I always do something stupid...

...I have a pretty nice system and it is important to me. I spend hours researching tweaking and getting it right. I spend even more time listening to it of course. I am a pretty careful and meticulous person in most things.

So...why is it that everytime I get a new piece of expensive equipment or a new cable or whatever, I always manage to do something you are not supposed to do. Like turning off the pre-amp before the power amps and getting a loud pop. Or leaving an amplifier on and unplugging the interconnect attached to it at the pre-amp. Or forgetting that the interconnects to the subwoofer are JUST long enough and trying to move the subwoofer (and thus stressing the interconnects) without unplugging them. Or SIMPLY NOT NOTICING THAT THE $!@*# VOLUME IS UP TOO HIGH BEFORE I PUSH PLAY ON THE TRANSPORT. I could go on.

Point being, I've never really screwed anything up, but it's not from lack of "rying." Is this just me? I realize I've opened myself up to cruelty on this one...
Thanks for the warning. I'll try to remember your moniker next time I'm looking to buy :>)
Ouch, Dodgealum bitch slapped you hard:O( I re-terminated my reference Power cable incorrectly and hooked it up to my reference CDP and blew it up...how's that one for ya! Turns out however that when I returned it for repair I recieved an unknown upgrade for free. If I wouldn't have destroyed it I would have never known about the upgrade (it was worth $3000).
A week or two ago I miss-connected my ICs to my preamp's tape loop. That was pretty loud. Luckily, I did not blow my long since brand-defunct tweeters. My preamp is a little bastard: it has a lot switches and the volume pot is temperamental. And I have 47 labs interconnects, which are delicate and variable in connectedness. It all adds up to a roll of the dice every time I re-rig my stereo.
No its not just you, you are just secure enough to open up about it, Dodge on the other hand makes himself feel better by making you feel bad but I suspect he has stories of his own that wouldnt reflect greatly on him. ofcourse I am making a joke.
I never blew anything up either but just dumb luck has gotten me this far, I did blow a fuse on a Aragon amp once because I didnt turn it off when making cable adjustments but that was as close as I got to a serious mistake.
I've had my share of near misses.
Now I take my time.
Then double check.
Then I sit down to listen.
Then I get up and check again.
Then I make myself a drink and wonder how it might sound if I turned it on.
Then I go take a nap.
Mr D- How old are you? I generally call my brain-farts, "Senior Moments", and leave it at that. Obviously- Once a certain chronological point is attained in one's lifespan; these events will increase exponentially(unless one compensates, as Mr_man has so wisely done). Recently- I replaced the two bridge rectifiers in my woofer amp with IXYS FReDs. When I re-connected the amp, I hooked up the Lt/Rt interconnects in reverse. That made the drum kits in my recordings sound decidedly strange(like- spread across the room). I didn't realize what I had done, or what caused that effect, until I started applying Quick Silver to some of my cables today(DUH). We might be glad that it's our brains going first, rather than our ears? Think I'll go hit the Ginkgo Biloba bottle now(before I forget).
Hey Dgaylin we've all made mistakes. I had an integrated in for audition and shorted it out when I hit a speaker cable with my foot and knocked it loose. Fortunately the dealer was a nice guy and did not charge me for it.
My funniest moment (not at the time) was when I hooked up a new pair of interconnects from my preamp to my tuner. I couldn't wait to hear the difference from the old interconnects. I, patiently, warmed up my tubed gear for about 10 minutes and left standby mode, but when I turned up the volume, there was no sound at all! I was beside myself, when I discovered that I had mistakenly hooked up the interconnect on the aux line outlet instead of the tuner line outlet of the preamp. Since the source selector on the preamp was set to tuner, I got no sound. I guess I could have switched the preamp source from tuner to aux and listen to the tuner, but instead, I turned everything off and installed the interconnect to the tuner outlets of the preamp. It was a very frustrating 30 minutes before I got everything right. I am glad I was alone when this happened. I have had other senior moments and am a master at misplacing my house keys. At least, I found the new interconnects pleasing!
Ask me how many phono cartridges I've lunched. On second thought, don't.
Dodgealum, I know that's not you trying to insinuate that you've never done anything stupid!
Not you who trashed the ARC 150.2 and said it didn't sound good because you fail to switch the toggle switches on the back from balanced to unbalanced? That's not you is it?
Happens to the best and worst of us - probably because none of us are dispassionate about our hobby and we get excited to try the new tweak, cable, position, next album, etc. and forget the logical sequences. I have made most of the same errors you describe at some point.

My worst offense so far is that I was hooking up my bare speaker cable ends in the back of amp by feel and managed to arc across positive and negative terminals (I apparently don't feel that good). When I turned my amp back on the sound came out muted, I turned the volume up (DOOH!) and all sound stopped. I opened up the amp and two of tree fuses were toast. Thank God and engineers for fuses. The silver lining is that I replaced the stock fuses with HiFi Tuning silver jobs for an overall improvement in sound. I fitted my cables with banana plugs to eliminate the chance of doing that particular stupid thing again.
Just trying to be funny....I won't let that happen again!
All -- thanks for the stories! Very reassuring -- or scary depending upon how you look at it I guess :-)

A friend of mine used to have a sign up by his bedroom mirror "pants first, then shoes" Maybe we should all take a lesson from the airline pilots and have a checklist. NAH that would take the excitement away.

I'm in my mid 40ies -- old enough to claim senior moments? Why not....it's always a good excuse with my kids.

Hey Dodge, no harm done, I knew you were kidding although there is some truth to your joke. Actually I have't messed anything up with all this bumbling, but mostly dumb luck has saved me so far as others have noted.

I used a nutdriver to lightly tighten up my speaker terminals on my Home Theater amp. Why I needed to get them wrench tight I don't know, but as you would guess it I broke one of the post in half. I thought I was a good judge of torque but I was wrong. Ended up with a four channel amp for the time being. I will never do that again. Anybody need a Sherbourn 4/1500?
I posted to a recent thread about a breakthrough in digital sound conversion - four times.

Am I a moron or what?
I've learned through much fumbling and many zaps to leave my equipment permanently off. Haven't made any more mistakes this way.
I started to post that the only people that make NO mistakes, are those that do NOTHING. Of course- They don't have much fun either! Kinda what Mr C just said.

Good come back on Dodge.
Here's an audio-related story that I find very funny.
It was told to me by Jim Mesa, of Mesa-Boogie pro audio amps.
He told me that The Rolling Stones, always, insisted on using his amps.
Well, one time, the Stones had gone to some private island to record their latest album.
One day, in the midst of this, he got a frantic call from Keith Richards telling him his Mesa-Boogie stack had stopped working.. He said he wanted Jim, himself, to fix it. And to fix it, now!
So, Jim is rushed to a chartered plane, which takes him to an airfield near a dock, from which he leaves, on a yacht, to hurriedly arrive at the frickin' island.
And, poor Jim hasn't slept this whole time.
Upon reaching the island, he's practically running with the guys who brought him there to get to the studio.
He walks in the studio, marches straight over to the amp, takes a lock at Richards and, flicking a switch, says, "Keith, you gotta turn the damn thing on."
Note to self: Don't loan any gear to Dgaylin.
Easy, before you do anything in the future, STOP and take ten seconds to THINK before you DO ANYTHING. Think it through.

OK Father...I promise to count next time!
Best one for me is when I went to pick up my turntable from the shop - I had them install a Dynavector cartridge on it.

When I got home to hook it up, I noticed that the freaking cantilever was bent about 45 degrees. Apparently, something happened while the guy was showing me the counterweight on the arm (just a few minutes prior). Probably my fault, I'm sure.

Then - as I left my house to go back to the shop to show the owner, I was upset and not paying attention - and I scraped my car against my iron driveway gate - putting a huge gash on the left side.

Yep, that's my favorite.
here's one i JUST discovered. only cuz i'm a fidgeter, i was poking around the back of my sub. guess what! i had it plugged into the high pass OUT jack! audyssee didn't catch anything funny and neither did i. it actually sounded ok. i keep the sub level pretty low. even during films it was responding pretty good. nontheless, that is a whoa. wonder who plugged it in?....
Glad this thread came up. Just 2 days ago I had my cute little Audio Space
AS-3i integrated tube amp up on new Herbie's Iso-Cups. Wow, best the amp
has ever sounded, try Herbie's everyone. Only now I wanted more so I took
the CDP off its FIM roller balls to try the amp's former footers (also from
Herbie, great stuff Herbie's) under that. Had to rush a bit because was going
to be late for supper.

Well, a ball bearing rolled away behind the rack, natch, but the rack is on
casters. Easy to get behind when the rack is on casters, just pull it out. I did
that. The integrated amp slid right off the glass balls in the Iso-Cups and
down behind the rack. Agh, I tried to grab it but them KT66s were hot, did I
mention the amp was running while I did this. Total drop about 18 inches.
Amp weighs 14.5 kilos.

Oyaide connector on power cord totaled. One KT66 loose in base, maybe the
one I grabbed. Retubed with spare EL34 set, rebiased and switched on. Tubes
heat up but no sound, well, almost none when volume at max.

My guess is the drop pressed the speaker wires up against the chassis
connectors and shorted the output trannies. I just shipped the amp off to the
shop today.

I have nothing, nothing to gain from this dumb act of mine except maybe
learn I have a choice: either practice patience before I act or practice patience
afterward. Great posts from guys above, Mr Man and Stevecham are specially
for me.
Damn those suppers!
Tobias -- ouch! I'm always nervous about my equipment sliding off of the isolation devices I use. I do think that a combination of our enthusiasm to quickly finish the futzing so we can start listening again and/or other things creating a time crunch (supper) lead to these kind of things.
That is a sad story, Tobias. My heart sank when the amp started rolling. You have my hope for a happy (inexpensive) return.

There's another thread in the archives on this same topic, but I couldn't find it. Mostly had to do with with guys zapping themselves. Damn funny thread. Favorite was a member who forgot to let the caps discharge and the voltage knocked him off his chair, caused him some paralysis, too, I believe. Not that any of this is funny, except that his response was something on the order of "had I remembered if was dc I would have reversed polarity and cured myself."
I sold a Dokorder open reel recorder I once had. That was really stupid !!!!!!!!!!!
Rodman, Dgaylin, Calbrs03, many thanks. Calbrs03, will post diagnosis result.

BTW am currently using chip amp where AS-3i was; please, only use a chip amp when you have to.
Not seeing the allen bolt inside a common six - sided nut that Magnepan uses on their binding posts, I took a nut driver to try to tighten down my loudspeaker cables. Came off right in my hand in about 1 second.

As my boss's boss's boss told me when I first started my current job back in 2000, and hung the system for about 2 or 3 hours and Rodman9999 echoed, "The only people who don't make mistakes are the people who don't do anything."
Rules for an aging audiophile tweaker:

(1) It always pays to take your time.
(2) Keep alcohol away when you are doing something with fragile equipment.
(3) It very foolish to have an amp that pushes out 1000W of power, because someday, inevitably, you will do something to blow up your speakers. (Like dropping the stylus, or shutting down something without muting first, or any number of stupid things.)
(4) Use a multi meter to double check continuity whenever you use solder.
(5) Don't trust your memory to remember left from right and + from -. Mark those cables and diagram those jacks.
(6) Double check everything before turning it on.
(7) Measure twice, cut once & use your glasses (if you wear them).
(8) Plan ahead and inventory before you start a project.
(9) If life interfears, like the dinner bell, don't push your luck to rush and finish. Go eat dinner, then come back, or a costly mistake may ensue (with the equipment or the wife or both).
(10) Take your time (did I say that already).
Message to you kind folks who wished my mistreated amplifier well at the shop: fergawdsake, it was the *selector switch*. Amp survived the incident fine in every other way.

I have no idea why the selector went west. It was on the other side from the iceberg.

Rodman99999, Dgaylin, Calbrs03, thanks again :) only four years later 8P
Hmm... I think my issue is more rooted in mental illness than hearing loss.

I have this reoccurring delusion that if I take a a system that produces GOOD SOUND, and then throw money at it via periodic upgrades and tweaks, that the yield will be BETTER SOUND...

What's sad is that, more often than not, the yield IS BETTER SOUND, which in turn reinforces the delusion...

improve your focus and concentration skills by exercising your brain.

how ?? anagrams, brain teasers, math problems and crossword puzzles.

hopefully you will become more observant and eliminate some of the "mistakes: you have mentioned.