Computer PS Upgrade (Fuse/IEC/Teflon Cap)


Today I successfully installed a PCB fuse holder into my computer’s power supply. The stock fuse had leads soldered to the ends that were then soldered directly to the PCB. It took careful work with the Dremel to widen the PCB inlets to accept the fuse holder and now I can roll fuses with ease. I’ll soon order an SR Black fuse to replace the stock fuse rated at 6.3 amps/250V (5 x 20mm).

The power supply used only 1 film cap and it was rated at 1uf that was replaced with an unused Aura-T teflon cap that was sitting idle on a shelf. The power supply will help burn in the cap. Hopefully, the cap improves the sound of my generic computer which is my main source of music. There are too many teflon caps currently burning in since the acquisition of a Conrad Johnson 150SE; therefore, it will be difficult to distinguish what exactly is attributing improvements or detriments to my system but I cannot complaint at this point because my system sounds good. Today’s soundstage is more holographic than yesterday’s. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

I noticed that the power supply’s IEC inlet is easily replaceable. It will be replaced by an Oyaide Inlet R that is currently in my modified Running Springs Audio Haley. I plan for the Haley to use the Furutech FI-06 NCF IEC or possibly purchase another Oyaide Inlet R for the computer.

Has anyone else tweaked computer electronics and what was your experience?
c_avila1
I can't say I have done this, but I have to ask 'why'?
Bob
The reason why is because the SR Black fuse is an impressive product that improved the sound stage and imaging each time that I added one to my set up. My set up currently uses one in the DAC and two in the amp and it will soon have one in the power supply of my computer. Its worth a try whether or not it sounds good. Experimenting is what makes this "mod-it-yourself" hobby really fun.   
 Experimenting is what makes this "mod-it-yourself" hobby really fun. 
True.
Let us know what you find.
B
Post removed 
I tweaked the 120vac/19vdc converter/power supply to my system’s laptop. Since a SR Black costs more than my used PS (c/o Ebay), I took it a step further and by-passed the fuse holder completely. There’s a circuit breaker upstream in my balanced power conditioner for emergencies.

Computer sourced music kicks a lot of digital backwash into the audio chain. If you have a laptop, listen to a track via the internal battery vs the connected PS. If a vocalist sounds ‘hard’ or ‘crispy’ when they belt it out (with the PS connected), then digititus is still present. I inserted one of these, ICT PCM-12 ADL, in-line between the laptop and PS. It helped.

Before: 
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/Before%20IEC.jpg
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/Before.jpg
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/Before%20IEC%20Chasis%20View.jpg

After:
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/NFC%20IEC.jpg
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/Complete.jpg
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h162/triggr_357/NFC%20IEC%20Chasis%20View.jpg

The project has been completed with a few changes:
  • The Furutech FI-06 NCF inlet was installed into the computer's power supply instead of the Haley power conditioner. 
  • An Audio Horizons fuse was installed instead of the SR Black fuse.
  • IEC ground wire to pcb was upgraded to 16 awg, solid core, PVC insulated, copper wire. 
  • IEC neutral wire was upgraded to 20 awg, solid core, PVC insulated, silver wire.

Am I able to hear changes or improvements as a result of this project? There is absolutely no doubt about it! This what I hear:

  1. A much blacker background
  2. Sound stage focus
  3. Improved 3 dimensional imaging
  4. More detail
  5. Smooth, much less fatiguing sound
I expected to hate the sound of the rhodium IEC but I'm surprised that the tonality didn't change.

It's possible that this project provided only 1 improvement which is the black background. The sound stage focus, improved 3D imaging, more detail, and smoother sound are by-products of the black background. 
OP, have you tried any of the optimizing programs? I use Fidelizer and was impressed by the improvement in sound quality.
Also, did you record the changes with each upgrade? I'd like to know which ones affected sound quality.
B
Congratulations on your experiments and very positive results! There is a lot that can be done to improve the computer music system. The Synergistic Research Black Fuse will make a real difference and combining that with the Fidelizer software program (which optimizes Windows to play better  music) will give a real sonic change.
The computer is an incredibly electrically noisey device. Adding Synergistic Research Electronic Circuit Transducers (ECT's) to the computer will help diminish this noise.
Good luck on computer tweaking and please keep us posted on your results.

David Pritchard
Thank you fellas for the suggestions. I might try the Fidelizer software and SR ECT. I would like to give a suggestion to other DIY hobbyists to look into using tin or silver plated beryllium copper fuse clips from Littlefuse or Eaton Bussman as shown in the link below: 

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Littelfuse/01210001Z/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMuG%252bgnN5hGYG4hZ9zVrVdsKuNojqsmuQzM%3d

@gdnrbob 4 items were replaced in the second stage of mods so I can't say what exactly provided benefits if any. I think the AH fuse provided at least 85% of the improvement that resulted from this project judging from my previous experience with SR Black fuses.  

I believe I can hear the differences between the AH Platinum fuses vs. the SR Black fuses. The AH fuses are a bit forward sounding (in a good way) and that produces focused / solid images in the sound stage. The SR Black fuses do not sound as dense. The mid range and treble sound "delicate" or "light" (in a good way). Both of these fuses provide improvements to the sound stage and imaging which is very important to me and both of these fuses are in the upper echelon of system tweaks. 

I heard these differences when I first listened to my computer with the new AH fuse and especially after Friday night when I installed 2 AH fuses into my amp.




@c_avila1 
Have you reversed the fuses? Some say it makes a difference. Some say it is a result of better connection. Who knows...
B
I have a Power Supply project on deck fro my PC.  I am ordering an external power supply with the proper voltage outputs and emblicals and will remove the existing internal PS and add the external.  Much lower noise.  A linear, regulated PS.  
OP, I suggest you consider using Audiophile Optimizer on top of Windows--especially Windows Server 2012 R2.  The program is offered with a 2 week trial.  The improvement to sound quality, especially when run in "core" mode, is unmistakeable and wonderful.  There is a sponsored forum about this on Computer Audiophile.