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?

Dismord's picture

Yes but I'm not sure I'd call it bad luck. My power amp, designed and built by a friend, impressed a dealer whilst he was installing my new turntable. He 'accidentally' shorted the speaker leads whilst pretending to look for the speakers model number . The amp died with a loud bang upon which said dealer immediately offered to have his technician repair it for free. I should have smelt a rat at that point but didn't. I rang the amps' designer that night to tell him what had taken place. He warned me that this dealer had a habit of copying others' designs then having them made up cheaply in China under his own brand name. So, I was on his doorstep that morning only to find him already poised with his camera over the amps innards. His tech arrived just then and looked stunned when I announced I'd spoken to the designer himself who wanted to repair it. Now, I'm not sure if you'd call this experience bad luck or just a nasty encounter with a criminal mind. I still have the power amp and it's been working faultlessly now for years after that brutal attack. Really bad luck struck another time at the hands of a two year old poking holes in all the drivers of a pair of Dynaudio speakers (that's 10 drivers!). You wouldn't think a two year old could manage to get up onto a chair and methodically attack the tweeters, but this one did. Oh, and the insurance company refused to pay up unless I reported the brat to the police for 'malicious damage'. The brat was lucky I didn't commit malicious damage on it!

Al Norberg's picture

One of my Grandchildren dripped formula on my Vandersteen 1B socks.I can't get the stain all the way out.

Aden's picture

Of course—valves going at the wrong time, and countless services required on equipment.

JoakimL's picture

My system once started distorting heavily, until I realized my very much younger sister was trying to see if she could get sound into headphones by plugging them directly into the speaker cones.

Mike Agee's picture

Take my turntable . . . please. When I opened the box I said to myself "Self, I wouldn't have designed the packaging with the plinth so close to the side of the box". Sure enough, it was chipped, but I had waited so long and after all, it was just cosmetic. Yeah, like your two front teeth are cosmetic. Then I lunched the first cartridge a few hours after installing it. Then I bought a great preamp for it that was damaged in transit. While at the repair shop, I had it modded. On the way back UPS managed to rip the big caps off the board, which I melted when I soldered them back in place, and the original repair required big blobs of silicon to lift and separate the board. $4000 later I have a gap-toothed siliconed floozy sitting in my living room, singing prettily enough, but I may never know how pretty because I can't afford to divorce her. Lesson: Be patient, love can't be rushed, when it arrives damaged, call off the relationship.

H.  Williams, Hollywood Hills's picture

Broken loudspeaker drivers from underpowered SET "fly" amps (luck has nothing to do with poor judgement).

Mark's picture

While installing a new phono preamp last year, my Benz cartridge somehow shorted out. This required a trade-in and a $500 retip charge. Out of warranty of course!

Coppy's picture

I burned up a tweeter on my N802s trying to hear test CD high notes that went away for me 20 years ago.

andrew Spaulding's picture

I destroyed a very nice Lyra-the stupid shall be punished.

Chris's picture

Goldmund 28M amp that died for no reason after just four hours of playng. Goldmund 18.4 amp that had a faulty digital connection. And these things were brand new!

Jerry's picture

My cat just loves the turntable and trying to figure out what that pointy thing is doing. One swat with the paw and there goes one of my favorite LPs and my cartridge’s stylus. I learned to never turn my back, unless it is a real emergency or my better half is seriously making a point.

Robert Koch's picture

My (old) power amps took a long time to warm up and sound sweet, so I kept them on all the time. One morning I came through the lounge and noticed that the lights on the amps had changed color to red. Feeling this could be a very bad thing, I checked the speakers—a pair of very big Duntech speakers on loan from a friend. My nightmare became a reality: All four bass drivers in both speakers were as solid as a rock. The amps had gone DC and put about 400W of DC power into the poor speakers for who knows how long. To this day, still trying to figure out what happened since the amps were mono blocks!

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Not exactly bad luck. My wife and my daugther have struck my audio system. They were both severely punished and now they are very careful.

C.  King, Thousand Oaks, CA.'s picture

About a year ago, I connected bare wire speaker cables to the back of my amp. Apparently, a couple of + and - strands from adjacent posts on the back of the amplifier were touching each other. Rather than the amp fuse kicking in, my wife and I saw smoke, and then fire, coming up from the amp. There is a lot to be said for the efficacy of banana plugs.

alonzo's picture

I fried my home theater proccesor!

Joe's picture

I've had dirty power strike my system when I lived in a large apartment complex. The only way to fully solve the problem: move!

Chuckie Girmann III's picture

I am a young audio guy so I have roommates and I have cautiously put my system in the main living room. It has had it's fair share of yikes!

Steve Milazzo's picture

I routinely covered my vintage (1977) Yamaha CR2020 because it was my cat's favorite resting place—maybe the heat, the smell? After a "heated" listening session, I tossed a towel over the cat's bed and ran off to work. When I returned 12 hours later, the unmistakeable smell of melted electronics met me at the door. The cat didn't nap well that day!

Wayne B.'s picture

In 1989, I was 22 years old and a fledgling Stereophile subscriber. I'd recently maxed the credit cards on an Adcom GFA-555 and related electronics. I had a slightly older well-to-do friend that lived at the high-dollar apartment complex down the road. He'd been asked to set up his stereo for the apartment's pool party, since he was the guy with all the noise complaints filed against him... so the first thing he did was invite me to bring over my gear ;) I did, and we paralleled up two (or was it 3?) pairs of big Cerwin Vegas on my '555 outside in the hot Ohio sun and set about making noise and quaffing beverages. Someone tripped and tugged a speaker wire out while the thing was cranked, and the leads shorted. It kept driving probably 40 feet of 14 or 16 gauge zip-cord shorted at the end, plus the other speaker(s) for 3 or 4 seconds before shutting down. I was terrified my new $700 toy was "bricked" and freaked out for a while. Ultimately only a fuse was damaged. The '555 is still my main amp :)

Michael W.  Kidd's picture

It's like avoiding being poked in the eye. Only in this case, it's the equipment that is being protected rather than the body.

El Stupido's picture

I wouldn't call it bad luck exactly. Hooking and unhooking speakers with the amp powered up was just plain stupid. You can guess the rest of the story: I managed to short out the amp across the speaker terminals. Blew it up real good.

Embarrassed Anonymous!'s picture

Over a decade ago, I accidently and unknowingly loosened one speaker cable connector while placing my brand-new ARC D-200 power amp into a cabinet. The spade connector touched the amplifier chassis. When I powered up the amp, nothing happened, because the amp when into protection. Not realizing what the problem was, I tried turning the amp on a second time, and fried the amplifier! Audio Research repaired the amplifier under warranty, despite the damning evidence of the burn mark on the chassis.

Scott higgins's picture

Was moving & feeding pizza to the volunteer movers when the pizza box was dropped on my infinity "black widow" tonearm as it played a disc. Bent the tonearm & destroyed the cartridge & disc.

gary's picture

Several years agao my nephew was fascinated by the tweeter on my Diapason Adamantes. He decided to stick his finger in it and make it concave!

Jon Fero's picture

During a demo for a curious acquaintance I had just met a few hours before, I said something like, "Feel free to turn it up a bit." The acquaintance greedily mashed the volume up button, until I hurriedly snatched the remote away, saying, "And that's what clipping sounds like."

Donald's picture

Lost my subwoofer from a power surge.

Alan Tomlinson's picture

Girlfriend decided to turn off my preamp late at night without turning off the amp first. $400 damage to the amp.

Mike Sikorski's picture

The power company had the wrong settings on a new transformer they had installed; Fosgate 3A+, Krell CD-DSP, Aragon BB, Tice power block got hit, all but the Kell had electrical fires. The power company covered the cost of it all, but I wish I had replaced the Fosgate with the new Fosgate tubed surround processor because the Mac 120 isn't as good on two-channel analog surround proccessing.

Edw.A.Roth's picture

If a lightening strike may be considered bad luck. I lost a preamp,tuner and line power conditioner to a strike of my outdoor antenna in 1985.