What product have you purchased that gave you the least bang for the buck?

On the flip side to last week's question, what product have you purchased that gave you the <I>least</I> bang for the buck?

What product have you purchased that gave you the <I>least</I> bang for the buck?
Here it is
48% (66 votes)
I have no idea
52% (71 votes)
Total votes: 137

Noah Bickart's picture

Fancy cables

Leon, Rancho Mirage California's picture

McIntosh MX113

Jim Tavegia's picture

I received a pair of Denon headphones four years ago that looked like my Sony 7506s, but sounded awful to me. I gave them to my son-in-law, who worked at a radio station in CT. He loved them.

Xanthe's picture

I've never fallen for snake oil-but those poor sods that spend thousands on power cords never cease to amaze me. Especially when you add it up and realize they could be running an amplifier or speakers twice as good for what they've spent.

N's picture

Musical Fidelity tube buffer—it took down one amplifier and one preamplifier. Not bad for a $400 device!

Nick's picture

Oracle Alexandria turntable, the bearing leaked oil, paint flaked off, and the suspension was always off. I used it for a year then bought an LP12. Would never buy another Oracle product, don't care who owns it.

Lila's picture


Dismord's picture

Hafler power amp. What a nasty box of shrieking transistors!

James B's picture

Pro-Ject Debut 3

chris's picture

Sony DAT TCD-D10 (both versions). Never before, in the long and lamentable catalog of audio failures, have DAT recorders done so little for so many. (Sorry, Sir Winston) These lemons spent more time in repair than in the field—where they excelled at clipping easily and dropping signal at random. I ended up carrying again a Nagra IV-S for backup, and in the end for all work. Nagra tapes were finally digitized to DAT at home (not on Sony decks, thank you) and handed over to the engineer, who lauded the "clear, clean digital quality and dynamics" of the material. Then Sony couldn't resist introducing the Mini Disc, at which point I said sayonara to Sony. Ne'er looked back.

Tom's picture

Shakti stone

Nat's picture

I once bought a $300 digital stylus-force gauge. Turned out my old Shure gauge was just as accurate. That was bought in the mid '80s for under $20. Old school works just fine in this instance.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

It was a Kenwood KD-500 turntable fitted with an Infinity Black Widow tonearm. Just bad sounding with any cart. Replaced it with a $200 Micro-Seiki that was a clear step-up.

Steven Becker's picture

Paradigm SA35 wall speakers

Allan Stock's picture

PS Audio Ultimate Outlet, 20A High Current model. No discernible difference in sound quality was ever detected when using the UO. That result may have been due to the high quality of my electric service, the substation just two blocks away, but in a +100 year-old neighborhood, I find this unlikely. The manufacturer had good intentions and produced a well made product. I hope it improved the performance of the system of the guy who bought it from me.

Sean's picture

$5 per month to allow me to listen to BBC radio at full res (I am overseas, so it would otherwise be heavily compressed). Using MyExpatNetwork

M.'s picture

I am a very sensible man, so I don't make many mistakes. I ponder my purchases very hard, but there was one which was a failure in terms of value: the Benz-Micro MC Gold cartridge. I only realized how fed-up with it I was when I replaced it with an aged Ortofon MC 15 Super II. Music exploded to life, with the thrilling dynamics and exciting treble that the Benz had been depriving me of for four full years of my life. And, getting to the point, in my country the Benz used to cost twice as much as the Ortofon.

Tristan's picture

SR current conditioner. Nothing but a pretty box with a copper bar connecting the outlets.

Christian's picture

Cables—I honestly don't hear the difference.

D.A.B., Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Richard Gray's "Pole Pig" line conditioner. Heard absolutely no difference either way.

Jimmy's picture

A Sherwood car stereo in 1989. It was useless after one year!

Bob Gibbons's picture

I purchased the 1000W subwoofer amp from Parts Express for a DIY sub, and after it stopped working for the second time, I swore to never again buy any component made in China

m's picture

A Theta DAC, circa 1994. I do not remember the model any longer, but I convinced myself that it had to be better. At least until I spent several weeks listening to it at home. Lesson learned.

ACF's picture

Tried to go the tube route with a pair of highly recommended mono amps and matching pre. Just didn't do it for me. A costly foray into tubes to learn that solid-state is my preferred flavor.

Pete's picture

Sennheiser HD600 headphones. They sounded dull on top, even after many hours of use. Changing headphone amps made them more detailed but still dull. Replaced them with AKG K702s, which cost less and sound great!

Norm N's picture

Quite a number of years ago, I purchased the original Roksan Radius Turntable. It turned out to be the worst piece of crap I've ever owned.

djl's picture

Bose speakers. Sold 'em less than a year later.

leo rodriguez's picture

Pioneer speakers with reflex bass. Terrible bass.

JR's picture


Chrissy's picture

Any tweak I've tried made little difference: cables, plugs, power conditioners and stands. A waste of money.