Hopefully you guys who bought the Black fuse recently did so during the 3 for 2 sale like I did. We got 33% off. Be happy and enjoy your Black fuses!
New Kid on The Block
Synergistic Research Quantum BLUE fuses.
Thanks to Alfred, owner of Highend Electronics, I had the good fortune to have the chance to try a set of the new BLUE fuses prior to their release date (lucky me). I’ve been auditioning them for a couple of weeks now. Here are my conclusions so far:
First, lets cover the negatives:
Okay, now that the negatives have been covered, lets talk about what these new fuse offerings from SR can do for our systems.
First, instead of doing one component at a time like I did with the SR BLACK fuses, I put the five BLUE fuses in the system all at once. Two in the CD player and one each in the amp, preamp and phono stage. Right off the bat they sounded great. So good in fact that the brand new set, cold out of the boxes and not broken in, sounded better than the set of fully broken in SR BLACK fuses they replaced. A lot better.
The Blue fuses allow for improvements that are much more significant than that of going from the SR RED fuses to the SR BLACKS. There is a break -in period with the new BLUE fuses, but quite unlike the break-in period of the BLACK fuses. The BLACKS seemed to take forever to completely break in with "jumps" of improvement in between ... and even a few backward moves. With the BLUES its a smooth transition. It seems the sound gets better each time I turn the system on even after extensive listening sessions over the period that the BLUES have been in the system. How good they are going to get when fully broken in is anyone’s guess. So far, fantastic.
1. Noise floor.
I didn’t think it possible after living with the BLACK fuses all these months, but sure enough there’s even less grain and a more pure presentation. This allows for hearing so much more into the music and harvesting that minute detail that adds so much to the realism of a music play-back system. Can you hear in which direction a drummer’s brush work is moving across the snare drum; left to right or right to left? These BLUE fuses will allow you to do that providing you have a highly resolving system in the first place.
2. Better bass extension.
I use the now discontinued Legacy Signature III speakers. The next speaker up the Legacy line is the larger Legacy "Focus" speakers. I love the Focus’ ... they play BIG. Well, the SR BLUE fuses have turned the Signature III’s into a pair of Focus.’ I have never gotten such low and undistorted bass in any system I’ve put together over the 40 some years in the hobby. With my raised wood floor this is a real blessing. From top to bottom the speakers are totally seamless now.
Articulation of vocals.
The new fuses have provided a more "see through" presentation allowing one to hear not only the voice of a singer but allows the listener to get a handle on the singer’s personality. Carole Kidd never sounded so good before. With each vocal recording I throw on, the performer is in the room.
With the new BLUE fuses installed, the system reminds me of the huge sound I used to get when I had the Accoustat 4’s in the system. The Legacy Signature III’s sound enormous at this point .... without losing any inner detail or any of the natural and organic tones I was getting with the SR BLACKS. In fact, gaining improvements in both areas.
At this point the system totally disappears. What’s left is a musical performance in Three-D relief behind the speakers and from considerably beyond the outside edges of the speakers. For the first time, with certain recordings, the performer, or soloist, seems to image a few feet in front of the speakers out into the room toward the listening position. As either Gordon Holt or HP used to say (I can’t remember which) "No cardboard cutouts here." Nope, just real performers dancing in the room.
Swap out your fuses for these new SR BLUE fuses and play Arthur Lyman’s "Taboo," both volume I and volume II. Prepare to be shocked. The drums and jungle noises are amazing. I’ve listened to these recordings a zillion times and really only heard them for the very first time after the SR BLUE fuses were installed in the system. Zowie ... fun stuff!
Getting the tones right
This is the most important area that I want to get right in my system. I want a piano to sound like a piano, a cello to sound like a cello, a tenor sax to sound like a tenor sax and a soprano sax to sound like a soprano sax. Everything else in a home system comes in at second place to proper tonality of the instruments in my opinion. Its what we love about the Harbeth speakers, especially their new 40.2’s.
Here’s another speaker that gets the tones right:
The tonality of instruments with the SR BLUE fuses is at least as good as it was with the SR BLACKS .... and that’s saying something. Instruments just sound right. So I now have a larger, more articulate and more 3-D presentation with the correct tonality still intact. Nice!
My understanding is that the SR BLUE fuses will be selling for $149.95 each. Based upon what they’ve done for my system, I highly recommend them and wouldn’t want to live without them. I just don’t know how to get this kind of improvement for such a small investment. I don’t mean to sound like an audio snob here, but we are talking about high end audio where the price of entry could choke a horse.
If you’ve just bought some SR Blacks and are still within the 30 day return policy, return them for credit toward the new Blue fuses. You’ll be glad you did. This is exactly what I did with my last two RED fuses that went into the CD Player. Alfred gave me credit for the RED fuses toward two new BLACK fuses. I came up with the remaining cash. I was well within the 30 day return offer though. Alfred and Betty are wonderful people to do business with ... and a credit to Synergistic Research as one of their dealers.
A resounding Thank You to Ted Denny and to all of the folks at Synergistic Research for developing these new BLUE fuses. Its a winning product for sure! My system is sounding better than ever. Way better than I thought it ever would.
A bargain at $149.95.