Audiophile Fuses


I have used audiophile fuses for years in various equipment without problem, generally appreciative of sound quality improvement. Recently, I've encountered problems with audiophile fuses blowing in my Coincident Turbo 845SE amplifier. At this point I've had two failures of Synergistic Red Quantum 6.3a 250v sloblo fuses in this amp.

Recently I discovered some interesting information in regard to audiophile fuses at partsconnexion.com website. In the heading above stocked fuses it states, "blow characteristics will differ slightly (due to the different metalurgy of the fuse elements) between commercial grade and audio grade fuses. We can't guarantee that your audiophile grade fuse won't blowout at different in-rush current thresholds than your stock commercial fuse."

They also mention one should check for continuity on fuse prior to installation to insure it will be covered by warranty.

And so, based on my experience, and quoting this message, it seems buyer beware on these fuses. First off, I doubt measuring continuity prior to installation will validate any warranty. How would dealer/manufacturer know whether or not you had installed a blown/defective fuse? Also, it would appear this request to check continuity prior to installation may demonstrate quality control problems as well. Do they not check continuity at the manufacturer and/or dealer? Or are they often damaged in shipment? If so, that is a high level of fragility.

At this point, I would advise caution in using audiophile fuses in high current amplifiers. The disclaimers stated on partsconnexion website demonstrate they've encountered this problem more than a few times. I applaud partsconnexion for they're forthrightness on this issue. Other manufactures/dealers should follow suit.
sns
You may want to read what Roger Modjeski (Music Reference) found when he opened some of the Hi-Fi Tuning fuses. He posted his findings on the Music Reference AudioCircle Forum.
Naim says not to use them and they void the warranty. Hey, often a piece of solid wire will sound better than any fuse and if you're the type that skips wearing seat belts in your car and uses the hair dryer in the tub it may be the best solution.
I have found that the Synergistic Red fuses blow to easily. You may have to go up in value.
How do you the fuse isn't just doing its job? Maybe there's a problem elsewhere.
08-16-15: Bdp24
You may want to read what Roger Modjeski (Music Reference) found when he opened some of the Hi-Fi Tuning fuses. He posted his findings on the Music Reference AudioCircle Forum.
Your hero got booted off AC forum a while ago.

I've been using after market fuses for years and never had one blown. SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic ... Just make sure you buy the right size and type.
Sns,
Have you experienced this problem with other brands of fuses?
I have the Coincident Frankenstein MK II, their Statement Line Stage and the Yamamoto YDA 01 DAC. I've used the Synergistic Research Quantum fuse in these components the past 3 years without any problem. I've found these fuses to be very worthwhile and cost effective given the increase in sound quality that they provide.
Charles,
I think you should check your line voltage and make sure it is 121 V or less. The Turbo is prone to blowing stock 6A fuses if the line voltage is too high. Israel suggests a Variac voltage regulator set to 115 V. He is also OK with a 7A fuse. I would try the 7A fuse first.
I have also used audiophile fuses for many years, around twenty or whenever IsoClean fuses first came out. I also have had the Audio Magic Super fuse that contains liquid. All without any issues. I am also apparently one of the few folks who has actually revised the direction of ordinary bog standard fuses to get better sound. Why it's almost like the industry is stuck in first gear.
so audiophile fuses not precisely measured to the blow current? did you try conventional ones?
I've been using after market fuses for years and never had one blown. SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic ... Just make sure you buy the right size and type.
Knghifi
08-16-15: Knghifi

I had the original OEM fuse in my ARC VT50 power amp for about 17 years and up until then it never blew. That is until a 6550 power tube shorted and luckily the fuse saved the day. After re-tubing the amp I installed another OEM fuse.

I feel safer using the OEM UL Listed Fuse ARC recommends for the amp.

Just curious, are the "SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic" fuses safety tested and Listed by any independent recognized testing laboratory?
.
08-17-15: Jea48
I had the original OEM fuse in my ARC VT50 power amp for about 17 years and up until then it never blew. That is until a 6550 power tube shorted and luckily the fuse saved the day. After re-tubing the amp I installed another OEM fuse.

I feel safer using the OEM UL Listed Fuse ARC recommends for the amp.

Just curious, are the "SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic" fuses safety tested and Listed by any independent recognized testing laboratory?
Funny your brought up ARC ... I use after market fuses in all my components EXCEPT for ARC. Kal concedes after market fuses are higher quality but different timing so might not protect the component as designed.

All other companies such as Kevin Hayes, ... encourage I experiment and report my results. They are NOT KNOW IT ALL ... so gets my business.
Knghifi,

Are the "SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic" fuses safety tested and Listed by any independent recognized testing laboratory?
.
08-17-15: Jea48
Knghifi,

Are the "SR Red, HiFi-Tuning Supreme, Audio Magic" fuses safety tested and Listed by any independent recognized testing laboratory?
Sorry Jea48 I don't know.

Fuses are not too complicated so just upgrading material SHOULD improve performance so I'm comfortable using them.
If I recall correctly Isocleans are UL rate but most aftermarket fuses are not. However, many non UL rated aftermarket fuses sound better than the Isocleans. What are you going to do? Lol
Why is it that when a regular fuse blows, people are concerned about their gear being damaged, but when an audiophile fuse blows, something is wrong with the fuse itself?

Why is it that when a regular fuse blows, people are concerned about their gear being damaged, but when an audiophile fuse blows, something is wrong with the fuse itself?
08-17-15: Zd542
I would be more concerned if the fuse would blow anywhere near its FLA rating, lag time rating, and just as important it's fault current interrupting capacity rating.

If the fuse design has never been tested by an independent testing laboratory who knows how the fuse will react in a real world power circuit.

If this power cord sounded better on your preamp would you feel safe using it?
Do you think it was safety tested and Listed by any independent recognized testing laboratory?
.
To correct an inaccuracy, Roger Modjeski was not "booted off" the AC Forum a while ago, but rather notified readers that he was saying goodbye to it when he moved up to Berkeley and opened his audio engineering school late last year. But let's pretend he was, and ask "So what?". Would that invalidate his findings on the Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, and discussion of fuses in general? Those findings are still on the Forum and available to read, if one so wishes. It's an eye opener.
"If this power cord sounded better on your preamp would you feel safe using it?"

Yes, I would feel safe using it because I didn't fool with the fuses in my preamp.
Audiophile fuses are pure Snake oil! If you hear an improvement, that would be called the Placebo Effect. To each his own.

Yes, I would feel safe using it because I didn't fool with the fuses in my preamp.
08-17-15: Zd542
Are you sure about that?...

The fuse in the preamp provides absolutely squat, zero, ground fault protection for the power cord. The fuse is only there to protect the equipment from an overload, short circuit, or a ground fault larger than the load plus the ground fault. And unless the breaker feeding the branch circuit, the power cord would be plugged into, is not a combination AFCI, (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter), branch circuit breaker your house could burn down in the event of an arc fault.
.
What if the audiophile fuses made the sound worse? Would it still be a placebo, or would the negativity legitimize the results?
A fuse is just a thin piece of wire that goes open if the voltage rating is exceeded . A fuse should not change the sound .So yes if you hear a difference either way ,yes it is a Placebo. If someone hears a difference that's fine with me.A fuse is a fuse is a fuse!
I am having no problems with the Rat Shack 6.3amp fuses in the Turbo. I've never experienced blown audiophile fuses prior to these two in this amp. This includes the Blue Synergistic quantum fuse in my Art Audio Carissa Signature, another high current tube amplifier.

I monitor my AC voltage 24/7. Generally 120-122v. I previously sometimes had up to 125VAC when I was using AA Carissa, no problem with the Synergistic fuse. Apparently, the Turbo has a very high in rush current.

Synergistic has offered to replace my fuse, no charge. They suggest next highest amperage, 8amp (small fuse, slo blo) is next highest value. Replacing 6.3amp with 8amp?

Replacing 6.3amp with 8amp?
08-17-15: Sns

That's a 27% increase. You might want to contact Coincident tech support and ask them about increasing the fuse to an 8 amp slow blow fuse.

Just curious, was the OEM fuse that came with the amp a 6.3 amp slow blow fuse?
.
Jea48,
Correct, 6.3amp slow blow came with amp.

One more thing, I also noticed the Synergistic Red Quantum fuses were slightly smaller diameter than Rat Shack fuses.
I had to pinch contacts on Coincident screw in fuse holder to tightly grab the synergistic fuses.
Hello Sns,
Your system page lists the Art Audio Carissa. Did your Turbo replace the Carissa or do you use both amplifiers and rotate them? Nice choices with either.
Charles,
"A fuse should not change the sound .So yes if you hear a difference either way ,yes it is a Placebo. If someone hears a difference that's fine with me.A fuse is a fuse is a fuse!
Yogiboy (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

You're loosing me here. I consider myself to be more on the subjective side when it comes to audio, but I still consider objective factors, and try to find a balance. Your answers, at least on this topic, are purely subjective. And that's OK. You're allowed to think anything you want. But if you are presenting a different view, I'll need to see at least some factual info, in order for me to agree with you.
Audiophile fuses.
David Hannum said it best.

One more thing, I also noticed the Synergistic Red Quantum fuses were slightly smaller diameter than Rat Shack fuses.
I had to pinch contacts on Coincident screw in fuse holder to tightly grab the synergistic fuses.
Surface area and poor contact pressure can cause heat build up between the fuse ends and the fuse holder clips. The heat generated can cause a fuse to blow even if the high inrush current traveling through the fuse element is within the fuse's designed specs.

Not sure it was a good idea to bend the contacts of the screw in fuse holder to fit the smaller diameter fuse end.
How about the back side, the other end, of the fuse holder contacts? What method is used to make the contact of the smaller diameter fuse? Is the contact connection between the smaller diameter fuse and the fuse holder contact tight or loose?
.
Zd542, Have you ever done a blind listening test with your fuses? Just like the difference with gold and silver plated spades on speaker cable,. I think you will come to the conclusion that it is all just Smoke and Mirrors! But like I said,if you hear an improvement that's great!
Charles1dad,

My systems page needs to be updated, much has changed! The Coincident Turbo was purchased when Art Audio was at tech for power transformer replacement. I should be getting back AA in next week or so. I've also changed out coupling caps (myself) on AA to Jupiter beeswax, copper foil. Should be interesting change from prior Cardas Golden Ratio. Also, interesting comparison to Coincident after these changes. Prior to these changes, both amps had their individual strengths, a different presentation but equally enjoyable. I expect the AA will be improved. I'm also considering changing out coupling caps in Turbo. Israel only recommends the Solen films (same ones Arthur Salvatore used in Frankenstein). I doubt he'll allow any other caps without voiding warranty?

Jea48,
I suspect exactly as you, the reason I bent contacts inside fuse holder. Now, I was only able to adjust contacts on the screw in part that disconnects from amp. My amp is in position such that I don't have access to rear of amp, haven't done anything to contacts within. This could continue to cause issue with next fuse.

I did email Chris Johnson at partsconnexion (where I purchased), he states move to 8amp fuse is an upgrade, ok in any case. I'll have to contact Israel, I doubt he'll approve. I'll also have to further research uprating fuse values, see what the consensus seems to be.
Sns,
Nice situation you have by owning two well regarded 845 amplifiers. I replaced the stock Solens input coupling cap in my Frankenstein with the Jupiter copper foil. It is a worthwhile improvement but not a "night/day" difference. Cost effective it certainly is. Given my success with the Synergistic Research Quantum fuses I may try their Red fuses one day.
Charles,
"08-18-15: Yogiboy
Zd542, Have you ever done a blind listening test with your fuses? Just like the difference with gold and silver plated spades on speaker cable,. I think you will come to the conclusion that it is all just Smoke and Mirrors! But like I said,if you hear an improvement that's great!"

You completely missed my point. You're referencing things like placebo and blind testing. That's fine, but in order for those terms to have meaning, they need to be used properly. And the only way that happens is if you conduct a test and get some type of results. You haven't done that. You're guessing. You assume the placebo effect is in play here, and you're guessing what the outcome of a double blind test will be. You also seem to be getting frustrated with me because I'm not taking your guesses at face value. For that, I make no apologies.

"08-18-15: Yogiboy
Zd542, Have you ever done a blind listening test with your fuses? Just like the difference with gold and silver plated spades on speaker cable,."

You haven't done so either. And remember, these are your claims, not mine.

If you like, conduct whatever test you feel appropriate to compare the sound differences between fuses, and post the results, along with your testing method. Then I'll go buy the same fuses and try the same test myself.
Zd542, Why do you think I'm getting frustrated with you? The only test is in the listening. How do you know that I have not done listening with different brand fuses? A fuse at the same rated value will measure the same. I just do not understand what the problem is ? Have you used fuses and found a difference?
I can't figure out what you are talking about. You keep changing.

"The only test is in the listening."

You said that if you hear a difference its just the placebo effect.

"How do you know that I have not done listening with different brand fuses?"

I don't.

"A fuse at the same rated value will measure the same."

What are we measuring? This is a new topic.

"I just do not understand what the problem is ? Have you used fuses and found a difference?"

Well, as long as I have the same opinion as you, there is no problem. You won't allow for anything else.
Blind tests like any tests prove nothing. They are only data points. Especially if results are negative. Sorry about that.
Zd542,

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Jea48,

Thanks. I always wanted to know how to do that. Normally, I would do something like this if I wanted to quote you.

"Web addresses must start with http."

Is this right?

[Web addresses must start with http.] And I would now type my reply as I'm doing here.

If the above is right, I get the part about shrinking it. Thanks again.
Zd542,


Thanks. I always wanted to know how to do that. Normally, I would do something like this if I wanted to quote you.


[quote]
Thanks. I always wanted to know how to do that. Normally, I would do something like this if I wanted to quote you.
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http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?htech&1439749162&openflup&37&4#37

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