Back story. I find the prices of Synergistic fuses extortion. Like someone charging $100 for a cup of water in the desert. The product may have value as a tweak, the materials do not justify the price to me.
However, ever the tweaker, I succumbed to buying a $40 Furutech 20mm 4 amp fuse for my preamp.
It’s rhodium plated OFC.
I tried it in both directions. Yes, it sounded more coherent in one direction than the other. I ran it for about 10 hours.
I did not like the sound. Etched and dry with reduced bass. I swapped back the original.
Thanks. Everything makes an impact on sound. Mats, spikes, cones, wood of different types, brass, aluminum, cable, tubes, humidity, foam, dirty power, mood ... list is endless! And it's not always good.
So you found that you can spend $40 for something that sounds worse than the $1 factory fuse. Yet you think $150 for a Blue Quantum Fuse that makes a bigger improvement than a lot of $500 power cords is a ripoff.
Oh wait. You don't know that. Because you haven't even tried one.
Awful strong opinion to be based on.... nothing.
You say the SR fuse parts don't justify the price. Very interesting. So what exactly are the parts? Since you know so much I mean. About the fuse you've never seen. Or heard.
I should have known that it would sound the way it did. Rhodium is like that. I have power cords with the same sonic signature but to a lesser extent than the fuse. Maybe their gold one would sound better in mine. The rhodium could certainly tip a yellow or warm rig back to a more nuetral colorless color if you will.
@elizabeth Indeed. Me too. Years ago, I moved a turntable from a temp location on a concrete floor to a lovingly built oak table. The SQ deteriorated so badly it was horrific. Yet when I added granite underneath, it was almost back to where it was. I was amazed. I am sure the Synergistic fuses may do as they claim but I do not feel happy about value for money.
I heard that wax filled fuses sound good. So do fuses with a wrap of masking tape or PTFE. I'm going to try the latter. My guess is the fuse and/or fuse wire is oscillating at the power frequency due to its construction much like a guitar string. Further resonances then dirty the power. Perhaps the expensive fuses are filled with graphene.
Please be aware that the Furutech rhodium fuses require a very long time to burn in (around 200-300 hours). After 10 hours, you are already in the "painful" stage. Keep the fuse in the preamp for another 10-15 days and then do critical listening. It will actually go through several changes. That being said, I think a 4A fuse is probably way too much for a preamp. I would not put in more than a 2A, but I don't know your current preamp model.
The idea with long burn-in is if you can get the poor sap to put up with your crap component for 100 hours by then he's gone through so much crap for so long cognitive dissonance (I'm not stupid, I'm not wasting my time, I'm not THAT guy!) kicks in and he'll cling to ANY improvement as justification and hang onto his mistake. Er, I mean component.
In reality every really good component sounds good right out of the box. Not great. Good. Then it sounds a whole lot better WITHIN MINUTES. Then it sounds great within hours- the same day. If its "painful" at 10 hours its not a component. Its crap.
Cognitive dissonance. Its a thing. Knowledge is power. Look it up.
It should sound better right away and only GET better as it "burns in".
The ONLY items I ever purchased new and hated and returned were a set of copper speaker cables which just sounded excessively bass heavy and muffled right from the get go. Asked the manufacturer who suggested I let them burn in longer.
The general view of the Audiogon members was the same as mine, if it did not sound right to start with there was little hope it was going to improve drastically. So back they went.
I am always wary of these 200 to 300 hour claims of burn in especially with a 30 day return policy, do I need to add 2 and 2 for you......
I can certainly understand if someone doesn’t get good results right away because the fuse will not sound right if it’s out in backwards. And since fuses are generally not marked for direction there is no way of knowing which way is the right way without evaluating both directions. Hi Fi Tuning a long time advised that no matter which direction is chosen the fuse will burn in and somehow turn into the correct direction over time. But now Hi Fi Tuning and everyone else knows better.
Uber, Miller, I agree with you both. Love at first sight! That’s why it’s being relegated to the other rig. Trust me, the ten hours I gave this were enough. However some things do need burn in. Brand new tubes which sound a little closed in open up, a new cartridge, speakers, a Hemi V8... It’s also one reason why I won’t pay for expensive stuff where I do not feel there is value. Geoff, I tried both directions. Sounded better in one but...then that could have been the mind hearing the same track twice.
My rig just doesn’t like rhodium on any cable connectors at all. After extended burn-in on several different items, the HF’s continued to be harsh and irritating. And this is with a tube preamp and tube DAC. Now, it’s a rhodium free zone.
It’s been very easy to hear the difference in SQ when switching the direction of the SR Blue fuses. Lately, I’ve been on a quest to clean up the power to my rig. Curiously, with the cleaner power, one of the first discovery/adjustments was to replace all 4 SR Blues with ceramic Littlefuses. A concert grand piano sounds truer. Selling all the SR Blues.
I agree with the OP, the price of the SR Blue Fuse seems out of whack. I figure part of the price is the engineering that went into the device. I don't know what material and manufacturing cost would be. However, since there was a 30 "trial" period I bit for the thing and was shocked I heard an immediate change in my system's sound and it was something I liked: more dynamic, ease and detail. With my gear it was a plus and I kept the fuse. It was installed in my PrimaLuna Dialogue integrated.
@tuberist I've no doubt they make a change or an improvement. I understand they have R&D costs and salaries to pay all those sales people. I'm just not diggin' the price. For a fuse. I paid almost $400 for a pair of new tubes and that was pushing it!
I’ve no doubt they make a change or an improvement. I understand they have R&D costs and salaries to pay all those sales people. I’m just not diggin’ the price. For a fuse. I paid almost $400 for a pair of new tubes and that was pushing it!
You put your finger on one of the more perplexing aspects of high end audio. So many audiophiles seem to care more about being able to explain than being able to experience. Which okay, always nice to know why something works. Guys especially for some reason take pride in knowing what they’re doing, and why, and look down on all the poor weak saps stumbling around in the dark clueless. I’m a little like that myself. More than a little. Nowhere near enough though that I’m gonna deny reality and take a pass on some of the biggest bangs for the audio buck in history.
Because the plain fact of the matter is nobody really knows why hardly any of this stuff works. If they did they’d all be doing it. Like take aerodynamics. Pretty much everyone knows why airplanes fly. The result is they all look so much alike you’d have to be an expert to tell one from another. With audio its like they still haven’t figured out if three wings are better, or even if we need wings at all.
But whatever. I still say the greatest asset you can have in life is to know thyself. If you’re not the type to buy anything no matter how good it is or how great a deal unless and until you think it makes sense according to your own particular theory of how things should be, that is probably good to know.
millercarbon Because the plain fact of the matter is nobody really knows why hardly any of this stuff works. If they did they’d all be doing it. Like take aerodynamics. Pretty much everyone knows why airplanes fly. The result is they all look so much alike you’d have to be an expert to tell one from another. With audio its like they still haven’t figured out if three wings are better, or even if we need wings at all.
>>>>Speak for yourself. I think what you probably mean is pretty much everybody takes airplanes and flight for granted and don’t think about it much and only a few people actually understand flight dynamics, fluid dynamics, propulsion and aerodynamics.
Millercarbon, the problem for me is that I have a background in electronics, and I know not so much the specific explanations, but that there is an explanation. There is always one or one forthcoming. Is it a physical phenomenon or a psycho-acoustic one? Is it something few of us in the forum are qualified to understand? Maybe only a few engineers at Synergistic know? Perhaps they came back from the future with a new compound. We know silver conducts better than gold. We know about surface conductivity and long crystals in copper wire. And we use that knowledge to make better sounding components. In the case of the fuse, they may be simply exploiting the fact that thin wires under tension vibrate and that the junctions in a fuse cause ionic collisions or whatever, and they are merely addressing these factors. And it is wonderful that they are. But, to the best if my knowledge, they are not forthcoming about the construction or the materials or the mechanism, and that makes me suspicious.
I don’t get what all the angst and mystery mongering is all about. Aftermarket fuses have been around like forever and and well understood. In fact there really aren’t any mysteries at all, as far as I can tell. They’re not forthcoming? Huh? Most fuse makers go to some lengths to describe exactly what’s involved. Cut me some slack, Jack!
@geoffkait - I think he was really talking about the folks at Synergistic Research. And no, they don't reveal what they use in the fuse. All they do is say "this fuse is so great it rocks!!". However, I did go to the Synergistic room at RMAF (20 minutes I will never get back from my life!!), and I firmly believe there is a significant amount of expensive "snake oil" in the Synergistic products. That being said, their fuses are doing something different than stock fuses and many people like them.
OP I share your dislike of the Furutech fuses. I tried them in two different units and in both cases I thought the fuses muffled the mids and highs coming out of my speakers. IMHO a great alternative is Furutech’s little brother,,,, the Padis fuse. Unlike the Furutech sound, the Padis fuses stike me as sounding very close to the SR Blue sound - open, airy, detailed with great bass, only at about $35 a fuse which includes shipping fron Germany. Now-a-days, when I bring in a new piece of equipment and want to upgrade the fuse, the first place I look is to Padis to see if Padis offers a fuse in my size. If not, then I look to pIck up a SR Blue. The big downside of Padis is that they are very limited in the Amp ratings they offer. Why they don’t offer fuses in all the amp ratings is beyond me. They’ve been offering the same fuse ratings and sizes for the last two years, so it doesn’t seem to me like they’re going out of business. Maybe if we started an email writing campaign. You can only get them from their German distributer on eBay. And for the worring kind,, they are PSE, SEMKO, & UL rated.
Hey folks. A limited budget tweaker for nearly 40 years here, since first doubling up on lamp cord wire for speaker cables. I hooked up with Rick Taylor who had a rough and tumble hi fi store in the late 90's. For a time, Rick was the Audio Matiere repair Tech for importer Marigo Audio Labs. Search a dated but valid article by "Rick Taylor marigo dots" related to "under the hood" resonance work. Rick also designed cables that challenged the big names. We also experimented with all sorts of isolation, from airborne invasions to surface transfers. It is fun to watch the long time naysayers wake up from their slumbers. Art Dudley (love Art) has a "Basket of Deplorable Accessories" but recently admits "...love for IsoAcoustics' Gaia III isolation feet" under his Garrard 301 tt. A long time vinyl proponent, he also finally dumped his Sony SCD-777 cdp for the Hegel Mohican. Now Art, maybe some room tuning?
Long time former editor of Phile John Atkinson (thanks, John) and TAS Editor Robert Harley have grudgingly come to regard power upgrades, isolation shelving and feet as invaluable in achieving great sound. Extreme high end manufacturers are paying much greater attention to the positioning, dampening and electronic isolation of their builds and power supplies. It also may explain some of the "less is more" philosophy of great, simple, early gear such as the overachieving Stewart Hegeman Hapi 2 preamp with its non-crowded design.
Sorry for being a bit wordy, but needed to establish a little cred. Once achieving the resolution capabilities of modern sources, I've had excellent results with fuse upgrades. Yes, there can be a wonky break-in period where you second guess your decision. My upgrade path has been Radio Shack ceramic, Hi-Fi Tuning to the Synergistic Research Blue Fuses. If you look at my other posts, you will find that much attention has been paid to clean power in my system.
As a fellow of limited resources for my hi-fi passions, I generally don't begrudge the high cost of audio. We have choices and nobody forces our decision making. Patience is a great savings in the trickle-down world of high end. Except for my source, my entire system is great second hand stuff, tweaked to improve them. In the case of something new like fuses, the need to burn them in for 150-200 hours is no big deal...I simply leave the system up for a few days during good weather to decide if I want to return something under a guarantee. I do stay away from possible black market sources and deal with established companies assuring authenticity and the ease of returning for credit. A good example is my recent experience with Amazon for a cell phone, the LG V-30 with the quad dac. It was a 3rd party purchase that had the Amazon guarantee. It took a couple of tries to find a great refurbished unlocked one, but the end cost was $190. Yes, there is risk after Amazon's 30 day guarantee, but I'm willing to gamble that anything major will go wrong before then. Full retail was around $900 and it has become my "laptop" with decent headphone sound streaming hi-res and uber photo capability.
We live in AMAZING times as music lovers for gear and source music. Thanks for the read. More peace. Pinthrift
Back story. I find the prices of Synergistic fuses extortion. Like someone charging $100 for a cup of water in the desert.
If I were dying of thirst in the desert, I would gladly pay $100 for a cup of water. Once back on solid ground, I would take cases of water into the desert and sell it to other thirsty people for $100 a pop. At that point, lots of other greedy jerks would follow me with truckloads of water, only to find that there is a glut of bottled water in the desert with thirsty people willing to pay no more than two bucks per bottle.
At that point, there would be plenty of water for everyone and thirst in the desert would be ended thanks to competition and the capitalistic system. It’s the same reason laser eye surgery is affordable now. Same for 65" LCD TVs.
Conversely, this is the reason the people in Venezuela are eating their pets.
Price is determined by supply and demand. If people weren’t willing to pay $150 for a fuse, or if other fuse manufacturers were to come out with an equal, or improved fuse for less, then the SR fuses would come down in price.
In the meantime, I, and my friends are enjoying the hell out of the SR Blue fuses.