (CD was great but the noise really made it unpleasant). Took me two years to finally find out how awesome SACD is, with my new Esoteric.

Pierre Gauthier's picture

I bought a Proceed PDSD surround processor 12 years ago that was supposed to be future proof;that's what many people were told at the time. But guess what? No soonner then six years or so, it was put out of service by the same guys that told us it would never be obsolete,well, almost. I will never buy a Mark Levinson product again in my life and guess many others will do the same. I sold it at a big loss, sold my Mark Levinson 333 at a good price, then bought a SP 1.7 processor from Bryston, bought four 7B-ST from the same company, and never looked back.

PeterG's picture

My dream was (15 years ago) to buy a Sony ES CD player. When I got it, I could not hear any sound improvement over my $1000 Pioneer Laser Disc Player. At the same time, I paid around $1200 for a Pioneer receiver whose audio quality was inferior to my Proton receiver. Since then both brands (Sony & Pioneer) are on my black list

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Based only on its review, I bought a Kenwood KD-500, Infinity Black Widow tonearm, with a Micro-Acoustics cartridge. This is why we don't like direct drive turntables. Bright, grainy, like AM radio, and bass like slapping a piece of meat. I hope the reviewer got a good bribe, I'd hate to think the review was sincere. I now only trust my ears.

Royal Payne's picture

The 500 MK1 Meridian transport was a total disapointment to me (the MK2 is great, though). The Meridian 565 processor had no bass (the 568 is great, though).

Robin Powton's picture

Most of the tweeks that appear from time to time.

Tim's picture

Turntables: Way before digital audio, I threw away my records and turntable. Couldn't stand listening to records.

Louis P.'s picture

My first digital processor, eighteen years ago. I was expecting great things, but it was only a modest improvment over the stand alone CD player. That's when I learned that analog rules.

Bill Eames's picture

Got A rating in Stereophile back in 1990: Theta Pro basic. Too harsh, but very detailed in my system. Demo was great, but after purchase and usage in long term, earitaion set in.

Will Lowe's picture

It's all in the game...

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

Yes, it was a CD-player called Metronome that sounded really dull to me in my system even after a lift in sound after modification.

Travis Klersy's picture

I really wanted a pair of Meadowlark Hotrod Kestrals or Hotrod Shearwaters, but they honestly need 8+feet of distance between speakers and listener to sound their best which isn't possible in my room. Rather than try and force things, I bought speakers I like less overall but perform better in my room.

F.  Chasinovsky, Van Nuys, CA's picture

I bought a pair of horn speakers after the woofer cones of my fabulous Alon V's disintegrated due to exposure through a living room window to sunlight. I should have known not to skimp on lower tier gear to save a couple of bucks. Hindsight is 20/20 and painful.

Rastanearian's picture

Research, research, and then research some more. Then take the time to audition.

Justin's picture

I try to do an in-home audition before buying, but that's not always possible. Reviews are great for narrowing down choices, but never buy on one alone!

russell finnemore's picture

20 years ago I was bewitched by the sound of a pair of Maggies. This was soon ruined by continual problems of corrosion nixing the sound. I never did find the cause and, sadly, had to bail out, having to exist on much poorer speakers for a while.

stephen w sweigart's picture

Meridian 508-24 CD player. It was not to my taste, being too dry and digial sounding!

bob's picture

Digital amps, they suck.

Tim Bishop's picture

Yes, the MSB Link DAC III. Not all that good. One of the reasons I am glad I have never abandoned vinyl. The other was a Yamaha C2 preamp, never sounded as good as the hype.

Nick L.'s picture

My Linn LP12, it was the best built product that was a part of my system and gave fuss free service for many years. However it was a product that was built on hyper-hype. I kept making excuses for its sound after hearing so many great tables; Pink Triangle, SME, Michell, to name a few—after 18 years I decided to sell it.

suits_me's picture

Every major component I've ever bought new and anywhere near list price has been a flesh wound, with the exceptions of my departed Connoisseur turntable, Dynaco 400 amp and Eminent Technology LFT-VIIIs. My luck or choices with music has been much better—and there could be a lesson in there.

Paul J.  Stiles, MtnView, CA's picture

Yes, when a good idea is killed by the incontinence ... oops ... incompentnce of marketing people.