Have you ever destroyed a piece of audio equipment? How did you do it?

<I>Stereophile Staff</I>'s picture
Audio equipment tragedies do happen, whether the result of loud music, butter fingers, or the family pet. Have you been the cause
Have you ever destroyed a piece of audio equipment? How did you do it?
Yes, here's how
56% (111 votes)
Almost
9% (17 votes)
Never
35% (69 votes)
Total votes: 197
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Comments
Ira Dufus's picture

I got careless with a cartridge and knocked the stylus off 200.00 error lucky though I haven't kicked a woofer or dropped an amp. . .

Brad - Atlanta's picture

Thiel speakers, meet cat. Cat, meet Thiel speakers. See cat go. Go, cat, go.

Arron Audiophile's picture

A trilogy of blowups for you. My old system was on a timer and when it turned on my left (HSA 200w) mono power amp put incredibly loud 60hz mains hum through two Bose 901 series threes for over an hour. The room was full of smoke, the power amp was trashed but the speakers went on for another 4 or 5 years. A fellow Audiophile was silly enough to claim that his pair of homemade speakers with 15" Altec woofers were able to handle the lows and the power of my four (double stereo to get the acoustic loading) Bose 901 series six's on the George Solti RCA Verdi Requiem - Dies Irae. After a week of this silliness I wired them up to my modified, high powered (genuine - not "saleman figures" 250w RMS with around 20,000w peak capability) Tillbrook MOSFET mono amps and handed him the volume control. I caught one of his 15" woofers about 8 foot from the cabinet! Funny, he now believes me when the discussion turns to Hi-Fi reproduction. I am still of the opinion that if someone tries that hard to be stupid, I don't have to regret the fallout! The most expensive "oops" I directly know of was when an acquantance dropped the preamp earth wire on his all Crown (Amcron) system and demolished two M600 power amps and two Crown Electrostatic speakers. OUCH!

Chris's picture

Almost blew my brand new McIntosh amp when I failed to connect the powercord to the IEC securely. When I touched the powercord, the amp's display lit up brighter than a Christmas tree and the transformer started to do the shake like crazy. I switched off the amp and switched it back on again after 20 seconds, but it failed to come on. I finally switched the thing off and waited for half an hour before switching it back on. Thank God, it worked! It must have burned in the amp very well 'cause it sounded very good after this accident.

dave f's picture

Put Chinese kt88's into my a Melos tube amp, one of the tubes arc's and pretty soon smoke and fire. So luckily I managed to get the damn tube out and no real damage. Quite a scare though.One of the reasons I now own a Jeff Rowland solid state amp.

Rob Cornelson's picture

I disected my first integrated amp. Never did figure out how it worked. Bought a better one afterwards and still haven't blown it up!

Doug McCall's picture

Remember ESS loudspeakers? With the Heil "Air Motion Transformer"? Well, I had a pair of AMT-1d's from about '78 through '85. -Really nice sounding speaker, by the way - that I melted a number of the little foil ribbon diaphragms in the amt module, due to repeated applications of high current from a Hafler DH500 amp. Then while cranking up Fleetwood Macs' "Go Your Own Way" one night, one of the 12" woofers went its own way. Again, nice speakers, but NOT for high output.

Ashim Zaman's picture

A Townshend seismic sink. I started pumping it before reading the manual. Talk about learning a lesson the hard way.

Anonymous's picture

Well not exactly almost. The UPS driver destoyed it in route. Nice people that UPS is they fought the claim until I finally gave up and had my amp fixed at the factory at my expense. By the way I never signed for the amp, the driver left it sit outside by my door for hours since no one was home when he got there.

mike eschman's picture

blew out dynaco a-50 tweeters overloading a dynaco 80

Joe Hartmann's picture

After a good workout in another room I wanted ted to cool down to Beethoven. The amp is below the turntable and the sweat hitting the tubes of my NYAL OTL 4 shutdown the unit quickly. Two days later I reinserted the amp in the system and all way well.

Arnel Enero's picture

Serious audio equipment don't come cheap these days. I guess it's a virtue to take good care of them like you would take care of your car, pet, girlfriend...

Yair's picture

I connected the -Vdc of power supply to the amplifer +Vdc and it sang, "I am on fire!"

B-A Finlan's picture

In my younger days I knocked out a McIntosh solid-state amp when I failed to turn it off before cutting power to an Ampex 440 tape recorder that was directly connected to it. The high surge from the Ampex through its 600 ohm outputs was too much for the McIntosh. Never did that again.

Tim's picture

Various mods are to blame. A Dynaco ST70 suffered a death when I failed to record the color code on a driver board upgrade. I have had 2 pairs of speakers where the surrounds gave out but both were due to old age. I shorted a power supply on a Audio Alchemy Headphone amp while relocating the audio equipment. So go's life!

Michael de Antoinette's picture

I confess! I wear out audio equipment. So far the tally is two cassette decks, two CD players, and a twenty year old pair of bookshelf speakers. The speakers survived seven moves and two trips to the beach (Hint: Keep the sand in the stands, not in the speaker cabinets). How's that for subjective testing? The woofer surrounds disintegrated last year while playing Mouse on Mars' "Bib" (loud music). Let the Consumer Reports rabble eat cake!

Jim Mooney's picture

Advice to the newbie audiophile: Unless the amplifier says it's bridgable, don't do it!

akk's picture

1} Left the amp on and tried to swap speaker wires. They touched and ZAP. Fortunately, it was only the fuses. 2] Let an idiot friend of a friend hold the remote. He is a decible junkie and blew the woofer. He bought the speakers.

Stephen's picture

In over 35 years...just lucky I guess.

Rob Damm's picture

I dropped an old Dynaco ST 70 out of a 3rd story window onto concrete to see what would happen. Believe it or not, the damage was less catstrophic that I would've expected. In fact, with a little time and some parts, I think I could have had it running again . . .

Roger Rahal's picture

The KEF Q 55 speakers.The tweeters got fried on the first pair that I owned 4 years ago then the same thing happened with the replacement pair! Now I use B&W P5,no problem here.

Stephen Curling's picture

I paid for the gear I'm not gonna be the one who breaks it!

Peter Pendragon's picture

I kwushed my Quads with my twuck.

Scot Forier's picture

Friends and I were having a HUGE party one night and I brought my system over. I had a Sony ES amp, pre-amp, and CD player hooked to four pairs of speakers. I specifically told everyone who was allowed access to the system not to crank the volume past a certain level -- well, you know what happened. There were sparks, then flames shooting about two feet out of the amp.

Ron Newton (in shame)'s picture

I was rebuilding/modernizing a vintage tube integrated amplifier. I mis-wired the feedback circuit (the eyesight is getting bad for schematics) and I blew up four beautiful NOS 6L6's. The tears flowed.

beken's picture

While moving, my buddy accidently dropped my tuner out the balcony of the apartment we were moving into. Ouch!!

Bill Reed's picture

I took a crap on a NAD amplifer. It just didn't sound the same afterwards.

rb's picture

Installing a amp and a piece of wire from a speak cable fell into the amp which I did not see and shorted the out puts....smoke.

HD Audio's picture

Common sense is the factor that seems to be lacking in some segments of audio lovers.

Chris L.'s picture

It's the same old story: Boy meets speaker; boy throws party; boy blows speakers; boy loses speakers. Boy gets new speakers.

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