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?

TK's picture

The Doors Boxed Set I ordered it with great anticipation and desire when I was a young man. As I continue to age, my heart breaks daily as am coming to understand that this "product" is but a chimera.

Remco Bruins's picture

Not yet. Building my first single driver speaker now however, prepared for the worst.

H.  Ferguson's picture

Oh, yes it was the Phillips SACD 1000. I remember purchasing it at a great price and bringing it home and hooking it up. It was glorious the best source I had ever owned. I absolutely loved the sound. My system was at a whole new level, once again I could listen to music for hours on end—then it died about three months into my love affair. I mourned the loss of that unit for years. My significant other remembers the pain that loss caused me. Phillips returned my investment, but could not fix the unit, everyone knows the story. I spent the last few years searching for a new love, and just before Christmas this year she came into my life, a Rega Saturn, a DK designs intergrated, and a pair of Audio Physics Scorpios. I am in love. Music is real again. I am all giddy when I get home after work and sit down to listen. New found love

Pacoo Diople's picture

Yeah, it was mass adoption of DVDA/SACD. Instead, my sister's iPod won.

Keith's picture

My then new mother in law sat a glass on wine on top of one of my speakers making a permenant ring in the veneer. I damn near threw her out.

Richard Allais's picture

Most of the gear I read about and then get to audition has been a disappointment. And most of that gear/systems are in the $20K—250K range. Good thing we have Audiogon. That way we don't really take a hit when something is not all it is written to be.

Steamboat Willie's picture

SACD and HD-DVD, of course!

LWS's picture

And the b's name was Harmon Kardon - let's start with the first preamp processor I bought which was (per their ads) "infinately upgradeable", which they killed off. Then the Proceed AVP, which they killed off. Then the Lexicon MC12, which I have now, and expect to be killed off. HK's broken my heart several times.

Thor's picture

I'm new to the audiophile game. The only way you'll break my heart is if you continue to insufficiently cover the budget end of the market.

Humberto's picture

Dualdisc. MVI.

Richard's picture

Quad ESL-989 ('Stereophile Product of the Year 2003'). Is this... it? One of the audiophile world's contenders to make music seem to be performed in your living room? After years of waiting, finally being able to afford audiophile equipment has been hugely underwhelming. The sound is nice, but this pursuit is orthogonal to the goal of reproducing the sound or experience of any concert I have ever been to. It's like watching a 70mm print of Lawrence of Arabia and wanting to be fooled into believing you are in the desert. It's not the intent of the movie, largely misses the intent of its' creators, and the movie theater is the wrong tool for the job.

Joe Hartmann's picture

Kenwood KD 500. The second week I owned the table, I was listening and got up to answer the phone, no one there. A couple of days later same result. It took me two months to realize it was the table. Eight months later I saved enough to buy a Linn LP 12, still in use 25 years later.

Jose B.'s picture

Yes, a certain line from a certain brand of fully active speakers really dissappointed me. Still gourgeous looking speakers, though.

Steven Lester's picture

I'm in the business and have been auditioning gear for years (nearly 30). There have been many over-hyped disappointments, some seriously awful. Fortunately, there have been many undiscovered or surprise "gems" and that keeps me seeking more.

John H's picture

The transfer of enthusiasm from many rave reviews in Stereophile has inspired me to listen to a lot of products that I found to be mediocre.

Tristan's picture

Yesssssss, I was dating someone who decided to order Kharmas...(this was about 7 years ago) they were exqusites or divines or something like that. Well, the sound was SO disappointing. Great mids, absolutely no treble extension and whatever wasthere was shrieky. Bass was okay, as well as imaging. For the price, it was a disappointment.

mike e.'s picture

It was McIntosh. Beautiful sound absloutely devoid of any trace of musicality.

Carter's picture

I am a SET fan, big time. The sound is glorious, the power, not so much. There were many reviews of the PS Audio HCA-2 amp that implied SET like qualities and lots of power. I bought one. I put it into my system in place of a pair of 2A3 SET monoblocks. Meh. Okay, maybe it just needs breaking in. Hundreds of hours later: Meh. The SETS went back in. The HCA-2 was a great-sounding amp, and I would highly recommend one, especially at the used prices it fetches these days, but it couldn't best the SETs.

Grant in Toronto's picture

Yes. Back in 1986 my friend brought his CD player & hooked it up to my MFA pream & amp. My "first" experience with "perfect sound forever". It was so awful, I couldn't even stay in the room when it was playing. It was almost 10 years before I finally bought my first CD player...that player has spent most of its lifetime collecting dust in my bedroom. CD. Yeeeech.

bertdw's picture

I once purchased an expensive air bearing turntable with a linear tracking, air bearing tonearm. The noise from the air pump was bad enough, but when it started spitting condensation onto my record from the tonearm bearing I returned it.

sven felsby's picture

Roksan Caspian integrated. Incisive, metallic treble, when returning from honeymoon.

Mr Grits's picture

Tripath amps! So much hype, so much promise, but a $20 amp is a $20 amp.

rvance's picture

As a high schooler in ’66 I loved my Norelco/Philips Cassette Carrycorder jacked to my DuMont hi-fi TV. It was so new and exciting. But it didn’t last. My Craig 8-track and Pioneer speakers made my car my big throb. My first job out of community college was at an electronics mfg. facility. One of our engineers and audio guru, Mike Moffatt, hooked me up with a cute used Fisher tube integrated and MacIntosh tuner. She’d been around the block, but I was in love anyway. Later, I fell hard for my friend Ron’s Quad 57’s with a Moffat designed triode amp and modded HK Citation pre. It was thrilling and illicit, but I didn’t care. I was in heaven. They left me and took my tube set “to change the caps.” Never saw them again. I was devastated. In ’75 I got married to a wonderful girl with a Quadraflex receiver and speakers. It was a difficult time. Mike came over and reversed the polarity on the midrange drivers and doped them with white glue to stiffen them up. With a Philips TT and Grado and his counseling, I was feeling pretty good about love again. A move to northern Cal and a divorce threw me into a long tailspin. I can’t even talk about it. KLH, Sony, purple Kush- it’s just a smokey memory. Then in the early '90s I hooked up a little pair of Wharfedale Diamond 7.2s and started feeling alive again. By 2000 I had started swinging with multi-channel and now continuous upgrades have me deep into full-range Pacific Evos and Opus, DVD-A and SACD on the Marantz. I thought it was for real, but now I’m getting dumped for Blu-Ray and hi-rez downloads. Too bad, I'm settling down for a while. Broken hearted? Did you have to ask?

Paul Basinski's picture

Not really. If you do careful research and know your way around the gear, it's unlikely you'll seriously flub up. Sure I've had some components I didn't like, that said, I've never made a mistake that time and the AudiogoN could not fix.

Douglas's picture

Class A heartbreak.

Anonymous's picture
educated audiophile's picture

Audio Refinement Complete {integrated amp} delusional audiofile wakes up to find that he's been living with mid-fi for a month. A local trip to the Home Entertainment, Hi-Fi, and Home Theater Event, provided me with the reality-check that I needed. I totally heard a similarly priced Creek integrated blow-away the ARC ( effortlessly) not to mention high-end value contenders from Rogue, Musical Fidelity, Cambridge, et al.

Jayne Lee wilson's picture

I owned a pair of QED monoblocks, quite musical but well, dynamically challenged. What could be better than high sensitivity speakers? I arranged a home audition of Kelly KT2 loudspeakers, at 95db surely I would finally experience Beethoven 7 comme il faut. After running in gently with Rameau for a while, I began the 7th's scherzo, Gunter Wand and the NDR, and as we pitched in the massive and weighty trio, oh how I reveled in the power and the glory - but what was that? A crackle - quickly I reached for the (non-remote) volume control - too late!! A bang, and then a loud hum from the right speaker. Sick in my stomach, I saw that the right monoblock was dead. Please, no... Oh God, yes - the amp had blown, surely not the borrowed speaker... oh yes it had... Didn't sleep much, how would I tell them, me the foolish female audiophile? Rang up and told my story. I could have hugged and kissed the owner of the broad Lancastrian voice that said "oh love, if you knew some of the things I've done, and I'm supposed to be in the trade..." the return of 95db speakers was good natured; I tried not to think of what might be said about the female audiophile who had blown her Kelly speakers playing Beethoven's 7th while on audition the first night, and the dream of thrilling high volume was dead for a few more years. (Until I discovered ATC, but that's another story.)

Serpieri's picture

With your help, and others, I was able to choose wisely.