Have you ever spoken with a designer or audio engineer

I'll never forget I was doing an audio banquet some years past. At my table were 2 audio engineers. At the banquet they had a lottery for audio accessories. I happen to win a power cord from a fairly well known companies. One of the engineers laughed when I was showing it to people at my table. He said power cords are totally hocus pouch and there is no scientific studies proving there any better than stock cords. He said there basically made for insecure audiophiles. I had mentioned I already had some after markets cords in my system and they definitely made an improvement. He just laughed and said a sucker is born everyday in the audiophile world.

Now the guy I am talking about isn't some unknown schlub. He works for one of the biggest high-end companies in the world and is fairly well known. In fact some people think he is a great designer of audio equipment. I have only talked to a couple of audio engineers in my life and they were both skeptical.  I wonder if this is common among engineers and designers?
What audio banquet? Who was there? Who are you talking about? Why are all your posts always hearsay? It sounds like you made the whole thing up. Taters (AudiogoN) - Sudz (Audio Asylum), Typical troll type posts. Why Sudz, why?
WOW! This is quite the Exposé.
Thanks for the inside info, it changed my life.
Indeed....I am definitely seeing a trend with your posts, taters...you seem ...well...very bitter.

Love the taters' posts . Mind evocative posts . Keep them up !
This is a true story. It took place about 3 years ago at a banquet put on by the Los Angeles Orange County Audiophile society. They have one every year around Christmas time. I would rather not mention the designer at this time. If you really need to know you can send me a private message. Thanks for your understanding.
One can earn enough degrees to be a thermometer, and still remain deaf as one(thermometer, that is).    Then again, if one can be, "Blinded by Science", I suppose being deafened by Science is also possible.
Indeed....I am definitely seeing a trend with your posts, taters...you seem ...well...very bitter.

Funny ;-)

WOW! This is quite the Exposé.
Thanks for the inside info, it changed my life.

Maybe even funnier.  

I speak with the designer of my gear quite regularly.

He humbly admits that many of the things that make a great difference do so for reasons he doesn't understand.

I laugh at anybody who thinks they've got it all figured out.
Here's another troll coming. Some of the designers of so-called hi-end gear have no idea how things should sound. And I couldn't care less about either their thoughts on the subject or even less than that about their feelings. Audiogon is full of advanced personalities too. None of this really concerns me. Just leave the man alone, you hyenas.
Bill Johnson (Audio Research) was a good engineer who used and recommended Shunyata cords for his electronics. Roger Modjeski (Music Reference) is also a good engineer, and is a power cord skeptic. Roger's electronics are very transparent, and is now making an electrostatic loudspeaker, known for their transparency. I don't know the reason for their honest difference of opinion.
And I think Jeff Rowland used to recommend Cardas power cords for his amps, don't know how he is doing now about this.
The reason is very clear, bdp24, they are all trying to bullsh-t us and possibly themselves, there is nothing 'honest' about whatever they say. Not that we should care. We listen and we like what we like, their opinion means exactly..you know what. We pay and they serve us, and that appears to be just fine with them. And with us. So everyone is happy. Isn't it nice?

^^^ Ah, but that wasn't always the case with ARC and power cords, bdp24. In fact, they were late to the game with the removable power cords. For example, my Classic 60 and SP-14 had hard wired cords. ARC, through the years, has been a very conservative company. I think the removable power cords and the dampening material took some convincing. 

oregonpapa---Bill Johnson, though a "progressive" engineer (listening tests playing a large role in the development and evaluation of a new design/product), was also pretty traditional/conservative, being more of an EE type than a lot of high end designers (some of whom are not formally educated engineers, but advanced audiophiles---formerly lawyers, for instance). I had not ruled out ARC's use of Shunyata power cords at CES and consumer shows (as well as the chassis damping employed in the SE version of some of the LS pre-amps) as a cynical move to keep audiophile credibility with, for instance, the reviewers and readers of The Absolute Sound and Positive Feedback, who seem particularly influenced by that kind of thing in their perception of a company and the sound of it's products.

Roger Modjeski, in contrast, though much younger than Bill, is much more of an academic and old school degreed EE designer, who first evaluates a design with a close inspection of it's schematic, then extensive bench tests to expose any weakness or problem behavior in a circuit, listening to it only after it has passed those hurdles. Roger couldn't care less about reviewers (he has stated making amplifiers is of much less interest to him than is designing them, perhaps why Music Reference has such a low profile) or audiophile credibility-insecure consumers, and is willing to sacrifice sales and ac to remain intellectually honest. I know Frank Van Alstine feels the same.

Audio engineers  and designers are not all cut from the same   cloth. Some are rigid in their beliefs and feel the notion of  tweaks or upgradeded parts and  accessories are pure foolishnes and money wasted.  Yet others who are just as talented and knowledgeable will openly  encourage  and embrace the merits of upgrading. They  will  tell you that  different tubes, cables, capacitors, fuses, vibration  control  devices   etc all make a difference. Just depends on  who you are talking to.

When you've actually   done the upgrades and modifications  and hear the improvement yourself then what others have to say is moot anyway.
No sooner had I posted the directly above, than I realized my comments about Bill Johnson and ARC might well bring out the knee-jerk ARC defenders. I in no way meant to denigrade Bill's design talents (he is single-handedly responsible for high end electronics as we know them, imo), or to imply Roger (or Van Alstine, or anyone else) is the "better" engineer. What I was attempting to do was draw a distinction between the traditional EE designer and the designer at a high end audiophile company, and the considerations the latter has to take into account in his designs. I do think it possible Bill (and Rich Larsen, as well as designers at other audiophile companies) incorporated some audiophile-credibility features in ARC products he knew provided no sonic advantage, for merely marketing reasons. That's mere conjecture on my part, of course! 
Personally, I don't care who says what. I trust my own ears and no longer care who believes what. Although I do feel sorry for those that don't have the ability to listen to music and figure out what they are hearing.
Many/most engineers believe there is no difference because your brain runs the show and above all tries to maintain a stasis .Changing a core belief for someone whose life is centered around learned "facts" can upset same stasis and the brain will not let you hear the difference .

Simple example for our society. No hard-core racist has ever been converted by facts .

Amp designers are the worst, Jerry, the worst! They are at least two paradigm shifts behind the power curve.  Sad, really. It comes from putting blind faith in audio circuits and being close minded to any other way of thinking. Happens all the time.

looking around my room at my gear; there are only 5 pieces of gear where i have not personally known the designer/engineer/builder of the gear and spoken to them a number of times.

my Ortofon MC Anna cartridge, my 2 Studer A-820 master recorders, Herzan active isolation shelves, Entreq grounding boxes and my Furutech GTX-D(R) duplex outlets.

I know all the other gear's designers (and they know me); speakers, amps, preamp, tt, tone arms, digital dacs, power cables, interconnects, speaker cables, tape repro, system power grid isolation transformer, record cleaner, even the rack and decoupling footers. i know all those people and appreciate their perspectives and passion for their products.

these designers have the technical chops and degrees; but also they all love music.....passionately. and they 'get it'.

And then you have Japanese designers like Shindo, who through listening, consider every rca, capacitor type, volume control, and so on, to tailor a sound they want for each component, starting with their own power cord, and ending with specific brands of tubes.

There are plenty of them here and they participate on discussions. No biggie.
I spoke years back with Vince from Totem Acoustics and with Chris from Sonic Frontiers (now from partsconnexion). 

Hey Schubert. Do you have any data that would back up that ridiculous statement? 
Amp designers are the worst,

well sure Power corrupts....absolute Power corrupts .....(all together now) Most posts here seem to centered around amplifiers ?

from the Ross Walker interview


Do you try to appeal to the audiophile market?

"No. The audiophile is on an endless quest He wants change. He is not interested in something that is good enough to remain unchanged."

But if Quad is the best, shouldn’t he end up with Quad?

"But he wouldn’t be an audiophile; that would be the end of it. How dull it would be."

makes me smile every time I read it.


Audio engineers and designers are not all cut from the same cloth. Some are rigid in their beliefs and feel the notion of tweaks or upgradeded parts and accessories are pure foolishnes and money wasted. Yet others who are just as talented and knowledgeable will openly encourage and embrace the merits of upgrading. They will tell you that different tubes, cables, capacitors, fuses, vibration control devices etc all make a difference. Just depends on who you are talking to.

Charles1dad - can you give an example of each please?

And then you have Japanese designers like Shindo, who through listening, consider every rca, capacitor type, volume control, and so on, to tailor a sound they want for each component, starting with their own power cord, and ending with specific brands of tubes.

wow ...all that work Acman3. Then their products get placed into rooms and spaces that all different dimensions, different gear, treatments, humidity and temp levels, audiophile mood levels, etc...


taters......congratulations. perfect timing for all these posts.

On the first day of Audiophilia .....- my true love gave to me - Cheap audio cables....
On the second day....
Yes, but none that you would  believe .
Bill Johnson, Jeff Rowland, John Dunlavy and even Paul Klipsch; is that enough name dropping?? All with the same passion to bring the live event into your living room, but with very different ideas on how to make it happen.
Hello Ct0513, my point was not that everyone would even like their products, but that some designers "hear" the differences these parts make.

Btw, Chris, Your quote from Paul Walker made me LOL!
I had Quads for a while.  One of the most ill conceived designs ever. Now I ask you, why would ANYBODY put a thick almost solid metal grill over BOTH SIDES OF an electrostatic speaker?  And to add insult to injury a Mylar sheet is placed over both sides of the electrostatic elements. Plus, the Quads need to be up on stands instead of just sitting there like room heaters.  Result?  No dynamics and no bass.  And the whole thing rattles like a box full of rocks.  Hel-loo!
Designers of pricey high end wires will probably whistle a different tune.
Geoffkait ...

But ... but ... but ... Coleman Hawkins or Ben Webster blowing tenor sax  through a pair of the original Quads??? Dang!
Yup, the original Quads.  Oh, they blow all right!

Seasons Greetings
^^^ Geoffkait ...

That's  funny. But you have to admit, as long as those Quads were running they had a glorious midrange ... until they arced. I've heard them many times ... but glad I never bought a pair. 

Merry Christmas ...
The frustrating thing about the Quad 57s is how good they sound when they’re placed on stands and the grills and dust covers (Mylar) are removed. Otherwise, relatively speaking of course, they buzz and rattle, have no dynamics or bass and sit too low on the floor.  I mean, have you ever taken a close look at the grills?  There's hardly anywhere for the sound to come out.  As an old philosopher once said, Everything’s relative.

The closer to the bone the sweeter the meat. - Old audiophile expression

Greeting Seasonings
Mark Levinson, the man, thought enough of the Quad to use a pair mounted very high in stands, augmented with a 24" Hartley woofer and Decca ribbon tweeter, to create his HQD loudspeaker in the 70's. He could have used any speaker in it's place, but chose the Quad, not for no reason. 
Ah, yes.  The old HQD system.  That lasted a long time.  Lol Which proves my point: By themselves the Quads have NO bass, NO treble and NO dynamics.  QED.
Roger Modjeski (Music Reference) is also a good engineer, and is a power cord skeptic.

and an aftermarket fuse skeptic.
Right you are knghifi. Roger offers wire (either speaker or inter-connect, I don't remember which), so that he must "believe" in.
Actually knghifi, Roger in more than skeptical of boutique fuses, he warns against their use in power amps. He tested some of the Hi-Fi Tuning ones, and discussed their design with the U.S. distributor. Roger discovered that, regardless of whether or not they "sound better" than garden variety fuses, they in some circumstances do not even do what a fuse is supposed to do. In his report, he explains exactly what he found wrong with them. You can read the report on the Music Reference Audiocircle Forum, where "Tuning Fuses" is a sticky topic.
The next thing you know Skeptics will be saying aftermarket fuses cause cancer or make hair grow on the palms of your hands. Gimme a break. Music Reference Audiocircle Forum? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

So thinking about Audio Designers and Fuses this morning.
Yeah, a boring looking day but still no snow and we will hit double digits again today Celsius. Not cold so I will take it. Coffee starting to kick in..8^0

The guys on these fuse threads seem to be having a lot of fun. I like to have fun too. I want to ask them a couple of questions directly on those threads but I don’t dare; you see I have owned an amp that committed suicide due to a "no fuse" and "no protection" design years ago. My skepticism and doubt, I fear, will become too obvious so I will ask here instead in a third party kind of way. Disclosure. My career line of work is Business Continuity Planning. So I am I guess a little biased. Anyway it’s healthy to let it out.

1) Are the "fuse" effects some are hearing any different from moving your speakers in or out. Toe in-out, forward or back; or your listening chair back or forward?

2) Am I reading right ? Some are putting these fuses in a $20,000 70 lb amplifier still under warranty; which if it experiences a failure even with a cheap resistor, will need to be shipped across the country, and maybe even have to go through customs ?

(Re: Music Reference) You know I own two of Rogers amps. I guess this makes me a kind of fan. Over the years when I have contacted boutique amplifier makers near me about their product, I have had offers from some to bring their amps over for me to compare. But you know what; I think it was more for them to compare. I don’t dare ask Rogers’ permission to try this in one of my MR amps else risk his wrath. Mind you my RM9 has been so modified over the years.....still.

These are the fuses contained in the Music Reference amplifiers.


the Fuse thread Bdp24 referenced.


Roger Modjeski
Does anyone care that Tuning Fuses have no agency approvals or time/current curves? How do we know if these fuses will protect our equipment? They have already proven to have no protection in DC circuits where myself and many designers are protecting tubes directly. Have a look at the data from Littlefuse, the brand I use. They are approved by 10 significant agencies. I doubt Tuning Fuses could get any of these agency approvals. If indeed they provide inadequate protection then we might as well short out our fuse holders.


You know... I do know of this one guy; his system kit is hardwired from one end to the other including its branches - no fuses at all.

and then ....

there is this other amp I own - this big, heavy thing called Krell. It has no fuses the last time I looked. What’s up with that Dan D’Agostino?

How boring is that?

Thanks Chris. I really gotta learn how to insert a link into a post! I found Roger's warning about using the Tuning Fuses on power tubes and in the amp the tubes are in very, very important. Whether a fuse sounds different/better is a question separate from whether or not it actually works as a fuse. I don't consider Roger's findings on a fuse's ability at acting as a fuse is supposed to at any way unaudiophilic. An amplifier damaged by a fuse incapable of performing it's given task will "sound" very much worse than the same amplifier with a stock fuse ;-). 
Incapable of performing it's function.  What ARE you going on about?  There is no such issue with aftermarket fuses.  If amps were blowing up do you really think the company could remain in business?  Give me a break. Now, can a customer put the wrong fuse in?  Of course. But he can with any fuse, aftermarket or off the shelf.  This is all some silly Old Wives Tale.
All we need now is some smart ass audiophile attorney offering to sue after market fuse companies for damage to people's equipment.
Just like the ads you see on late night commercials suing pharmaceutical manufacturers for side effects of drugs.

I'd be interested to hear some DOCUMENTED instances of, "high-end" fuses causing damage to equipment(even one).   If such has occurred, certainly- it would have been reported.
I have met the designers of my electronics - Jarek Waszczyszyn of Ancient Audio - and speakers - Sean Casey of Zu Audio. (Also Vu Hoang of Deja Vu Audio when I owned one of his amplifiers.) It is one of the pleasures of this hobby and dealing with smaller companies. All three were (and continue to be) very generous with their time, knowledge, and experience. Jarek customized my electronics, and Sean personally set up my Def 4s.
For documentation of the Tuning Fuses causing harm to a power amp, click on the link that ct0517 provided above. In the thread Roger Modjeski not only describes the failings of the fuses, but explains the why.

That was an interesting link. Thanks.

And thanks to ct0517 for providing the link! Taters, you have proven you are sincerely interested in hearing the truth about the Tuning Fuses, as unpopular as that truth may be here on Audiogon. And intellectually honest enough to actually consider what Roger Modjeski, apparently a polarizing figure here, has to say about them. Roger took the trouble to investigate the fuses and share what he discovered, and all we have to do is read what that discovery was. I really don't know what to say to anyone who claims to care about the subject but either can't be bothered to read the thread, or worse, refuses to, for whatever reason.

I realize Roger's skepticism (at least!) of many audiophile notions precludes him from being an audiophile "darling", but he is seriously knowledgeable about tubes, circuits, and amplifier design. He has no axe to grind on the subject of fuses---he doesn't make and sell them. But he knows a design problem when he sees it, and he sees one in the Tuning Fuse. Why would anyone take a defensive position about that without even bothering to read what the problem Roger found was? I don't get it.


I am wondering if all tuning fuses are created the same? Are they all made by the same manufacturer and sourced out to the individual companies that make them? 

I understand what Roger is saying. What I don't know is the background information I posed from my first paragraph. I think some deeper research is necessary at this time. 

Are they trying to say HiFi Tuning Fuses? Who knows? If it’s HiFi Tuning, that German company has been around like forever as has Isoclean from Japan, whose fuses actually ARE UL approved btw) and actually has data sheets on the HiFi Tuning website illustrating directionality of fuses and the measured effects of cryogenic treatment of fuses as well as measured differences among some well known brands of fuses. Are they (Audiocircle and Roger) trying to say that many aftermarket fuses are not UL approved. We already knew that. Duh? This is all a tempest in a teapot most likely and a favorite subject for the uber skeptics ever since aftermarket fuses appeared what 20 years ago?  And ever since the whole subject of wire directionality reared it's ugly head. There appears to be quite a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around out there. I suspect Roger Modjeski probably actually does have an ax to grind. Who knows what it is?