Fuses that matter.


I have tried six different fuses, including some that were claimed to not be directional. I have long used the IsoClean fuses as the best I have heard. No longer! I just got two 10 amp slow-blows WiFi Tuning Supreme fuses that really cost too much but do make a major difference in my sound. I still don't understand how a fuse or its direction can alter sound reproduction for the better, but they do and the Supreme is indeed! I hear more detail in the recordings giving me a more holographic image. I also hear more of the top and bottom ends. If only you could buy them for a couple of bucks each.
tbg

Showing 16 responses by hifitime

Don't forget to try them ǝpısdn uʍop. This may give different results. Even on the top half of the world!
There's a lot of talk about how great these fuses are by some people. The way the metal is drawn, the structure of the burn wire, and endless ways of stating they must be better.

Here's one for everyone. When metals are continuously heated and cooled, their structure deteriorates. The burn wire in these fuses get quite hot, cool down, over and over.

With that thought in mind, what is better. A month old fifty dollar designer fuse, with its abused burn wire, or a new fifty cent shiny burn wire fuse, that has a burn wire that has not been exposed to all of these heating and cooling cycles yet. I'd guess the new fifty cent one is superior...
Hifisoundguy, if you think so. I imagine they make your Bose speakers sound good for you.

05-03-12: Podeschi
Thats so cool. How did u get those letters upside down?

I did it the easy way here
I can't picture a circuit breaker doing any better than a fuse. They have pressure contacts that may not make as good of a connection as a fuse. Audio gear rarely blows fuses. Also, a fuse makes a good connection, which would result in less noise in my opinion.

Breakers are safer in dangerous locations, and more convenient. But, otherwise I can't see any gain. My Air ran a lot today, and the breaker in the breaker panel (for A/C) is humming again. I'll replace it, but I wonder if it's generating electrical noise too.

A lot of TV sets have fuses, and you don't see any bad results from them. They did try circuit breakers in TV sets, roughly the sixties, or seventies, I believe, and those did go bad. Some did cause some picture noise. I've never seen a fuse do this in a TV. They either worked, or blew.

Actually, has anyone ever had to get a noisy fuse replaced?

Fuses work. I figure if it's not broke, don't fix it. No new (unknown?) problems this way.

There are people that believe you need science, and Electrical Engineers to make things happen in audio.

Then you have people that sell tweaks that just don't have any scientific backing.

It appears that some of these people want you to believe in science fiction. Some of them would be happy if you didn't do any scientific investigating about their products. When someone finds out there is no backing to these products, it seems make these people nervous.

Then in their defense for people not hearing any improvement using these non-scientific products, they'll say the person has bad hearing, poor gear, or they simply aren't seasoned audiophiles, and don't know how to listen for it. Not much of a defense, since the result of these products cannot be heard by a lot of us, but also the scientific equipment that was used in the making of our gear.

If we didn't have designers that apply these time tested, and proven facts used in building our electronic gear, we wouldn't have any of it. What would we have for a stereo system? A wax cylinder with two (stereo) large horns for picking up the sound, recording it to the wax cylinder, and the same for play back?

What have we been listening to since we started this hobby? Poor sounding gear, due to not having these new tweaks?

What do we do with all of our recoded music that was made without these tweaks? Throw it all in the trash? Start all over? I have some fantastic sounding recordings, but then again, I'm tone deaf, or don't know how to recognize that these are supposed to sound bad according to the tweak people. Don't forget, they didn't use designer fuses in their making. Also, some other non-proven tweaks.

It was mentioned by someone earlier in the thread (I believe) that there must be a way of proving these tweaks. There is one method that wouldn't hurt the consumer, and seller, if they really work. Let the designers prove that they can hear their own products improvements. This could be done in their own system, and a neutral third party can change swap these tweaks in and out of their system. As much of a difference that could be heard according to them, should give over a ninety, to a hundred percent chance of identifying their own product. If they did something like this, it should give them a lot more credibility. Why don't any of them do this? It could be done in their own system, that they are totally familiar with. This sounds fair to me.

The builders of amplifiers, and other products, have their equipment get scrutinized in all kinds of measured performance, and listening tests. If their amps don't give the promised power, low distortion, sound, etc., the designer would have one nasty headache, with a lot of explaining to do. Damage control. Their products do have to perform as promised. These tests are done all the time.

We've had all kind of these tweaks come and go. Some are still around, but not as popular. A lot of people seem to have bought them, state how great of an improvement they gave, and then forget about them, or give up on a lot of them. Maybe designer fuses will be next of that list...
05-13-12: Tbg
Hifitime, you need at least some exposure to electronics to make audio gear, most of those I know who make equipment have military training but Electrical Engineering will also do. And yes, such training derives from science but itself it is applied science, not basic science. It is utterly ridiculous for you to say that those working at tweaks lack engineering training.

You are giving the normal ignorant to science a priori dismissal of tweaks argument that has been going on for years and has failed to do anything constructive. If you won't try them, so be it, don't. Stop lecturing to those who know better.

Tbg, I didn't state what you are saying. I said some tweaks have no scientific backing.

Also, you don't have any knowledge about my background.

And, you don't have any idea what tweaks I have tried.

With the resistance they measured being as low as they say it is, these fuses would most likely have the least influence on the sound as mentioned earlier in this this thread. The resistors, including those right in the audio signal path, have a measurable resistance tolerance difference (for even single resistors) alone, is a lot higher than this.

Then, if anyone can hear this minute resistance difference, what could they hear if these are used in the primary side of the power supply? The primary is 60 cycles AC. With these fuses having more more resistance in one direction, that may give some kind of problem with half of the AC cycle. This resistance difference may possibly cause it to resemble something like AC ripple, that results from using a half-wave rectifier instead of a full-wave rectifier.

That extra resistance in that one direction, of every 60 cycles, might even possibly introduce an odd new 30 cycle noise, since it is fighting more against half of the 60 cycle current flow, in that one direction. If this different value measured that can influence the sound to the point it could be heard, then possibly this new noise may be introduced by this new fuse also.

Still, after all of the possibilities I'm thinking of, I don't think this minute measured value is going to change anything we can hear, no matter where these may be used. I still discount it as too little to be heard anywhere it it is used.

Again, way too little of resistance to even think about, especially when you think all all the other components, that have a lot more resistance that varies so much more, in so many more parts. And, these parts vary a lot more than this from one amp, to another of the same brand made side by side, include matching mono-block amps. The same would go for any stereo components resistance variance, between the left and right channels.

Don't forget to consider how many times the electric traveled through this fuse, power switch, cord, house wiring, and the wire (possibly aluminum) to the transformer, its connectors, through all of the transformer's secondary wiring, and back through that little fuse again. This makes the fuse even more insignificant, if you take all of this into consideration.
CD players have a sonic signature.

Turntables have a sonic signature.

Phono cartridges have a sonic signature.

Amps, preamps have a sonic signature.

This list can get fairly long, and go on and on. And all of these components, and parts, could be measured, and heard for their sonic difference.

Fuses on the other hand have no sound. We (most of us) can't hear any sonic signature, that they are claimed (by some) to impose on a system. Not surprisingly, they can't be measured for this either.

The audio reviewers take all kinds of our gear, listen to the components, scrutinize them, and measure them with test equipment, sometimes to back up what they hear, and print their reports. Not fuses. These reports are just based on the individual reviewers hearing alone. No test results.

Where are the test reports, and their measurements for fuses? At least something to back up their statements. This is a short piece of wire, not a complicated component. So where is the measured test results? Apparently there are none, because it doesn't exist either.

We have satellites in space, high tech communications, plus other complicated electronics. They don't use these fuses. They use standard ones. This equipment is way more high-tech than our stereo systems. They are not out of spec, or have poor performance problems, in comparison to these special fuses (so-called better performance), due to the basic standard fuses used, giving them any error. If they did, you probably wouldn't be reading this.

Changing parts in any component can influence its sound, and will measure different also. This is done all the time. Even different brand of these parts can be heard by everyone (at least I hope those who are reading this), and measured by the test equipment, with consistent similar results.

Why is it that fuses have all kinds of variations of sonic changes, according to the reports of the people that hear this difference? And this is OK? What make this little fuse wire so special? Why can they get away with having such huge range of varied reports of sonic changes?

If you change to a certain type of coupling cap, you'll get very similar results, and answers, even from people with totally different systems. Similar test results too. That includes tube and solid state. If you change brands of tubes, the reported answers will be similar. Some are known to be brighter, others have better midrange, and other consistent similar reports.

Of course this consistency isn't necessary for fuses, or at least their supporters. The main thing is, that the people believe they hear something different, for their time, and trouble. That's their selling feature.

Everyone that builds our components have to answer to all kinds of measurements, and similar reviews. And these are a lot more complicated, full of wire, and all kinds of individual parts.

Again, absolutely nothing measured on fuses, and no consistent results. Both of these reasons should make you wonder, what's going on. Engineers know why, techs know why. It's time for these fuse people to prove that they can change the sound, and show it, in my opinion. The same as our complicated gear builders have to. Not just a short, simple piece of wire, that's in a fuse.
Do you believe that two amplifiers with identical specs but different topologies and components would sound the same?Would one amp using cheap caps, transformers and wire and another using upgraded caps, silver wound transformers and silver wire sound the same?
Are all mods just snake oil?
Lacee

Lacee, two amps that have the same specs (or similar) will sound totally different. They even tried Emulators, Bob Carver and his Sonic Transfer Function, and others all sound different. Poor specs are usually heard in my experience. Good specs can't assure anything, in my opinion.

I should have said, when a tech scopes an amp out, different brands of part will give you different results, in the gear when it's measured after the part change. This could be tubes, transistors, coupling caps, plus other parts. These parts may measure the same value wise, such as two brands of tubes tested for transconductance, gas etc.

Replacing coupling caps in an amp is a great tweak in my opinion. Sometime the different brands will make the amp sound so different, it's hard to believe it's the same one.
This can be measured, and my audiophile friends, and I all hear the same changes. Fuses no. We don't hear any change going to a different type of fuse, with a total different construction, such as the old spring type of slo-blow fuses, vs. the spiral wound used nowadays.

I don't remember jumping the fuse with with anything else, although I may have. I didn't hear any changes if I did. Before these new fuses came along, I only changed a fuse, if it blew.

It's hard at times to get two monoblocks to sound the same, and the left and right channels also. A lot of Hi-end companies match parts while building their amps. Some also scope their amps out to make sure the amps also don't show anything different enough, to be heard. I doubt they measure the fuses for anything. I've never heard of it.

Another thing is the fuse holder. I would think that changing to a totally different design would have more of an effect on the sound, than just a fuse. The wire, printed circuit trace, or even one that is totally tinned with solder, is something that no one mentions, except maybe a small few.

I don't believe I would hear any changes here either, but electrically, it would be more of a change than a fuse. More ampacity, different qualities of the connection, plus some could probably come up with other results from this. But no one seems to hear a major improvement here (maybe some on a small scale do), even though it should be greater than a fuses swap. Otherwise, there would be tweak outfits doing this all day.

Going to the tweak issue. Yes, I use all kinds of tweaks besides changing coupling caps, and other parts. Even vibration tweaks for turntables, its shelf, etc. So yes, I believe in tweaks for sure. I may even still have an old Adcom (?) amp buried in the closet, that was modded by a popular mod outfit, decades ago. I can't remember the Mod outfits name, but they still may be around. It didn't sound like the same Adcom anymore, but sure didn't turn into a hi-end sounding amp.

Hifitime, I was not aware they can measure soundstage height, microdynamics, transparency, pop, lushness, presence, shimmer, glassiness, glare, grain, openness, liquidness, timbre, rhythm, pitch, slam or air.
Geoffkait

Geoffkait, I'm not sure how much can be measured. From what my audio friends, and I hear as far as other tweaks go, they can be measured, as far as a change goes, and we all hear that difference too.

The tweaks that can't be measured, such as these fuses, is something we don't hear. At least the different changed parts we do hear, measure different on the scope also. That at least confirms something for us.

I would like to see these fuse builders identify their own fuse, in their own system, in comparison to the stock fuses, or competition too. They could be changed by a qualified neutral party, without their knowledge of which one their listening to. This would be a simple fair test, that would probably satisfy a lot of people, besides me. This would be interesting.

If you are suggesting blind listening test, then none of the other audio tweaks mentioned will pass the test either.
Vinw (Answers | This Thread)

Vinw, the other tweaks like coupling caps may not work that way in your world, but they do in my world. I don't know if your referring to being blindfolded, or something else. I don't have to see what caps, or tubes are in my amp. I'm able to identify which ones are in my gear, by the whay they sound. If you can't hear yours without seeing, or knowing which ones are being used, maybe your tweaks aren't doing what you think they are.
Tbg, my comment was meant for Vinw. I know at least a half dozen audiophiles in my area. We go years back. When any of us get something new, we listen to it at the owners house, and then pass it around, if possible. I can't imagine anyone in this hobby that doesn't show his new piece of gear to the others, and pass it around if they want to try it. It saves us a ton of money, and gives us the opportunity to hear something, we may never have bought on our own to try. Trying several different amps a year alone, isn't uncommon. And I'm not talking about mid-fi gear.
Faint heart n'e'r won fair maiden. Besides, replacing a fuse is not rocket science.
Geoffkait (Answers | This Thread)

I have an sa11-s1 and have considered a power fuse upgrade but can not see any external fuse tray or slot. Could you please advise how I can access this fuse tray you spoke of. Thanks.

John
Nanotweeter (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

The above kinda speaks for itself. Incorrect information given for one or more style units.

Nanotweeter, I don't know if David above has a different model than yours, but, the ones I see pictured on the internet has at least five to six fuses inside it. None on the back of the unit I see pictured. I could be in error, and thinking I'm looking at the correct unit, and the pictures may be wrong.

If your going to risk changing them, be careful. You have to make sure each one is the correct type, if not you may be putting it, and yourself at risk.

Secondly, these PC mounted type of holders can easily break lose, and also damage the PC board traces. The thought of someone other than an experienced tech doing this, changes my thoughts about buying some used gear even more now.

If it wasn't broke when they made it, why try to experiment with it. Didn't the engineers of this $3500/$3000 player have the customers interest in mind? I would hope they did.
Anyway, my point is that, regardless of how many metals the sound has moved through becomes somewhat irrelevant since it still produces a final sound you have to live with on a daily basis and MIGHT be able to be improved upon. That said, I'm not trying to defend any particular 'tweak', just saying it is a theoretically attainable end I think.
A one inch fuse changing the sound after passing all of those various metals still makes no sense.

As an aside, when I type your name into my iPad hifitime, it tried to write "hotly me". Does your name have a secret meaning perhaps? ;)
Aewhistory (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

It's your ipad, not mine. Does the ipad have a history of searching for similar entries you may have made? I'm just an audio person. Maybe your ipad needs a designer fuse... No secret meaning though.
09-08-12: Audioman58
The main reason why a aftermarket fuse makes it oundstaging better is a easy explanation .a stock Steel fuse has 7-8 Times the resistance of Silver

I don't think I have ever seen steel used for the element in a fuse.

But, who knows how many different types of metals it has been through before reaching our home? Then you have all of the various types of metals in the homes electrical system.

A lot of various metals are used in the component and its parts too, before its outputs. If every metal has its own sound, who knows where to begin trying to figure all of this out, since it traveled through all of the different metals?

Trying to describe all of the changes in sound after traveling through all of these metals taken into consideration sounds impossible. And just the one little fuse is supposed to make a fairly noticeable difference, even makes it sound more impossible to make any sense.
After reading so many posts about fuses on the net, it seems too many people are overlooking the safety factor these fuses are made, and used for. Some people even state they are using jumpers in place of fuses. Some people state they leave the home while their system is running too. I hope they don't live in a multiple family dwellings, and are putting others at risk by doing what they choose with these protection devices.

I've also read somewhere that Liquid Fuses may be filled by them. In my opinion, if the fuses were tested before by any independent labs such as UL, they need to be tested by them again, such as UL (other testing agencies too), for any of the past testing agencies markings to still be valid. The fuse element (or burn wire) runs hot. It may be close to its melting point during a listening session. If that element is immersed in a liquid, they may not blow as fast as originally designed. A fast blow may take on qualities like a slow-blow fuse. A slow-blow can be slower yet, than its designers originally intended. I can see the liquid heating up, while cooling the element up during operation. This is why I believe they need to be tested accurately again, in my opinion.

Maybe these were retested by some independent testing agency after the modification? The equipment they use to measure the blow times can be expensive, and may not be owned by some of these after market companies. It would be nice to know if they were tested, and provide a new spec sheet too. It's common sense that when the element (burn wire) is immersed into a liquid, specs will change.

A lot of engineering goes into products, and all of the parts used in them. For the customer to change to something that may have taken years to be designed by knowledgeable people, may be more risky that they realize. Don't forget, every part used took time to design. A fuse is there to protect the product, and to prevent fires. I would make sure the fuse you use can safely protect you, and your product. Neighbors too. I wouldn't experiment with unknowns. Again, designers put fuses in them for protection.

Also, you may void any warranty on your product. It's not a manufacturer's responsibility to repair something that may have been protected by a fuse that was changed by the buyer/user, if it wasn't an exact, specified, replacement. Just because somebody else is doing some experiment and nothing has happened yet, doesn't mean it won't sometime after. Use common sense. Some people seem to be going too far, without having any knowledge about the engineering that went into these products, and possibly, the safety risk.