Has anyone else auditioned something that really was terrible?

I decided to check out Rotel on current B&W 804's, since I figured these speakers would be most similar to my older 803"s.Even the sales person had to admit it was not something I would want to listen to for any length of time.Do people buy this for background music?For around $4000 for a CD and integrated amp, it was not impressive. to say the least. It actually sounded like my first preamp, a Crown IC something or other.
Someone gave me a 125 wpc Marantz surround receiver.  I plugged it in and listened for 5 minutes, then permanently re-boxed it to sell, if I ever get around to it. It is totally unlistemable.
Am I just spoiled?
Had a junior salesman try to impress me with a pair of infinity speakers -can't remember the exact pair but the had a largish woofer .they sure went loud with a little coaxing but the sound was horrid.Needless to say, I was unimpressed with the salesman not understanding what was wrong with them.I'm guessing he was a metal fan and preferred loudness to any other aspect of sound
Don’t worry too much about the inexpensive gear thing.

Yes, oftentimes (but def not always) more expensive stuff can sound better, but it is never generally linear and I’d almost say it’s sorta inverse exponential, which probably is meaningless scientifically but hopefully you get my point.

If you have a solid low cost system you often have to spend WAY more for a sound improvement that most normal people (eg, everyone in my family but me) would say is not at all worth the upgrade cost!
B&Ws with diamond tweeters always force me out of the room within minutes. The Kef LS50s shocked me with how distorted they are. Magician speakers in the M series.
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IMO it all comes down to the understanding of what makes a component sound good. Someone said most of the stuff is crap - that maybe true but you all keep falling for the same old lines. You need to understand what makes a component sound good. I always enjoy comments like "build like a tank". I still do not understand what that means or how that makes a component sound better.

I was at VPI Industries with our phono stage which is a reference level product. In one of the rooms was a pair of Martin Logan speakers. They were being driven by a Peach Tree 50WPC integrated amplifier. Way under powered. BUT the phono stage was so good that the sound was better than all the other systems. So blanket statements like many above (not all) are just opinions with not much explanation of why the system performed poorly.

Most components are similar in design and parts quality so IMO they sound similar with certain areas sounding better that the other component. Similar capacitors, resistors, layout, etc. What do you expect to hear different then? Specs IMO do not indicate how a component will perform.

Once you learn what makes something sound good then you will understand how to select the correct component to use for your tastes (three is no best of anything or very few of them IMO). It is really that simple. I was at a persons home not to long ago. Many people told me that the sound was really good and I had to go hear it. They were all impressed. I sat down to take a listen to all of the comments that everyone said they liked about the system. I sat there for a few seconds and thought to myself, what are these people hearing. I asked to owner to make a few simple changes and they were like wow the sound is much better. More open, more dynamic, more musical, more details and dimension. So am I to think that all these people don’t know anything about sound? They all thought the system was incredible before I made a few simple changes. I could have installed a resistor and made the system sound even better.

I do not mean to insult anyone or anything like that, but I will keep repeating myself, learn what makes one component sound different that the other one and you will be much happier. I am also always learning new things myself about sound.

Happy Listening to you all.