Anyone have this happen to them?

I always leave my components on. I have noticed that quite a bit of static electricity exists in my listening room/living room. I went to my preamp and switched from the CD input to the tuner input. The volume was set at a very low level. I was wearing my socks which does not help the static electricity situation. A horrible loud sound came out of my speakers. It sounded like bad radio frequency. I immediately turned the volume down to zero. I then switched to the CD input and checked to see if any damage had occured to the system (None, Thank God).

Both the CD and the Tuner input are balanced inputs and I have shielded balanced interconnects for both components. I have a seperate power circuit that has a Monster Cable HTS 2000 plugged into it. The tuner has a simple non powered Magnum Dynalab ribbon antenna plugged into it.

Any ideas of what happened? I have been listening to the system with no issues since this occured a few hours ago. Any ideas on how to lessen the chance of this occuring again? I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you,
Either install a metal plate on your rack that is grounded or ground an existing piece of metal. Run the ground wire directly back to the outlet, not to a component that is grounded. You then touch this before touching anything in your system. I've actually seen a guy use a doorknob as a ground point with another guy used a "grab handle" from a cabinet or drawer.

You might also want to think about running a humidifier for a while each day. Not only will this miminize static build up, it can also help out your health and sinuses. It works even better if you fill the tank with high proof Vodka and breath deeply while standing over the humidifer : ) Sean
static electricity can contain a very powerful charge. several years ago, i lazily shuffled my leather-clad feet across the wool chinese rug that rests between my speakers and listening couch to adjust some control on my JRDG pre that i couldn't access through the remote. without touching the pre, a spark shot from my pointin' finger to the chassis, blowing an entire board. sheepishly, i drove my consummate line stage down to colorado springs; jeff, ever the consummate gentleman, had his tech guy repair my stupidly damaged pre without charge, while i went upstairs to play with the first generation rockport that jeff had in his system. it was a great ending to a terrifying day. but now i run a very large humidifier (our relative humidity levels in denver are often below 10%) and ALWAYS touch another bit of ferrous metal before touchin' any piece in my rig. -cfb
Yes, it has happened to me, 11 years ago. It turned out to be short-wave or CB “Burn Through” on my unshielded speaker wire. I braided four, 22 gauge wires around my speaker cable which acted as shielding. A few months later I switched to Kimber 4TC, which is braided. The braiding provides shielding. I still use the Kimber along with 12 gauge copper solid core irrigation wire twisted in a double run configuration.

As we say here in Vegas, Good Luck!
I'm all for the humidifier solution. Not only will it minimize static discharges, but it will help preserve your speaker cabinets, your furniture, any and all paper and cloth products in your home, but your health as well. If you don't run a humidifier I can guarantee you more colds and other maladies every winter season. I have one right in the living room with the stereo stuff, and I swear it makes my Maggies sound better. Besides, when I don't run it, the dogs won't come near me since I keep zapping them. I also ground all my components- if a manufacturer gives you a ground lug on the back of something, use it! I attach all the lugs discretely to a buss-bar, and then to the ground on a wall duplex via a banana jack. Use static spray, too. It even helps keep the equipment cleaner. Despite what they say, though, keep it off of plastic component windows and faceplates.
My house has a humidifier but in the winter it cant always keep the level high enough. If the fire place is buring you can forget about it completely.

Another alternative is to spray the carpet with an anti-static spray. You can buy it at the store. However I cant stand the smell of the stuff, makes me cough. A weak solution of fabric softener and water works well to. Actually it works better even better and lasts longer much longer than the anti-static spray.

Depending on the carpet traffic once a week or two weeks is enough at first. After that the period is extended until you clean the carpets which I do about once a year+. You don't need to douse the carpet either a light spray will do.
A humidifier helps a little. Being in Colorado static discharge is always a problem and it can damage sensitive components usually associated with displays or control circuits. (Even worse if you are inside a computer. You can destroy a 265MB Ram chip with static charge very easily)

Solution is easy. I approach my stereo now and always touch the preamp's metal box before I touch any control. This grounds me through the power supply and never causes any problems. I keep my hand on the cabinet while I'm adjusting any components controls, changing CDs etc.
I have two suggestions that are additional to the ones given on this and an earlier thread: (1) Go to the housewares section of your local supermarket and buy a pair of latex gloves. I bought a pair for $1.49 and they work like a charm in preventing static discharges. They also provide a bonus: they prevent oil from one's fingers getting on CDs. (2) Get a can of "Static Stop" from The Fuller Brush Company (1-800-821-7067). It is claimed to be safe to use on fabrics and rugs. A light spraying on one's listening chair and on the rug between the chair and the electronic gear should last a long time. (NEVER spray on your audio and video components, however.)