Aftermarket Fuses


Can I set the ground rules up front?? I hope so. There are two camps. One who can hear different audible reproduction using aftermarket fuses. The second camp can not justify in theory, or can not hear a difference in fuses. Fine. I respect both camps. Can we hold this discussion to those who can hear an audible difference in fuses?? Can we? If so, what is your choice in aftermarket fuses and describe, please, what you hear.
imgoodwithtools
The only times I heard any improvement by changing a fuse was when I added higher-rated ones to speakers for protection. But the best sound was NO fuse (living dangerously!).
I’ve used various models of Hifi-tuning fuses, isoclean and synergistic research sr20, black and Blue fuses.

They all improve the sound in a similar way to upgraded mains cables, but even more so.
The Synergistic research black and Blue fuses are a good step ahead of the others I’ve tried. 
 have a theory that the real improvement is the fact that the aftermarket fuses really are just higher rated fuse material.

The reality is any next higher rated fuse in the place of the OEM one does often make the equipment sound better.
So the aftermarket $$$ are really just doing the same thing. Giving  higher rated fuse in place of the original one.
And that alone is 90% of the reason aftermarket fuses 'sound better'.
Now, is there anybody willing to test their $100+ fuse past it’s rated load?

Im not sure that they would be higher ratings, after all, that has the potential to cause fire or even death, which means a serious lawsuit.
I've only dealt with three different fuse brands: HiFi Tuning Silver Stars,
PADIS and now, Brimar. The Brimar, by a very large margin, bettered the other two. They sound like there's no fuse in the way of the music, just like the claims of the SR Black and Blue fuses. They even have similar treatment (cryo treatment and Quantum treatment) as the SR fuses, but lack any use of graphene, and go for the princely sum of $35 apiece. 

And, they do not exceed the recommended values of the fuses they replace and I get much better sound.

All the best,
Nonoise

elizabeth
I have a theory that the real improvement is the fact that the aftermarket fuses really are just higher rated fuse material.

>>>>>Sorry, but that theory can’t be right since at least some of them like Audio Magic Beeswax and the Gold Bussman fuses are simply modified stock fuses. Furthermore, higher ratings mean the fuse won’t blow when it should blow. In fact, it appears some aftermarket fuses are lower rated based on the number of reports of premature blown fuses. Nice try though! Now, if you had said that aftermarket fuses use purer and or better conductors then we’d be getting somewhere.
My experience of after-market fuses is that they do make a difference, some more than others.

My first experience was with Furutech Rhodium fuses, probably something like ten years ago now. They definitely made the sound more "metallic" which is an odd adjective to use I know, but the only way I can describe it. They stripped out the warmth. I went back to Busmann gold-plated fuses till about 18 months ago.

Then I read all the fuss about Synergistic Research Black fuses, so I gave them a try. I'll be honest, they didn't make much difference. Nothing sounded any worse, so I kept them.

About three months ago I bought a number of Synergistic Research Blue fuses, again purely on hype reviews. These definitely have made an audible difference. In my system at least, there's a lot more bass, and somehow the presentation of the music generally has more depth, better sound-staging I guess you'd call it. I like the effect they have, and over time I'll probably switch some of my Blacks for Blues as funds permit. I'd also encourage others to try them on their televisions as I have done, they also improve the picture quality.

I think it's worth saying that fuses aren't going to miraculously transform your system. They won't. But they do help, or at least have "an" effect. It's like all tweaks - some you'll like/value, others you won't. But they have at least got me in front of my speakers much more in the past few months, and that ultimately is what a good hobby should be, something you actually spend time doing.

To anyone who says all after-market fuses are snake oil, I'll happily prove you wrong if you happen to live in the south of England. Every single sound that comes out of my speakers is generated from electricity that has passed through a fuse at some point. So if you can accept that interconnects make a difference, and I think the vast majority on pages like this can, then open your mind to the fact that fuses are just other interconnects, and that their construction can have an effect on the output of a system. My system is living proof, as are many others on these pages.

I would put Audio Horizons at top of my list in terms of improving sound. Seemed to get rid another layer of imperceptible noise (until that noise is gone) so cleaner and more natural.
So much was written it the three threads that oregonpapa started regarding the SR Red, Blue and Black fuses that I'll bet the big hitters are worn out from posting.
Not to hijack the thread, but there is an obvious difference with CIRCUIT BREAKERS: less internal resistance, better sound. Since internal resistance tends to be a monotonically decreasing function of current rating, it is a simple trade-off: more safety, less sound VS less safety, more sound.

Physics supports this conclusion. Respecting the guidelines of the OP, I will say no more.
The 700+ post thread on Synergistic fuses was taken down for awhile. I now see it's back up with some posts removed.

I currently have four aftermarket fuses in house: the Audio Magic Ultimate Beeswax fuse and the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuse, along with a Synergistic Research Blue and Black fuse. I plan to post my impressions of all four after I'm confident in what I'm hearing.

Here is a teaser, however. I do not find that the Synergistic Blue fuse totally trumps the Black fuse. I hear some merits both ways.
Geoff says
"In fact, it appears some aftermarket fuses are lower rated based on the number of reports of premature blown fuses. Nice try though! Now, if you had said that aftermarket fuses use purer and or better conductors then we’d be getting somewhere."

Purer and better conductors = premature blown fuses?  Wouldn't the purer and better conductor result in less resistance and heat and not blow?
jetter
Geoff says
"In fact, it appears some aftermarket fuses are lower rated based on the number of reports of premature blown fuses. Nice try though! Now, if you had said that aftermarket fuses use purer and or better conductors then we’d be getting somewhere."

to which Jitter replied,

Purer and better conductors = premature blown fuses? Wouldn't the purer and better conductor result in less resistance and heat and not blow?

>>>>>But didn’t say purer and better conductors = premature blown fuses. You did. There are any number of reasons for prematurely blown fuses, for both aftermarket AND stock fuses. What I actually said was the reason aftermarket fuses sound better is purer and better conductors, among other things obviously. You know, as opposed to higher fuse ratings. Follow?



 Back to the original subject. Has anyone compared the Brimar to the Synergistic Research Black or Blue fuse? Which sounds better and in what way?


The Brimar’s are out of my price bracket, but in the two locations I’ve tried both the SR Blue and the Audio Magic Ultimate Beeswax, a DirectStream dac and P10 regenerator, I’ve liked the latter far more. In fact, I found, and still find, the Ultimate transformative, something I didn’t expect and have not experienced with other fuse changes over the years. I recently posted a relatively full comparison of the Blue and Ultimate on What’s Best forum fuses thread. What I'm trying to figure out now, before spending more, is whether a change is worth it in a pair of subs. I just posted a new topic under Speakers asking about that.
Synergistic blue gives more dynamics and a more open sound.The best in my system for sure.
@highstream 
Are you sure the Brimar fuses are out of your price bracket? They are only $35 apiece, far below the $150 for the SR Blue and farther still below the Beeswax fuses. Maybe you were thinking of another brand?

All the best,
Nonoise
I was thinking of the $400 Brimar black fuse, which is special order and not listed on its website. At least in Hong Kong, the black is considered the top level audiophile fuse, better than the SR Blue (which I found bettered by the beeswax Ultimate). The Brimar is discussed a bit with photos on the audiophile fuse thread of What’s Best forums, starting at post 522 - http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?453-Audiophile-Fuses&p=497752&highlight=brimar#...
That’s interesting. Both the $400 Brimar Black fuse, graphene one assumes heh heh, and the implication that Hong Kong is the new Paragon of sound. 😳
@highstream 
Thanks for the link. Looks like Brimar is stepping up their game a bit. 
By the by, the regular $35 fuse is quite something on it's own and maybe the equal of some of the more expensive ones out there.

All the best,
Nonoise
It’d be nice if there were a simple, efficient, low cost way to compare burned in fuses, especially given the cost differentials.