I am reading this thread while still shaking after just having blown out the right woofer of my three month old Ethera vitae speakers (www.ethera.com). I have a Moon i-5 integrated amp and a Musical Fidelity CD player, as well as a tape deck, arranged on top of a wooden entertainment cabinet (TV/DVD, wired into the amp for improved sound).
I'm in Ottawa where the air is dry right now, and I've had two or three incidents, prior to this killer one, where the static I was carrying cause the Moon to temporarily kill any music that was playing, only to have it kick back in after turning the volume control up or down a couple of times.
I thought that this was a minor inconvenience but to be on the safe side, I asked the owner of the high end store for advice on static. He gave me very basic advice - ground yourself before touching the amp or CD player, the latter aparently being more sensitive. I therefore started touching the tape deck, which is rarely powered up and which sits on top of the CD player, to remove the charge (similar to touching a rack presumably?). I was in the process of doing this tonight, while the TV was playing through the speakers, when the charge I was carrying was grounded through either the CD player or the tape deck (I can't be sure which). There wasn't a larger shock than usual but there was a bit of a "whump" and the red error light on the amp came on and the sound died. I tried my usual trick to get the system going - it wasn't working. Then I started smelling an electrical burning smell. It was getting stronger - I thought the amp was burning up inside and saw whisps of smoke around the amp. I immediately unplugged it but then saw that the smoke was coming out the grill of my speaker!
And that's my experience with static. Could I have done more? Should the shop owner have known that static can do this and, given that his shop is in Ottawa with winter temperatures reaching -30C, should he have been more proactive with ideas such as antistatic spray/Bounce sheets given the catastrophic possibilities? How do I stand with warranties - is anyone liable?
Thanks for reading this. Any comments/advice - I feel sick!....:(