What was your biggest audio disaster?

What was your biggest audio disaster?
Here it is
86% (77 votes)
Never had one
14% (13 votes)
Total votes: 90

It could have been a stupendously bad purchase or, perhaps, a cat running across the turntable while your first-pressing Parlophone Beatles LP was playing. What stands out as your biggest audio disaster?

Dave's picture

Someone deliberately burned out the output transformers of my pair of McIntosh MC60s, and I didn't find out until I moved 1600 miles away.

Perry's picture

With only about 40 hours on my new Blackbird cartridge, I inadvertently wiped the stylus into oblivion with a swipe of my hand.

Ken H.'s picture

I have never had one, but my very first piece of tube gear arrived last week. Ask me again next year.

Nodaker's picture

Since I had no disaster this year, I'll write of last year's when my dog ate two pairs of headphones and my SACD remote control. That darned puppy stage; best dog in the world now—doesn't chew anything that isn't hers. For music, it would have to be a purchase of Antony and the Johnsons—yuck! That voice is just a little too forced.

Rune's picture

I recently lost a lot of work with my entire music collection as my hard disk died and my backup was a few months-too-many old. In between, I had converted a ton of CDs and such to FLAC. Hours and hours of converting and household work—so much I'm considering using a hard disk recovery service company that only costs a few hundred USD if you can wait a month. I'm thinking I can work that off faster than the time I will have to use to restore those files.

Stephen's picture

Moving house. I went from a great set-up, which I'd put a lot of time into positioning the speakers, to using headphones as my high-fidelity system. I could never get the speakers right in their new home.

TimB's picture

Selling a turntable through a dealer who paid only a portion of the amount agreed upon, with the promise to pay the rest ASAP—which never happened (he left town).

OvenMaster's picture

Small stuff: bending an Ortofon OM20 cantilever while installing the stylus fresh out of the box.

sam's picture

Digital—at least to all the vinyl aficionados.

Elizabeth's picture

Trading in a Hafler DH110 preamp I built myself, and getting a sucky Sony 1000ES preamp. The digital bells and whistles on the Sony soon became tiring, and I stopped listening to music. I am very sorry I sold a great little preamp for one that was a chunk of catshit. Never again.

rwp's picture

Forgetting to remove the stylus guard after just replacing the stylus on my Grado Signature cartridge, and breaking the cantilever.

Ben F.'s picture

I was working for an audio retailer, and a colleague and I were moving around an Infinity Beta subwoofer with spikes installed in the feet. I finally had it positioned where I wanted it and I put one of the spikes down right in the power cord, causing the + and - to arc, and flames (or at least some really bright electric light) flew out of the back of the plate amplifier. The smell let us immediately know that we had done it in. We let the manager find out later.

ch2's picture

Back in 1956, when my friend Jimmy Young sat on and broke my favorite recording of "Ghost Riders in the Sky," sung by Vaughn Monroe. That can never forgotten. Otherwise, the years have been good to my audiophilia.

Ends In Tears's picture

Unknowingly plugged my new Nakamichi receiver into an outlet that was switched, but the switch was replaced with a dimmer! Worked fine until I dimmed the lights—poof!

Jeff in Oregon's picture

Dropping a banana plug connected to a live Ampzilla on a patch connected to my preamp. What are the chances they could make contact? Never used that preamp again.

Bill's picture

Heaving a very heavy power amp into place, then seeing it collapse the rack. It destroyed a very nice turntable (Thorens) and scratched or dented the other eight components in the system.

Lawrie's picture

Selling 300 1950s and 1960s mint LPs in 1984 to buy more (perfect) CDs. What a dumb bunny.

David L.'s picture

In 2004, exchanging my Rotel 1993 CD player for a new $150 Pioneer DVD player, thinking that the music would sound just as good or better.

Allan Stock's picture

While installing a new phono cable on my LP12, the somewhat stiff cable twisted and flipped unexpectedly, knocking off the guard and kicking the Shelter's stylus permanently to the left. Soundsmith to the rescue.

RickB's picture

Philips SACD 1000

Bruce's picture

The cat was mad because she was on the porch, because she doesn't always use her box. She ran south, made an abrupt turn north and ran across the turntable.

JJ's picture

Shipping a pair of Epos M15s, from which I had not vacuumed all the sand with which I had loaded the cabinet. It all found its way to the voice coils, rendering my sale of said loudspeakers highly unprofitable.

rich's picture

Shorting a power transformer while building a SET amp.

Austin Kuipers's picture

Buying Bose. I thought that, since their headphones were pretty good (though overpriced), it might be a good idea to buy some 301s. I would have been better off with '70s Yorx gear. Thank God for Bowers & Wilkins and PSB.

Eric's picture

Bought from Singlepower Audio, sent it in for repairs, never got it back.

two left thumbs's picture

Attempting to install an upgrade volume control in an expensive tube preamplifier and, botching the job, then sending it to the designer to finish the job—only to be told by his techs never again to touch a soldering iron! The preamp never quite sounded the same.

Shieldsmo's picture

Crossed some speaker wires while my Denon AVR5600 was powered on and fried it. Amazingly, Denon replaced it free of charge under warranty.

Rick Lee's picture

My wife phoning me at work, screaming at me, that the "stereo was on fire, the stereo was on fire!" Turns out she was listening to the stereo and overwatered a plant that used to sit on top of the amplifier. Nasty stuff.

tzed's picture

A New Year's Eve party (1992) with a full DJ set-up, complete with two Technics SL1200s and a dual-well CD player through a pair of bridged-mono Rotel amps. I blew all four woofers in my Polk SDA + speakers.

Brad C in Colorado's picture

Having recently (at the time) acquired a Sherwood S-6000, I played the Telarc 1812. When the cannons went off full-tilt, one of the output tubes imploded. Sadness. I still have the tube, with the glass envelope deformed to the point of looking like a vortex to a black hole. Who did I piss off in a previous life to deserve that?