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As much as I hate to raise this question after such a thorough review, but is it possible that the fuse you replaced with the Create Audio fuse was installed in the improper direction? I.e., couldn't that explain the difference in sound. And speaking of which, does the Create Audio fuse come with a directional arrow? Thanks in advance.
I don't recall seeing an arrow on this particular fuse. All I can tell you is that audiophile fuses can make a big difference in some systems. I know that my arcam amp has the ability to discern changes in cables , tweaks, and source components to a high degree. You may not get the same results in your system, I can only tell you what I heard in my system. As far as directionality issues go, I only tried the fuses in one direction.
Honda6 - Even Hi Fi Tuning found out, eventually, all fuses are directional. As fate would have it, even for stock, off the shelf fuses, if one reinserts each fuse, one at a time, and listens for a change in sound at each step, it's possible to transform the sound without spending a dime. I happen to agree with you that audiophile fuses are generally superior to stock fuses, however I think it is an important feature of audiophile fuses, like all cables, that they sound better when inserted in the "correct" direction. Some fuse manufacturers mark their fuses with directional arrows but some don't.