Can you damage a cable by plugging it into the wrong socket?

admin_exported

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Testing with some brand new hi end cardas cables.

Very stupidly, I plugged one interconnect from my cd player into the MC bus socket of the pre amp instead of the cd input of the pre amp. Clever i know!

Compounding this, I then took the second output and connected it to the "chain output" of my monoblock, instead of the speaker input.

Anyhow, then I turned it all on, as you do. Some VERY loud popping noises from the speakers and the wrongly connected monoblock turned off.

Having eventually figured out what i did wrong, luckily everything "APPEARS" to be still working properly... i put my ear up to the woofers and tweeters on my speakers and there was still sound coming out, and I couldnt noticeably tell of any degredation in sound quality.

HOWEVER, there was a funny smell emanating from the hi fi area... i was immediately concerned that i had burned out something in the monoblock or the pre, but after some time i can say that the smell comes from the new cables at the input connector.

So i am hoping that nothing is damaged and sometimes new cables smell that way (as it was their very first use, i have no way to compare), maybe because the connectors had a very small amount of cleaning oil on them or something when they left the factory.

What do you guys think????
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Unlikely you've damaged the cable. More likely to have damaged something in pre or monobloc, but if you say all seems well, then all should be fine. Smell could just be from the sheathing on the cable, in the same way that you can smell new paint or plastics for a while.
 

Inter_Voice

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I think you are really lucky. I believe there was a sudden surge in current due to a wrong connection thus causing a lot of heat within a short period of time inside your system. May be the protection circuitry reacted fast enough to avoid a major damage. If everything works as normal as you said I hope the system is okay. Good Luck. :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks Andrew, thanks inter-voice.

Regarding the cable smell, it is definitely a burning type smell rather than just the new smell of plastic. I know this because I had a good sniff of the cables when I first bought them.... you know, new electronics smell... is the smell of victory!!!

On the other hand, the smell when plugged in and switched on, was a bit like the electronic smell when something has burned out.... naturally given my catastrophic cabling skills, my first thought was that I had overheated the monoblock or pre... but sniffing the around them carefully, the smell isnt from the mono at all or the pre as such, just where the rca connectors go in.

I have written to cardas to ask if thats normal, but I have no idea how long a reply will take, so I thought I would ask on here if it can be that new cables can smell this way initially?
 

Andrew Everard

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Could be some damage to the input board on the monobloc, or the board that feeds signal out for 'daisychaining' – if it was the latter, it probably wouldn't affect the performance of the amplifier – or to the control board in the preamp.

I think I'd be contacting the manufacturer of your preamp and monobloc, and asking them what damage you may have done. As I said, it's highly unlikely that you've damaged the cables themselves.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Andrew Everard said:
Unlikely you've damaged the cable. More likely to have damaged something in pre or monobloc, but if you say all seems well, then all should be fine. Smell could just be from the sheathing on the cable, in the same way that you can smell new paint or plastics for a while.
Thanks again, guys, I am going to contact the manufacturer later and see what they say. Will report back.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
As the others have said, that is your amp overheating, not the cables. If you are lucky, a thermal trip will have saved it from permanent damage, and the smell simply highlights that something got very warm momentarily. Sounds like you got full signal from the amp, hence the loud noise from the speakers, and an immediate trip out.

If you are unlucky, something has burned out and will need repairing.

The cables are either fine or melted - there's no middle ground usually!

Hope you have got away with it, and lesson learned without cost!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ok just to let you know, my equipment is from Cyrus and I spoke to the technical support there who were very helpful :clap:

Given what I told him, it is his opinion that my system should be fine and the smell is very likely from the new cables heating up for the first time.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
krlock3 said:
Given what I told him, it is his opinion that my system should be fine and the smell is very likely from the new cables heating up for the first time.
Well they might be right about their amps, but they obviously know zippo about cables, which NEVER "heat up". They might warm up fractionally over a few hours due to conduction from the amplifier, but you only tunred it on for a few seconds.

You accurately detailed the difference between a plasticky cable, and an electrical burning - quite different!

However, if it is all working....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
he may not have used the term heating up, but he thought it could be the new cables nonetheless.
 

Andrew Everard

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krlock3 said:
Given what I told him, it is his opinion that my system should be fine and the smell is very likely from the new cables heating up for the first time.
Pish, tosh and nonsense, frankly.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ok well as I say, I may not have quoted him exactly but he said that the cables can produce this smell at first.

Anyhow, I have also emailed the cable manufacturer and maybe they will come back with an answer as well.
 

Inter_Voice

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Oct 5, 2010
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krlock3 said:
Ok well as I say, I may not have quoted him exactly but he said that the cables can produce this smell at first.

Anyhow, I have also emailed the cable manufacturer and maybe they will come back with an answer as well.
Many years ago I also had used Kardas cable once from new. I did not like the sound as its sound was "fat". However I did not notice any smell on its first use. The explanation is a bit odd to me.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Its possible that as you put the cables in holes that they didn't belong, there was not a good connection. And then on turning the amp a high voltage is produced momentarily that caused arcing between the cable/plug and the socket on the amp and hence the burning smell. This arcing would be short lived however, and I would expect there to be some damage (perhaps slight) to the plug somewhere.

I agree with the others, it is most unlikely to be the actual cable that is smelling.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Dr Lodge said:
Its possible that as you put the cables in holes that they didn't belong, there was not a good connection. And then on turning the amp a high voltage is produced momentarily that caused arcing between the cable/plug and the socket on the amp and hence the burning smell. This arcing would be short lived however, and I would expect there to be some damage (perhaps slight) to the plug somewhere.

I agree with the others, it is most unlikely to be the actual cable that is smelling.
Hi Dr Lodge,

Your explanation makes sense and is most likely i think. The cable manufacturer also said now that they dont expect any burning smell from the cabling.

When you say plug do you mean the RCA connectors on the back of my equipment?

Would you say that there could also be internal damage to my equipment, or that even though everything appears to be working ok, i should get it checked out further?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes, I was referring to the RCA connectors on the back of the equipment, or whatever other connectors you tried to force the cable into :oops:

If everything is working perfectly fine I wouldnt sweat it. If it were me, I'd take a good hard and close look at the connectors to see if I can see where the arcing occurred and hence satisfty myself that it was arcing. Would also take the back of the equipment just to see if there is anything to see...peace of mind really.
 

Andrew Everard

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Yet again, I don't think the suggested arcing due to high voltage is likely to have occured, as neither the MC bus output nor the 'daisychain' output from the power amp is likely to be producing more than a few volts.

And if your equipment is still under warranty I'd advise against taking the back off – or in the case of the Cyrus components removing the base-plates, which are the 'lids' – as doing so will invalidate the warranty, and there is unlikely to be anything much to see anyway.

The likelihood is that the daisychain output may have been damaged, if any lasting damage has occured, in which case you may not notice any problem unless you try to use that output.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks again andrew but it was actually the CD output to the MC bus input on the pre amp

AND

the pre out on the pre amp to the chain output on the mono.

... if you think this could still not produce arcing or not i am not sure.

Not going to open up the boxes in any case... given my evident cabling skills I really think that it would be a bad idea :help:
 

Andrew Everard

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The CD output is only about 2V, but may have overloaded the MC Bus input - is the MC Bus still working?

Preout to chain output may have damaged the chain output section, but as I have said, you won't know unless you try to use the chain output. Sounds like the preout on the preamp is OK, if the system seems to be working fine.

I think the whole arcing thing is irrelevant.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Andrew, I have not tried the MC bus system, but the equipment did come with the cables to allow me to do so therefore I can try it when I get home.

As for the chain output, I do not have any equipment to test this with.

I suppose that what I am worried about is that by whatever I did, something burned and that my equipment is therefore no longer safe, i.e. might catch fire and burn down my house, even though it is working at the moment.

I suppose the only way to be perfectly sure is to send the equipment in for review, although this is a bit of a job as I do not live in the UK.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
krlock3 said:
Hi Andrew, I have not tried the MC bus system, but the equipment did come with the cables to allow me to do so therefore I can try it when I get home.
I don't think you can, unless you have a turntable with an MC cartridge that you haven't told us about. Connecting a line-level output to an MC input is not a smart way to go, unless you want to destroy your speakers.

krlock3 said:
As for the chain output, I do not have any equipment to test this with.
Yes you do. You have two monoblocks, right?
 

Andrew Everard

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tremon said:
I don't think you can, unless you have a turntable with an MC cartridge that you haven't told us about. Connecting a line-level output to an MC input is not a smart way to go, unless you want to destroy your speakers.
MC Bus is the remote control system used to link Cyrus components for one-handset operation.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
krlock3 said:
I suppose that what I am worried about is that by whatever I did, something burned and that my equipment is therefore no longer safe, i.e. might catch fire and burn down my house, even though it is working at the moment.

I suppose the only way to be perfectly sure is to send the equipment in for review, although this is a bit of a job as I do not live in the UK.
What Cyrus SHOULD have suggested was for you to take the unit to your nearest dealer for a thorough test and check.

If this wasn't possible, then a method could have been explained for testing the units yourself.

Cyrus show yet again that they really couldn't care less about their own customers. Their response to you is laughable!
 

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