Provided that you do not use magnetic breakers (and I very much doubt that you would, unless you are thinking of installing your system in an airplane), neither breakers nor fuses should create any problems. I replaced my breaker when I created a dedicated circuit, but really I did so only because I thought there might be some corrosion or crud inside the breaker that could cause current limiting.
Any contribution to noise from a breaker or fuse would be miniscule compared to the crap that seeps in from computers, microwave ovens, cell phones, and the like. Any creditable power conditioner will sop it up without difficulty.
What I mean is does the sound be defferent if using fuse or breaker for sub pannel?
Those who have tried this both ways report that fuses sound better than circuit breakers. Unfortunately those good old threads from Redkiwi are now gone from the forum archives. Ceramic-base fuses do sound much better to me than glass-base fuses; there really is a big difference in my rig (which is a bit *too* revealing) so these subtle changes are all readily apparent. The new plastic base fuses seem to be OK too, although I haven't done a critical listening comparison between them & the ceramics.
I had to go with the new plastic fuses only because I cannot find the ceramics anymore. If anyone has a source of ceramic 20 amp round "edison base" fuses or has some available for sale then by all means please drop me an email.
In any case, take the time to polish/burnish brightly all of the metal-contacting parts of the fuse & socket. Crocus cloth does very well at this job but an ink eraser will work OK too. Then use a good contact cleaner (Kontact) on all conducting surfaces prior to assembly, including the wire ends themselves. Polish up your AC cord prongs while you're at it; makes a difference believe it or not. Be sure to power off so you don't get electrocuted!
Fuses or cicuit breakers are not going to make an audible difference . With cb you can always reset them. Fuses are a one time deal with the fuse link melting once too much current has passed through it. Should not make a difference in sound, as bishopwill suggests, I would invest in a decent power conditioner.
Terminal's opinion is simply that: no experience so he doesn't believe it. I use two Chang Lightspeeds with my dedicated line & this is real. Don't do it; it's your loss.
I liked my music best, when I installed ceramic fuses und threw all circuit breakers out.
Was unable to track down any of the ceramics, but switched a glass based fuse to a plastic based yesterday and the improvements were definitely audible. Definitely smoother, less strident. Another of those "go figure" tweaks I guess. And I also use a "creditable" power conditioner. On a cost basis, this is a no-brainer to try. Missed that thread earlier from Redkiwi, so thanks Bob.
Audiophiles are funny people, Worldcup, as you will learn in short order if you hang out here very much. I recently had a man tell me with absolute seriousness that when he painted his listening room a different color it changed the sound coming out of his speakers. Not his perceptions but the actual character of the sound, itself. So it shouldn't surprise you that someone perceives differences when he changes the material of the fuse bases. Hell, a guy said awhile back on another site that one should never frame the art in one's listening room with metal because it would "create diffraction patterns in the electromagnetic force fields" and "utterly destroy your sound."
Funny, funny people....
So we have 4 so far: Blake, Detlof, Redkiwi & myself who can attest to the positive attributes of appropriate fusing, yet the Doubting Thomases persist in disseminating misinformation & telling us what we can/cannot hear. Worldcup did not request opinions from those who don't even have a clue; he wants to know "what happens when" & those of us who have that experience have responded to help him. But we've heard this all before: all amps, all cables, all CD's, all (insert ___) sound the same. My take on this: all Doubting Thomases sound the same!
For those who do know but want to understand why, I cannot help you because I don't understand it myself; it makes little sense to me either. But I do know what I hear.
I'll conclude with a story about a blind test that I performed unknowingly & accidentally, if I even needed any proof this then is all that's required. Power went off at home for several hours one day when a storm was passing through, so I turned off all audio system power switches of course. I even went downstairs to pull the (then glass) fuse & decided to try "that ceramic fuse trick" that I had read about from Redkiwi. I installed that ceramic fuse & then promptly forgot all about it. I didn't power up the rig until the next day; turned everything on & was playing the tuner so I went outside to do yardwork for awhile. A few hours later I came back inside for a break & was sitting on the sofa wondering why the tuner sounded better than it had previously? The sound was richer & warmer, just more pleasant to listen to, but I didn't know why? I dismissed it to audio psychosis & returned to my tasks. But I kept hearing that nicer sound so that night I played some records & CD's, all sounding better than before. I didn't say anything to my wife about it, but the next day she was there quizzing me what had I done to the system & why did it sound better? I didn't know why, but we both agreed that something had changed & we liked it. It wasn't until several days later that I remembered the fuse change & attributed the improvements to that! Just to be sure I restored the glass fuse, but not for very long because that was the answer.
bishopwill: fact is, worldcup has been around here longer than you have. and, while he may not be quite as articulate as our newly-anointed shrink/confessor, he does have an attribute missing in your makeup: a desire to learn without the constraints of prejudice and knee-jerk naysaying. those whose opinions you ridicule are well respected for their erudition, experience and tolerance of opposing viewpoints. your latest post on this thread adds nothing of substance to this discussion. if this is the best you can do, sir, i respectfully suggest you restrain yourself before clicking on the "submit now" button. -cfb
Thanks CFB and thanks for sharing your great story with us Bob. I had cooked up a sharper reply to this sort of selfsatisfied diatripe (misspelling intended), but you have done so in a much more civilised and genteel fashion than this here old curmudgeon would have been neither able nor willing to do.
By the way, it makes sense to clean your ceramic fuses with kontak or a similar product now and again, just as you would your other connections and the fuses in your gear. At least, that's what my technician/dealer says, and he's an EE and got me to throw out the circuit breakers in the first place. Cheers,
In defense of bishopwill, I'd say his reaction is mild compared to what most engineers and physicists I know (non-audiophiles) would say upon reading this thread.
Okay, all of us know hearing is a sensitive affair. When something appears to be audible that strains credulity, maybe the thing to do is to find out what is happening (as an engineer, I firmly believe that there's science in there somewhere).
Anyone have a guess as to the reason that fuse materials affect line current, that will later be filtered at several stages before being applied to electronics? It may be hard to measure the properties of music signals but the properties of 60 Hz A/C should show up pretty easily through a well-defined set of measurements.
Flex, yes of course, you are undoubtedly right, but hearing is believing and the guy who put me on to it, was an engineer and no fool to boot, also he had nothing to earn by his idea to make me change from circuit breakers to ceramics. I won't rule out autosuggestibility on my part, but my friend is a level headed guy with a solid EE background, who by the way scoffs at all the "cable bull", as he puts it.
Hi Worldcup86, this is a bit off the topic, but I remember one time when I cleaned all the fuses in my amp with Contak cleaner. I was shocked at how much better the sound from my system was. Smoother with much less grit. Open, dynamic,cleaner, with much better imaging. I now clean all fuses in my equipment (when i had equipment) every 3 or 4 months. This was not something I was imaganing, it was for real. It was the equal of a new, much better piece of equipment. It's for real, real, real.
Well said Brulee, I'm right in there with you!
Gentlemen, gentlemen, let us calm ourselves. CFB and Bob are reading quite a little bit into what I said. It is true that I haven't been here a long time and it is true that I failed to understand that worldcup HAS been here a long time. But you folks apparently haven't been listening to the consistent thread that has run through nearly all my posts on the topic of what one can hear and what one cannot hear. So let me say it again and maybe it will be more clear this time....
IF YOU CAN HEAR A DIFFERENCE, AND YOU LIKE THE DIFFERENCE, AND YOU CAN AFFORD THE DIFFERENCE, GO FOR IT.
Dear me, I've been saying that for at least thirty years and it seems so obvious that it shouldn't have needed saying in the first place.
My point--which I think was fairly clear, actually--is that the continuum of audio opinion runs the gamut from "all amplifiers sound alike" to "having a metal frame around a picture in your listening room can make your system unlistenable." The vast majority of audio enthusiasts would discount both those points of view, but the the folks who believe them believe them, who are we to naysay?
I will note that it gets a bit tedious when the same voices again and again rise in hasty and often ill-considered defense of people who DO hear differences but discount or dismiss those who do not. Sheesh! Is a full range of opinions not permitted here?
One last time: If brother bundus experiences differences in sound when the fuse bases are glass rather than ceramic, that's his business and others may profit from his opinions or dismiss them, as they see fit. If someone else says they do NOT hear such a difference, that individual is entitled to the same courtesy. And then there are those who wonder if the internal construction and materials of the fuses with different insulators might not differ also...and of such is interesting conversation made.
But listening to people rant is NOT interesting.
This isn't cancer surgery, folks, it is a hobby. Lighten up. Have fun.
bishopwill: ok, you wanna' be consistent: tell us YOUR experiences with different fuse/breaker types. if you have no such experience, then you've no right to criticize, even politely, those who do. now do you understand MY point? -cfb
I seriously dought that there is a difference but I have not tested this myself, I will though. It is easy enough to make up a box to do hold one of each fuse and wire them in parallel. This way I can change fuses without powering down the system. I'm not in a big hurry so it won't get done tommorow but I'll get to it.
Do you want to use the ceramic fuse with your power conditioner or does it really matter?
Can anybody explain or even have any idea as to why a ceramic fuse would sound better than a glass one?
Ctyler, and anyone else that is interested, here is an easy experiment to test the theory yourself.
First determine what size and type fuse exists in your amp and preamp. Purchase those same specification fuses in ceramic, ( 90% certainty your factory fuses were glass).
After turning the gear back on with the new ceramic fuses in place, report back here with your listening experiences. I have done this and can testify that fast acting fuses sound better than slow blow, and ceramic better than glass.
If the experiment seems silly, remember that even if you cannot hear the difference, you now have spares, and an investment of less than a can of soda.
If you agree this improves sound at the equipment, is it much of a stretch to imagine it would help at the breaker?
I would try the fuse thing if I could only get the damn pennies out of my fusebox...(just kidding).
Will, just for interest's sake, have you tested what you are contesting, or do you know as much about it as you do about cancer surgery?
It is hardly your message, which seems irksome to me, after all, we are entitled to our opinions, besides, I like and respect many of your posts, it is rather, this time around, your attitude of (to me) mildly unctuous condescension, your tone of voice, so to speak, which I find quite out of place here.
Albert YOU the man! For a long time I've been considering experimenting with exactly what you propose: ceramic 3AG internal fusing vs. the original factory glass envelopes. Now I'm really motivated --- where's my phillips screwdriver?
All I know is that my refrigerator seems colder and my lights brighter when I use ceramic fuses. Oh, and my computer seems faster and toast pops up higher as well. I'm a believer.
Vdub, I suppose you don't help much with household chores, because you forgot to mention that carpets are vacuumed in about half the time with ceramic fuses installed! Cheers,
Assuming that the ceramic fuse does make a difference. Placing a ceramic fuse in the amp etc.. the effect would be heard.
If you were to use a ceramic fuse at the breaker we can assume the effect would also be heard.
Now we add a power conditioner that is suppose to remove noise etc.. off the AC line. Wouldn't the PC negate anything the breaker fuse did to the AC?
Next question...Anyone place ceramic fuses in thier speakers?
Ctyler, after I had done the tweak, (AC line) I did not find any change in any of the parameters, we audiophiles generally listen to. I also cannot say, that the lines were quieter, the silences more black, none of that. I did feel however, that overall dynamics were improved, there seemed to be more snap to the presentation, that is all I can say.
Besides, I doubt that it is the ceramic material, which makes a difference, possibly- at least here in Switzerland - the old stile fuses, especially if held properly clean with Kontak or such, give a better contact than our circuit breakers. As far as fuses in our gear are concerned, I also doubt, that it is the material, glass or ceramic, which makes the difference. I rather have the hunch, that it is vibration. In the glass fuses, the wire hangs free, but in the ceramic fuses it is completely embedded in the material, so no vibration. Just a wild guess, but it might make sense. Here by the way, the difference is much more obvious, not only dynamics improve subtly, but everything seems to clear up in the sense of less or no grain, less or no haze.
I have not done direct comparisons between glass-insulator and ceramic-insulator fuses. I have listened extensively to the same system running through fuses and through breakers and have never noted a difference but haven't done ABX comparisons, which I think would be discounted by the folks who are chiding me, anyway....
I have a considerable concern about the use of magnetic circuit breakers because they have a built in inductor through which the power passes on its way to the outlets. The chance of that being an issue is small, though, because magnetic CBs are rarely if ever used in domestic wiring.
With respect to causality of perceived sonic differences with varying insulator materials, I'd be as much or more concerned about the internal construction of the circuit pathway and the materials used therin. So far as I know, there is no easy way, short of dissecting and bench-testing several brands of fuses, to know if the ONLY difference between the fuses was the insulating material. That point being made, even various brands of ceramic or glass fuses might have different innards. My suggestion would be to get as wide a variety of fuses as possible and test them and choose the one that sounds best. Pretty simple.
Now, as to the tone of my post. As I noted in a private email to cfb, I do have a wicked sense of humor. I have no intention of abandoning it but perhaps it will be easier to tolerate if you realize that (1) I am just as willing to turn that sense of humor on people in my own camp as on people in other camps and (2) I am not given to taking offense when people poke fun at me. I do, however, take offense when people tell me to shut up or, in cfb's case, to take my finger off the submit key.
Finally, my point in that post was that there exists a continuum of opinions about the sonic effects of various components, cables, tweaks, et alia. For example, in the current issue of $ensible Sound, one of the reviewers says that all amplifiers sound alike. Sheesh! Does he have any ears at all? On the other hand, a fellow opined to me the other day that hanging a picture in one's listening room that happened to be framed in metal would "render the sound utterly unlistenable." I reserve the right to sound both bemused and, yes, possibly condescending about such extreme opinions. As to the rest of us who fall somewhere in the middle, my position remains unchanged:
IF YOU PERCEIVE A DIFFERENCE IN THE SOUND, AND YOU LIKE THE DIFFERENCE THAT YOU PERCEIVE, AND YOU CAN AFFORD TO MAKE THE CHANGE, THEN DO IT.
And for goodness sake lighten up. We're supposed to be doing this because it is fun.
Well, in Japan they argue endlessly over the best paper pulp to use for cones (Yes, paper is still considered the best in many parts of the world not afflicted with the marketing need to bring NASA materials into evereything ) and magnet materials. And, I have long wondered why the little iron output transformers David Hafler had hand wound four decades ago in those now cheap Dynacos sound so good. Iron is iron... eh? Anyway, one guy I respect, David Deckert, argues that music sounds better at night because the sun, and its electromagnetic influence, is on the other side of the earth. I'm open to anything except some of my favorite people being short with one another.
"Life is too short to be short."
Let's not short circuit over a fuse issue.
Sincerely, I remain
Still puzzling over this breaker vs. fuse issue & I'm just wondering...
Both devices have a buss input contact point & a load output contact point. However the breaker has an extra set of contacts internally (the switch part) that the fuse does not. Could it be the additional micro-arcing that occurs across the breakers's internal switch contact that makes them noisier?
Regarding line conditioning: I use Chang Lightspeeds which were in-circuit during the aforementioned "experiment". Whatever upline power changes occurred was not masked by these filters.
One other thing about breakers: the very worst kind to have for sourcing an audio rig is a ground fault type breaker - they're extremely noisy.
Just want to add that in talking to people in Nth America, Europe , UK, Aust and here in NZ, it is marked that independent experimentation has revealed a preference for ceramic fuses. And this has been my experience too.
Hi Bob. Thanks for your email.
Hoping to move right along to further insights (as opposed to bickering over old ones) - one of the most useful things in my experience, is to regularly call up the local electricity supplier and complain of noise on the line and ask if they could come out and clean and tighten the connections (again). And they send a man-in-van out to clean and tighten the connections feeding my house. It is very noticeable the morning after it has been done - and I am not at all confused about which night they do it.
redkiwi: where i live, all our lines (electrical, telephone and cable) are underground. the main electrical connection to the breaker box is via conduit. hence, i'm not sure whether our gas and electric supplier COULD clean and tighten connections. moreover, i'd fear having someone just look at our electrical box would result in a $200 charge on our next utility bill! guess you have much to be thankful for in NZ. -kelly
I am indeed thankful to live in NZ Kelly - just a shame that our incomes here mean your US gear is very difficult to afford. My financial state could use some US-style income right now. Albert Porter's experience with getting a dedicated feed from his local utility (large transformer feeding just his house) suggests there are some local wrinkles you might look into.
I bought some ceramic fuses today to place in my amp.
System info..Carver Sunfire amp, Sony 9000ES preamp, Carver Platinum MkIV speakers and Onkyo CD player. Everything is run through a Monster 5100 power conditioner. The PC made a noticable difference for the better but thats another subject.
The Sunfire amp has three fuses. One fuse is for power and the other two fuses are for the current output source, one for each channel of the amp. The speakers are connected to the current outputs.
I swaped the fuses back and forth a couple times and at this point its inconclusive. I thought maybe there was a difference but what if any? I am going to leave them in there for while and then switch back.
First, thanks for your all helps. Just installed 2 dedicated outlets and the sound is much better than before (much more than I expected for the cost of $300). Here are the improvements that I've noted so far.
* Dynamic and Transistion? (Music is faster. It's like I just change new battery)
* More detail, and cymbals is softer
* I can listen in the daytime without having to wait until late night
* The voices is in front a little bit not deep to the back wall like before
And here are the down side
* I hear low base that hang around the room which I didn't hear before (may need tube traps???)
* Turn the volum up to 10db (normally turn the volum -15 before, and now -5db)
* The noise from my speaker (it sounds like a storm buzz..buzz) is stll there when not playing.
I don't have a chance to test which one is better: fuse or breaker. However, I chose fuse because it's easy to pull out for cleaning.
Here is what I did
- Move all the heavy lines to one phase of main breaker
- Use the fist line of the opposite phase
- Run 60A to the sub pannel using 4AWG THHN wire
- Run two separate line (30A each) into the conduit to the outlets using 10AWG THHN wire. Grounded the conduit to the main ground, and use platic box for the outlets.
- Run ground wire from the outlets to the dedicated ground rod using there 8' copper rods deeply into the soil. The copper rods are connected in a triangle within one foot apart.
Last thing, I was lucky to found an electrician who understand the crazy things that I want him to do but within the code (he was the fifth one after I sent home the previous ones because they always aksed me why this.. why that.. I think 12AWG is enough and on..on). I'm so happy with my system now