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Thread: How Much Stuff Have You Destroyed in Your Audiophile Career?

  1. #1
    Addicted to Best! cjfrbw's Avatar
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    How Much Stuff Have You Destroyed in Your Audiophile Career?

    I was just curious about this as I have destroyed another amplifier project. I estimate that over the years I have destroyed or blown at least 6-7000 dollars in messed up components, tubes, cartridges, speakers, through clumsiness, dip-shittedness etc. etc.

    How much stuff have you destroyed and what was the approximate dollar values? I know a long career in audiophilia is going to have casualties, who is our record holder?

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    Member Addicted to Best! NorthStar's Avatar
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    -- Over $100,000 ... but that was kind of a different destruction (I was already destructed myself).
    All the Very Best, - Bob --------- "And it stoned me to my soul" - Van Morrison --------- AudiophileAudition

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    Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] DonH50's Avatar
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    There is no way on earth I am going to post that in an open forum even if I could recall them all. Besides, a lot of them belong(ed) to somebody else, who might someday find this thread and make the connection...

    I would guess at least an order of magnitude above your paltry $7k total, and chances are some of the pro installers who've been doing it for ages can 10x that.

    BTW, when plugging in new $15k ESLs driven by a pair of $10k monoblocks at a customer's house with dedicated power lines, I strongly suggest changing the line switch on the ESL's and amps' power supplies to the 220 V position from the default 120 V before plugging them in and turning them on. Just sayin'...
    Don Herman
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    Member Sponsor [VIP/Donor] GaryProtein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
    There is no way on earth I am going to post that in an open forum even if I could recall them all. Besides, a lot of them belong(ed) to somebody else, who might someday find this thread and make the connection...

    I would guess at least an order of magnitude above your paltry $7k total, and chances are some of the pro installers who've been doing it for ages can 10x that.

    BTW, when plugging in new $15k ESLs driven by a pair of $10k monoblocks at a customer's house with dedicated power lines, I strongly suggest changing the line switch on the ESL's and amps' power supplies to the 220 V position from the default 120 V before plugging them in and turning them on. Just sayin'...
    An order of magnitude is TEN times. You blew up $70,000 worth of equipment?!?!?!?

    You're dangerous!
    Listening Room: McIntosh C46, MCD500, MR78, MPI4, MC602 (2), Accuphase DG58, Pass Labs XVR1 (three-way), tri-amplified Infinity IRS Series V, TailTwister T2X rotator, AtlasSound FMA Rack, dedicated electrical sub-panel, boarded up fireplace, NO TV!

    Living Room: McIntosh C28, MC2300, MEN220, Revox B226, Tascam CD355, Thorens TD125 MKII w/vacuum platter, Rabco SL-8E, Grace F9-Ruby, McIntosh ML-2C (2) & ML-1C (4) stacked, MQ-107, SAE 2800, Nakamichi Dragon, Tandberg 64X, JL Audio f113 (2)

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    Senior Member/Sponsor Addicted to Best! Joe Galbraith's Avatar
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    Why, just last night I managed to bend the cantilever on a 6500.00 cart into uselessness. It's the second time I have done it. The upside is there is now a rebuild for this cart that makes it even better than when it was new, The first time I did it, the rebuild option was not available.

    A few years ago, I had a pair of high power tube amps driving Magnepan 3.6 loudspeakers. Every time you powered them up, you would have to pray that they did not detonate on start up taking ribbons and tubes with them. Several thousand dollars in lessons there before I rid myself of those amps. But they sounded soooo good when they were working well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Galbraith View Post
    A few years ago, I had a pair of high power tube amps driving Magnepan 3.6 loudspeakers. Every time you powered them up, you would have to pray that they did not detonate on start up taking ribbons and tubes with them. Several thousand dollars in lessons there before I rid myself of those amps. But they sounded soooo good when they were working well.
    I had the same experience with my Graaf OTL 200 amps. Lots of fireworks. Got rid of them as well. No mure tubed poweramps for me - ever.

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    Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] DonH50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryProtein View Post
    An order of magnitude is TEN times. You blew up $70,000 worth of equipment?!?!?!?

    You're dangerous!
    Yup. Care to share any stories from building prototypes, Gary? Seriously, I suspect for any of us who've been doing this even semi-professionally for a long time, the total is a lot higher (in today's dollars) than we'd really like to think. And I include things not entirely my fault, such as the stage grunt who, upon seeing a spark from the light control board on the table next to my mixer (not uncommon for those old rheostat-based light boards), immediately cried "fire" and proceeded to spray everything with a coating of dry powder fire extinguisher. Scrapped all the silky-smooth 600-ohm attenuators in a $30k sound board, 24 of them at $600 each (back in the late 70's) plus various other mayhem. The grit just destroyed the sliders. The light guy shook it out, blew it out, vacuumed it up, and went on about his business... As for me, well, as a friend told me in a different setting but applies here: "not your fault but is your a$$".

    Lost count of how many EMIT drivers I replaced in my old IRS-2's when my Phase Linear 700 would decide to self-destruct.

    What about the antenna tower I was helping to replace that buckled when we cut a guy wire to bring down a section, causing the whole 70' tower to buckle in two and crash to the ground? Some damage to the house, missed the car and our service truck in the drive (thankfully), one tree sacrificed itself to soften the landing, and I nearly had a heart attack since I was on top of the tower at the time and so had an interesting ride down. I've had a mortal fear of heights ever since.

    My early attempts at a servo-controlled DC-coupled tube amplifier were sometimes suboptimal, and I found that few speakers appreciated several hundred volts applied across the terminals, even briefly.

    TV CRT's retain their charge much longer than you might think. Even more annoying is that new tubes out of the box are often still charged from final test. The results when pulling a brand new CRT out of the box can be shocking, leading to shop cleanup of the remains lying on the floor after being dropped. And a PO'd boss, and customer, and anybody within hearing range of the implosion...

    And so on...
    Last edited by DonH50; 04-04-2013 at 07:35 AM.
    Don Herman
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    Don's Technical Articles on WBF

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    Addicted to Best! Robh3606's Avatar
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    I have taken out the stylus on my cartridge, accidentaly unpluged an input cable with the system on ,which cooked my midrange drivers, and dropped a berylium compression driver which toasted it. All together about $2000 over say 30 years so not too bad. The worst was watching the compression driver falling in slomo right before it hit the floor.

    Rob
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  9. #9
    I think most analog based audiophiles have destroyed a cart or ten, can't remember the exact number. I gone one step further, I fried a motor in one of my 'tables when I brain-cramped and forgot to help the heavy platter rotate. Although it became an expansive fix, that process would eventually force me to gain more knowledge, changing my priorities and direction forever. In retrospect, that event was my most beneficial disaster - ever!

    Before I got my present amps, prior amps couldn't quite control or grip my speakers at the freq.extremes properly, blowing drivers occasionally. However, my most memorable destruction, totally my fault, was modifying an amplifier, when I inadvertently toasted both speakers (all drivers), the speaker wires, and had to put out a small fire. Funny, the amp (after I properly did the mod) which I thought I destroyed, not only worked, but never sounded better. To this day it sings like a charm within a friends system. Never-the-less, it was a very expensive lesson in due diligence.

    tb1

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    Member Sponsor [VIP/Donor] GaryProtein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
    Yup. Care to share any stories from building prototypes, Gary? Seriously, I suspect for any of us who've been doing this even semi-professionally for a long time, the total is a lot higher (in today's dollars) than we'd really like to think. And I include things not entirely my fault, such as the stage grunt who, upon seeing a spark from the light control board on the table next to my mixer (not uncommon for those old rheostat-based light boards), immediately cried "fire" and proceeded to spray everything with a coating of dry powder fire extinguisher. Scrapped all the silky-smooth 600-ohm attenuators in a $30k sound board, 24 of them at $600 each (back in the late 70's) plus various other mayhem. The grit just destroyed the sliders. The light guy shook it out, blew it out, vacuumed it up, and went on about his business... As for me, well, as a friend told me in a different setting but applies here: "not your fault but is your a$$".

    Lost count of how many EMIT drivers I replaced in my old IRS-2's when my Phase Linear 700 would decide to self-destruct.

    What about the antenna tower I was helping to replace that buckled when we cut a guy wire to bring down a section, causing the whole 70' tower to buckle in two and crash to the ground? Some damage to the house, missed the car and our service truck in the drive (thankfully), one tree sacrificed itself to soften the landing, and I nearly had a heart attack since I was on top of the tower at the time and so had an interesting ride down. I've had a mortal fear of heights ever since.

    My early attempts at a servo-controlled DC-coupled tube amplifier were sometimes suboptimal, and I found that few speakers appreciated several hundred volts applied across the terminals, even briefly.

    TV CRT's retain their charge much longer than you might think. Even more annoying is that new tubes out of the box are often still charged from final test. The results when pulling a brand new CRT out of the box can be shocking, leading to shop cleanup of the remains lying on the floor after being dropped. And a PO'd boss, and customer, and anybody within hearing range of the implosion...

    And so on...
    Well, Don, I can't even compete with your experiences. Sure, I have done things that have required repair, but I'd say a few thousand would cover it.

    You have had quite a line of projects. I have done my share of antenna tower projects, but never a 70 footer. You must have quite an array of heavy equipment. The biggest tower I ever did was a 30 foot Rhone on my first house. One of the helpers was my brother in law, who we later discovered was a bit of a wimp when it came to hard work. He kept whining during the erection that somebody could die doing this, especially when I climbed the tower to add more guy wires. When we were done, I told him we would excuse him from the project next time. Based on your ride down the falling tower, I'd say he was right about possibly dying, but we weren't going even half as tall as you were.
    Last edited by GaryProtein; 04-04-2013 at 09:14 AM.
    Listening Room: McIntosh C46, MCD500, MR78, MPI4, MC602 (2), Accuphase DG58, Pass Labs XVR1 (three-way), tri-amplified Infinity IRS Series V, TailTwister T2X rotator, AtlasSound FMA Rack, dedicated electrical sub-panel, boarded up fireplace, NO TV!

    Living Room: McIntosh C28, MC2300, MEN220, Revox B226, Tascam CD355, Thorens TD125 MKII w/vacuum platter, Rabco SL-8E, Grace F9-Ruby, McIntosh ML-2C (2) & ML-1C (4) stacked, MQ-107, SAE 2800, Nakamichi Dragon, Tandberg 64X, JL Audio f113 (2)

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