What is the scariest audio thing that's ever happened to you?

Your amp blows up, with flames licking the underside of your wood equipment rack—or you see the flood waters approaching your LP collection. What is the scariest audio thing that's ever happened to you?

What is the scariest audio thing that's ever happened to you?
Here it is
91% (87 votes)
Nothing scares me
9% (9 votes)
Total votes: 96

Dismord's picture

Having an Audio Research D70 Mk.II amp explode its output valves on three consecutive occasions. I'm still scared silly of valve (tube in the US) power amps.

moby dick's picture

Bose :-)

Hal's picture

Went scuba diving and upon return to the surface my ear pressure wouldn't equalize. Nearly blew my eardrum. Amps and players I can replace. Once ears are damaged there is no return to hi-fi.

Renegade Meerkat's picture

Hearing a system that mesmerized me - and then finding out what it cost.

Bobby T.'s picture

My cat playing with Omega Micro speaker cables....What can I say? ;-}

Tonko Papic - CHILE's picture

Was a day when I feel an ugly smell. Then, smoke. The output transformer of my new Omega tube amplifier...(The speaker cable connection was loose)

limelakephoto's picture

A flood. It ruined my turntable, an amp, two speakers, and lots of vinyl I can never replace.

RD's picture

Just-repaired ARC M300 blew a power supply capacitor like a volcano. Room filled with acrid white smoke. Surreal few seconds before I realized what was going on. After the smoke cleared the M300 still worked! Replaced all 6 caps - bloody expensive!

Doug Peterson's picture

Years ago, I hooked up my Kenwood C1 preamp to the M1 power amp which powered my Stax headphones. Incredibly, I accidentally sent a video signal into an audio input. You know what happens when you send a high-frequency signal into an op-amp above its bandpass? It turns into an oscillator! With the headphones on I heard the dying shriek of the preamp as it met its maker. The phones survived. At a later date, the M1 literally went up in smoke, complete with little curl of black mist rising. Most importantly, my ears survived as I threw the phones off faster than the speed of light.

Cramer's picture

My wife has her own audio system. She plays it during the day while she cleans, and then she like to listen to it play (via satellite) as we go to sleep at night and wake to it in the morning so it plays for a good 14 hours a day. One morning we woke to the sound of a very large POP or other noise. All I heard was a crackling sound and there was a strange smell. The NAD amp was literally on fire! I quickly unplugged the system and removed it from the rack it was in. It had burned the shelf above. The electronic board looked as if it had exploded and the gray paint was baked of the top of the amp. The main thing that scared me is if it would have burned the house down with us in it. Stereo can be replaced, we can't!

Nathan's picture

Dropped a box of CDs in the middle of a road during a move. Most of them survived without scratches, though. Or Having my car CD player stolen (the thief didn't care for my Japanese noise CDs lying around, though).

Fred's picture

In the early 1970s, just after graduating from taking Radio and TV electronics, I picked up this decade-old tube Heathkit integrated amp. It sounded just fine, but like everything else I owned at the time, I had to try and make it better. So with my expensive Stax earphones connected, I managed somehow to short out the right channel. The big bang sent shock waves through my head, damaging both the amp and the phones. The repair to the Stax was many times the price of the Heathkit, and the Heath never sounded quite the same again. To this day i still try improving my gear, but am more careful about how listening devices are connected during the trials.

Johnny B.  Good's picture

When my 4 year-old decided to play a DVD by herself...on my turntable with the brand-new cartridge. And the numerous times the kids pushed in all tweeter domes and dust-caps they could find in my listening room.

EP's picture

My nephew gave me an iPod for my birthday.

Geordy Duncan's picture

Took delivery of a pair of $7000 loudspeakers and noticed that one box was pretty damaged. Probably tossed around a bit. Sure enough when I fired them up all the drivers in the speaker were damaged due to poor handling of the shipment and treatment of the box. Scary thing was dealing with warranty and getting them fixed...took about 6 months. And my ex's cat chewing on my speaker cables. Suffice to say that only happened once. :-)

Al Earz's picture

Realizing I left my wallet at home when I was in an audio store! Or maybe it was having my wallet in an audio store - too close to call.

Chuckie's picture

Blowing my dad's speakers as a kid. My 12 year-old rocker self thought it would be cool to blast Metallica at full volume. His old Koss CM-1030s disagreed.

Barry Diament's picture

Seeing a video of Celine Dion's attempt at "You Shook Me All Night Long." Almost made me swear off music.

Jim M's picture

Connecting my CD player directly to my amps and forgetting to move the outputs from fixed to the variable XLRs. Yikes !!!!

Bill Eames's picture

When a super-expensive CD player breaks and have to send across country to fix. Out of commission for a month.

Steven's picture

Lost my audio business in the recession. Almost went bankrupt.

Alex C.M.'s picture

trying to measure top volume I could get from my setup (Denon AVR887, Monitor Audio RS6) and I got to believe I couldn't put anything that would make the speakers distort or clip. I sat to enjoy the music but then here comes Roger Taylor and his tympani at the end of his solo (Queen Rocks Montreal BD). The notes were so low. I can't forget the noise coming from my beloved RS6es as if those ceramic domes where breaking and I looked at them to see both domes at their top excursion like the eyes of a wolf when he sees a hot chick. From where I sit, it took me barely a second to jump from the chair to the amplifier to get to the volume knob which gave Roger the chance to strike a few more notes each with that sound...I swear, I spent the next five minutes wiping and caressing the loudspeakers before I tried to play anything else. Luckily nothing happened (I think).

Matt's picture

Lightning hit the utility pole! Cooked all of the home's "delicate" electronics including my Technics turntable, NAD receiver, and Rotel cassette player (plus the battery-operated watch on the table next to my head).

Pete's picture

Listening to a Mahler symphony on my Carver Amazing speakers (which had been dormant for years due to lack of space), there was a bass drum "moment," and suddenly I heard a metallic bang-bang-bang noise. One of the 8 woofers had torn its surround. I got it replaced, but now I think of that awful noise every time I listen to that Mahler moment...

Gennady's picture

When I burnt the tweeter in my speaker.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

Power amp goes into oscillation, frying a bunch of tweeters. Goodbye amp. Speaker manufacturer replaces tweeters for free.

rp's picture

Hardly scary, but blown tweeter, blown woofer, and not being able to replace the woofer. (Snell going out of business is the reason.)

Scott C.'s picture

I was at a customer's home hooking up his new McIntosh MT-10 turntable. He has 500 watt monoblock Mcintosh amps hooked to B&W 800Ds with a full complement of source devices and 40 amps of dedicated AC power. We were having problems with the turntable and some very nasty noise being generated from, what it turns out, bad cables. With me buried behind the rack of electronics, the client decided to turned up volume of the preamp to see if the noise was still there. An EXTREMELY LOUD squeal and pop came from the speakers. I spun around in time to see the Power Guard lights flashing on the 500 watt amps! I was sure the client had just ruined all his drivers, but luckily all was fine. I still can't believe that the speakers were able to absorb that much distortion and abuse. I don't care if it was just for a few seconds. Those seconds took years off my life!

Larry Solom's picture

While living in an apartment, I had my beloved pair of Energy Veritas 1.8s. One day, the apartment manager came in to do some work while I was away. When I came home, I found "someone" had punched in the dust caps on the woofers. The manager admitted his adorable 6 year-old son had been in with him, but of course denied that the apple of his eye could have done anything like that! Fortunately, I was able to suck the caps pack into shape using a funnel, but since then I've freaked out whenever any company brings their kids with them.

KRB's picture

I once accidentally hooked up my tape deck to the phonograph input of my receiver. It was scary loud. Fortunately nothing but my heart was damaged.