How Much Stuff Have You Destroyed in Your Audiophile Career?

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,145
1
38
Pleasanton, CA
#1
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?
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,526
3
38
Monument, CO
#3
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'...
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
0
36
NY
#4
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! :eek:
 

Joe Galbraith

Senior Member/Sponsor
Apr 23, 2010
214
0
0
www.arsetmusica.com
#5
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.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#6
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.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,526
3
38
Monument, CO
#7
An order of magnitude is TEN times. You blew up $70,000 worth of equipment?!?!?!?

You're dangerous! :eek:
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:
Aug 25, 2010
949
0
16
Destiny
#8
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:)
 

TBone

New Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,237
0
0
#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
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
0
36
NY
#10
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.
 
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edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#11
at the very least every audiophile worth their salt should have blown a few drivers. I finally did so not too long ago - playing shine on you crazy diamond on avalon eidolons. Two midrange drivers gone, left and right at the exact same time. Great driver matching.
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#12
at the very least every audiophile worth their salt should have blown a few drivers. I finally did so not too long ago - playing shine on you crazy diamond on avalon eidolons. Two midrange drivers gone, left and right at the exact same time. Great driver matching.
weren't there resistors to blow first and save the drivers???
 

zztop7

Member Sponsor
Dec 12, 2012
750
0
0
Edmonds, WA
#14
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Related to the thread: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ of your audio equipment that moving companies & delivery services have destroyed.

Unfortunately and most likely on WBF forum that thread would be to long & involve tens of millions of lost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

zz
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#15
Related to the thread: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ of your audio equipment that moving companies & delivery services have destroyed.

Unfortunately and most likely on WBF forum that thread would be to long & involve tens of millions of lost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

zz
Fedex dropped subwoofer once. Full refund. Then they destoyed a (very poorly packed) center channel, full refund as well. No questions asked.
 
May 30, 2010
13,964
41
48
Portugal
#16
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. (...)
Can you tell us who is rebuilding your cartridge? I also have one cartridge that needs a cantilever ...
 
May 30, 2010
13,964
41
48
Portugal
#17
(...) Two midrange drivers gone, left and right at the exact same time. Great driver matching.
Surely the best comment of the week! :cool:
 

Joe Galbraith

Senior Member/Sponsor
Apr 23, 2010
214
0
0
www.arsetmusica.com
#18
Can you tell us who is rebuilding your cartridge? I also have one cartridge that needs a cantilever ...
I haven't sent it in to them yet as it happened just last night. But, Peter Lederman at Soundsmith has a ruby cantilever replacement for high end carts that is really great. I know of two of my type carts (Bluelectric Magic Diamond) that were rebuilt by Peter and the owner says they are better than when new.

http://www.sound-smith.com
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
0
36
NY
#19
at the very least every audiophile worth their salt should have blown a few drivers. I finally did so not too long ago - playing shine on you crazy diamond on avalon eidolons. Two midrange drivers gone, left and right at the exact same time. Great driver matching.

weren't there resistors to blow first and save the drivers???
The way I modded my IRS-V by taking out the passive crossover and using an active crossover and tri-amping, I got nothin' between lots of watts and the drivers. It only scares me when I think about it but it sounds so good I don't think about changing it.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,723
5
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#20
I have destroyed tweeters in my old Wilsons (twice and for the same reason). A couple of cartridges, and one crossover.

For me, however, the MUCH larger number is how much money I have lost on buying an item for "X", then selling it for X minus 40%, and then buying Y (which cost 40% more than X) and repeating the process over and over and over and over again (for a period of about 45 years !!!!)

I'm reasonably comfortable that if I did the math (I won't), I could have purchased a nice sized home for that amount of money. (I am getting ill even thinking about it !!)
 

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