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  1. #1

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    Default Sorry it's late, ugly day QOTD: What's teh worst speaker of the decade?

    Everybody talks about the best stuff. Nobody ever talks about the worst. We,, here's your chance! Only caveat? It's in the question. It's gotta be in the last decade. If it was all-time it's too open. Leaves too much to the imagination and can often be hard to quantify because one person might have heard the speaker but others didn't.

    Of course there are the knee-jerk responses like Bose or calling out entire manufacturers like modern KLH, a Taiwanese conglomerate, a mere shell of it's past glory. That's all well and good but there has to be a speaker you heard somewhere that just reminded you of goats farting in a church. Well, time to name names! Let's hear it! What's the worst speaker you've heard from 2000-2009?



    Me? It has to be the Sony Xplod Mobile ES speakers. Specifically the 6.5" coaxials. Back in the mid-90's Sony Mobile ES was the bees knees and major bang for your buck. It was Sony flexing their engineering muscle. Then they cheaped out and went for the Xplod series which was dog poo. Not too long ago, Sony announced that they were switching gears and getting back to quality stuff instead of quantity stuff. They announced the Xplod ES series. I was intrigued. Then the warning signs came up...only sold in BestBuy. That ended up not being true but it was a huge red flag. I went and listened anyway. I gave them the benefit of the doubt because of the installation location but I was so sorely disappointed. Such potential and it wasn't any better than the entry level Dual crap next to it but almost 3 times as much. Very sad.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  2. #2

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    You know, I think I have to agree with you. Those Sony Xplode speakers are gosh awfull. I had Sparkomatics and Kracos that were better.
    Dave
    In love with SDA since 1984

    2CH: SDA SRS (new caps) with NAD 541I, NAD 917 and modded Phase 400 (soon to be NAD 208)

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    Other vintage stuff, Sansui G9000, Pioneer 1980

  3. #3

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    I've heard some bad stuff this decade, but man.... the entry level Dual crap really takes the cake.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  4. #4

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    Can't agree with the Dual slander. The first set of subs I put in my car were those Duals that you buy already installed in the dual bandpass plexi front box. DAMN were those things loud! When I finally fed them 1000w they really pounded. I upgraded to a nice set of pioneers for about 5x the price and thought I would be getting 5x the power, but it was barely 1.5x what the duals would put out.

    I have only listened to the 12" duals, a few 10" dual models and some dual amps and boxes thouhg

  5. #5

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    any speaker you plug into an ipod.....like fingernails on a chalkboard.
    Polk Audio Surround Bar 360
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    Office stuff

    Allied 395 receiver
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    RT8t's & Wharfedale Diamond II's[/SIZE]

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  6. #6

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    Haha ok just thought of it, I once took the 1" diameter speaker out of a handheld monopoly game and hooked it up to my receiver. It was a plastic cone, and couldn't have weighed as much as a quarter. Once I put it in a shoebox (speakerbox attempt) It got loud, until it fried

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    Can't agree with the Dual slander. The first set of subs I put in my car were those Duals that you buy already installed in the dual bandpass plexi front box. DAMN were those things loud! When I finally fed them 1000w they really pounded. I upgraded to a nice set of pioneers for about 5x the price and thought I would be getting 5x the power, but it was barely 1.5x what the duals would put out.

    I have only listened to the 12" duals, a few 10" dual models and some dual amps and boxes thouhg
    I was just being a jerk. :p I've been plenty happy with my Sony speakers, haven't heard Dual, so i can't comment.

    I"d have to say the white van "Acoustic Reference" Liquid cooled speakers that one of my buddies had.

    http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/ele/1510472593.html

    There's a pair there. OH god they were terrible.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  8. #8

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    I always thought those Yamaha surround bars were totally overhyped for what they delivered. I haven't heard the Polk equivalent but if it's anything like the Yammy...... And I like most Yammy products.
    SDA-1C (full mods)
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  9. #9

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    The Yamaha speakers sold in RatShack are way up on that list for me...
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead View Post
    any speaker you plug into an ipod.....like fingernails on a chalkboard.
    I've heard a few decent (relatively speaking) iPod docks and speakers just for iPods--thay have their place, but for me the JBL OnStage II was literally like nails on a chalkboard--tinny as all get out, super bright-instant headache.

  11. #11

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    The "white van" specials sold under the names of "Kirsch", "Affinity", "Genesis", DiVinci, "Olin Ross"....anything sold in a parking lot! I actually threatened to administer a beating to some punk in a car wash parking lot a couple years ago as he tried to spew his BS about his "speakers left over from an install". Most overrated...BOSE!
    Last edited by mesquitehead; 12-15-2009 at 07:43 PM.
    "Thats great... but how does it sound"
    http://www.burginmcdaniel.com/

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    Yamaha RX-A820 (networked with wireless bridge), Carver M-1.0t, Carver TFM-35, Carver C-1, Polk SDA1c's (x2 pair), Polk RTA 8tl's, Polk RTA 11tl's, Polk Monitor 5, Polk CS 400, Polk PSW 650, Rega Planar 3, Sony DVPNC555ES SACD/DVD, Panny 65" Plasma, Roku

    2007 Tundra 5.7 TRD DC
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  12. #12

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    ^ Don't forget the White Van speakers made by Dalhton! I had a friend that bought a pair of these in a pawn shop once for $150. They looked pretty nice until we got to his house and hooked them up.

  13. #13

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    I have a few

    Yamaha
    Bose
    Dual
    Rocket Fish
    White Van Speakers
    HT setup
    Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ80U
    Denon DBP-1610
    Monster HTS 1650
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    Kef 104/2
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  14. #14

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    Not trying to be typical speaker enthusiast but the Bose 301 bookshelves are quite possibly the worst "full range" speaker I've ever heard. In car audio but not the cheap ****, infinity kappa components. Dear god they were horrible.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  15. #15

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    Klipsch horns.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fongolio View Post
    I always thought those Yamaha surround bars were totally overhyped for what they delivered. I haven't heard the Polk equivalent but if it's anything like the Yammy...... And I like most Yammy products.
    I dunno, Fong. Been running with a YSP-800 for over 2 years now and like it for my HT. Paid around 600.00 for mine, but this guy stole a next gen 900 recently from his local BB.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92722

    I don't know anything about the speakers Yamaha produces today, but I'd sell a kidney to get my hands on a pair of the NS-2000 Yamaha produced back in the mid 80's. I think you can still get these in Japan, but they're not cheap by any means. 6k IIRC.

    http://www.thevintageknob.org/YAMAHA/NS2000/NS2000.html

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mesquitehead View Post
    The "white van" specials sold under the names of "Kirsch", "Affinity", "Genesis", DiVinci, "Olin Ross"....anything sold in a parking lot! I actually threatened to administer a beating to some punk in a car wash parking lot a couple years ago as he tried to spew his BS about his "speakers left over from an install". Most overrated...BOSE!

    And with Ebay/ CL these things just won't die. Ads for Polk with
    "insert picture of crappy speaker". Or glowing descriptions with no brand name.
    Or with a brand name and how they paid $2000 for them.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18

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    Any speaker built in TVs. I can't stand when people watch Tv and get the sound from it's crap speakers.
    HT- HK 335, Rotel 1075, Miova PC, AQ Indigo Speaker Cable, XLO Jumpers, AQ Diamondback ICs, AQ HDMI x2, AQ Component, Signal Cable Analog II ICs, Signal Cable Digcoax, Signal Cable Toslink, Rti8, Csi5, Rti6, Energy s10.2, Panny 42" Plasma, PS3, Harmony 1100 and Harmony PS3 Adapter, LG dvdp(for the kids), Monster 3600MKII all on a dedicated circuit.

  19. #19

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    For what they cost, I vote for the Bose 301. They sit next to Klipsch Icons and Polk TSi100's at Best Buy and beg you to compare them. Obviously there is no comparison. They sound terrible and cost twice as much. No bass from the 8" woofer and the highs are airy and just plain bad. I hate to be a Bose hater, but your ears don't lie.
    Home Theater
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  20. #20

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    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_Theater.html

    The sony micro "speakers"... Basically, it's 5 tweeters crossed at 800hz and one "subwoofer" that takes everything under 800. Pure crap!
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
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  21. #21

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    I think this is a really good question. If possible, maybe we could steer it relative to price-point (excluding BOSE) and throw out some less obvious answers as Sony HTIB's and speakers from a white van. How about some recent Audiogon purchases you may have had high hopes for but ended up sounding like garbage?

    I know Ted likes to say that no one "likes having their baby called ugly". How about some of us throw caution to the wind by slapping the baby around for being so ugly? Or at least looking too much like the mailman...

    I like the OP's question, so I'm going to try to put some more thought into it and get back.
    Last edited by zombie boy 2000; 12-16-2009 at 11:47 AM.
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  22. #22

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    I walked into one of my favorite audio stores and they had a pair of Dali monitors set up and playing some familiar music. I listened for a couple of minutes and said "I sure hope those are trade-ins because those sound really bad", not realizing the Dali rep was just inside the listening room behind me and had brought these monitors to try and convince the store owner to carry that line of speakers. I stopped back later in the day and the owner agreed they were really bad and he declined to carry the line.
    DKG999
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    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  23. #23

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    The "element" line of speakers from Circuit City... or perhaps KLH from best buy.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_Theater.html

    The sony micro "speakers"... Basically, it's 5 tweeters crossed at 800hz and one "subwoofer" that takes everything under 800. Pure crap!
    I was just thinking of those too. I haven't heard them, but without the sub, they can't sound that good.

  25. #25

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    It's pretty bad... not as bad as Bose htib, though.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  26. #26

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    Nothing to see here... Move along.
    Last edited by everpress; 12-16-2009 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Just being myself... Noting that 1976 Panasonic Thrusters do not relate to this decade...

    ? Harmon Kardon AVR 55 (dead; replacing with Onkyo TX NR-616)
    ? Polk RTA 11TL's (FR and FL)
    ? Polk TSi200's (RR and RL)
    ? Polk CS10 (Center)
    ? Polk PSW-350
    ? Grado SR-60i Headphones
    ? Fii0 E5 headphone amp
    ? iPod touch (8 gig)
    ? iPod Classic (80 gig)
    ? Mac Mini (as media server)
    ? xbox 360


  27. #27

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    the Bose Wave Radio
    catch the wave

  28. #28
    Stronzo
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    Energy Connoisseur-3 bookshelf loudspeakers. Dear Gawd. I felt like drop-kicking those things outta the house the moment I pressed play. Yes, I'm sure they are better than the stuff quoted above, but I'm going to actually select something that wasn't built to deliver ****ty performance. The fact that they won Product-of-the-Year awards still confuses and puzzles me to this day.

    Revel Salon towers. Big, expensive, over-hyped (imho) speakers. Every time I listened, I felt like my then LSi-15's were at least 90% of the way there, only with better tone and a more engaging sound. I don't get why or even how people liked old Revel stuff. If only the sound matched their build quality...
    Last edited by Zero; 12-16-2009 at 11:46 PM.

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