What is the worst system you have heard?

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uktel
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What is the worst system you have heard?

Post by uktel » 04 Feb 2009 11:06

I had a phone call from a friend the other day about a system that he had heard which was MEGA expensive,yet to his ears sounded absolutely terrible,he just couldn't wait to get the hell out of that room!
Has anybody else had experiences like this and if so
What was the system?
What did you dislike about the sound?
Terry

michaelevans60
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Post by michaelevans60 » 04 Feb 2009 11:37

Bose.

Attrocious, just attrocious.

Bang and Olufsen.

Not so bad from quality point of view, just terrible value for money

Mark E Smith's Dentist
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Post by Mark E Smith's Dentist » 04 Feb 2009 11:38

Ever been to a hi-fi show? I've walked out of rooms with £80K+ systems, ears ringing.

I can't believe (for example) that Naim demos make anyone want to do anything other than get the hell out. Who would want to pay money for a system that just shouts at you? My opinion of course, YMMV.


JT

uktel
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Post by uktel » 04 Feb 2009 12:22

Hi John
Hifi shows must be amongst the very hardest venues to set up any system,Whilst almost every room is sporting some kind of system be it home cinema(with as many explosions as poss as loud as poss) or two channel,The mains in these hotels must be really grunged up and the vibrational energy throughout the building must be enormous let alone the poor rooms that you may have to work with!
The system my friend was talking about was actually in someones house!
I must confess that I too am dissatisfied with the Linn/Naim house sound and to me the more expensive they get the more I dislike what I am hearing.

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Post by JaS » 04 Feb 2009 12:38

Hi,
The worst I've heard is probably a friend's system in the late 80's that used two entry-level integrated amplifiers running in series (apparently for more power!) and an SP-50 processor to create four channels of chainsaw-like sound. He even used a graphic equaliser to try to mask the blown tweeters in the main speakers.

The second worst was in a dealers demo room somewhere in the midlands...

Regards,
JaS

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Post by bauzace50 » 04 Feb 2009 13:02

Hi,
the worst one I heard was at my audiophile uncle's home. He changed his Ortoron SPU cartridge for the subsequent model (forgot the model number). This, together with his new Bose 901 speakers were so bright they polished my tennis shoes.
Regards,
bauzace50

Finger Painter

Post by Finger Painter » 04 Feb 2009 13:41

I can't believe (for example) that Naim demos make anyone want to do anything other than get the hell out. Who would want to pay money for a system that just shouts at you? My opinion of course, YMMV
I'll go along with your opinion on that issue Jon. Manchester last year had me attend the Naim room for perhaps a whole 2 minutes after which I decided I'd heard enough.

Worse system? Same show and the Clearaudio demo. Get one bloody expensive Master, arm it with a Graham and the top Clear A cartridge and gracefully walk away. Dreadful for what it all cost. Can't say I was too enthralled with the macintosh display either. Nice blue lights though.

uktel
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Post by uktel » 04 Feb 2009 14:09

Satan
I didn't think it would take too long before the word clearaudio poopped up?
I heard the master Reference recently with its great big parallel tracker on it and it sounded dreadful to my ears.
I do not actally think that those decks can be tamed with any Arm,Cart,Amp combo out there,That cold sterile sound is just inherent to clearaudio products!
Some people must like them though?

Finger Painter

Post by Finger Painter » 04 Feb 2009 14:45

They do look the nads though

Guest

Post by Guest » 04 Feb 2009 15:38

One acquaintance apparently bought all his gear on the basis of magazine reviews: Levinson preamp, Krell amps, Martin Logan speakers. Each component perched on its own dedicated stand, as if that could help. Interconnects the size of fire hoses. The whole menagerie was searingly bright, like a laser beam aimed straight into the ear. The biggest joke was his multi-kilobuck PS Audio power conditioner. What's the point? All in all, about $20k worth of shiny, big-name junk. Very sad.

Guest

Post by Guest » 04 Feb 2009 17:38

Hi,

An Amstrad stack system with the worst dynamic wow I've ever heard.
The unusual thing was the owner was a serious muso, it did not bother
him too much, he said he could imagine how it was supposed to sound.

I have of course heard expensive badly set up / matched / bizzarely
chosen stuff that did things wrong, but nothing as bad as the above.

Imagine every loud part of a record slowing down by a tone and
a half, and obviously dreadful speed stabilty on the quieter bits.


Guest

Post by Guest » 04 Feb 2009 17:57

Two systems spring to mind. One at a dealers who was trying to flog me a Linn/Naim/Meridian system some years ago. Linn Kaber Active's paired with a Naim pre/power and playing from the Meridian CD player. I smiled politely and walked out. It was so lean it could have been posted through a letter box. The dealer introduced me to PRaT and said that that was what this system was all about. I concluded that only a PRaT would part with hard earned cash for it.

Another was a hugely expensive system, yet again powered by Naim and playing through Wilson Benesch floorstanders. Again, quite lean and the dealer tried explaining that the Wilson's really needed over 250 watts per channel to get them going. I responded that if that was the case it wasn't very clever design philosophy. In contrast, the best system was using Tannoy's (forget which one's) hooked up to a Class A 10 watt/channel amp driven by a Garrard 401. Lurverly.

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Post by MonkeyBoy » 04 Feb 2009 18:43

Besides anything coming out of people's computers, the worst I ever heard was a roomie's setup in the barracks with the dreaded Bose 901's. He thought they were great because he could play them really loud. Ooooh, neato! Spiffy, even. Keen! God, what dreck. :x As far as really expensive systems, yeah, I heard a system that was run through Magnepan's and it had no bass extension to speak of and the sound was just muddy and ill defined. This was some time ago, but I'm assuming that speaker placement wasn't even a consideration for the store that had the setup. I don't remember the electronics used, but they would have been high end. It was the only high end store in Colorado Springs that I know of.

TheArc
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Post by TheArc » 05 Feb 2009 21:57

Krell amplification going into B&W 802ds. Can't remember the CD player (TTs were sniffed at then). To me, utterly hideous. Sharp, strident, shouty and with lacerating treble. Lots of salesmen nodding appreciatively and a lot of people wandering in staying 30 seconds and then walking out again. Awful.

Alec124c41
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Post by Alec124c41 » 06 Feb 2009 04:38

, we had a manufacturer here who did much the same thing. I had a friend who had a set, and put rat shack supertweeters on top to compensate... #-o That was the worst set-up I had to endure.
I got my hands on a pair, cheap, some years later. The drivers were OK but the midrange was out of phase, and needed a different value resistor to balance it. That, plus a bit of fiberglass in the box, made a decent cheap speaker.

Cheers,
Alec

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