What’s the worst marketing snake oil you’ve ever experienced first hand? Sales pitch, actual purchase, etc

Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic
I can tell you when I first got into home theater 5-6 years ago I had my eye on those MIT speaker cables and was literally about to pull the trigger when I read an article that I believe was on Audioholics about speaker cable tests. My first system ever was an Onkyo 7.1 HTiB and going from TV speakers to that I thought that was as good as it got, the salesman at Best Buy told me the single 10” subwoofer would “shake my house” just for fun I measured it a few months ago and it was -6dB at 35Hz.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
I have been fairly successful at avoiding snake oil, I guess the oil pushers can see on my face that I'm about ready to smack you for your nonsense ;)

The shop where I bought my GEs told me to start with my normal cables, and come back when I'm ready to try out better cables, I let that one slide, at least they were not pushy about it.

Not quite snake oil, but one of my favorites was at RMAF several years back, looking at the vacuum record cleaning machines, obviously a small operation, and the guy told me, "finally an affordable vac cleaning machine, mine is only $800". Yeah, I'll just keep moving along.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
I don't think I purchased anything Snake Oil on my first system. I will say everything I have is of great quality. I will say I did over pay for it, but at the time I didn't care, probably still don't care. But at least I'm a little bit more knowledgeable now.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I was with Matthew Poes and sat through a sales pitch where a guy tried to sell us some wood chips to improve the sound quality of our system. They were pieces of wood that you could just set anywhere in your room and they would absorb the bad quantum vibes to make the sound better or something like that. These things.

Just a little later, we sat through another sales pitch where a guy had a pneumatic pump under his equipment rack. He would raise the equipment rack with the pneumatic pump, and then slowly release it to little it settle back down. The resettling process was supposed to remove built-up resonances or some such techno-babble. Good times!

I have had a lot more experiences like that, from magic power cables, to magnets that you set up around your speaker cable to keep out EM noise, to quantum air purifiers that make the air better for sound transmission. There are too many to remember.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
I was with Matthew Poes and sat through a sales pitch where a guy tried to sell us some wood chips to improve the sound quality of our system. They were pieces of wood that you could just set anywhere in your room and they would absorb the bad quantum vibes to make the sound better or something like that. These things.

Just a little later, we sat through another sales pitch where a guy had a pneumatic pump under his equipment rack. He would raise the equipment rack with the pneumatic pump, and then slowly release it to little it settle back down. The resettling process was supposed to remove built-up resonances or some such techno-babble. Good times!

I have had a lot more experiences like that, from magic power cables, to magnets that you set up around your speaker cable to keep out EM noise, to quantum air purifiers that make the air better for sound transmission. There are too many to remember.
Rule #1, confuse them with BS!

"Quantum" is a great (snake oil) buzz word! Precisely because very few people really understand quantum behavior.

EDIT-- I love the one about utilizing the "electron spin" and talking about getting all the electrons to spin the same direction. Sounds good, right? But, the electron spin quantum number has absolutely nothing to do with electron rotation.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
You didn't think of those because you still think too highly of humankind. The individual who thought up those is enormously cynical.
Remember I'm a Used Car Salesguy by profession :)
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
There are products that are pure 'Snake Oil' in that they don't do any function. Like green pens for CD's, cable risers and audiophile grounding boxes.
And then there are products that do perform a function, but use 'Snake Oil' claims for why they are better.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Remember I'm a Used Car Salesguy by profession :)
You still have a long way to go before you hit the level of audiophile product salesperson. At least a car can be driven off the lot as a demonstration of its functionality.

I think the lowest of low are those who sell snake oil as a means to cure dangerous medical issues. When I think of those guys, audiophile hucksters seem relatively harmless in comparison.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic
I work in sales as well (not based on commission) and I have co-workers who will up-sell a little old lady a 27” iMac maxed out so she can FaceTime with her grandkids and go on Facebook where as I’ll generally tailor the product to my clients needs and 9 times out of 10 I’m more likely to get repeat customers. These days being armed with a little bit of audio knowledge I’ll drop into our closest audio boutique (about 120 miles away and only if I’m near the city for other reasons) and almost encourage the salesmen there to spit their sales ploy. I swear I had one of them telling me a $1,500 pair of 3’ speaker cables would increase the sound quality of my Mirage OMD-28’s which are by no means super high end but good speakers. When I asked him how and does he have any sort of measurements that translate to an audible difference he brought me to the listening room where they had some six figure monster towers hooked up and he said “See how amazing these sound?”
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I haven't been sucked in much, tried some stupid cables but they were kind of thrown in with a purchase, so....

Snake oil in audio does bother me quite a bit, love to shoot it down whenever I can. Its a thriving industry it seems, tho.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
When I was a kid I fell for the monster cable thing. I bought some 12ga set, like 9 or 12’. Can’t remember how much, but it was too much. They had these stupid pins on the end that were probably like 18 or 20ga. Made my CV’s pound though lmao.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I was with Matthew Poes and sat through a sales pitch where a guy tried to sell us some wood chips to improve the sound quality of our system. They were pieces of wood that you could just set anywhere in your room and they would absorb the bad quantum vibes to make the sound better or something like that. These things.

Just a little later, we sat through another sales pitch where a guy had a pneumatic pump under his equipment rack. He would raise the equipment rack with the pneumatic pump, and then slowly release it to little it settle back down. The resettling process was supposed to remove built-up resonances or some such techno-babble. Good times!

I have had a lot more experiences like that, from magic power cables, to magnets that you set up around your speaker cable to keep out EM noise, to quantum air purifiers that make the air better for sound transmission. There are too many to remember.
Maybe, raising and lowering the rack was supposed to relieve built-up stress and we all know that a stress-free rack is a happy rack. :)
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I was with Matthew Poes and sat through a sales pitch where a guy tried to sell us some wood chips to improve the sound quality of our system. They were pieces of wood that you could just set anywhere in your room and they would absorb the bad quantum vibes to make the sound better or something like that. These things.

Just a little later, we sat through another sales pitch where a guy had a pneumatic pump under his equipment rack. He would raise the equipment rack with the pneumatic pump, and then slowly release it to little it settle back down. The resettling process was supposed to remove built-up resonances or some such techno-babble. Good times!

I have had a lot more experiences like that, from magic power cables, to magnets that you set up around your speaker cable to keep out EM noise, to quantum air purifiers that make the air better for sound transmission. There are too many to remember.
And from that link, we see "What You Will See and Hear"- this is known as 'pre-conditioning' and it's a very effective sales tool. It might be more appropriate to call it a weapon.

You wrote wood chips. I thought you were referring to potpourri.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic
Wood chips. I knew my setup was missing something....
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic
Quantum acoustical shards of audiophile grade lumber coming to a Monster dealer near you
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
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