Has bad luck ever struck your audio system?

Has bad luck ever struck your audio system?
84% (95 votes)
16% (18 votes)
Total votes: 113

You forget to turn the power amp off while unplugging an input cable, or your neighbor walks over and taps your tonearm while a record is playing. Has bad luck ever struck your audio system?

John Atkinson's picture

I was installing a new Dynavector MC cartridge and moved it close to another MC cartridge; the two magnets were powerful enough to pull the two cartridges together, breaking the cantilevers of both when they hit!

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

While showing my wife how to dust around the turntable, I showed her what not to do. Oops, there went the Dynavector. Of course, I still hear about years later.

Keith B.'s picture

I relocated my components, fired up my system, switched to my phono input and heard what sounded like a sine wave sweep from low to high. I immediately turned my system off only to discover I had forgotten to connect my turntable ground wire. It cost me two tweeters and a midrange driver!

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Funny you should ask this question. Last weekend, my wife and I had a little get together at our home. A very close friend of mine, who had embibed a bit too much, went to turn an LP over in my listening room. In so doing, I heard the most God-awful sound of my needle sliding over the vinyl. In an attempt to retrieve the tonearm to its correct position, my friend broke the stylus on my two month old Clearaudio Goldfinger cartridge. At the time, a DCC pressing of Roy Orbison's "Greatest Hits" was spinning. I'm cryyyyying..... Don't drink and spin!

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I've had my system stolen and melted in a house fire. Does that count?

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

Yes, a power amp decided to become an oscillator. Fried tweeters, anyone? On the bright side, Acoustic Research, replaced the tweeters free of charge.

Andrew Shafer's picture

Letting other people use my equipment has never turned out well.

Allan Stock's picture

I used a soft cloth to wipe some dust off the armboard of an LP12, snagged the saphire cantilever and that was that. End result: A much better cartridge! Now, who of you reading this post would have ever anticipated such a unexpected ending to this unfortunate incident?

John Brine's picture

My cat sprayed on my CD player and amp. It gummed up the buttons.

Chuck Cavin's picture

I had just bought a nice, new amp and plugged it in to make sure it was working. I had to travel unexpectedly and left it there a few days without a surge protector. You guessed it: lightning struck the house and fried the amp. A high deductible on my insurance meant the cost was out of pocket.

Dennis's picture

Unfortunately, yes. My housekeeper broke my Benz Glider with a dust rag; new housekeeper and a big sign on turntable that says DON'T TOUCH. (New housekeeper reads English!)

Dan, Flushing, MI's picture

Only once in 30 years. I was playing a Telarc recording of the 1812 overture,....and well.....when the cannon fired, the 250 wpc amp blew the tweeters in my Yamaha NS-1000M's.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Bob Cohen, formerly of The Cable Company, once told me that you're not a true audiophile until something blows up. When it happened the second time, I knew that I had been christened.

OM's picture

Yes: bending a brand-new replacement stylus' cantilever during installation. Ouch!

Bubba in SF's picture

Bad luck? Lets see. Had a speaker fall over while moving and crush a Dual 121 turntable. Had the grilles off a pair of Altec Lansing 12" three-way floor speakers and and a "friend's" liitle boy thought the dust cap on the woofer looked like something he should push on. Had the new spouse not quite figure out the attenuator switch on a Kenwood integrated amp and dump the full power into a pair of speakers. Had one of our cats decide to jump on the turntable while playing an LP. But, this has been over a 35-year span so, I'm quite lucky. There was that one time my wife decided to water the plants above the TV instead of taking them over to the sink but, this was an audio question and that shouldn't count.

RF's picture

Bad luck in a way, good karma maybe. Got to the living room to find my then five-year-old son imitating daddy and carefully lowering the tonearm to a non present LP. Bad luck it cost me a new cartridge, good karma he is in his midteens and listening to all my favorites from the '70s and '80s making me promise to give him all my LPs if ever I get rid of them.

Mustapha Lasram's picture

Well, it hits me at least once a month. It's a miracle that my system is still in working condition; Once it was my kids playing with the volume knob, the other time it was a power surge that almost killed my components. I even faced a situation whereby a guest checked with his greasy/dirty fingers the speakers drivers to get a sense of the material used. I think we audiophiles are doomed because we're not that many in this world and being misunderstood is the biggest curse ever that we will have to carry on our shoulders during our living on planet earth ! On a positive note; greetings from Tunisia to all audio nuts around the world !

b.  minter's picture

My basement was flooded with 6" of water last year. 700 LPs got soaked, one speaker was wrecked, but my tube monoblocks survived 36 hours of waterlogging.

Douglas Bowker's picture

Once. the ground from my tonearm was a little loose—when I picked the arm at the end of the LP, a static spark discharged from my finger, sending the jolt into my phono preamp and fried it right then and there. That was a sad day. :( Luckily, the manufacturer, Grado, fixed it without charge. Good company!

Peter Rabaioli's picture

While trying some new speaker cables, I failed to notice that the spade ends were shorted at the amplifier terminals and powered up and blew my Musical Fidelity Monoblocks and one of my Celestion Kingston woofers. The speaker was replaced, but MF won't give me the value of the resistor that was smoked so, I now have a pair of 200W boat anchors.

Jared Gerlach's picture

Over the years I have been the unfortunate buyer of a lemon integrated amplifier and a lemon graphic equalizer. Both of these units (made by different but prominent Japanese audio companies) had intermittent problems that vexed the techs who worked on them. In frustration, I finally removed the two-year old equalizer (probably not a bad thing in the end) and tossed it into a pile of items going to the local Goodwill thrift after it failed a third time. The integrated amp had problems associated with really cheap carbon pots. In retrospect, I should have just replaced the pots with good quality units and kept the amp. Oh well!

Mark in NJ's picture

In 1987, when I was 21, I bought my first stereo system (Fisher, from the long-defunct Save-Mart). I was quite proud of it despite its non-hifi pedigree. My fried was having a party at his house and asked to borrow the set-up. Needless to say, party-goers used the speakers and components as a beer and drink-holders and, yes, liquid was spilled that night. This was more an example of bad judgement on my part.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

I was about packing my Cremona for selling and dropped one of them! Bye bye mint condition!

Joseph Lee, Toronto, Canada's picture

I pushed a little too hard on my tone arm housing my Ortofon MC30 cartridge on my Oracle turntable, while I was playing a 45, the cartridge crashed against the middle metal clamp, and got damaged. To make matters worse, I asked the dealer to get a new one for me. I left the cartridge there, and later I was told that it was stolen. The compensation was a Thiel center speaker. Now I have a new dealer and cartridge.

Nodaker's picture

Yes, but it wasn't someone else's fault it was my own. I had a skip in a record and tried pushing down on the needle a little to get it thru that spot (have done it many times) and bent the cantilever in the process. A fairly new B&O cartridge that I won't replace as the TT is not worth it. I will buy a new table and use the old cartridge till then. Live and learn.

Ken K's picture

Why Hell yes! And I don't want to even talk about it! :-)

Farly's picture

Old roommate set his keys on top of my Klipsch RF-7 and they fell down between the drivers and the grill. Dented one of the 10" drivers. :(

Eric K's picture

After reading many articles about speaker placement I thought I would give George Cardas's method a try. For those who arent familiar with it, it requires that you place the speakers fairly far out into the room. One fateful evening when standing up from crouching to pick something up my girlfriend came up on the underside of one of my monitors. The monitor and stand swayed one way then fell the other, directly into the wall. Not much more than a gouge in the veneer and some chipped MDF was the result, but it was a frantic few moments following the incident.

Bob in Stokesdale's picture

Back when my brother and I both stayed home one summer from college, he woke about three in the morning after a night of hard partying and threw up all over my turntable. Ugh. It never played the same again . . .

Ned Lavengood's picture

Hooked an input cable up to my Bryston 9B-SST while the amp was already powered up and blew the channel! Told Bryston the truth and they still fixed it under warranty! Rock on.