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

Patrick's picture

The most disgusted I have been with a component has been with a Mark Levinson No.333 amplifier. For $9k it is the worst sounding amplifier I have heard: unnatural, hyper-detail, and super fatiguing in every system. My $500 Rotel amplifier put it to shame.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., F.A.C.S.'s picture

The purchase of some obscenely priced interconnects and speaker cable.

jason's picture

Sony XA7es CD player. I keep it as a constant reminder to never again succumb to such extravagance.

Mark Evans's picture

A few MFSL gold CDs. The regular aluminum CDs sound the same as the high-priced MFSL gold. $50-$150 for some Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs gold CDs versus $9-$18 for a regular CD. Virtually no audible difference.

Nodaker's picture

Any cables would qualify. I recently switched from some so-called "statement" speaker cables costing $1300 originally (I paid only $400 on close-out) to $20 worth of magnet wire and have to say the magnet wire sounds better, on both my Maggies and my B&Ws. Live and learn!

OvenMaster's picture

A Technics SA-222 receiver (hey, I was young and stupid). Cheap build quality, mechanical hum from the power transformer, and the vacuum plating on the knobs flaked off, 33Wpc, and abundant listener fatigue. All for just $180 (in 1980). What a POS. It was off more than it was on.

S.  Chapman's picture

Oh, probably most of the tweaks I've experimented with over the years: cones, isolation platforms, roller balls, discs, cable lifters, etc, and let's not forget power cords. Many of these items are horribly expensive, but provide only minimal returns.

KJ's picture

Interconnects. Not speaker cables, not power cables, not even digital cables—just interconnects. I can hear the differences between interconnects, enough to actively choose between them to tune certain components, but the prices are not commensurate with the sonic differences. Somehow, I don't have the same problem with speaker or power cables, or even digital cables, though I'm not sure why not!

Emil's picture

AKG K701

Hal's picture

B&W 601S3s, which were highly rated by everyone, but I hated the recessed, sucked-out midrange. They made all music boring!

Randolph Schein's picture

In 1997, I bought a Sony ES cassette deck (KA2ES) for $550 to make tapes for my car, which didn't have a CD player. I probably made only a few dozen, and my next car (bought in 1999) had a CD player in it. Now it sits unused, except for perhaps once a year, when my wife has an old commercially-made tape of Christmas music that she likes to hear.

Louis P.'s picture

All of the CD players and processors that I bought over the years. If I had just bought cheapie models and replaced them when they died, I could have a Mikey-level analog rig (or at least somewhat close to it) by now.

Ian Kovtunovich's picture

One of those AudioPrism noise-getter things. The ones you plug into an outlet, with a little red LED on the bottom? QuietLines, I think they're called. Maybe one was not enough, or maybe my system isn't resolving enough, or maybe they don't really do shit, but that was $25 I could have put towards half a bottle of Glenlivet 15 French Oak, which offers plenty of bang for the buck, I tell you what.

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Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

Please don't hate me for saying this (OK, I was stoopid). This was decades ago and I young and willing to try new things. Graphic equalizer. Dynamic range expander. And to a lesser extent, AM/FM tuner (which may have been a good thing if there were quality stations in my area to listen to). On the other hand, the best bang for the buck was when I was in the Navy and we pulled into port and there was this bar ...

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John Blackwater's picture

Early Sony ES CD player - better than the first Philips CD player - but not by THAT much.

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It was a portable MP3 player, made by Creative. Hours after charging up, it went dead, never to recover. Thankfully, I got a full refund.

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Dean Sinclair's picture

Olive symphony music server. Never worked a day I had it. Even sent it back to the factory. They "fixed" it. It played one song, then never responded correctly again. Wrote off the thousand bucks.

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Ivan's picture

Wharfedale Diamond 9.3 for ~$200. I've had (and heard) many more expensive speakers, and I won't say that this pair would come close to them. However, that does not make this pair any less enjoyable to listen to. They're truly excellent speakers for the price.

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