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
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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.  
I recently purchased a new computer and performed the basic fuse mod where I installed a copper alloy fuse block and the new SR Blue fuse. This was definitely an upgrade. Background noise has dropped, images are slightly more 3D, and improved image focus. The fuse block that I used is shown in the link below:

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/littelfuse-inc/65600001009/WK6245-ND/653441

I plan to replace a pair of .47uf ps filter caps with 1uf Aura-T teflon caps in the near future.
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Post removed 
Be careful replacing power supply caps. They often require unusually high duty cycles. Basically they can overheat a cap, even when you match the required voltage and farads.

Best,

E
@jim204 Are the RFI clamps actually called ferrite chokes? Please confirm because that is an easy and inexpensive "trick" to improve PC audio. I'm might have to test that soon. 
Hi Avila yes they are also known as ferrite chokes and should set you on the road to a much better sound from your PC. One thing I found wery strange thoug I now can't get a signal from my mobile in this room now. Must be the RFI suppression I suppose comming off the clamps.
I installed several ferrite beads / chokes / clamps and they actually lowered the noise floor. I'm sure that I wouldn't need beads with a better pc power supply.
Hi Avila I have a very expensive 1 Kw power supply for my pc and the clamps still make a difference. Do remember a computer is an inherently
noisy device and the fans are contributing to that noise. I have water cooling on my machine but there is still a motor circulating the water. For all they cost I would just leave then in.
I also have installed water cooling on each of the two systems I've built for my personal use over the last year.  In one machine, its an NZXT Kracken 62 cooler, in the other machine, it's a Corsair h100i V2.  After I had installed the first one, and experienced the silence (and much cooler CPU temps) I had to run out and get one for my other system.  I hadn't thought of any new EMI/RFI noise that might be generated from the pump, but as long as we're on the topic of ferrite chokes and RFI clamps for reducing noise, it sounds like several of you have tried them with success?
I recently installed a fanless HDPlex 400W HiFi DC-ATX power supply. The reduction in noise definitely provided an improvement to my overall enjoyment of my system.
One case fan was removed when I installed the HDPlex PS. My computer currently has one exhaust case fan, one CPU cooler fan, and one fan for the GTX 1060 video card for a total of 3 fans.

The computer previously used 5 fans that included an intake fan and the power supply fan. The removal of 2 fans has helped drop the noise pollution significantly.
I also recently installed a fanless power supply to my PC and have to say it has also been a very good investment. I have also left a link to an E Bay site for a company that makes products for cleaning up noise in the PC.These products provide clean power to the fans , hard drives and PCI slots. Each of these pieces give an amazing drop in noise especially the ones for the fans. They come from China but don't let that deter you as they usethe best of caps in them. Do give them a try . https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Elfidelity-4-Pin-FAN-Power-Noise-Filter-for-PC-Isolation-HiFi-Power-Purif...
I use a similar fan filter from SOtM for the exhaust fan.

Check out the link below. I posted about a USB card that tremendously upgraded my computer audio system.
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/jcat-femto-usb-card