Thanks for this. I will contact Audio Horizons tomorrow to get some of these. I have the Synergistic Research and I'm always up for something that will improve the system for less than $500!!!
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Geoffkait and Bazza:
I have a Platinum Reference on the way. I will install it in the PS Audio Power Plant 300, which powers my integrated amp and CD player. I should be able to tell the difference reasonably easily, I think.
My Shunyata ZiTron A digital power cord will arrive tomorrow and then the Platinum Reference will arrive on Friday, so I'll have time in between the time the power cord arrives and the time the fuse arrives to notice the impact. I've been in the Whats best forum and many posters without outstanding systems have had great success with the Platinum Reference.
The most exciting part of all this is that, instead of changing amps ($$$$) and speakers ($$$$$$$) and preamps ($$$$$$), we can make considerable improvements with fuses. For me, its the little things that then allow us to choose the bigger things later on. If a fuse improves a line conditioner and we have out equipment plugged into it, then that's a more pragmatic approach than to go out and spend 20K on an amp, or speakers, or preamp, or source. Changing out my speakers to go to Nola's KO speaker for 10K (which I don't have to spend) makes more sense AFTER I am sure that the wall outlet, star grounded topology and electricity are as completely invisible as they can be. It makes it easier - not to mention more correct in my conclusions - to THEN upgrade everything else.
Geoffkait, tell me about the Audio Magic fuse. I don't know about that. When did it come out and what does it cost and what have you noticed about its effects?
Whatever the case, between the Shunyata ZiTron A Digital Cobra power cord (which Gabriel Caelin, who is posting these days on the What's Best Forum and says the A Digital is going to be superior on say, a CD player, than even a ZiTron Anaconda cord) and the fuse will no doubt advance the system's sense of musicality thru more dynamic inflection and the (required) lower noise floor. I have one of Entreq's units as well, as the piece is astounding, especially for the price. I currently have the Silver Minimus (prefer to start with a smaller investment) and I can tell you it is worth its weight in gold. The more I lower my noise floor, the more music comes thru. The bigger things will take care of themselves.
GbMcleod, this is the blurb from Audiogon ad for the new improved Audio Magic Fuse. I have the Super Fuse in my Woo Audio WA6 SET headphone amp. My system is open, detailed and dynamic sounding with outstanding bass performance.
"The Audio Magic Super Fuse is the quietest fuse on the market today, but we just made it quieter with our new inner double core. This fuse still has liquid anti vibration control with our emi and rf suppression, as well as a second core with a stronger emi and rf component, we then coat the glass with a proprietary coating that eliminates inner static discharge as well as 100% blocks noise from getting into the fuse. Last but not least we apply our nano streaming process which makes the end caps and element become much better conductors. This fuse will behave like a normal fuse and is very safe to use."
I've tried several after-market fuses, but when I find one that piques my interest, I usually obtain it first, rather than try something else that someone else likes or knows about. I'm sure the Audio Magic is great, and I may try it - after the Platinum Reference has gone thru its paces.
Bazza hasn't mentioned how long a period it was before he felt the fuses were completely optimally functioning, so I'll have to do that myself first.
So…I've had the Audio Horizons for 7 weeks now, and the results have been very good. BUT…
I found the Audio Horizons to be a great fuse, but the only place I installed it was in my PS Audio Power Plant, which powers my phono stage and the integrated amp that's in there right now.
I did think the Audio Horizons was a great fuse even without being compared to other fuses.
But, just for the heck of it, I put back in the AMR fuse, which, frankly, I'd never been high on. In the Power Plant, at least, it was better than the Synergistic fuse that had been in there, but I wasn't knocked out by it (the AMR).
I played several albums, one a Speaker Corners Mercury Living Presence album reissue (Paul Paray), the new Beatles mono reissue of the White Album, and an old Barbra Streisand ("People") album from 1962.
After adjusting the VTF on my recent Clearaudio Concerto this morning, I played the Streisand album, and found, on one cut in particular, "Love is a Bore," that the frenetic, over-the-top manic style of this cut, was rather sup rising. The AMR reproduced the drive (similar to the West Side Story soundtrack lp) and percussive punch of the cut, which I hadn't played in years. So, I listened to the next cut, "Don't like Good byes." The opening guitar had a woody resonance to it, and very good immediacy, as well as, in both songs, Streisand's clear talent for interpreting and acting out in her songs (think of "Don't Rain on My Parade.")
Well, I thought, lets put in the Audio Horizons. But first, a clarification: the AMR had a WA Quantum fuse on it, the Audio Horizons did not. So, I replayed the same two cuts (intending to replay the AMR again afterwards, because I'm like that. Test. Retest. Re-retest.) and found that the Audio Horizons did not reproduce the energy of the AMR-equipped system. The high were the same, but the "aliveness" of the soundstage was not, compared to the AMR. And the opening guitar on "Don't Like Goodbyes" was flatter, with less "presence." Could this be upper midrange glare. I guess it could've been, but the glare was actually on the Audio Horizons fuse, not on the AMR.
Well, this left me non-plussed, given I'd spent $137 on the Audio Horizons and had been using it for 7 weeks. So, I thought, wait: it's not a fair comparison with the WA Quantum fuse on the Audio Horizons, but at this point, the AMR was more emotionally involving, even when I was reading a magazine. One of my tests is to read a magazine while listening (when testing something out). If I can read and not be pulled back to the music, then, whatever else the virtues of the component under test, it is not emotionally involving enough to pull me away from reading). The AMR had passed the test.
So, pulled a WA Quantum fuse off an SR fuse, stuck it on, put it in, and lowered the tonearm to the cut.
Nope. The Audio Horizons sounded better, but the bongo in "Love is a Bore" had none of the jungle rhythm that is so reminiscent of 50s and 60s movies (or Rita Hayworth's dance in "Lady from Trinidad). It was good, but the bongo was lighter in weight, and it sounded as though the player was not feeling very energetic. Without the comparison, it would've been fine, but having heard the AMR? No. Same with "Don't Like Goodbyes." Guitar player must've been playing the bongos here: he wasn't strumming with his usual (AMR-equipped) verve.
So, back in goes the AMR. Down goes the tonearm. Holding my breath here.
BAM! The song comes in at a locomotive pace. Bongo player took Geritol between the fuse changes. The guitar was back, strumming me softly with his song (yeah, I know it's "killing," thank you very much).
The Beatles album was good with both fuses, but it does not depend on manic energy in the way that Streisand's song did.
The Audio Horizons seems less "punchy" in the lower mids than the AMR, and seems to handle R&B rhythms less well, but otherwise, is very clean and clear.
No recommendations here. Just my observations. When I got the Audio Horizons, I was pleased with it, but what is most interesting is that eventually, I had put the AMR into the PS Audio and forgot I did it. I'll listen some more, since it's an easy change, but as an evolving story, this is where it's at now.
Wow, I had NOT looked at Bazza's initial post before I posted this, although it IS what caused me to buy the fuse in the first place. It seems that he, too, heard the lack of emotional involvement in the fuse in certain applications.
Conversely, he found it better in his PS Audio (a newer version that mine) than I did, but I wasn't "testing" it before. I just happened to find the Audio Horizons fuse in a box with my Audio Tekne interconnects, which I'm about to put into the system, and, since I had forgotten where I put the bad with the AH and the Hi Fi Supreme fuses I had, I just looked at it, and immediately though, "I wonder if…" which is what led to this test.
Since I haven't tried it in my ASL Hurricanes (the amps need a different value fuse, and I'm not buying more AH fuses just to test them out), I can't say, but one thing's clear: fuses are not "system-dependent" as much as they are "component"-dependent. Good to know for all those planning on fuse swapping.