Yow! Technical Service Disasters!!

- an ongoing service journal of interesting, humorous, and devastating technical surprises describing just a few of the machines we get in and try to repair. Sometimes, these units just end up getting recycled!

Also, there are some funny posts that are Musician or Music related.

Better yet, why not start at the beginning and work your way up - through the years!


January 13, 2023:

UGH! Electrolytic Capacitor Leakage! Good luck cleaning up that conductive "goo!" Lots of electrical crosstalk there... --marty


May 26, 2022:


Who does this? That is just plain LAZY! --marty


November 18, 2021:


Oh, HELL NO! -marty


May 02, 2021:


Not bad rework.... however, next time try not using your feet to solder! -marty


July 19, 2020:


I guess a little piece of heatshrink for the vibrato unit was out of the question? -marty


April 11, 2019:


"Now,... Be honest.... did you replace the fuse with the correct one?..." -marty


September 17, 2018:


Fool me once, etc... -marty


December 29, 2018:


There it is! -marty


August 06, 2018:


OMG! Every freakin' potentiometer.... -marty


May 10, 2017:


Based on the accumulation of dust on the speaker terminals, I am to assume it left the factory this way ---- assembled on either a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.... -marty


April 18, 2017:


Uh... No... No. No! No!! NO!!! NO!!!! -marty


March 11, 2017:

There it is! -marty


November 02, 2016:

This one came in just after Halloween - Trick or Treat! -marty


October 16, 2016:

(This is Satire - of course...)

I am truly amused by the shallowness of what overpaid "creative" marketing executives come up with. It is pathetic to assume that the life of an ACTUAL working musician is "all that." The slogan "Not A Good Idea Folks..." was added to this image AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN on the original ad - you know, to show that drinking alcoholic beverages to the point of spilling them all over your brand new amp may say you've had just a little too much. I DO NOT understand why clueless and irresponsible corporate minions believe that alcoholism and abusing new equipment is okay as to promote products based on their ignorant and distorted convictions of what contemporary "Rock and Roll" is. -marty


May 05, 2016:

Wow! Pedalboard by "Ralph (aka: The Wolf Counsel)" - That is what I was told... -marty


March 22, 2016:

Every once-in-a-while, I'll get an amp with a "roach" infestation! -marty


September 9, 2015:

Not one but TWO?!? Both in the same month!! Not sure but I think mice - Luckily, these residences had been vacant for a while.... -marty


August 11, 2015:

Really? Why? No-one ever thinks about us who have to repair this mess someday... wanna see more goop? -marty


April 26, 2015:

Well, that's another way to "repair" a speaker - just tape it up!... See June 10, 2005 -marty


January 6, 2015:

Friends, Cajole.... Enough with the creative fuse replacements! (See May 27, 2007 : February 04, 2005 : May 02, 2003): -marty


November 15 , 2014:

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a brass wood screw with it's head "ground" off... -marty


March 12 , 2014:

THE BEST T EVER !!! -marty


April 06, 2012:

What a mess! Beer spill to the max! -- yet, this amplifier kept working through the gig until a tube finally blew it's top! -marty


December 9, 2011:

Wait!... Is that a shoe print? How the hell?!?.... This was found between the front panel and pcb of an ARP Avatar. -marty


August 2, 2011:

Man! Good thing that wire twist caught that piece! Can you imagine what could have happened if this little conductive part did a dance across the high tension? - or even the bias shorting to ZERO Volts? Yeesh! - Gives me a feeling of unease thinking about it! -marty


June 21, 2011:

It really cracks me up to see that someone went through the trouble and time of drilling more holes into a chassis to provide the extra security of over-tube spring retainers. I guess using the existing holes and screws for the original retainers wasn't an option? -marty


March 13, 2011:

(note found through letter slot) "Hey Marty! Thought you might like this stuff - none of it works though... Mr. F.B."

Yep! We love junk! Thank you Mr. F.B.! -marty


October 31, 2010:

How-zat for coincidental! Here it is, Halloween and I find this message on the inside-bottom panel of a DX-7IIFD! Kinda' creepy - looks cursed... Mr. D.J.P. graphically claims that he is/was the owner of this synth. I'm scared to even work on it.... (BTW - his actual name and phone number were blurred for privacy) -marty


October 06, 2010:

BLECH! - even our tech is a little squeamish about RATS! -marty


August 17, 2010:

Poor little guy - Can easily survive a nuclear holocaust BUT NOT Rock and Roll! -marty


May 24, 2010:

Not getting enough crunch? Why not permanently install a load resistor at the speaker jack so you can drive the original vintage output transformer into oblivion... -marty


February 19, 2010:

Customer had explained this unit was used to play classical music that would ease tensions between animals in a barn. Moo & GiddeeeYyuuup... -marty


January 22, 2010:

"Well, let's see... I'm too lazy to remove the pcb to access the foil pattern so... I'll just drill a hole on the chassis in that general area on the other side.... --- WHOOPS!! The bit slipped!"

Seeing this makes me wonder if there are Darwin Awards for hacknicians! -marty


September 16, 2009:

This WAS a Roland Jupiter 8 digital PCB. -marty


June 11, 2009:

Hmmm... I got it! "If the screw fits..." No? OK, here's a better one: "If the screw DOES NOT fit, you must uh... quit?" -marty


March 9, 2009:

OK, I have been racking my brain on this one --- it is kind of like, well, I need to get input from others about picture captions or something. I mean, I some-what understand what could have happened here but HUH?!? -marty


January 13, 2009:

"yeah, I installed a great mod I read about on a blog but I don't think it works right -- my volume and tone controls don't do anything and It makes a whole bunch of noise when turn the knobs..."


November 18, 2008:

FYI - You cannot solder leads directly to a battery anode or cathode terminal cap folks... -marty


July 5, 2008:

Jeeeezzz! - WHY!?! -marty


April 17, 2008:

This ferrite ring mod (yellow arrows) courtesy of Anal-Audio Inc. -marty


January 11, 2008:

This one has got to be my all time favorite! -marty


November 7, 2007:

I have to give this tech some props. When a replacement PCB is not available, well... ya' do whatcha' gotta' do. -marty


August 29, 2007:

Not a technical disaster but would definitely save a musical one. If this pedal really exists, I NEED ONE TOO! -marty


May 27, 2007:

COME-ON FOLKS! STOP IT ALREADY!! (see journal entry February 4, 2005 & May 2, 2003) -marty


December 12, 2006:

OK... I won't? -marty


July 31, 2005:

The yellow arrow shows how a capacitor will sometimes commit "capa-cide." -marty


February 13, 2005:

It appears someone does not approve of any tinkering to their "scary-great modifications"... -marty


October 17, 2005:

Man! I would've loved to have been at that gig!! (by the way, the manufacturer covered this under warranty!) -marty


June 10, 2005:

Well, I give this guy an A+ for creativity. Yes, that is a metal hole plug. -marty


February 4, 2005:

(sigh...) ---Here we go again... (see journal entry May 2nd, 2003) -marty


September 22, 2004:

Wow. I guess that new years eve party really got out of hand! One would think "Aw, just brush it off." - not when the glitter is mixed with multiple showers of sparkling wine! (yes, it is all over the console!) . -marty


April 24, 2004:

"Uhhh....Can I get this fixed under warranty?" ---Uhhh, No... -marty


November 16, 2003:

What the heck!?! What is the light-blue stuff here and why is it all over the input level potentiometers? I was told by this customer that this unit was installed in the kitchen of a restaurant. I guess the cooks may have got a bit overzealous with the cake frosting. Maybe they wanted a "sweeter" sound -- (I know, bad joke...) -marty


May 2, 2003:

Ya' gotta' wonder why manufacturers bother to silk screen the fuse rating on the back panel of a machine. Also, ya' gotta' wonder what logical sequence goes through the mind of a person who thinks that if the fuse keeps blowing, the fault HAS TO BE THE FUSE- RIGHT? I mean, why not just wrap foil around it, re-install it, turn the power on and HEY!! == It's the 4th of July all over again - and again! -marty


January 29, 2003:

YUCK!! Got in a mixer with intermittent channel issues that was covered with cat or dog hair! The customer who owns the unit said that his CAT sleeps on the face of it. He told me that HIS CAT is VERY CLEAN and has always slept on it and doesn't believe this would have caused any failures. Check out the underside of the faceplate! -- Uh, Really? PET PEE-PEE!! Sometimes, I wonder why I get talked into taking these units in.... I knew I "smelled" trouble. -marty


July 12, 1999:

This has to be the largest ribbon cable replacement recall imaginable! As you can see, they filled an entire trash can! . -marty


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