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I purchased one from The Cable Co. for my JoLida 502B. I didn't really expect to hear an improvement and was surprised that I did. I'd made some other changes around the same time so wasn't altogether what to attribute to the fuse. More recently, a tube went and took the fuse. I replaced it with a Radio Shack fuse (5 for $2 or whatever). I missed the HFT fuse for sure. Without it - the music seemed to lack weight (fullness? presence?) and be less detailed. Possibly also gave up some bass "punch". Just a tad "lifeless" overall (I'm not good at describing what I hear). For $30 (and I'm very budget conscious) I would recommend you try it. I'm also someone that had been very skeptical about the difference cables, interconnects etc might make. I've changed opinions in that regard - the HiFi Tuning Fuse contributed to this process.
Ghosthouse, go ahead and do some experimenting with cables. You won't regret it. You can make some very nice upgrades to your sound with reasonably priced used cables from this site. But, do not skimp on ratio of quality of cables to the rest of your components. Power cables also can be very beneficial upgrades. You may enjoy my article on MIT's power cables and power conditioning at Dagogo.com. Just imagine, if a fuse can effect sound so much, what can be accomplished with good cables! Enjoy the process!
"More than subtle with no down side." Is my impression to a "T".
I tried one first in a Wadia 64, then had a fuse blow in a Krell Power Supply. It was doubted if it would be a benie there. I tried it during a sale early this year. I have since tried it on CD, Amps, and A/Ds without a single regret on a smaller and smaller audio budget.
Douglas S. - Note past tense; emphasis on "HAD been very skeptical....". I've definitely come around in my opinion about cables. No opportunity to do A/B testing where I am but based on reviews (I have found TNT Audio to be really helpful) and affordability, I upgraded some very old Monster speaker cables to JPS Labs Ultraconductor. Also purchased a Superconductor FX interconnect for CDP to amp. Those changes made a big positive difference in my system. Made a DIY power cord using Marinco parts and Belkin(?) 12 gauge cable following a method at the PartsExpress site. I'm less certain what impact if any this has had. But directionally, it can't have been a step backwards. Power conditioning is something I'm interested in but it seems "pricey" to me. The HiFi Tuning Fuse came after the cable upgrades and confirmed to me that given the ability of other components to support some necessary minimum level of resolution, other seeminly "minor" system changes can have a strong positive effect on sound.
(I'll check out your article). Thanks for the reply.
HiFi tuning fuses do make a difference. However that difference may or may not be for the better. I have replaced fuses in my PS Audio P600, ARC 100.2, ARC LS12, ARC PH5, Magnum Dynalab 106T, VPI SDS, and Martin Logan Depth Subwoofer. The fuses improved the sound quality in the Magnum Dynalab tuner, the Martin Logan Depth Subwoofer and the VPI turntable. The fuses did not improve the sound in the PS600, or any of the ARC equipment. The fuses changed the sound of every component but not always for the better. Be careful.
Over the weekend, I replace the two internal fuses within a friend's CJ LS17 preamp with the hifi tuning fuses and the improvement was huge and beneficial - adding both depth, soundstage, and air to the music. At least as much of an improvement as connecting the Shunyata Helix Alpha powercord, and, the improvements were additive - both devices helped.
Now, I am looking to replace the fuses within my CJ CT5 preamp and in a pair of CJ Premier 11a amps. In the latter, I am hoping someone out there more knowledgeable than me can advise which of the following fuses would likely be more worthwile in replacing - there are 7 fuses in each amp, times 2 amps, time $40 fuse - I would like to add at least a little sanity to this upgrade...
Per Ed at CJ, the Premier 11A has the following:
Plate fuse: Buss BBS 3/4 A
F1 main AC fuse: 3AG 5 A fast blow
Internally accessed: on the small PCB near the back of the amp.
F2 (near front of board) 3AG 4 A slow blow ( for secondary windings for filament supply(
F3 3AG 1/4 A fast blow (bias supplly)
F4, F5 3AG 1/4 A fast blow (low voltage supply for bias LEDs)
Your advice is appreciated...
I have no advice on which fuse you should change. I just replaced all three fuses in my modest integrated amplifier as a hedge against replacing the "wrong" one. Whichever fuses were the "right" ones, it made a noticeable improvement.
I was reconnecting my speaker cables in the back of my AMC 3050a integrated amp "by feel" and managed to short out one of the channels in the process. When I turned the amp back on to listen, the fuses in both the left and right channel paths blew. I had read about HiFi Tuning fuses and thought what the heck? There are three fuses in the amp that I could see: a single 4A T slow blow fuse located near the power switch (didn't blow) and one 6.3A T slow fuse for each left and right channel that were smoked. I replaced all three and prepared to be disappointed - almost $100 bucks of fuses on a sub $500 amp seemed like a questionable investment. Well, I am not disappointed.
At first power up my system sounded like a blanket had been placed over the speakers. A very expensive blanket that made my bright little integrated sound like an old tube job - any sibilance was completely gone, bass sounded warmed over and wooly, but not altogether unpleasant. After a couple of days the sound completely changed and became thiner, sibilance was still abated but the bass was attenuated, I wasn't really happy with this turn of events.
Now, after the fuses have been in my system for over 300 hours the sound has really balanced out and is noticeably better than before from top to bottom, with the bass back strong and more defined. Certain recordings that used to reveal annoying sibilance on my system now are tamed and just sound like music. Nora Jones voice that always seemed a bit harsh and made me wonder what all the fuss was about now sounds smooth and full. Leading edge attack is still fast but now rounds into the decay of piano notes or cymbal strikes in a more realistic and convincing manner. The stereo image is more coherent and "connected" within the room, and each instrument has more defined space around it.
I am surprised that I notice these differences in such a modest amplifier and overall system (Cambridge Azur 640C V2 CDP, AQ Diamondback ICs, AQ Type 4 SC, Vifa and Morell custom bookshelf speakers). My rig still runs out of steam and gets confused at high volumes, but at normal listening levels the overall sound is much improved. I would think that many pieces of better equipment would be "liberated" by the addition of these fuses and get closer to the potential inherent in their quality components.
PS - to protect my new fuse investment, I put banana plugs on the amplifier end of my speaker cables to make assembly by feel in the back of my cabinet a safer affair. Duh.
I have done several comparisons between the IsoClean fuses which I have been using for several years and the newer Hi-Fi Tuning fuses. I discovered that the Hi-Fi Tuning fuses are directional although they are not marked as the IsoClean are. You must try the Hi-Fi Tuning both ways. I have also discovered that the IsoClean fuses sound somewhat better and, of course, are cheaper. There is no question for me that fuses are very important and directional.
Tbg - I wasn't aware of Isoclean as an "audiophile" fuse option prior to your post. Thanks for that. I did a little internet searching and came across a review of them by Albert Porter. Whether he or another, the reviewer did prefer them over the HiFi Tuning Fuse. The Isocleans are ~$5.00 less than the HFTF but if I read correctly, the Isocleans are only available as "slow blow". Let me know if that's your understanding too. Since I'm only using 1 and since my amp calls for a fast blow fuse, I'm sort of reluctant to take the gamble on the Isoclean.
Ghosthouse, you are right that IsoClean are all slow blow, but there is nothing but the filament visible inside the fuse. It is my understanding that slow blows just a material around the filament to absorb the short term heat. I would call Brian Ackerman at aaudioimports and ask. I have never had one of these fuse to blow and really don't recall whether my equipment calls for one or the other type of fuses.
IsoCleans are $5 cheaper for the low value fuses, but much cheaper for higher values.
I installed a pair of HiFi 1.5 amp Silverstar fuses in the fuse holders of my 35 year old Thiel Speakers. These fuses are directly in the signal path. Years ago I blew a speaker fuse and went to Radio Shack to find a replacement. The salesman came back with a couple of fuses that I later installed. Soon after that I blew the tweeters in both speakers, one after another. I can't tell the fuse rating by looking at the fuse. The writing etched on the fuses is just too fine. I found information about HiFi Tuning fuses online and decided to give them a try. I immediately noticed a subtle improvement in soundstage depth, bass slam, and overall clarity. The improvement is getting better with more playing time as the fuses burn-in.