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Worst speakers you've owned?


Ray Garrison
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worst speakers...a pair of big (2.5w X 3.5h X 2d) infinity four-ways from the mid-seventies, no life what-so-ever, hard to listen to after only fifteen minutes...strangly enough I have a another pair of small infinity monitors (6" woofer, 1" foam dome tweeter) that I bought at the same time which still sound great!

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I'd hate to judge all Cerwin Vegas by the model a family member owns, but man, they sound bad. The highs sound like they are buried in carpet, the bass is totally out of control--one note blastissimo and flabby over the rest of the spectrum. And, the funny part is the owner keeps raving about how great they sound. Of course I just nod. And, hey, if he grooves to 'em, you know, who am I to stand in his way. But hell would be stuck for eternity with this pair.

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Remember those all-in-one systems, with the built-in cassette player and the phonograph on top? My worst speakers ever (along with the worst system ever), were MCS (the Grand Prize goes to anyone who has the b*lls to admit they know what that stands for); when I finally pried the large, permanently fused grill covers off the 1/4" fiberboard speakers, they revealed not two , but one small driver, akin to a stock dashboard speaker in a car. How could it have gotten worse than that?

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Hevyg - Modular Component Systems, a private label sold by Jacques Pennier (or JC Penney in less snobby parts of the country than Scottsdale, AZ)! You can send the Grand Prize check to me here.

I was wondering if anyone was going to mention them. I admit to owning an MCS system as my first "real" stereo. I worked at Penney's in college, so I got an employee discount on it back in 1978. The speakers were quite large, about the size of my KG4s, and of course I thought they sounded great (being my first ones, and all). Gave them to a girlfriend in the mid-80's. Probably still using them! My daughter is still using the turntable (it was a separate piece -- "Modular", remember?) for some LPs she found -- I won't give her my old B&O turntable which is packed away in a box. I think the receiver finally met its demise a couple years ago when my Mom and Dad moved. They've been the (un)fortunate dumping ground for all my old equipment. He still has my Pioneer receiver from college, too. (Before you write to the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Parents, bear in mind that I'll be giving him a new Denon A/V receiver and some Quintets for Christmas this year...).

Ahhh, the memories.

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Ahh the LACK of memory!

How embarassing...after having fun making up names for MCS...Doug's reply reminds me that I too actually owned a piece of Jacques C. Pennier's MCS equipment...a ten band graphic equilizer now stuffed into the previously mentioned closet of abandoned audio gear...oh the shame!

If memory serves (which it certainly hasn't lately!) the MCS line was actually built by Panasonic for JC Penny's

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Doug,

I doubt that there are enough therapists on this BB to deal w/ all the secrets in my closet, but if you're really keeping track...It all started back in my early childhood..............................

BTW I was ashamed that I didn't remember MCS, not that I owned it.

Dave

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First worst was the Bose 901 series III that I received as part payment for a McIntosh Bi-Amped Pro JBL system back in the seventies. THUD, THUD, THUD. What you just read was the sound of me banging my head against the wall.

The second worst was a pair of Marble Topped Empire end table speaker thingies.

THANK HEAVEN FOR KLIPSCHORNS !!!

------------------

======================================================================

"Music? We ain't got no music. We don't need no music. I don't have to

show you any stinking music. We have equipment."

Khorn,

Toronto, Canada

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Okay DL,

Since we're coming clean, I bought an LXI series receiver around 1980 with 3-way speakers (maybe Fisher?). I kept checking the speakers with a flashlight to see if there was really a tweeter in there somewhere! And distortion--oooooeeeee. Was that a low note or did someone step on a rubber bag? This is painful.....recalling these memories......Jim

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Ahhhh I just remembered a speaker that qualifies for the absolute worst, over the Sonys.

Pair of old Winthrop (I think) speakers mom found somewhere. I'd been given a Technics SA-404 receiver, and needed speakers. Well, crap doesn't describe it. they just plain sounded like hell. Blargh. I'm ashamed to admit I had them! The Technics, on the other hand, I'm not ashamed to admit I have... I like this little old receiver. wink.gif

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I bought an RCA "stereo in a box" out of a flier I received in the mail. Oh the horror when I received this "stereo system" They contain in their QUARTER INCH thick cabinets one 6 inch "woofer" a 3 inch "mid" and a one inch "tweeter" The backs of the cabinets are eighth inch fibre board that is held in place by -get this- nails that were driven parallel to the panel so when you turn the volume up you can see this back panel pulsating to the disgusting cacophony that is emenating from the soon to be blown speakers.

That was 4 years ago and now I own a wonderful system with 30's for mains a C-7 center,ss-1 rears,KSB 2.1 rear effects/surround music, and a KSW 12 sub.Driven by a Denon AVR 4800 and with a pristine Parasound HCA 1500a pushing power to the 30's.

THANK YOU KLIPSCH!

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Add my voice to the chorus proclaiming various series of the Bose 901 to be the worst "serious money" speaker ever heard. At least as far as having any claim to sonic accuracy ("Come and get a load of this 18' wide piano!). Although I admit, they do sound very impressive at first. Until you actually live with them a while, and stop to think about what you're hearing. I owned a pair for a few months in the early 80's. After I decided they didn't sound "right", I hauled my old Advents out of mothballs and set them up next to the 901's. No contest. That $300. pair of Advents absolutely made those $900. Bose sound like mud.

happy k-horn guy

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Altec Lansing ACS495's. At first sight the appear to be a decent set, two speakers and a sub, but the speakers have an extremely low tolerance for volume. When I was using them at home they were mediocre, but when I took them to a party and turned the volume up half way, the cone on the right speaker damn tore itself in half. Then I bought klipsch, thank God!

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I once borrowed a neighbors Bose 901s for a couple of weeks to hear what a $1300 speaker sounded like next to my $600 KG 3.5s. All I remember is them sounding dead and uninvolving. The 3.5s were much nicer to listen to. And whats up with that annoying eq that comes with them. Oh, has anyone been in a Bose outlet? There is one in Destin, FL. No doubt, good marketing but as I sat through their Lifestyle demo I began dreaming of a Klipsch Outlet and wishing that my Quintets were side by side with these cute little speaks. What really made me mad was the other people in the room. They were being impressed (brainwashed more accuratly) only because they were ignorant. Hmm, I kinda felt sorry for them.

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Being the owner of a pair of Pro LaScala's and a pair of Heresy's to prove that I am a Klipsch believer, It is sad to say that the worst SOUND I have heard was a pair of Heresy's powered by a Carver " The Reciever" back in the mid eighties. When I brought that peice of electronics marvel home I thought this is going to sound great! What a mistake! It sounded like running your fingernails down a chalk board! Needless to say " The Reciever" was returned within hours.

Worst all time speaker- Altec A-7. Bar none.

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  • 5 months later...

Speaking of all-in-one units. (by the way HEVYG, yours had a cassette player??) This was a hand me down from my great uncle (a priest mind ya!). It was a Maganavox phono only with a copy of Tihuana Brass (spelling?) and a spare rubber drive wheel left in the LP storage slot; holds about ten. Interestingly enough I found the original receipt in there too.....from 1961! The warranty card was all typed out to the owner of the new console. The 8" woofers were side firing and the composite high drivers went out the front. This was the kind of piece that lingered in the basement for years after it's "usefull" life (about three months) and your Mr. Handyman (sic)father wants to save the cabinetry to put the guts of that 19" tabletop tv from your aunt's room into. I thought I was really cool and used to turn it around to face the window from my room and play "Carolina" from the Charlie Daniel's Band just so the neighbors thought I had a big system too.

Or just anything from a company called "Utah"

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My worst pair were definitely the Criterions I bought back in 1975. Remember Lafayette Electronics? We called 'em Laff a lot. I don't even know if the company is still in bidness. They were driven out of town by that premiere audio dealer, Radio Shack. After a few futile dealings with those boys, I wished for Laffalot to come back! Then I wandered into my late teens, and stopped by our local high-end stereo store to see what the rich folk bought. Ol' Geezer there turned me onto Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (I kid you knot), the track where the airplane flys overhead ("Time" if I'm not mistaken) on none other than a pair of K-horns. I was a Klipsch virgin until then. I was completely blown out of my shoes. I have never been the same since. I went home as was so disgusted with the Criterion junk I had, I tore the front particle board off, cut a new piece to match my pair of 6x9 Jensen Triax-II car speakers, and they rocked me through my first two years of college!

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at 1st my 2nd pair of real speaks (around 1975) sounded pretty good - Infinity 2000s.

trouble was they continuously blew the 1.5 amp (fast blow) fuses (maybe I should have tried slow blow) w/ that loud music of the times. anyway being an angry teen, I eventually started using around 20 amp fuses from my toyota (the ones for like the glove compartment light).

anyway, didn't blow anymore fuses but u know what did blow. i think the walsh super tweeter (360 degree ice cream cone) was the 1st to go. so eventually what was left was the worst possible. a drive-in movie speak in 1 & a lil pa speaker in the other. at least the 12 in woofs held out. then I got the cornwalls in 83 & things have been fine since. i left what was left of the infinity in the house I moved outa.

------------------

RF-3 (front), RC-3, Cornwall I (rear)

Velodyne HGS-15 sub

Monsterbass 400 sub cables & Monster Z-12 speak wire

Sony de935 a/v receiver

Sony DVP-C650D dvdp

Sony Trinitron 27" tv

Technics dual cassette deck

Technics direct drive turntable

Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000 digital cable box

rock on!

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