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
Geoff,

There are smart people here. Scientists and engineers. How about actually discussing some of your scientific breakthroughs in scientific terms rather than muddying the waters via logic based on non-facts?

"Onviously a lot of folks think many of my products absurd, while I do not, obviously."

You said it not me.

Do you offer stock for purchase? Opinions might change if there is money to be made.
Mapman, you said,

"There are smart people here. Scientists and engineers. How about actually discussing some of your scientific breakthroughs in scientific terms rather than muddying the waters via logic based on non-facts?

One man's - or should I say one Mapman's - non-facts are another man's facts.

But You make a valid point - why don't I discuss my scientific breakthroughs here? You might not have noticed, but over the past 8 years or so there have been quite a few discussions about my products here on Agon. Unfortunately, as you might be aware, these discussions always lead to a train wreck. Make sense? Consequently, it just doesn't make sense for me to initiate discussions of my products. There was some discussion recently, so you might search the forum.

Furthermore, many of my products are proprietary. However, I provide the operational concepts of many of my products on my web site.

Cheers, Geoff
05-12-12: Geoffkait
As a skeptic, don't you think truth would be better served by actual investigation rather that idle speculation from the comfort of your Barko Lounger? You might consider taking a tip from PT Barnum who said, folks would be better off believing in too much rather than too little.
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.

Each individual will (and should) invest his or her time and money in ways that he or she judges to have the greatest likelihood of being productive. In making that judgment, individual experimentation, reports of experimentation by others, analysis, technical understanding, and common sense all have their place. The likelihood of optimal results from those investments of time and money will be maximized if all of those elements are drawn upon. The likelihood of optimal results from those investments will be minimized if there is an over-reliance on unchallenged anecdotal reports.

Concerning your reference to me "as a skeptic," I have nowhere in this thread or elsewhere ruled out the possibility that changing fuses can make a difference. I have, though, expressed skepticism about directionality. What I have said about changing fuses can be summarized as follows:

(a)The EXPLANATIONS that are offered for their purported effects do not stand up under quantitative scrutiny.

(b)I suspect that a substantial number of reports of differences, but certainly not all such reports, are due either to failure to recognize and control extraneous variables, or to effects that are system dependent and do not have broad applicability to other systems, or to misperception.

(c)I see no reason to expect that where a fuse upgrade makes a difference that the difference will always, or even usually, be for the better.

(d)I would not be surprised if an extensive comparison of a variety of inexpensive fuses would result in differences comparable to those that are commonly reported to result from changing from stock fuses to expensive fuses.

Regarding P. T. Barnum, he is often credited (perhaps incorrectly) with having made a completely different statement, that on occasion seems applicable to audio. It had something to do with birth rates. :-)

Brett (Isochronism), thank you most kindly.

Regards,
-- Al
05-12-12: Almarg
(a)The EXPLANATIONS that are offered for their purported effects do not stand up under quantitative scrutiny.
Hi Al - There's a guy over on the Polk Audio forum who claimed his measurements corroborated both that fuses measure differently and that even fuse directions measure differently. You can see his measurements here. I don't really know what to make of it. What do you think?

(b)I suspect that a substantial number of reports of differences, but certainly not all such reports, are due either to failure to recognize and control extraneous variables, or to effects that are system dependent and do not have broad applicability to other systems, or to misperception.
This happend to me, as I described in an earlier post on this thread. When I first installed the Hifi Tuning fuse in my amp, there was a noticeable jump in headroom. I thought, "Wow, these really work." When I later A/B'd the Hifi Tuning fuse with the stock fuse, I could not reproduce the effect. Therefore, my initial impression was either (a) misperception or (b) attributable to some other variable (cleaner contacts, better grip on the fuse, etc.).

(c)I see no reason to expect that where a fuse upgrade makes a difference that the difference will always, or even usually, be for the better.
This also happened to me, as I mentioned earlier. After extended listening, I preferred the sound of the stock fuses to the Hifi Tuning fuses, both in my amp and my preamp.

Of course, I've since ordered fancy fuses from two other manufacturers -- Furutech and Isoclean. So maybe I'm in for a real treat! Hmm. For some reason I'm reminded of birth rates.

Bryon

P.S. For a limited time only, I'm making available a pair of Hifi Tuning fuses. I've done the courtesy of breaking them in for you. Just $300 for the pair. Don't miss out!!
Geof, my new audiophile fuse will be called "The Funky Little Fuse". The design goal will be to deliver the soul of the music. If any music that does not have soul comes into play it will blow but be replaceable for a small fee.

Hope there is no copyright infringements here! The principle by which this fuse operates is proprietary intellectual property so I cannot discuss, although it will be quite amazing I am sure.

Cheers! :-)
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.
Almarg, you 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 see many reasons why this is different for audio. One need look no further that the cable controversy, now more than 30 years old, with no resolution in sight. Amplifiers with the lowest THD always sound better than one with higher THD, even 10 times higher. I implore you, is that reasonable, does that make sense? Extremely thin cables can sound better than much thicker ones. Again, does that make sense? Mpingo discs - how can one small 1 1/2 inch ebony disc in the room completely change the sound? It doesn't make sense. Green pens for coloring CD? Doesn't make sense. Schumann frequency generators that improve the sound? That's patently absurd. Intelligent chip with quantum dots improves the sound of CDs? Ridiculous. A cream that improves the sound of CDs or LPs when applied to the surface of the disc. Now, don't tell me that makes sense. Quartz, topaz, tourmaline and other types of Crystals for everything from cables and power cord plugs to room corners and electronics. Is that reasonable?

Tiny little bowls that improve the sound, even bass frequencies. I implore you, does that make sense? I'm afraid what we have is a revolution in how we look at the hobby of audio. Of course, we could ignore it, but doesn't it make more sense, and isn't it more reasonable, to take advantage of these new technologies to improve our lot?
There is such a thing as "technical intuition". This is what enables one to assess technical facts and draw conclusions that have a godd chance of being accurate. Its a rare thing. Based on his posts, i would say almarg has it to an exceptional degree.

Machina dynamica? Not s much in my humble opinion. Sorry but thats what my "technical intuition" tells me. Just being honest.
"Machina dynamica? Not s much in my humble opinion. Sorry but thats what my "technical intuition" tells me. Just being honest."

I respect your opinion and appreciate your honesty - just curious, though, does your "technical intuition" come from a crystal ball or do you have a strong technical background? In any case, as I already intimated, I get a lot of comments like yours, completely understandable. No hard feelings.
...just curious, though, does your "technical intuition" come from a crystal ball or do you have a strong technical background?
Hmm. Doesn't Machina Dynamica sell a crystal ball?

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...
Bryon, you're close...very close.
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.
05-12-12: Bryoncunningham
There's a guy over on the Polk Audio forum who claimed his measurements corroborated both that fuses measure differently and that even fuse directions measure differently. You can see his measurements here. I don't really know what to make of it. What do you think?
Hi Bryon,

Thanks for providing the reference, which I have read through.

Looking at the larger spectral components, which are the harmonics of 60 Hz (i.e., 120, 180, 240, 300 Hz etc.) and the DC component, in most of the comparisons between different fuses and different orientations there is essentially no change. In a few cases there are some minor differences, with the expensive fuses being slightly better in some cases and slightly worse in others, compared to the stock fuses.

The most notable differences occur for non-harmonic frequency components that are at levels of 60 or 65 db or so below the amplitude of the 60 Hz component. Those differences were generally in the direction of favoring the expensive fuses, but in some cases favored the stock fuses. But consider that 60 db corresponds to 0.1% in terms of voltage, and 0.0001% in terms of power. And along the lines of Roger's comment, those percentages will be GREATLY reduced by rectification, filtering, and in the case of many components voltage regulation, that occurs in the circuitry between the output side of the fuse and the signal path.

I would add that the differences in those low level spectral components were so small and at such low levels that I wouldn't be surprised if they were attributable to things like differences in the amount of current being drawn through the fuses as a result of differences in the warmup state of the component, or differences in the positioning or orientation of the scope probe or its cable for each of the measurements.

Mapman, thanks very much. Putting aside considerations of the specific individuals being discussed, your comment that
There is such a thing as "technical intuition". This is what enables one to assess technical facts and draw conclusions that have a good chance of being accurate.
strikes me as perceptive and accurate.

Best,
-- Al
Geoff,

Yes I do have a technical background. A big part of my occupation is assessing technology and managing technical risks.
What I call technical intuition may be similar to what Al calls common sense, at least in the context of technology and science.

It requires knowledge in order to be able to assess the validity of what is believed to be fact. Science and statistics is the still the tool that would best be applied to quantitatively determine support for any hypothesis, but patterns are detected and applied by knowledgeable and clear thinking humans in real time all the time. If the person is truly good at determining patterns among facts as opposed to non-facts and identifying the meaningful patterns, they develop good intuition or "common sense" over time.

Regardless of the domain over which common sense or intuition develops, the common ingredients are the ability to judge fact from non fact in that particular domain of knowledge and the ability to apply logic and patterns effectively to make meaningful associations.
Mapman, I don't know where you got this information, but it is not science.
Tbg,

I'm not saying intuition is science.

Look up the meaning. Two different things!

Maybe someone with nothing better to do will do a scientific study on the effect of fuses on sound in audio systems.

Meanwhile we will have to solely rely on our individual intuition and draw our own conclusions as best we see fit.

My conclusion is I will not lose any sleep over fuses. That's pretty much it.
Mapman, you said,
"Yes I do have a technical background. A big part of my occupation is assessing technology and managing technical risks."

I don't really consider technology assessment or risk management to be technical fields, not that there's anything wrong with them. Even if your education and background were based on the hard sciences, you would still have a problem using technical intuition to determine the operational feasibility or efficacy of the controversial tweaks we've been talking about, like fuse directionality. Now, you might conclude it doesn't make sense, but that's to be expected, that's why it's controversial.

In the cases of things like Crystals, green pens, red pens, Mpingo discs, clocks that don't plug into the wall, PWB cream, low frequency generators, tiny bowl resonators, quantum dots, liquid cables, most audiophiles simply aren't prepared, education or background wise, to come up with an informed decision one way or the other. Technical intuition of the guy under the bridge is not going to be of much help when it comes to assessing many controversial tweaks. Someone with an EE or BS is not going to be much better off, since many of the concepts and technology involved with controversial tweaks cannot be found in textbooks.
05-12-12: Almarg
The most notable differences occur for non-harmonic frequency components that are at levels of 60 or 65 db or so below the amplitude of the 60 Hz component. Those differences were generally in the direction of favoring the expensive fuses, but in some cases favored the stock fuses. But consider that 60 db corresponds to 0.1% in terms of voltage, and 0.0001% in terms of power. And along the lines of Roger's comment, those percentages will be GREATLY reduced by rectification, filtering, and in the case of many components voltage regulation, that occurs in the circuitry between the output side of the fuse and the signal path.
Thanks, Al. That's more or less what I thought when I looked at it. I suppose that means that the differences heard among fuses are either...

1. Misperception.
2. Misattribution.
3. Attributable to other variables.

I'm interested in knowing which of these it is, though evidently it's not an easy question to answer. Within a week I'll have fuses from Hifi Tuning, Isoclean, and Furutech, in addition to the stock fuses. I will do my best to A/B, A/C, A/D, B/C, B/D, C/D them. It's certainly not science, but it's something.

Bryon
Hi Bryon,

Just to clarify, I think that in number 3 you are referring to other fuse-related variables, perhaps unexplainable ones.

Also, where I referred to rectification, filtering, and in some cases voltage regulation as reducing the magnitude of the noise components shown in the reference you provided, I should also have mentioned power supply rejection ratio. Which is to say that extraneous frequency components that may be present on the DC voltages which power the circuit stages that are directly in the signal path will not directly sum together or intermodulate with the signal. In a good design only a tiny fraction of those extraneous components will affect the signal. That is particularly the case if their frequencies are very low and therefore can't couple through stray capacitances or radiate. The noise frequencies shown in the reference you provided are of course very low.
I will do my best to A/B, A/C, A/D, B/C, B/D, C/D them. It's certainly not science, but it's something.
I have no doubt that your comparisons will be more thorough and disciplined than many others, and therefore more meaningful.

Best,
-- Al
There are some products I have lower regard for than the MD products I have read about but it is truly hard to come up with many. Cigarettes are the ones that come to mind. Although I am of the opinion that the MD products are a sham, at least they are not hazardous to your health most likely. Then again who knows since as best I can tell nobody in this world is intelligent enough to understand how they work seemingly.
"There are some products I have lower regard for than the MD products I have read about but it is truly hard to come up with many. Cigarettes are the ones that come to mind. Although I am of the opinion that the MD products are a sham, at least they are not hazardous to your health most likely. Then again who knows since as best I can tell nobody in this world is intelligent enough to understand how they work seemingly."

Mapman, thanks for endorsement. Your opinion means a lot to me.

Maybe you can do a risk assessment for me, whadda say?

You know what everyone in the world thinks? Interesting.

Tootles
Well, maybe I'm wrong. After all, its merely intuition. I do always try to keep an open mind though.
One more thing regarding intuition. Some believe intuition is the driving force behind innovation. That makes sense to me and I would tend to agree.
Mapman, If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out.
Three words occur to me when I plow through this weave of threads: Gasbag, Florid, and Insecure. I'm glad I'm a musician and not a scientist, although scientists are cute when they're little.

I also think people who market audio "esoterica" or difficult to explain (or justify the expense of) tweaks miss the boat by not stating the following: "If you don't see a dramatic improvement in the sound of your gear after installing this product, you're a tin eared idiot." Period. This would cut to the philosophical marketing chase and prompt a feeding frenzy, thereby satisfying both ends of the deal.
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.
It seems this fuse thread is an excuse to talk about everything and nothing at the same time. I think the best study of how fuses sound is not science it is your ears. I think that we can't measure everything the ear hears. I also feel that science does draw effectual reasons for some of what is what in materials and application. So like mapman I got an idea. I think I can improve ones hearing that will make everything sound different and maybe better. It will not only improve your hearing but it will be a fashion statement. Believe me nobody will want to be without one when they see Scarlet O'Hara wearing one. Beleive me, beleive me, belive me. Are you beleiveing me yet? Ok now I can make lots of $$$$$$. Ha ha ha ha ha ha you look funny now.
Tbg,

I did not say i rely solely on intuition. Those are your words and you are incorrect in jumping to that conclusion.

Jumping to conclusions is clearly not good science!
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.
After reading much of this thread, the question is: To re-fuse or refuse? I was skeptical about many things in audio that I later came to believe, but this still sounds unlikely to have a major effect, especially directionality. Maybe still worth a try at such low cost.
So just in case anybody still cares after all this, i will recap my thoughts about fuses

1. Fuses clearly effect sound. No fuse, no sound. Pretth clear.

2. A fuse that sounds bad is probably defective and should be replaced

3. If all seems well there are many other things i can do that i understand enough to try to change the sound in a reasonably predictable manner.

4. Changing a fuse might change the sound in a hearable manner but i have no clue what tk expect if i change fuse a for fuse b. I will not be spending any time worrying about this because it just is not important to me.

5. Science is not likely to offer clear guidelines for determining sound of fuses anytime soon. If i pick a new fuse it wlll have to be done based on intuition. I am ok with that. I think i will survive my next fuse change ordeal in good shape.

6. Others will also have to rely on their intuition to make these big life decisions as well unless they know of some reliable scientific basis for picking a good sounding fuse that i am not aware of.

Time to blow my own fuse on this topic :-)
2. A fuse that sounds bad is probably defective and should be replaced
I've had ~40+ Sovtek / EH 6922s over the years and always sound bad compared to the Tele, Siemen, Amperex ... so I guess they were all probably DEFECTIVE.

Also all my stock PCs sound bad compared to after market PCs so I guess they were all probably DEFECTIVE.
... Now it finally makes sense. Many Thanks!

4. Changing a fuse might change the sound in a hearable manner but i have no clue what tk expect if i change fuse a for fuse b. I will not be spending any time worrying about this because it just is not important to me.
It's not very complicated and not good worrying about it, how about just use the one that's sounds better in YOUR component/system? If it doesn't work out and prefer stock, then no Starbucks for a week and sell it on Agon?

5. Science is not likely to offer clear guidelines for determining sound of fuses anytime soon. If i pick a new fuse it wlll have to be done based on intuition. I am ok with that. I think i will survive my next fuse change ordeal in good shape.

6. Others will also have to rely on their intuition to make these big life decisions as well unless they know of some reliable scientific basis for picking a good sounding fuse that i am not aware of.
Like everything in this crazy hobby, there are no best so just buy/use what is best to you?
05-13-12: Almarg
Just to clarify, I think that in number 3 you are referring to other fuse-related variables, perhaps unexplainable ones.
Yes. Sorry, I should have been clearer. I was saying that it's possible that there are properties of fuses that account for audible differences among them (assuming they exist) that were not measured by the guy on the the Polk audio forum. And yes, those properties might be not only unexplained but unexplainable. I'm not saying that's true, just that it's possible. And, btw, thank you for your characteristically substantive comments.

05-13-12: Mapman
Well, maybe I'm wrong. After all, it's merely intuition.
05-13-12: Tbg
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.
05-08-12: Tbg
I value others' experiences...
I suppose this means that you value others' experiences, so long as they are not Mapman's experiences. Or mine. Or Al's. Or Roger's.

The role of intuition, which Mapman raises, is quite relevant to this conversation. I brought this up in an earlier post...
It's widely (though not universally) acknowledged by people who are both audiophiles and experts in electronic design that, in addition to the Known Parameters that affect sound quality, it is likely that there are Unknown Parameters that affect sound quality. Those Unknown Parameters are either unmeasured or unmeasurable, though that could change with the progress of knowledge, either theoretical or applied.

For those who acknowledge the likelihood of Unknown Parameters, what is the standard by which Possible Unknown Parameters are distinguished from Impossible Unknown Parameters? Since by definition it cannot be the standard of prevailing knowledge, it must be something else. But what? Intuition?

If the answer is intuition, I can accept that. I believe intuition is worth something. In fact, I believe it's worth quite a bit. But I will point out that intuition, even the intuition of experts, has been wrong innumerable times, with consequences ranging from trivial to amusing to catastrophic.
Whenever you are at the boundary between the Known and the Unknown, intuition is a significant factor in judgments about what is plausible, what is possible, and what is nonsense.

Bryon
I found another set of fuse measurements, this one done by Hifi Tuning. You can see it here.

bc
Thanks for the link Bryon, very informative.
Well, I was done with this thread but now that there is some more real data to apply, what the hey. Thanks Bryon (I think).

SO it makes sense to me that resistance and voltage across different fuses varies somewhat and is not exactly the same.

Also makes sense to expect fuses with more quality build, cleaner etc. to measure better in these regards. That probably applies to most any electrical part that affects the signal in gear. NOthing much new there. The thing with fuses is that they are relatively easy to change and experiment with if one is so inclined in most cases say compared to soldered parts like caps, resisters, transistors, etc.

That helps confirm some useful guidelines that make sense for deciding which fuses might perform better than others which is useful.

The article is vague though about what sonic differences were heard with different fuses and to what extent. ALso no info if these differences are unique to specific gear or general to all. SO there is a value determination to be made that individuals will make differently.

In the end it would seem to make sense to assure one uses a fuse with good relative build quality. Nothing mysterious there! Some might deem it worthy to invest time in comparing sound of different fuses in their system. Others may not. Nothing new there much either.

In general my opinion is that every part that affects the signal path that goes into making a piece of audio gear affects performance to some degree. The question is always how much and whether it matters to the user. THe answer lies largely with the needs and interests of the user more than anything else.

So what is it we are arguing about again?
Mapman, you said,

"SO it makes sense to me that resistance and voltage across different fuses varies somewhat and is not exactly the same. ....nothing new here."

Uh, Mapman, I think you better look at the data again. The data also shows measured differences were due to fuse direction. Hel-loooo! What does your intuition tell you about that data? Lol

Tootles
Hi Bryon,

Thanks once again for providing the reference. I applaud HiFi-Tuning for providing these measurements. However, IMO they provide the basis for a good case as to why fuse upgrades shouldn't make a difference, or at least a difference that is necessarily for the better.

In interpreting the data, btw, it should be noted that where the numbers they present that have commas separating groups of digits, the commas represent decimal points. So "24,077 milliohms" means "24.077 milliohms."

Earlier comments by Roger and by me apply to the resistance and voltage drop differences that are shown on the first three pages of the reference. On 4-29-12 I said:
Even if the upgraded fuses reduced those voltage drops and fluctuations to zero (which they won't, of course), would such small differences have any audible significance? I suspect that with some components in some systems at some line voltages there might be a marginally perceptible difference. However even if there were a difference, I don't see any reason to expect that it would be consistently in the direction of being better. Especially given that at many locations these days the AC voltage at the wall outlet is higher than the 120V or thereabouts that the components are presumably voiced at.
On page 3 they state in reference to the resistance measurements that:
There is a measurable difference in directivity of fuses. Mostly that will be due to the way the melting wire is manufactured. The difference is in the range of 5%.
In fact, all or nearly all of the directional differences in resistance were vastly smaller than 5%, with the exception of the "standard glass fuse." However, even in that case, if per my comment and Roger's comments the OVERALL resistance for both directions is insignificant, the DIFFERENCE in resistance between the two orientations will certainly be insignificant.

On page 4, section 3 refers to a table of vector impedance measurements, but that table and those measurements do not appear anywhere.

The remaining section that presents data, section 4 beginning on page 4, opens with a statement that I certainly agree with:
The measurements done so far showed some measurable differences between fuse [sic], but didn´t explain completely the sonic differences between fuses.
It then goes on to present data for thermal noise, and for an increase in thermal noise.

What the "increase" is with respect to is not defined, so that data is useless. And in any event the numbers shown are not large.

The numbers presented for thermal noise measurements are so infinitesimal as to be laughable, being a fraction of a millionth of a volt in nearly all cases, including the standard glass fuse (on a 120 volt waveform no less, or perhaps it is even 240 volts!). A modest length of wire will pick up more noise than that from AM and FM radio signals that are passing through the air. And of course that noise level will be swamped by the noise produced by the parts and circuitry in the components, and the noise that will be present on the incoming AC (even if a power conditioner or regenerator is used). And that is all not to mention that the millionth of a volt of noise will be greatly reduced by filtering and noise rejection that will occur in the power supply and other circuitry of the component.

As I said earlier, I don't exclude the possibility that a fuse change can make a difference, but once again the explanations that are offered in support of the existence of those differences do not withstand quantitative scrutiny.

Best,
-- Al
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.
Geof from Machina Dynamica asked:

"The data also shows measured differences were due to fuse direction. Hel-loooo! What does your intuition tell you about that data? Lol"

I've already stated that back towards the beginning of this thread. See below.

Tootles?

---

04-27-12: Mapman
Well, there must be an explanation if a difference is heard.

MAybe the fuse line material is not electronically consistent from end to end resulting in non symmetric electrical properties that come into play when direction is switched?

When a fuse blows, the gap can seemingly occur anywhere,wherever the conductor is "weakest", and commonly towards one end or the other so that would be consistent with this theory.
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.
Tbg,

WOuld you agree that there are a lot of ifs and maybes still in this discussion?

Back in grad school, where I did in fact study applied science and even conducted some award winning research, we were taught that the scientific method can be used only to measure support for hypotheses. Nothing is ever proven without a shadow of a doubt. That is why I seldom state anything in absolute terms, even if in my mind I think what I say is in fact true.

Best to not jump to conclusions even if you get the facts right, especially when there is only limited scientific data to support such.

Science alone answers little conclusively. We all have to rely on our intuition to help guide the way to some extent.
So what is it we are arguing about again?
The Believer says to the Skeptic, "You must be deaf.”

The Skeptic says to the Believer, "You must be a fool."

The Engineer says to the Believer, “Where is the evidence?”

The Believer says to the Engineer, “In my ears.”

The Skeptic says to the Believer, “Your ears are failing you.”

The Believer says to the Skeptic, “Your brain is failing you.”

The Philosopher says to the Believer, “Let's use reason.”

The Believer says to the Philosopher, “I am using reason.”

The Skeptic says to the Believer, “So am I.”

The Engineer says to the Philosopher, "We need to find evidence."

The Philosopher says to the Engineer, "I found some right here."

The Engineer says to the Philosopher, "Let's take a look at it."

The Believer says to the Skeptic, “I have to step out for a second.”

The Skeptic says to the Believer, “I'll come with you.”

bc
To all,

I would like to remind everyone that reversing the direction of existing, stock fuses can result in better sound. Of course the sound could get worse, it all depends on whether the fuse was initially installed in the "correct direction". This means that there is something inherent in the fuse wire that is producing the change in sound, since fuses are symmetrical. What could that something be? Well, since manufacturers of fuses and cables that have identified directionality of wire as being a real phenomenon have had to implement a strict control process for how the wire is fabricated, tracking the direction of the wire throughout the entire process. Ironically, this is true for Hi Fi Tuning, the owner of which for years insisted that fuses were NOT directional, that they would eventually break in "correctly".

If a manufacturer doesn't maintain strict control of wire direction during the entire process the odds are 50-50 that the wire direction will be correct. Pop quiz - Can anyone think of the reason why a wire becomes non-symmetrical during the fabrication process? Answer at 11.
"A difference that makes no difference is no difference".

An obscure quote from an obscure scifi novel I read years ago that has always stuck with me. I find it quite useful to help sort through priorities in life.
05-14-12: Almarg
On page 3 they state in reference to the resistance measurements that:

"There is a measurable difference in directivity of fuses. Mostly that will be due to the way the melting wire is manufactured. The difference is in the range of 5%."

In fact, all or nearly all of the directional differences in resistance were vastly smaller than 5%...
That was exactly what I thought. I wondered where they got the 5% from. When I looked at the measurements they provided, I thought "Wow, those are tiny differences. How is that audible?" It makes me wonder whether I heard what I thought I heard.
I don't exclude the possibility that a fuse change can make a difference, but once again the explanations that are offered in support of the existence of those differences do not withstand quantitative scrutiny.
Again, I agree. And thank you again for your substantive comments.

I have a question about Hifi Tuning fuses and directionality...

I've read in several places that Hifi Tuning fuses are supposed to be pointed "in the direction of current flow." Leaving aside for the moment that we're talking about Alternating Current, I've taken those instructions to mean that the "arrow" that appears on the fuse should be pointing "downstream" toward the equipment's power supply.

The problem is that the "arrow" looks like a diode symbol, and the "arrow" in a diode symbol customarily points AGAINST the direction of current flow. So it's totally unclear to me which way the folks at Hifi Tuning think is the "correct" way to install the fuse. Anyone know?

Bryon
On Page 4 of the Hi Fi Tuning data sheets, the following comment is made.

"The measurements done so far showed some measurable differences between fuse(s), but didn ́t explain completely the sonic differences between fuses."

Thus, there's no reason (for a skeptic) to hang his hat on either the resistance data or the noise data. It is actually a strawman argument, a logical fallacy, to protest that very low differences in noise and resistance proves, or is evidence that, differences in fuses and fuse directionality are not audible.

Cheers
Hi Bryon,

A diode will conduct current when the voltage at the terminal FROM which the arrow is pointing is greater (i.e., more positive, or less negative relative to some reference point) than the voltage at the terminal TO which the arrow is pointing. (And with most diodes that difference in voltage has to be at least several tenths of a volt before significant current will flow).

What makes it confusing, though, is that when conduction occurs the direction of electron flow is opposite to the direction of the arrow. That is because by convention the direction of current flow is defined as if positive charges were conducting the current (from + to -), even though electricity in metallic conductors is conducted by electrons which are negatively charged (flowing from - to +).

I have no idea, though, what HiFi-Tuning intends the arrow to signify, if anything.

Best,
-- Al