The single most disappointing bit of kit you ever owned thread (with rules).

Mike Gibson

Junior Member
I wanted a R2R with good S/N ratio in 1976-78 so I bought a Tandberg 9000X. It has a S/N of 60Db and no Dolby. So spec wise it was great. However, it was a shop queen all of it's life. When it worked I loved it. With Maxell UD tape and a clean source it made wonderful tapes. It's just that I got tired of taking it to the shop all the time. I think it was the first logic switching machine they made. I paid $625.00 for it then so it wasn't a cheapie. It was the reason I got out of tape.9000x.jpg
 
I'm going to go with a Luxman PD-272 (iirc) that I had briefly in the early 2000s. It was a GORGEOUS table that really looked like it was gonna make serious music. And it did, with two exceptions:

1) It rang like a bell so it was totally unsuitable to any moderate or high volume listening
2) The fiddly on/off switch that was also the end of record stop/lift was a PITA and never worked right

But DAMN it looked cool and made some decent vinyl rips as long as the volume in the room was very low.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I'm going to have to go with the original Rega Elys (purple body) - I bought it to replace the Linn K9 my Rega Planar 3 came with when I bought it used. The plus side was that 3-screw mounting setup made cartridge installs and alignment a relative breeze, so I didn't get charged too much for initial setup by the shop I bought it from. The bad thing was it was not a good cartridge - sound was both muddy and shrill (not sure how you do that simultaneously, but there you go), and was not a very good tracker at all. Maybe I got a dud, but I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Replaced it with a Denon DL110 and was happy as a clam.
 

MrEd

Senior Nobody
Turn to the way back machine for me... a dbx122 purchased with my reel to reel tape machine in 1975.
Should have read the rules..
DBX was new and hyped up, including the promise of encoded vinyl.
It did sound good in most situations but at times had an annoying pumping sound to it.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm going to have to go with the original Rega Elys (purple body) - I bought it to replace the Linn K9 my Rega Planar 3 came with when I bought it used. The plus side was that 3-screw mounting setup made cartridge installs and alignment a relative breeze, so I didn't get charged too much for initial setup by the shop I bought it from. The bad thing was it was not a good cartridge - sound was both muddy and shrill (not sure how you do that simultaneously, but there you go), and was not a very good tracker at all. Maybe I got a dud, but I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Replaced it with a Denon DL110 and was happy as a clam.
I auditioned the Heresy IV recently with a Rega table as the source. The Rega cart on it, whatever it was, was awful. Mistracking, etc. I couldn’t believe a shop was auditioning gear with. Speaking of which my friend is the manager there. We need to have a talk :).
 
I auditioned the Heresy IV recently with a Rega table as the source. The Rega cart on it, whatever it was, was awful. Mistracking, etc. I couldn’t believe a shop was auditioning gear with. Speaking of which my friend is the manager there. We need to have a talk :).
Not a fan of Rega cartridges.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Not a fan of Rega cartridges.
Rega is one of those companies that I really want to like but my ears keep putting a stop to it. The only table I’ve liked was an RP-8 at a show many moons ago (sounded great). I haven’t heard many of their top tables but hear their low/mid range all the time and I just don’t like them at all. No weight to the sound.
 
Rega is one of those companies that I really want to like but my ears keep putting a stop to it. The only table I’ve liked was an RP-8 at a show many moons ago (sounded great). I haven’t heard many of their top tables but hear their low/mid range all the time and I just don’t like them at all. No weight to the sound.
I have a Frakenrega Rb700 Arm with a Benz Micro Glider on it.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I have a Frakenrega Rb700 Arm with a Benz Micro Glider on it.
I’ve heard the arms sounding great on many tables but rarely on Rega tables.

I’m seriously thinking of putting an Audiomods modded Rega on my Empire. Or even just a stock current upper end Rega. A winter project.
 
I’ve heard the arms sounding great on many tables but rarely on Rega tables.

I’m seriously thinking of putting an Audiomods modded Rega on my Empire. Or even just a stock current upper end Rega. A winter project.
I have an Inspire Hifi Plinth it's 1 3/4" Baltic Birch ply plinth, Groovetracer Sub and Acrylic Platter.
 

Dan ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Bear Without A Care
That reminds me of mine... :) (Sota Moonbeam with a Rega RB-330 arm.)
The Sota was a used sad-sack sort of table when I got it. The walnut had dried out, the original black platter looked as if the center hole had been whittled out by someone's cross-eyed step sister, it original feet were at best crude and the arm was an entry level Rega which at best was horrid. All of these things I took care of, replacing the platter with a Pro-Ject acrylic one, the feet with Herbie's Isolation Feet and the arm with a Rega/Moth RB-330. I revamped the wood with mineral oil. It IS a nice table now and can compete with the best out there.

100_0195.JPG
 
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Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
I'll start.

The single most disappointing bit of kit that I've owned, out of a long long list, is.... something I almost never talk about. The Bellari VP-129 'tubed' phono stage I bought maybe around 2007. It was very nearly a disastrous purchase, as it was my first-ever tube purchase. I'd heard about how amazing tubes were. I really didn't know crapola about good audio gear at this point but had read that tubes were the thing you HAD TO HAVE to reach audio nirvana. And I didn't have a lot of money so this seemed like a great way in.

Out of the box it had a crazy high noise floor. A nice if subtle whoooooooooosh sitting low under everything. It had a bigger 'bloom' than the phono stage in my receiver, so I though maybe things could get better. I researched things a bit, because this wasn't the audio nirvana I'd expected, and figured "oh, I need to TUBE ROLL." So I found a sketchy local audio repair place and paid way too much for two single supposedly NOS, but I don't think so, tubes. A Telefunken and an RCA 12ax7.

Well, those did improve things a bit. But the woooooooooooooooosh just under the music was still there when I turned it up, and I had to turn it up because the thing had like no gain.

Then it started buzzing. I did more online research and that told me it was the wall wart. So I bought another wall wart. And that resulted in... a different kind of buzz. That got louder.

And the my NOS tube went out.

And then I got pissed off and threw it out of my window into the dumpster one story below.

REDEEMING QUALITY:

This was my first ever bit of tube gear outside of a relatively cheap microphone preamp I had (and liked). It taught me that different tubes DID sound different. And I liked the tube bloom that managed to get above the noise floor. If I could go for two redeeming qualities, it felt SO GOOD to chuck that thing like a baseball into the trash. AND I swore off new cheap gear that the internet swore was a giant killer. It taught me what a bunch of BS a lot of forum talk was.

So not all bad.
I have a Bellari and had a very similar experience as well; it was my first tube phono stage, loved what it did right, but felt it fell apart as you turned the volume up. Definitely noisy and it stands out all the more on hi efficiency gear. I’ve held onto it thinking it will be a pet project (to get the noise floor down), but might just part with it.
To the original thread; for me it was the Dynaco ST70. I read such great reviews everywhere and how it was a bit of a giant slayer. I listened to it pre-recap and after and just was not impressed with what I was hearing. It was beautiful to look at, but not much more. Maybe I’ll give it another try one day, but with better speakers/preamp than what I had at the time.
 

kirk57

Junior Member
I have a Bellari and had a very similar experience as well; it was my first tube phono stage, loved what it did right, but felt it fell apart as you turned the volume up. Definitely noisy and it stands out all the more on hi efficiency gear. I’ve held onto it thinking it will be a pet project (to get the noise floor down), but might just part with it.
To the original thread; for me it was the Dynaco ST70. I read such great reviews everywhere and how it was a bit of a giant slayer. I listened to it pre-recap and after and just was not impressed with what I was hearing. It was beautiful to look at, but not much more. Maybe I’ll give it another try one day, but with better speakers/preamp than what I had at the time.
The Will Vincent modified ST-70 I had here for a while did not impress me much, either.
The Dynaco MK III monoblocks I heard were a whole other story; very very good.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I’ve heard the arms sounding great on many tables but rarely on Rega tables.

I’m seriously thinking of putting an Audiomods modded Rega on my Empire. Or even just a stock current upper end Rega. A winter project.
I owned an Audiomods Series IV. Good arm - worked well with both Hana SL and Denon DL103r carts.
 

RichPA

Junior Member
I had to think about this one a bit. Most of the gear I've had over the years has been really good. In the end, I was most disappointed by the Dared SL-2000A tube line stage. It sounded great, especially after the late, much-missed, and very generous Kegger (who many of you will remember from AK) hooked me up with a rectifier tube. But it had WAY too much gain for my setup, and padding down the output by 20 dB to make it reasonable killed the magic. So far from the worst-sounding gear I've had, but very disappointing because I just couldn't live with it.
 
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