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 50 responses by tbg

Knghifi, I did try them. I found them smeared and midrange oriented. I should also note that I have many of the older HiFi tuning fuses lying around here unused.

Donjr, you are right about the price. They are expensive. I don't think the Cable company allows trying them first with fuses.
They had at least a hundred hours on them.
Goldeneraguy, I agree. When I was first told to change the direction of a fuse and it made a big difference, I had to face the fact that I had no clue why. Since then I have just accepted the reality that there is no explanation in EE to account for this. This, of course, means that there is no predicting which fuse or which direction will be best. For a long time I used IsoClean fuses that indicate with an arrow which way the fuse should go. Initially, I did listening tests to see if the arrow was going the right direction. It always was. Then the question is which end of the fuse is directly connected to the wall. The arrow should go from that end. Of course, with no arrow, you have to try both ways.
Mapman, could be. There are many hypotheses.
Almarg, for what it's worth, I agree. I certainly think that mankind lacks total understanding of how the universe works and in fact when it comes to quantum physics may lack the capability to understand. Any one who believes that all wires sound the same, all capacitors sound alike, etc. just isn't listening with normal ears.
Geoffkait, yes, they do say all that you say. They do seem to think that smart ass response have some benefit in the argument. And they do think that they know the laws of physics or at least those from EE. They also totally violate the credo of science to get observations and data and to test hypotheses.

Basically, they are best left ignored. I must say that I wonder why you don't do so.
Kijanki, manufacturers don't want to alienate other fuse manufacturers or prospective customers as they don't want to alienate cable manufacturers or customers. I know several manufacturers who privately express opinion on fuses.
Wrm57, aren't you concerned about your masculinity in admitting this? Certainly your chances of getting into heaven are harmed.
I got more HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses in. The only one I have installed so far went into a prototype dac where I had an IsoClean fuse that had been Tesla coil treated by SR and painted by me with AVM. The result is typical. The sound stage became more realistic and the transients sharper. The other two will go into one of my preamps and into my phono stage.
Knghifi, you are probably right, but who is going to have a stable of fuses lying around and the patience to try each of five fuses in each component to see. I suspect to that there is an interaction between what fuse is in one device and what is in another in your system. This is then further complicated by devices with multiple fuses within them.

Basically, I change one fuse in one component and wait some time for it to settle. Sometimes I have the patience to go back to the original fuse. I can say that I thought the Supreme in the dac had a bigger benefit than those in the amps, but hey that may be the cumulative effect of the fuses.

Wolf_garcia, as the old southern adage goes, "throw me into that briar patch."
Bryoncunningham, does it matter which is true? I think not. To each his own. None of this discussion matters much to me. I am merely stating my experiences.
Bryoncunningham, you grossly misrepresent what I said. We are talking about tastes here. Does the fruitiness of the wine matter; does the fuel economy of various cars matter to you; etc. Also I am not arguing that what we discuss here does matter to some of us. Obviously, you don't think others' experiences with fuses matters. I value others' experiences, but mainly I post to share my experiences, but I expect only some will find them valuable. Your experiences have not be valuable to you; fine.

Yes, I said "this discussion" suggesting all of it irrelative to my initial post. I erred, what I find useless is your posts and those posting meaningless comments. I knew full-well that the cockroaches would come out of the walls when I posted my initial comment. I have had private comments, which are now awkward on Audiogon, sharing their experiences with fuses.
Bryoncunningham, sorry I am not going to post further on this aspect of fuses. If you want to further discuss your experiences or where you had success, I am interested.

Chadeffect, my first experience with fuses and their direction was when Lloyd Walker of Walker Audio concerning his power supply for his turntable. He said that I might want to reverse it and see if I heard a difference which was better. Lloyd is very sincere, so I took him seriously and tried it. He was right. I did frequently check this on components thereafter. Like you some showed little difference and others a great difference. Mainly, I just tried the fuse both ways and chose the best. But some times I learned which side of the fuse was the wall plug side. Later when I got the IsoClean fuses there was an arrow to indicate this direction. This was also when I first experienced shall I call them "designer" fuses.
Rogermod, you suggest that hearing differences in fuses is not resistance and that maybe we should consider microphonics. I don't know anyone who has ever suggested that differences are resistance, but certainly microphonics has been suggested. But the reality the search should be on as to what it is. Not to dismiss that there is a difference. This unscientific resistance to the possibility of differences, is why I dropped out of majoring in EE.
geoffkait, I knew what Rogermod thought he had proved and was saying about microvibrations, but it was a good point to note that he had proven only what most knew about resistance and nothing more. These pseudo-scientists fail to disprove what observations tell them-there is a difference in fuses. Rather than a priori refusals they should get to work finding what accounts for the differences. I know they always suggest that is delusion to hear a difference, but refuse to listen.
Polyglot, I didn't find that to be the case.
Almarg said, "Scientific investigation and scientific progress draw upon a combination of observation, experimentation, analysis, technical understanding, and (dare I say it) reasoned judgment and common sense, among other factors. I see no reason for audio to be any different."

I have taught course on the scientific method for many years in psychology and political science and taken courses in physics. I have heard that hypothesis testing with observation data using measures that are accepted as valid and isomorphic to the concepts in the hypotheses and at the ultimate stage, the use of experiments that allow the assessment of causality are all the essence of the scientific method. But I have never heard that common sense is part of this. Of course, technical competency is needed, but I haven't a clue what technical understanding means. Reasoning is, of course, needed to formulate hypotheses and to move to the level of theory formulation. Much of these last elements are clearly anti-science and any scientist that utter this as the basis for his judgment would be ignored by his colleagues. They are needed for you to justify ignoring observations and failure to conceptualize why fuses differ sonically, to assess what is going on, and to dismiss as nonsense that there could be such differences.
Mapman, if you can predict the direction correctly and it has a sonic difference, it does not matter what it is and is a matter that scientists might resolve were they to care to bother.
Mapman, I don't know where you got this information, but it is not science.
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.

Mapman, you are right relying solely on your intuition is not science at all. It is just a personal bias of no value to others.

No, intuition is not the driving force for innovation, informed curiosity is.

Wolf_garcia, I see the issue as largely irrelevant to me, but basically as those who on hearing an improvement will buy and use it versus those pseudo scientists who will dismiss somethings without hearing their impact if any. Most of the tweaks that I have bought, were done based on demonstration or money back trials. I do get irked when those with little understanding of science claim to reject tweaks out of hand. No scientist would ever do that especially if a demonstration is made. Quantum mechanics faced substantial resistance, especially from Einstein, but it was demonstrated to be right. I am not suggesting that difference among fuses are the result of quantum phenomena but it could be, of course.
Bryoncunningham, I think in line with European practic, in this chart comma means period and visa versa. Not unexpectedly there are variations; the real question is are these the differences that impact on the sound.

I now use mainly the HiFi Tuning Supreme, of course, but earlier I had carefully compared the first HiFi Tuning with the IsoClean fuses and preferred the IsoCleans, which are now clearly outperformed by HiFI Tuning Supremes. Maybe were I to take the time, I could identify both the early and Supreme HiFi Tuning fuses to assess whether some of these measures would correspond to what I heard.
All that I am convinced of with the HiFi Tuning fuses is that the logo is always in the same direction. Of course, we really don't know which direction the arrow should go. If the hot lead goes into the circuit and the neutral comes out, presumably the arrow should go from the hot IEC lead into the component.

Mapman, yes data hopefully suggests that the null hypothesis is rejectable and thus that something is going on between the variables. The hypothesis is tentatively supported.

I don't think we are near to stating a hypothesis much less testing it properly. Rather we are not even engaged in assessing a hypothesis, we are dealing in an anecdotal world, such as wine tastes, etc. All that am saying is that it is ridiculous to a priori reject that any variable can be found that contributes to the sound of a fuse.
Mapman, you say, "That would include the user thinking he heard a difference, not just factors with the electronic equipment. That can clearly be a factor." Sorry, I cannot agree to that as you are making an a priori judgment. I don't "think" I heard a difference, I did. You perhaps only think you did not hear a difference.

I only use slowblow fuses in amps normally but IsoClean only makes slowblow fuses. Surge current is the reason to use slowblow. I guess were you to have a massive preamp power supply one might be needed there.
Hifitimme, all of what you say maybe true, but it may be that it is "significant." Why do fuses sound different? That is the real question with which you should focus. As they sound different, what is wrong with people buying what they prefer? Would you argue that all wines differ insignificantly and that people should buy the lowest price ones?
Lacee, I entirely endorse what you say about the IsoClean fuses. I probably used them in fifteen different components in the last five years. The HiFi Tuning Supremes in my present system all replaced IsoClean fuses.

Your question about why fuses sound different is beyond established scientific knowledge at this time and probably will remain there as few researching scientists would bother with the issue.
Agisthos, I think SR hoped they would not be directional. So far I have always found the direction of the printing on the sticker on them goes agains the direction where they sound best.
Agisthos, I think SR hoped they would not be directional. So far I have always found the direction of the printing on the sticker on them goes against the direction where they sound best.
Hopefully, there are some who will dismiss the rhetoric and try different fuse and fuse direction.
As good as I thought the HiFi Tuning Supremes were, they are now much better. I had relied on the information I got from my amps' (BMC M1s) imported about the direction to be used as well as that of the HiFi Tuning importer on how to install the fuse. Friday I did an A/B direction testing. I had it in wrong.

To not offend doubters' sensibilities, I will just say that such an A/B testing to get it right is absolutely necessary.
Bryoncunningham, I have probably thirty unused special fuses around here. Most are here for a device that I once had. Most 1 amp 20 mm fuses are used, but 1 amp longer fuses or now unused. I also have quite a few 10 amp long fuses lying around. Look at it this ways-having fuses lying around is cheaper than having amps lying around.
Tmsorosk, the naysayers are irrelevant. They mainly don't want to try this tweak or they claim they hear nothing. That is their problem. Obviously, I entirely share your experiences. For the last five or six years, I have been concerned with fuse direction and later with the fuse manufacturer. I have had some devices where the fuse direction didn't seem to matter much are where there were multiple fuses or I could not be certain that I had exhausted all the many combinations of direction among them. Similarly, I have experienced special fuses that did little or that actually harmed the sound. I have even tried magnets in place of the fuses, but thought there was no real benefit and certainly hesitated to have no protection.

You either try things or not. If one choses to not try changes, it bothers me little.
Nonoise, I guess I can see this, but again all that I want to report is my experience. I care not at all whether some put no value on it. I can see that you are concerned with why some hear nothing. This is the opposite of the placebo effect. If you don't expect to hear something, you won't.
A fifth man said, "Enough of this nonsense, let's go get a beer!"
Almarg, I borrowed a voltage tracking machine from a friend in EE and checked my voltage continually for two weeks. I got occasion drops from the typical 122.4 volts. In Texas the electric companies are accustomed to heavy use in the heat. Last year they lost a good deal of their reserve as they had exposed water pipes that froze in the winter and were being repaired. Some planning! But here we were not subject to the black out that Texas inflicted on New Mexico.

I, at least, don't have any pattern of when the system sounds better.
Rodman99999, for some reason the HiFi Tuning Supremes seem much more sensitive to direction. You have a 550/50 chance to get it right with every fuse, of course. I thought I had them in the right direction in my amps, but when I reversed them, the change was shockingly better. If it is easy, I would urge you to try it.

Lacee, I used IsoClean fuses for several years. IMHO, yes there is a new kid on the block.
Goldeneraguy, it amazes me also. I really don't understand what drives some people. Having been for a year a EE major, I can partially understand. I once asked in class, when we were going to study tube circuits. In a mild rage, the professor uttered that tubes were done and thus don't merit any discussion. I decided that physics was more scientific and switched there.
Bryoncunningham, I admire your eagerness but think this is largely fruitless as there are too many fuses and too many components. It is a lot like fuse direction, I have found that many components show little sense of fuse direction and some great differences.
Chadeffect, I think you should add #7-it doesn't matter that some claim neither direction or manufacturer of fuses have no effect. It is not their business what we each hear in our systems.
I got some of the new Synergistic Research fuses in. I may get back about them, if you boys behave.
I know from past experience that the use of the SR Tesla coil sound much better. So I'm anxious to hear their fuses done this way. I even had HiFi Tuning fuses zapped by them which also improved them. No chance of getting the Supremes zapped, however.
Tawa, turn the fuse around.
Pack, I have tried magnets in place of fuse and even silver wire. I will say that there is a different sound, but I felt unsafe.
Hifitime, "If" is the operative word. Don't assume that people need to see the fuses, etc. I knew a guy who considered himself an audiophile who had his system of all renown manufacturers. I went by once and he showed me the system but did not turn it on. He had heard my system. I suspect he did not care that mine sounded better as his wife exclaimed.
Hifitime, I fondly remember a time in Tallahassee when there were other audiophiles around and we went to listen to their systems when they had new products. In LA there were more and more formal meetings and dealers who would have such meetings. Now I know of no audiophiles within a hundred miles.
Mapman, I like the IMHO. As long as people respect the fast versus slow distinction and the amp value on the stock fuse, experimentation is perfectly safe. Why you would advocate avoiding the fuse tweak, I don't understand.
Knghifi, you should get the WA-Quantum fuse Chip that the Cable Company is providing free with HiFi Tuning Supreme. I tried the Audio Magic fuse but they robbed the music of pace and clarity. The latest fuse on the block are those by Synergistic Research. They sound quite different than the HiFi Tuning Supremes.
Knghifi, get the WA-Quantum Chips for your Supremes.
Were it conductive, how could one blow a fuse?
Hasse, all that I can really suggest is that you listen to the Supremes with the WA fuse Chips on them and also listen to the SR fuses. I hear a big differences but cannot put myself into your shoes.
Gbmcleod, the AMR are better.