Just a stinkin fuse...

In an attempt to get the best from my equipment, I have come to use HiFi Tuning fuses in all my gear, even the 6 @ 6 amp fuses in my Clayton Monoblocks. While I wouldn't say the sonic heavens have open up to validate my use of the fuses, I suspect they have contributed to a touch smoother and richer sound.

I have recently been comparing a MUSE Model 3 Signature (with outboard power supply and display) preamp with my Lamm LL2 Deluxe. I know, this hardly seems fair to the MUSE (even though Kevin Halverson says he cannot improve on the Model 3 Sig), but I am getting the MUSE Erato II source and I would really enjoy the convenience of one remote to control source and preamp (compared to no remote with the Lamm), being able to leave things turned on all the time (compared to turning my tubed gear on and off), and the outstanding feature set of the Model 3 Signature. So far, the Model 3 Sig has been bested sonically by the LL2 D primarily in the areas of clarity, dimensionality and high frequencies, but the differences are not great, and the MUSE has displayed strengths including an equally rich midrange, tight punchy bass response, and the ability to rock out without straining. It has been like comparing a near-outstanding (8+/10) tubed preamp with a good to very good (7+/10) solid state preamp. The main differences have been of the old tubes vs. SS variety, and also in the high frequencies where the MUSE has displayed just a slight touch of SS hash on some (but not all) recordings.

After receiving and installing the proper sized HiFi Tuning fuse in the Model 3 Signature the other day, I was very surprised to encounter the single biggest improvement I have ever heard from a tweek in any of my gear. The presentation from the MUSE preamp became clearer in all respects, any vestige of high frequency tizz or hash disappeared (unless it was on the recording), and high frequencies sounded realistic with excellent decay. Although the basic sonic signature of the MUSE did not change, installing the fuse seemed to significantly improve performance across the board. I would never have considered that level of improvement possible from simply changing a fuse.

I'm glad that it worked like that for you.

I think it's interesting that with all of the hundreds and thousands we've spent trying different pieces of equipment, that the relatively small cost of these fuses are nothing in the grand scheme of things.

It's a shame that more don't just try them, because I've also found that they help. BTW, I've been through all of them except the HiFiTuning Silver fuses, and I've found the Furutech fuses to be the most beneficial in my system.

Hi Chuck,
I haven't checked in on your system in awhile. I believe I purchased some Starsound Sonoran PC's from you a while ago. Not using them anymore but I see you still have the Starsound speakers. Those crossovers look killer with the Dueland resistors and caps and huge inductors.

Regarding fuses, I still can't believe the difference in this one case from changing a fuse. I wanted to try the Furutech fuses since I use and like their cables and connectors, and because they use copper instead of silver. Unfortunately, I don't think they yet make one in 3AG size that is smaller than 1A and I need 500mA.

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, I still have my Star Sound speakers, the Harmonic Precision Caravelles. It's sad that very few people know how good they are.

They say the secret behind them is the molded cabinet. They aren't the first, the seashell B&W Nautilus has one, but they're before the Vivid (the B&W Nautilus designer) and the Hansens.

I've spent an additional $9000.00 upgrading them, those brass stands and having those outboard crossovers made. I haven't personally heard the Magico Mini II speakers, but I've been told that my $14000.00 modified Caravelles sound better then them, and for half the price.

But, the upgrader, formerly of Star Sound, didn't charge hardly anywhere near what he should have because this was a special personal project for him. He says that he won't do another because of the time he actually put into the speakers, and all of the different drivers he bought to try in them.

It's strange that the anti-resonant molded cabinet means so much, because other than Hansen and Vivid, manufactures aren't using them. YG Acoustics is doing something kind of similiar with their cabinets honed from a solid aluminum billet.

I'm saddened and amazed that because they're unknown speakers, that the resale value is so low. I know that I'll never be able to sell mine, but I don't need to.

Two pair have come up on Audiogon lately for $1500.00 and $2100.00. The pair for $1500.00 sold in one day, so someone got a fantastic deal.

The other pair for $2100.00 is still here and are still a steal. They even have the dedicated custom adjustable Sistrum stands that cost $1000.00 on their own.

A lot of people are missing out on one of the best speakers around. Everyone knows how good Star Sound's Audio Points and Sistrum Stands are they sell as soon as they come up. But I don't know if even 20 pairs of the Caravelles were made because of the mold wearing out, so they're not known.

6Moons started that review, but didn't finish it because he told Star Sound that if they didn't have at least five sets ready to sell, he wouldn't finish the review and let his readers down when they couldn't buy them. But the mold was broken and the company's finances didn't allow them to buy another mold and continue with the production.

Sad times in the audio world and the economy in general, but we have our music!

So Chuck lets buy a new mold..We both know how these speakers work and can work and the resulting playback is in 3D.. Tom
I'll second your usage of the HiFi Tuning fuses, Mitch2. Even though this thread is old, I just saw something on fuses one night about 5 days ago on Stereophile's equipment review page under the powerline section. Michael Fremer tried them and found they definitively improved the sound. I ordered 3 of 'em on the spot (I'm a sucker for cheap improvements) and have them in my Antique Sound Lab Hurricanes. WOW!
I would say the improvement is significant! MUCH less "burr" when violinists dig into the bow, a considerably lower noise floor (and the Hurricanes excelled at that to begin with) and a purity to the sound, which is partly a large reduction in grain (the "scrim" between you and the music) and an improvement in spaces between instruments. Pretty impressive improvement for $38.00. And I bought a "Supreme" model (Mundorf-ish, according to the site, in the parts used, I mean).
I'd NEVER, after this experiment, use stock fuses. EVER.
Years ago Peter Aczel from the Audio Critic was the first person that I know of who said that fuses can degrade the sound.
He was speaking at that time about bypassing speaker fuses.

I've followed this ever since, never had any gear malfunctions and the house never caught fire.

When the Iso Cleans came out I gave them a try, and while not quite as impressive as bypassing the fuse, it offers better sound than a cheap $1.00 fuse and gives you protection.

I recently switched to the HiFi Supremes and yes they are better at all the things the IsoCleans were better at compared to cheap one buck fuses.

The poor little fuse, the Rodney Dangerfield of audio, gets no respect.

Fuses are sonic bottlenecks.
They can offer as much sonic improvement as any other tweak, and the cost is considerably less than most.

They are priced within everyone's comfort zone,unless of course you think that they are over-priced and can not make a difference.

But they do.It's not voodoo.
They've been proven to degrade sound, even the old myth buster told us so.

They are easy to install and easy to take out.
There is no need for any tech,to do the swap.

It's as easy as swapping tubes and nobody thinks tube rolling is crazy.

So why don't the manufacturers supply them if they are so good?

Some do, perhaps more will, but in the scale of economies that $85.00 fuse can skyrocket in price,which is why upgraded power cords are seldom supplied.

The HiFi fuse won't make your bargain Chinese tube amp sound like an Audio Research, but it will make it sound better than when you bought it.

To me the upgraded fuse is a no brainer, it's does double duty by sounding better than a stock fuse while still adding protection.

We should feel thankful that all it costs is about a hundred bucks, because you can spend more and not get as much performance.