What audio product spent the least amount of time in your system?

We all pick a dud from time to time, waking up the next morning thinking "why did I buy that thing!" What audio product spent the least amount of time in your system?

What audio product spent the least amount of time in your system?
That would be
88% (75 votes)
Don't know
12% (10 votes)
Total votes: 85

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Bought based on a single review without auditioning, a Kenwood KD-500 turntable with an Infinity Black Widow tonearm, mounted with a Micro Acoustics cartridge. There's an arm/cart resonance at about, oh, middle C.

Andrew Maher's picture

A Digitrex DVD recorder that kept freezing. It was rubbish.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

My Nakamichi tape deck and a 3-channel poweramp. I only listen in stereo, including when watching movies or concerts.

TJ's picture

Quite a few—but nothing I paid for, just demo kit that sounded good at the retailer, but not in my system.

M's picture

PS Audio interconnects, followed closely by their power cords. Their contribution in my system was negative versus stock power cords and low-end interconnects. Kimber Select and Shunyata are in place and I expect them to remain for some time.

Jim Dandy's picture

My first CD player, which was Yamaha's first "high end" model. Sorry, I don't recall the model number. Its sound was irratating overall ... but then, I was accustomed to the sound of vinyl, as were we all. And too, CD engineering and manufacturing were in their infancey... much was yet to be discovered. In retrospect however, I'd guess the trouble with early CD sound was 65% the fault of the CD & 35% the fault of the electronics. Perhaps that first Yamaha wasn't so bad afterall and it may make for an interesting future article in Stereophile.

Bill Peritore's picture

The Cosmostatic.

scott higgins's picture

Z systems digital preamp/EQ

Massimo Bertola's picture

A DAB stereo tuner by Pure, which was supposed to take the place of my Naim NAT05 FM, and that lasted less the one song—a couple of minutes—then I returned it. The display showed a bitrate of 92kHz.

Mike Agee's picture

Not to denigrate Wharfedale at all, but years ago when the divorce went through and suddenly I had control of my finances again, I resumed the active participation in audio that had been sidelined since I got out of college. I hit the closest audio shop, listened to the salesman more than the speaker, and made a rash purchase. A day later I realized I had done what I had for years been preparing myself not to do; buy audio without sufficient knowledge or experience. The speakers went back not because they were deficient but because I was. The odd newstand purchase of Stereophile became a subscription, I visited all the stores within a half day's drive, and the obsession began to pay off half a year later.

Mike Molinaro's picture

An equalizer.

DFS's picture

Audio Electronic Supply AE-3 preamp. Probably just a bad fit with my system, but it has got several times the gain needed for my vintage amps leading to considerable tube hiss. Sounds great otherwise, though.

Al Earz's picture

The Rega Jupiter 2000 CD player. I bought it when they were first released and when I got it home, it skipped. A CD player skipping when heavy bass transients were played, it became very annoying. I contacted Lauerman Imports the distributer at the time and he replaced the transport, that didn't help. So he replaced the complete player, I traded it in on a Linn Ikemi and that was the last Rega CD I will evre buy. I have a P25 and it's a good TT but when it skips I know it's normal.

Louis P.'s picture

My Syrinx LE2 tomearm actually became unuseable within two years. How can this happen with a tonearm? It turns out that the arm wasn't grounded properly, and the static electricity zaps went straight through the bearings and pitted them.

JR's picture

Dalton "high end" speakers I paid $300 for after seeing them advertised for $1700 from guys in a white van on the side of the road. I know, I know.... One of my life's "Here's your sign" moments.

Steve in Az's picture

Though it's still in my system because my wife likes it---a Polk Audio XM tuner. The tuner itself is fine; it's the "XM" sound I can't take.

Andrew Lewis.'s picture

A turntable in 1988—just as I was going all digital. What a waste, since I jettisoned it in college, though I still have my old vinyl. Oh, and don't tell me that records are better, that BS is so dumb, only the idiotic tweaker cable claims are worse.

Neil D.'s picture

The piece which spent the least amount of time in my system was a Tandberg 3004 cassette deck.... but not for lack of performance. It was fantastic for about 3 years, bettering a Nak 700. Then the troubles started. Two years later, I finally found someone who could get it working, they put it on their shelf and it was sold without ever coming back home..... sad story.... now I have two Nakamichis.

jamesanubis's picture

I'm usually happy with what Santa brings me.

Joe Hartmann's picture

A Kenwood KD 500 I replaced with a Linn LP 12 after one year. It rang like a telephone and I kept getting up to answer the phone until I realized it was the table. In 1980 I purchased the Linn, which I still use and will update shortly. By the way the best manual I ever owned was the Apt Holman preamp.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

A pair of Micro Acoustics FRM-1As that I picked up back in the seventies. I liked them at the time, but they blew tweeters (and each speaker had five) faster than I could put them in. I was so happy when I found a set of Bozak Symphonies to replace them.

James's picture

My very first component based system (a step up from my Sears one-box, two-speaker system w/phono mind you) was an all Technics system. I had to skimp somewhere, so I went with the entry level receiver, and boy was it apparent anytime I wanted to rock out. I had the entry level Technics reciever at the time, the SA-110 I believe (early '80s). But the specs were like 45Wpc < 5.0% THD. That reciever distorted like there was no tomorrow. That was the first component to go! I replaced it with a Yamaha A-500 integrated amp. I think it was 70Wpc < 0.05% THD. There was no looking back. The Yamaha was clean, virtually no distortion with out pain involved. Van Halen (1) could be cranked with the help of my friend's BullFrog bass cabinets through out the neighborhood. Of course that was in the days of making your tape of the LP the *very* first time you opened up your record for play. At the time, I had the entry level Technics tape deck that had DBX Noise Reduction. To my ears it was far superior to Dobly B or C. In terms of tape hiss. Dynamic range was enhanced as well. Ha, another story for another time. Those were my audiophile beginings.

Daler Bumano's picture

Mid '90s Koss JCK/300 wireless headphones. Terribly overpriced at $275, overweight, mine lasted one month, with a shorted out panel. Sold them on eBay at 10% of retail with five hours of use.

Bill Bostancic's picture

The original Sumiko Blue Point Special. Had one for a couple of years. Once I replaced it with a different cartridge I realized I should have gotten rid of it much sooner. I am very happy with their Celebration cartridge however. Albeit at a much higher price.

andy_c's picture

VMPS RM-30: A complete POS.

Thomas's picture

Linn Trampolinn. Sucked the life out of my LP12. I'm so glad it's gone. Long live analog.

Al Marcy's picture

Pending. I am collecting old tube amps and such. It all can't be wonderful, can it?

Dave Bennett's picture

Audio Technica OC9. I got mine at a bargain price as an "upgrade" to an Audio Technica ATF5. Well either I had an exceptional F5, a poor OC9 or the F5 was just a better cartridge. I struggled with the OC9 for a couple of months, waiting for it to break-in & adjusting tracking weight, tracking angle etc before going back to the F5, which came as a breath of fresh air. This was a great lesson; don't beleive the reviews, never buy without an audition, not all upgrades are upgrades, just because something is more expensive doesn't make it better.

Dan Ratliff's picture

A five disc CD changer.

djl's picture

Any surround sound gadget...I had a Yamaha DSP-1 and it did a nice job recreating sound stages. It was too gimicky and complicated to set up properly. I wanted to hear what the music is supposed to sound like. Like the artists intended it to be heard. Not artificially reproduced, replicated, reverbed, compressed, and whatnot. I did own that DSP-1 for a few years but it was the first thing to go when I started to really get into higher end audio.