Have you ever had anything smoke or catch on fire?

Stereophile's picture
The vast majority of audiophile equipment is well-built, but accidents do happen. Have you ever had anything smoke or catch on fire?
Have you ever had anything smoke or catch on fire?
Smoke
44% (27 votes)
Fire
11% (7 votes)
Nothing
45% (28 votes)
Total votes: 62
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Comments
kf's picture

All my electronics are/were made in Japan—they never break, let alone catch fire. My speakers are by ATC from the UK; they are pretty robust, too, and highly unlikely to self-combust!

dismord's picture

On three occasions, an Audio Research D70 Mk.II blew an output valve in a very dramatic fashion. It put me off valve/tube amplifiers for years.

Ace Mineral's picture

I had a JVC receiver fry up on me. Lots of sparks and then it smoked. They sent me a replacement, and it blew a oil-filled capacitor with a loud bang and then it smoked. It kept on playing, but I sent it back and got a Panasonic XR55.

Peter's picture

Unfortunately yes—a very musical, but apparently less-than-reliable tube amp.

Chris Sauer's picture

First year of college: I had saved all summer to get my first real system—Polk Audio Monitor 12s, Adcom GFA-555II, and Sony 555ES CD player. I had it set up for about 10 minutes and went off to play racquetball. My roommate hunted me down and said smoke was rolling off my tweeters! What a terrible smell! I think there was a loose connection in the amp.

Mike Agee's picture

Yes, a preamp's external power supply scorched itself, deforming my turntable's nearby plastic, external PS. Smoke is all I saw. Flames? I can't say, but everything inside the box was toast.This illustrates concerns I have about a raft of issues surrounding audio reviews, from reviewers being chummy with manufacturers to the nature of Web postings and Web searches. I've had several conversations with one of the heads of the company that makes the preamp, and that small morsel of friendship is one reason I am not stating the name of the company here. I probably wouldn't anyway, since I trust the Web to render almost anything all out of proportion—but here I am, firmly against good ol' boy politics in any guise, and I won't say the name! Go figure. On the other hand, if my house had burned down or my dog had died I might be shouting it from my (collapsed) rooftop. Luckily, that didn't happen.

moby dick's picture

One capacitor exploded, a long time ago.

Jerry's picture

A Sony receiver, about 10 years ago. It was quickly taken out to sit by the dumpster and allowed to cool down. A later inspection showed hot spots on the circuit boards, which I resolved by applying a five-pound sledgehammer to certain key components in order to prevent someone from attempting to fix the unit and possibly burn a house down.

MikeG's picture

I've had smoke a few times, usually a resistor giving up.

moebius's picture

The motor of a cassette deck, 20 years old, ended its life with a smelly noise.

Bubba in SF's picture

In the early '70s, I had a homemade version of a Klipsch Cornwall with a JBL 15" woofer. I powered it with a used Eico tube amp so I could use it for my bass guitar—it was maybe 25W. The poor little amp was caught between a low G and the JBL. It burst into flames and smoked up the living room. Very cool. Needless to say, I went solid-state after that.

Kyle's picture

A buddy wanted to see how loud my rig went. . . .

Geoff S, Australia's picture

Nothing has caught fire, but I have an old Musical Fidelity A220 amp that I have to turn off often in summer. If I don't, it gets so hot it just stops working.

stereo workshop's picture
Music Fidelity A220

Do you happen to have a schematic of that A220? I'm having problems with one that I can't find a schematic for anywhere. Thanks.

KJ's picture

I admire Class-D very much, but I have to admit that two identical surround receivers powered with ICE amp modules unexpectedly went up in smoke without any miswiring or other such mischief. Such a shame, as they sounded bloody wonderful! Never had any trouble with Tripath or NuForce, and no smoke with any other hi-fi equipment, even including tubed stuff.

Mark Evans's picture

Thankfully, I have never experienced any gear overheating and catching fire or smoking.

C.  Paul Barreira's picture

It wasn't mine, but my audio dealer (who sadly is now deceased) told me that he had stopped to visit a customer when he saw lightning strike the house's roof. That meant he could provide clear evidence of the cause of the damage. Some years earlier, I also saw the charred remains of a big Perreaux amplifier, also struck by lightning. Dangerous place Sydney, apparently.

goldenpiggy's picture

I've had three TrippLite Isobars where the inside literally burned up. These were the ones not made in USA.

djl's picture

Oh yeah! I'm a tech, so seeing stuff smoking is not too unusual. Catching fire—nope haven't seen that yet, but I suppose my time is coming for that one! Hopefully, it won't be one of my own pieces that bursts into flames!

Not A.  Gain's picture

Is this in reference to Valin's non-review of the exploding best-amplifier ever?

Motown Vinyl Rob's picture

I've certainly been around for a while, but maybe I'm just fortunate. The only thing smokin' was a girlfriend in the sweet spot on the couch across from the speakers, next to the turntable, loving the music!

Andrew Chester's picture

My disaster was a valve amp that I switched on and then walked out of the room. I walked back in to see smoke coming out of it. I managed to turn it off before the flames began. I like valves, but excitement like that is going too far!

Hal's picture

Flames from the transistors in my shorted-out amp flew out the top.

relatively aerosols's picture

agreement burning treaty adjust

W Woody's picture

Well, I have had flamed-out equipment on the bench. Thankfully most has been lower-end amps where college students threw in higher current fuses or bypassed circuit breakers so they could participate in stereo wars. I consider this more self-inflicted than accidental. Thankfully, I have survived a few lightning hits that did no more damage than a few missed heartbeats, but I've spent time with equipment on the bench of folks who were not so fortunate.

Sean's picture

With tube amps only, depending on the failure, it also took out speakers as well. With solid state, at least to date, no smoke, fire or other failures.

KBK's picture

The ever popular Counterpoint SA-220 power amp "smoke'n'fire" combo. Whhhoooo! Let that magic smokeout!!! The first and last piece of equipment I've ever had fail—and I've built some monstrosities.

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