Does Anyone Else Member the Golden Age of Audio Insults and Product Degradation?

My time in audio (and, video) goes way back.  How far back?  Does selling console stereos with ceramic cartridges mounted on record changers go back far enough?  Things were very competitive back then.  And, energetic and creative peddlers of consumer electronics didn't hold anything back.

Here's some examples from my memory.  Maybe you can add some of your own?

Maggotbox:  Magnavox

RCA Victim:  RCA Victor

Kindlingwood:  Kenwood

Soundshitty:  Sansui

Altec Lansing "Voice of the Outhouse":  "Voice of the Theater"

Karmon Hardon:  Harmon Kardon

And, who can forget?:  "No highs.  No lows.  It must be Bose."

Or:  "You can knock a Yamaha.  But, you can't Nakamichi."


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Common Hardon (Harman Kardon) Pee-in-Ear (Pioneer) Kornwood (Kenwood) Gerbils (JBL) Adverbs (Advent) Thorns (Thorens) Turdberg (Tandberg)

Sonic Fart  (Sonic Art which was Bose private label Chinese speaker)

Linear Distortion (Linear Suspension another private label brand)

Shitnics (Technics)

Fire Antz (Marantz)

Blowse (Bose)

Say No (Sanyo)

Blow Me (Sony)

Yes, I sold all of this back in the late '70s...

Ken wood but I wouldn’t 

Zenith the quality goes in. Then we take it out before we sell it


the good old days

Great stuff!!

Thanks for participating.  Lots of old (and, new) memories.

A nice way to spend a little time before heading out in my Fix Or Repair Daily (FORD).

You guys are the best!!!

"Karmon Hardon:  Harmon Kardon"

People continually want to put an "o" in harman/kardon, when there is none. A good percentage of eBay & Craigslist ads proves that is true.

So Funny!!! I recall an audio salesperson in about 1980 in a nice store jokingly telling a potential customer who owned Big Ohm speakers (w/ original inverted cone Walsh drivers) that they need lots of power but can’t it so he had the perfect amp for them - the Carver Magic Cube that has lots of power but can’t deliver it.  I’m not sure if his effort to sell some new equipment worked or not but it was a good effort. 

I then went returned to that same store months later to hear another salesperson, after being asked about the quality of Pioneer receivers vs the new NAD stuff,  said they so poor & they were being so heavy distributed & discount Ed you could buy them at gas stations! Meanwhile, no Pioneer product I ever heard of shot up flames on turn on which happened on occasion w/ the early NAD stuff. Good times

Guys, so sorry about the typo in the heading.  Should be "Remember" and not "Member".  I know better.

Now you know why I'm a retired Hifi Guy and not an active marketing consultant.

A little on subject/off subject remark:

When I was 17, I blew a woofer in my brother's Sansui speakers playing The Big Sound of the Drags LP.  I took them to the local audio saloon for repair and was told: "Sansui speakers aren'tt worth the postage to send them here from Japan!!"  That was my first experience with an audio specialty store. 

Then I opened one years later.  Slow learner, I guess.

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I was an unfortunate member of the “Flame Linear:  Phase Linear” club. 

Body Oder : Bang & Olufsen

Balony : Sony


My own coinage, I think, Broken Awful Soon, as opposed to the popular Bang & Awfulson.  Others bandied about in the mid 70s Harvard Square included Oinko, San-screwy, Yo Mama, Manrats, Hibachi, Toast-Sheba, Japan Victim Corp., RePox, Drool, and of course, the Common Hardon was a favorite. 



And, who can forget?:

"No highs. No lows. It must be Bose."


Yes, and that simple formula continues to make millions for them.

We here might want realism in audio but obviously many, manyore than us don’t.

They seem to prefer a soft focus version of the real thing.


There’s a good flavour of the kind of mostly harmless nonsense Linn used to regularly churn out in the 70s and 80s here.


So this is a racist, ignorant retrospective of audio brands?  Nice 👍 

Dave, skimed back through and don’t see any racist comments. Just silly people having fun. Can you show me what you see? Maybe one of the deleted post.

in the late 70’s, I owned a pair of Ball sack B-302 speakers.  Traded them in on some DQ-10’s. Anyone remember if there was a nickname for them. I can’t right now.

I've been around a long time (67), and I haven't heard of most of these, but the one that isn't a joke, but nearly everyone pronounces incorrectly is Technics. They pronounce it Techniques. That is incorrect.

waytoomuchstuff OP

74 posts


A little on subject/off subject remark:

When I was 17, I blew a woofer in my brother's Sansui speakers playing The Big Sound of the Drags LP.  I took them to the local audio saloon for repair and was told: "Sansui speakers aren'tt worth the postage to send them here from Japan!!"  That was my first experience with an audio specialty store

I have that record, complete with a bunch of autographs (Garlits, Eddie Hill etc.)!


3,675 posts


Dave, skimed back through and don’t see any racist comments. Just silly people having fun. Can you show me what you see? Maybe one of the deleted post.

Some people just live to be faux-enraged.

One that I heard was Junky But Loud (JBL). My JBL compression drivers have been performing admirably for years now, but I do recall when I first bought them they were plagued with metal shavings stuck in the gap, causing some bad response. I took them to an authorized service center who declared them to be functioning perfectly. I asked them how they determined that and they said by listening to them. I had already measured and knew the response was way out of spec. I guess for those who can't hear it or don't care they were just fine! 

Besides the equipment specific quips, I think that some of that attitude is alive and well today on this board but thats okay by me. Those Harry Pearsonesque type put downs, as long as they’re witty and not too mean or directed. The last one that was directed at me I thought was a hoot. The discussion was about updates to a turntable that I was quite familiar with and the person asked about possibly earlier factory updates and I made a suggestion. Then this other person chimed in and didn’t so much suggest as he said I’m wrong and he’s right. I told him that some long-standing dealers of the said table thought the same as well as friends of mine who thought the same. Well, Mr. Knowitall suggested or alluded to the fact that he has a better group of friends ( I think he might have gotten snooty injecting a preferred single malt scotch or some sh*te like that into the discussion) than mine and he may very well have. Something else about cleaning or re-educating my ears, hearing, something like that. I could have been offended but instead found him quite amusing. I'm laughing thinking about it as I write.

I never knew any funny comments about the Dalqhuist DQ - 10's so I'll make one up - the speakers w/ the Don't Quit crossovers - so complex w/ many mediocre parts & drivers. I know they were amongst the first speakers to address the concepts of time & phase alignment & sounded good in some ways but I didn't find the high or low ends convincing, especially when pushed loud. 

The most contentious UK magazine was probably The Flat Response which later morphed into Hi-Fi Review in the 1980s.

It was edited by one Chris Frankland who certainly had strong opinions about audio equipment. I recall reading that the SME arms got short shrift as did many 'exotic' cartridges.

CF seemed to genuinely prefer the Linn Basik arm and cartridge. (Neither of which were built by Linn).

I can only imagine how such opinions might have gone down in certain places such as Celestion whose SL6 and SL600 also took a real hammering.

When you see how tame reviews are now, lord knows how they got away with it back then.

Anyway, there's a great background article to the whole shenanigans linked below. Interesting to hear that Linn once employed blind listening tests themselves!




The Flat Response Magazine  by Tom Tom Audio  Nov 28, 2017

I once returned a Micro Sekei turntable to a dealer who without hesitation hurled it on the floor and proclaimed “Another Micro Turkey!”

More Trance Marantz.....Infectious Infinity...'Bro's Bose...

Why did we stop?

Did we? *L*

So much to make fun of, too much time wasted doing so... ;)


...and then, all the 'made-up' names, esp. Rx drugs....

"Not sold to real people..."

Muzac for the Alexis in every pot...Siri sings the hits whether you want it to or not....

"Siri, shut up."

I’m sorry, I can’t do that...

"You’ve played the same thing for over 35 hours.... You can’t get bored, but we do...

Exactly...*weird cackling laughter*

I recall going to Radio Shack and Lafayette Electronics as a kid for electronics parts. They were competitors that used to call each other “Laff-a-lot” and “Radio Shaft”, respectively.


@secretguy Wow!  Sounds like you've got a nice piece of racing memorabilia there.  Congrats!!  I just hauled 3 boxes of LPs from my big brother's basement.  I'm pretty sure that album is in there somewhere.

Funny, the best sounding setup I heard in 40 + years that I owned was from a Stromberg Carlson integrared Amp.  I owned it until a tube shoted and smoked it.  I was kicking the heck out of a pair of JBL Lancers with the aquadag woofer.  I kicked mysel for decades not fixing the SC. I remember fondly Magget boxes!  I studied tube technology in tech school. The LEDs just hit the market. Stereos were either tube, or hybid. No ICs. TTL was born, gate to gate, then the 8080. Ventage 1957, I saw many changes. What was the knock for Crown from the late 70s, 80s?  Mine sounded great for 45yrs. Still decent, just aged out.

We seem to be living in an entirely different age now that the name NAD no longer raises even a faintly embarrased smile.

Oh well, there's still the mention of Schitt Audio to slip in if the dinner conversation gets a little dull.

On second thoughts, maybe not.

Here's a little on topic/off topic story.

Back in the late 70's the dealer "sound rooms" often used sliding glass patio doors to seal them off.  Vendors were happy to provide stickers with their logos on them, which we proudly displayed on the outside of the glass.

One day, while inside the sound room, a customer was staring at the glass door from the inside with a very confused look on his face.  

A little more time transpired, then he just couldn't hold back his comment:  

"I've never heard of A-HA-MAY."

True story.