fuses - the $39 ones or the 85 cent ones

My Rogue Cronus recently blew a slow blow fuse. I was surfing to find a replacement. The stock fuse is a typical metal end cap, glass and "wire" fuse. The audio emporiums only seemed to offer these $39 German gold plated end wunderkinds. I finally found "normal" fuses from a guitar amp site. Has anyone tried the uber fuses and found the sound better? Hard to understand how it could be. Thanks for any thoughts.
If you have $1,000.00 powercords, the $39 for a fuse makes sense. I you have ordinary powercords, or even $100. powercords, the fuses are 'over the top' sort of.
$39 German gold plated fuse does not make sense at all. There is absolutly no way to that you are receiving better sound or better performance from such an outlandish priced gimick from a $39.00 dollar gold platted fuse period. Just buy the .89 cent fuse and don't even think of wasting your money on that nonsense and leave that stuff up to the Goldfingers of the world to play with.
Here is a site that has some testimonies as to their effectivness: (http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1782) As usual there are those that haven't tried them, and have an opinion(for what that's worth=0). I would add to the previous post: If you have upgraded your power cords, and not heard a difference: Don't bother. Some systems/rooms won't resolve the differences, and some can't hear the differences(or: won't admit there is one, 'cause they can't stand being wrong). I'm glad you posted this. I'd forgotten I wanted to get a pair to try in my Carys(a year ago).
Just to add a bit more fuel to the fire I'm certain this thread will start: (http://www.stereophile.com/powerlineaccessories/907fuse/) I like to hear what the people that listen to equipment for a living have to say sometimes.
Yes, they do add clarity and openness, but Elizabeth is right. And I sure wouldn't try anything costing more than a dollar in your Rogue until you're dead sure the problem is corrected that caused the first fuse to blow. Good luck, Dave
I bought the wunderkinds and if I could tell the difference or choose one as better I would be suprised. On the other hand, since I have expensive power cords, I bought them any way. I will say there are many other things I would do first before I bothered with the uber fuses.
The best advice so far is to get the cheapo fuses first to make there are no problems with amp. Then if you insert the uber fuse let us know the results.
What kind of fuses does the amp use? Doesn't Radio Shack carry them?
I bought the uber fuse for my MC402 with the stock power cord and heard the difference.

The difference isn't as great as what I've heard between different brands of $400/1meter pair of interconnects, but then it was only 1/10 the cost and it is an improvement.

With only one fuse needed, I think it was worth it. I will purchase another one for my phono section in the future. Think of it as one monthly payment on a satellite TV or cell phone bill. This is from a cheapskate who doesn't have either.

Relax, have a homebrew and listen to some Lee Morgan...
the amp uses 4 slow blow fuses; 1 for each EL34, .250 mv and Rat Shack doesn't carry 'em.
Hey Joe- Any electronics store will have the correct Buss fuses you need. Sometimes a bad tube(internal, intermittent short perhaps) will blow a fuse. Hopefully it's not a transformer(worst case). DON'T buy Radioshlock fuses. They'll blow of their own accord and make you crazy(I've seen it too many times). AND as stated- DON'T try the high dollar ones until you're certain the amp's straight!!
Here's another log for the fire: (http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue32/fuses.htm) These fuses are getting a lot of positive reactions for just being a "gimmick" it would seem! I'll be happy to wrap my little (Gold)fingers around some this weekend!
Recently i compare the HIFI TUNING FUSE to the ISOCLEAN FUSE.I am owner of LAMM M2.2 amp wich hold large fuse slow blow of 8 amp each.I compared them on an A/B listening in fact the Isoclean sound more spectacular more open and detailed, seem to reduce the noise floor in a significant way.With the Hifi tuning fuse i feel the sound to be more natural less leaner with more body especially on voice, overall more natural sounding ( a matter of taste).With upgraded fuses the sound is more natural an effortless it is like upgrading for a better power cord.Will never return back to el chipo Radio Scrap fuses.Of course i got 12 Hifi Tuning fuses in my system and it worth every penny spend
Joe, here is a store that carries just about every fuse.


It is my firm opinion that HiFi Tuning fuses are very synergistic with our amplifiers, Spectron Musician III SE. For my ears they clearly and without any question remove "gray noise" across the Spectron from high frequencies to low - making sound much more "liquid" and involving.

It is rather well known that signal transfer function of the electrical signal will change rather dramatically when you move it from one conductive lattice to another and thus results I hear make theoretically good sense.

I do not hear more clarity, increase in soundstage or other things many people claim but for Spectron owners who can afford these amps its worth while to buy them.

Moreover, as a service to our customers, we made arrangement with the distributor for some "Spectron" discount - for details you can e-mail at Info@spectronaudio.com

I would add that as a service to our customers, we made "Spectron discount" arrangement with the distributors of other assessories which per my and my beta users opinion improve sound of our amplifier.

Hope it helps - at least to Spectron users

Hey Joe- If it's still blowing the fuse: Replace it and swap the tubes around after marking the one that blew the fuse(assuming the fuses are designated as to which tube socket they supply). If it blows another fuse: see if it corresponds with the marked tube.
I agree with Rocc1007

I have two 8A slo-blo, 5x20mm Isoclean fuses I don't need them any longer. One is new and unopened. The other has been used for about 20 hours (does it matter?), and comes with the original box.
I like to hear what the people that listen to equipment for a living have to say sometimes.

that's funny
If you decide that you like to think you can hear a difference in power cords, then it makes sense for you to like to think you can hear a difference in fuses too.
This might be amp specific. Better power cords don't have much of an impact on my McIntosh 2102 amps while they do on my Audio Aero Capitole amp.

I might try the isoclean product on my Audio Aero.
The hi-fi tuning fuses do improve the sound "if you can hear"!! and I agree with others who have said if you spend $500 to $1000 on interconnects and powercords $39 for a fuse is not unreasonable. Folks spend quite a bit more on equipment upgrades and don't get much more of an improvement.(and I don't listen to equipment for a living)

thanks for all the support and suggestions.....

update: I installed a regular fuse and my amp is back to working normally and sounding wonderful.

Anyone try to simply wire it without a fuse (bypass it) in theory no fuse might be the most open sound so why bother with gold plated fuses?

Of course, you lose circuit protection for the equipment (rely on house breakers alone)which might be a fire hazard, but surely those with $1,000 power cords shouldn't blink an eye at this minimal risk given that this eliminates a major source of distortion completely?

In which case what type wire to use and why would you not consider a soldered or direct connection right to the mains (rather than an electrical plug and socket connection with its risk of contact resistance)?
I have removed/bypassed fuses in speakers, but never in a A/C powered component. Especially if you leave them on... failure.. goodbye home. A fire is a very nasty thing to come home to.
Though a better fuse holder would also do a lot more... as most are dollar store level of build.
the fuses come from the same planet the magic copper comes from
If you can percieve an improvement, of say about 45 X that of the .85 cent ones, then the $39.00 fuses might be worth it.
(Assuming) the fuse isn't in the signalpath, and if it's the correct rating as specified by the OEM, then the equipment sees the same power quality as with any other fuse of the same rating. Sonic differences you hear are the result of otological axons in your brain losing their myelin insulation (due to age, stress, diet, genetics, etc) and lying too close to other axons carrying intense signals of unrealized desire to the hypothalmus (wishful thinking.)

". . . .and the Doctor said, 'them crazy dreams are only in your head!'"
-- B. Dylan
If anyone needs the 250 MA or 160 MA fuses we use in Music Reference amps we have them at $3 each or $25 for 10. They are sand filled in ceramic tubes made to our specification. The sand helps in two ways: It moderates the temperature as the current in the tube varies with the music and it fills the void when the fuse wire vaporizes as it usually does when 450 volts is applied across a short. The ceramic tube is more rugged than glass and will not shatter under the stress of vapor pressure.

BTW I agree that $39 fuses are a temptation that caters to those who believe commensurate amounts must be spent in each part of the system. Of course $39 is nothing to a listener who has spent $50,000 on a system or even a single component, but who is to decide what is commensurate. Does that mean we should replace all parts with ones that cost 10 times as much and expect the amp to sound 10 times better? Is this or that ludicrous part bought for "bragging rights"?

I have examined many amplifiers by many makers and when I look into the more expensive ones I often ask "Where's the money, I don't see XX,XXX dollars here"

There was a show on History Channel where an engineer was interviewed about structures. He stated and I agree "Anyone can over-build something but a good engineer gets the best results with the least materials". That's what engineering is about though I don't see much of it in the audio products these days.

Visit ramlabs-musicreference.com and see what we are up to.
Don't forget to install in the proper direction.

Users of the snake fuses have reported performance improvements by "reversing polarity".

Aside from the ac power reversing itself every 60 seconds.

So you'll need fast hands.

I really love my Hi Fi Tuning fuses. I needed someone to pull the covers off the amps to tell me what to order. When they arrived and he installed the fuses, he noticed an immediate difference in "weight" on my electrostats when the amps were fired up.

This is a person who likes electronics, but could care less about music, fidelity, or trying to stroke my ego. This stuff is REAL.
Count me in the group of fools (believers). I heard a difference with both the Isoclean and Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, and each sounded markedly different than the other. I liked the Hi-Fi tuning fuse better.
Just placed two 8amp large Hi Fi Tuning fuses into my Krell 400xi. I must say that across the board my system sounded more vivid, dynamic, smoother and with less distortion. Definition was enhanced as well...sexier sound overall! Soundstaging is more defined with better timbre and contrast...violins never sounded better:) FYI, I used Pro Gold on the fuse end caps to help enhance contact and current transfer.
Rogermod's ideas make thermodynamic sense, so I might try those.

Dave, can I assume you had used Pro Gold on the 'regular' fuses too?
Double Blind Testing.
fuses should be EASILY done, compared to ICs power cords or other tweaks.
Add me to the list of those that have recently installed Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, and found them to make a distinct, audible improvement(realism, not coloration). I tried the two AC power fuses in my Cary monoblocks a month ago, and will be replacing their tube voltage fuses and the AC power fuse of my BAT VK-D5 shortly.
Nsgarch, yes I did use Pro Gold on the previous fuses and every other contact as well. All of the individual changes are subtle, but collectively it hits you as more refined, better defined and full of more pixels...in other words more color and body to the instruments.
An interesting experiment for those with ordinary fuses in equipment/speakers is to reverse direction of the fuses one at a time, listening after each fuse reversal. You should be able to hear the sound improve or degrade each time a fuse is reversed. Your ability to detect this sometimes subtle change will improve as you go along. You can repeat this procedure a second time to be sure all fuses are finally in correct direction.

~ Cheerio
Call me a fool… Yeah first off I would change tubes, cables etc.. and believe in the results before Fuses.. However, I am one of the few within the last few months to say "Okay its cheap enough why not?"

First I used an ISOCLEAN which has gone up about 15 bucks over the original 20 dollar price which is ridiculous enough.. Anyway I made sure to maximize the rating as far as the equipment manufacture would recommend or allow with warranty intact…

I found for my preamp that it was a 2 amp FAST blow fuse in it.. Called them up and they said yeah we use those as they are on hand and normally fine in most applications, but they are 3 cent from taiwan fuses, you can use 3 amp SLO blow fuses no problem behind our transformer in that unit..

So Of course I did because I don’t want a lower rating first off due to if it did decide to blow its very expensive to replace with another 35 dollar fuse, and now with a 1 amp bigger rating that problem should not occur Plus it will have a larger more conductive element inside…

I immediatley found the Isoclean to sound "Bigger" soundstage, Air, Transient response, Delay and decay of the notes, Bass was faster and tighter, highs were actually much clearer but not over the top.. ISOCLEAN does have direction printed and I followed it although I can not say it matters or not… Beyond that I put back a Cheaper but better 3 amp fuse standard slo blow not the original 2 amp in order to compare.. YIKES!! I really hoped the good Bussman Slo blow which was very much better built and extremely similar to the isoclean element accept for no gold or copper contact would be as good and put this to rest… However immdiatly the soundstage collapsed, became fuzzy, and really was like turning my source into a cheap walkman with the more compressed and distant sound…

I tried this again… The fuse made a bigger difference than you would think or believe. I also have some good power cables, and guess what a 9 gauge silver and copper conductor feeding a cheap aluminum/tin cylinder with a hair thick element in it does not get its optimum performance, so a good fuse feeding your transformer after the fancy power cord does show merit.

I did this test next with the 39 dollar HIFI tuning fuses… I put them in to my monos… First you could tell it was clearer but a bit too SHARP sounding.. Now funny thing again was I called this AMP manufacture and told them my Fuse extravaganza and figured they would laugh, yet they flat out TOLD me it will make a difference and they don't tell anybody but they carry the ISOCLEAN fuses for their units and will sell them to customers on their request for a pretty penny… They also stated we use undersized amp ratings of 4 amp and I could go to 5 amp slo blows with no issue.

Again the HIFI tuning fuses made a difference however was not necessarily all that much better, but different… Then the real mind bender I flipped them over!! BIG smooth sound now, not sharp in the upper vocals and things were really very smooth and integrated not so much separated sound.. They actually sounded like putting your Speakers out of Phase with reversing the positive and negative leads in the wrong direction on the fuse… WEIRD!!! And I tried this over again with a friend to make sure I was not nuts… Its actually true, but HIFI TUNING fuses are not marked like ISOCLEAN but they do have the HIFI Arrow for the logo so you can see which is which and chose yourself.

Finally the 2 dollar 5 amp bussman fuses slo blow strike again this time with the amps.. AGAIN fuzzy and bass was vast and powerful but not controlled like things were "Pulsing" with bad AC power…. Maybe I have some Bad A/C everybody does, but a fuse for whatever reason can help maybe, I can't explain it, but that’s it.. Background noise and hiss was also reduced to next to nothing with the better fuse… You go figure it out!! I really wanted to take these fuses out, because I could not think they could be that effective, but getting inside the equipment now and seeing the fuses directly connected to your transformer primary being fed by your 1000 dollar power cable, they make some serious sense! Good Luck

PS- which is better ISOCLEAN or HIFI? No idea, but my decision was based on trying the Isoclean in my preamp and it sounded excellent with no reason to change off the bat, and the fact is just like using all the same cables or tubes maybe the results will be too much or not enough, I just decided to give the HIFI a shot in the amps for the hell of it.. Both are good.. I did use Isocleans in another pair of amps for sale, and they were as excellent in that application as well.. I might even go to say the Isocleans are best suited for tube Gear... And Hifi tuning are good for both. In the end I rather just mix it up and have both worlds there I guess and its just different.
here's an interesting read about the german fuses.
My experience with these fancy fuses is as follows. They made very noticeable improvement on the power amp, but not much (if any at all) on the preamp and CD player.
Thats actually a very accurate and possible scenario, and I agree with your link.. Fact is they make a difference was the point most don't even get!! Forget about proving if they are better or not, I will not dispute the fact they can have a negative effect on some systems, and it seems mostly systems with a bit too much "hifi" sound and very over steril systems will not benefit from new fuses like they would from adding tubes to the mix, unfortunately most try to do this exact thing and expect getting that "Cardas" cable effect or "Tube" effect doing little tweaks like this for musicallity.

Bottom line they will work one way or the other, however not always perfectly positive in all cases.

I will say this, the Hifi tuning fuses had a worse effect on my amps than the isoclean had a positive effect on my preamp at first, same exact description in the article you posted, I flipped them, and did change a few things in the process which showed how they can be benificial in the right spots. Too much of one thing can lead to another NO DOUBT!

I will go on to say the ISOCLEANS might have a better universal effect than the HIFI's which seemed more finicky, but clearly better in many areas than a standard fuse, mostly background distortion and clarity improves.
Neither power cords nor fuses nor super fancy cables will ever improve any system's sound.
It is phisycally impossible to improve it or reduce the loss.
However in case of cables (noitce not fuses or power cords) but cables ypou might introduce favorable loss of information or distortion that would be pleaseing to your ears, perhaps.
Plugging 3 feet of extra thick shileded braided etc. powercord between wall outlet and your unit is simply silly.
To improve anything ypou would have to run the same quality cable from the elctrical company power station staright to your apartment/house. Plugging 3 feet in between is doing exactly what?
Are you with me?
Well, the same goes for fuses.
Now put down the credit card and slowly back away.
Mr D- And you know this because you have tried a variety of power cords and hi-end fuses, and found that they made no difference what-so-ever in your system, Right? Certainly you wouldn't make those statements without having established some facts, one way or the other. I mean- This can't just be one of those unsubstantiated, uninformed opinions from an everything-sounds-the-same smoke blower can it?
Dkzzzzzzzzzzzzz...WAKE UP MAN!! Stupidity may be forgiven, but ignorance is incurable. Now step away from your bose radio.
Rodman, you are hilarious. :-)
I repeat::
Double blind testing.
somebody does / does not make a change.
Can you tell?
Repeat until a statistically valid sample is gathered.

Repeat AGAIN with several different people.

On a simple, yes-no change, 50% is guessing.

Everything else is just anecdotal.

AND, for the record, I won't say these changes, even the fuses dont' matter, but PROVE it with statistics.
Prove it with statistics? Last I noticed, I wasn't listening to statistics.
What I don't understand is what is there to prove? I can guarantee easily noticed in my system, I put it on a certain volume level, I get a bit of a upper bass "Buzz" for example.. With the new fuses in place its gone, I put back the old, its back.. How much easier do you want it to be? I mean seriously I will not go on to say everything is night and day, but there is some notable difference within the same music I play over and over making it easy to tell when something is out of place or not...

It really sometimes is not that difficult, no doubt several cables and other items can be very difficult to tell one way or the other in some cases, the fuses can be too, but there is about lets say 10 things you listen for, now you go to the better fuse and 5 of those things have changed slightly for the better..

Well simple enough its just a little better device feeding your power and obviously the professionals are right when it comes to audio gear, THE POWER SUPPLY might just be that important in your sound results, and this is directly in line with it being a fuse :-)

Oh and if that is not a good enough reason to try, well here you go, believe it or not dynamically we all probably hear things a little different, so music testing might be difficult for some to hear.. However in the case of the fuses I had the originals in and would always get a pretty distinct and a low audible hum and hiss... Well now the HUM is gone completley and the hiss is reduced to putting your ear on the speaker, put back the old fuses and the hum is back... Basically the effect was like lifting your Ground with a cheater plug in some systems... Probably because the the cheap element and being hair thin robs the system of some kinda mircro level current to the transformer, who knows?

And again I am simply illustrating they are effective, maybe not necessary, maybe not even sonically superior, but they do change something! Thats my 2 cents oh sorry 39 dollars worth!!

Nobody should expect miracles for 39 cents or 39 bucks in this business, for 3900 we will talk...

By the way I think many just won't try them not only due to cost, but because you can't order these as a mistake and return them, meaning wrong size(physically or amperage), not knowing whether you will find the right direction if it is effective, and just can't be returned if you simply don't like them, and you eat the cost, so I understand.

Well said. I have similar success with some Isoclean fuses. Those who debates the recipe will miss out on the cake.


I'm with Dopogue here, prove it with statistics? The most ridiculous statement ever made for highend audio! You can't hear statistics nor can you hear specifications!
In this hobby, in the final analysis, subjectivity and anecdotal is the rule. Its about what other people have experienced and heard. Sure, some people use spec's as one guide to evaluate a component but when you're talking about tweaks, its about what others have experienced and then you try it for youself.