I think they are a great idea as to my ears they make a big difference but I feel you have to do the whole system to get the benefits. I use SR blue and they have made quite a difference to my system but I am waiting for the shock horror of the naysayers so that should be fun. I feel the blues especially have opened up my system and given me more detail and less background noise. So I am all for them.
Whether they make a difference or not or if the difference is worth the asking price or not, the products come across as snake oil by any objective analysis regardless in most cases in that there is usually little information provided by the makers and people who pitch them often pitch them with no reservations and discount any dissenting views as best they can and still get away with it, usually by saying you gotta buy in first to know anything.
So if all that sounds good and appeals to someone, please have at it....
It appears to be a common misconception that high end fuses have to expensive. That simply isn’t true, you know, no matter how hard they beat the drum. In fact the Cable Company page for fuses indicates many or maybe most high end fuses are less than $50. Some are much less than that. You’d have be a really down and out case to consider that expensive.
I've tried three different brands and they all had their own sonic signature and each brand sounded better in one direction over the other.
There was a money back guarantee on all brands and all it cost was the price of shipping if I didn't keep them. I've returned things before that didn't impress me and they were more of a hassle to ship than a few fuses. They work, and if you haven't tried them, your opinion of them is not objective.
All the best,
Yes, designer fuses are a very effective addition to audiophiles' systems.
Yes, I have used three brands and seven levels between them.
Designer fuses, particularly the SR brand, have been shown to be effective via hundreds of reports throughout a number of threads here.
We've all grown weary of this topic.
I use 5 Blue fuses from SR. Never had bought high end fuses prior. I have 2 in the Modwright 5400, 1 in the Whest 3.0 RDT SE, and 1 each in the Nuforce Ref 9 V3SE monos. They do sound better in one direction when tried, and they do make a very nice difference in the sound. Can't legitimately say if they are better than other high end fuses, however. They are expensive. The Star Sound trans mod is even more effective and much less expensive. I've done that to 3 different components.
I buy fuses for my F5 in 5 packs at AutoZone. Bussman, I believe. The IEC receptical/switch/fuse/filter module I'm using has provision for dual fusing. I use one and jumper the other. It makes NO difference regardless of how I configure it.
If fuses make any difference, which HIGHLY debatable, every believer in them radically overstates their effect. I've seen guys here write that a fuse was so harsh as to be unlistenable before burning in. That's impossible to believe. Their snake oil. If your unit is lacking some quality a fuse adds, there are better, more cost effective ways to gain the attribute than some insanely priced inch of wire.
The wire in a fuse is orders of magnitude thinner than a speaker cable with proportionally greater resistance. Go figure! In this hobby it’s often the case what you believe has very little to do with it. I have used hi end fuses in the past but now currently as I’m listening off the grid, which completely avoids any issue fuses may or may not have such as distortion and noise, not to mention noise and distortion from the house AC.
“If thy eye offend thee cut it out.” - old audiophile axiom
Seriously though, if there was a resistance in your fuse, there would be a voltage drop accross it, which would adversly affect your equipment and comprimise it’s design.
Fuses are designed to only dissipate heat (and therefore present a resistance) very close to the point of failure. If your fuse is presenting a resistance it must be dissipating heat to some extent, which will lower the voltage accross it, which will be measurable with a meter (however good). If this was the case, then I would suggest using a slightly higher rate fuse e.g. swapping a 2.5amp for a 3amp
Either way, any fuse operating that close to it’s limit would blow with the least provocation; i.e. powering up the amplifier would blow it.
Last weekend, a guy who had a pair of Frieds came to my house for help getting them to work. One of his loudspeakers had the fuse holder break, and he found himself stuck.
Most loudspeakers Bud produced came with "tweeter protection", consisting of either a fuse or light bulb, as in his own words, he hated doing warranty work at his cost. I’ve learned over the years the conventional wisdom of protecting tweeters via a fuse doesn’t work the way folks think. They still fry over time. Except in moments of huge power coming into the loudspeaker, the fuse proves worthless.
Anyway, I simply bypassed the fuse, and made the connection on the crossover to allow his speaker to come back to life. We tested them out by playing them, and even at his advanced age, he instantly noticed this speaker sounding very different (better!) than the other. I soon bypassed the fuse on the other speaker to balance them out. He couldn’t believe how much the fuse degraded the sound
trelja - the fuses in a speaker are going to be operating with a valiable voltage depending on the volume, so they will, as I suggested in my post above, be skirting very close to their blow point at times and will therefore be prone to dissipating some heat, so I would expect some voltage drop and a notable difference in the sound - the increased heat and resistance will throttle the current available to the speaker and this is likely what you can hear.
However, the fuse in a power supply or on the supply rail of an amplifier is not exposed to such variation - it’s handling a DC supply, rather than an AC signal. Let's leave fuses in your AC 120v / 220v supply aside for now.
There is a big difference between the behavior of supply current and signal current and fuses will behave differently with each.
I thought your tweeter story was fascinating, but I would doubt whether the expensive fuse would sound better than the regular fuse - however I can see why no fuse would sound the best!
I've tried three different brands and they all had their own sonic signature and each brand sounded better in one direction over the other.
Just curious if you were able to detect a sonic difference between brands an/or changing their direction via a blind or double blind test.
"That would be something"
I, personally would never bother to upgrade the OEM fuse in any actual electronic equipment. Digging around to find them, then the correct rating.. Too much bother.
However my speakers (Magnepan) have fuses in the signal path for midrange and tweeter.
In those locations I have used aftermarket fuses. I have also bypassed them to achieve even better results.
I have no ax to grind for those who do like to swap fuses in electronics.
No need for a fuse forum. What is badly needed is a waste recycling cooperative for all the crappy unreliable finicky electronics that sound different with every fuse replacement. Either that or a technician needs to recognize the opportunity to provide services to fix all those terribly designed power supplies that ensure you only hear the fuse rather than the source recording.
Just the other day someone claimed to have spent $7000+ on fuses in order to try to fix the sound of their system. I am certain that for this kind of money a completely new and well designed power supply could be installed in the users problematic equipment.
Yes Geoff. If the fuse is audibly affecting the sound then you have a terribly designed power supply on your 100K or million $ amplifier. You make everything sound like rocket science when a power supply is such a simple part of the audio chain. The simple truth is that fuses are NOT supposed to be affecting the audio signal and they do not have an influence in properly designed gear.
You claim a fuse affects the audio signal sound. I agree with you. It certainly will affect the audio sound if the component is very badly designed.
I claim aim that a well designed component will be unaffected audibly by a change of fuse from one suitable fuse to another suitable fuse. This is common sense.
That a fuse is in the AC power path is a meaningless strawman argument - we are not supposed to be listening to AC power but the audio on the CD etc. - audio that comes from DC power circuitry that runs after the AC power has been condition for said circuits. The path includes your fuse box in your home and the transformer in the street as well as countless KM of electrical wire from the power substation. For that matter the coal burned or natural gas burned or water flowing at the hydroelectric station or being boiled to power steam turbines at your power station is ALL in the path or chain of how AC power is reaching your home. Should you be worried about it? Well probably as much as you should worry about being abducted by aliens ;-)
shadorne"I claim aim that a well designed component will be unaffected audibly by a change of fuse from one suitable fuse to another suitable fuse. This is common sense."
Invoking such a warm and fuzzy notion as "common sense" is not persuasive in a matter of scientific discussion so I propose that you conduct a scientific double blinded test to confirm your theory. Don't forget to tell us all about the test and to solicit participants here and we'll see how this pans out good luck to you!
Shadorne - your comment above is why I chose to leave AC power fuses to one side. The problem here is that fuses are being discussed in three different contexts - I think you hinted at that above:
1. DC Power Fuses
2. AC Power Fuses
3. AC Signal fuses
All audio signals are AC incitentally. Power fuses should behave the same regardless of whether the source is AC or DC, because AC power is a consistant wave i.e. 50 or 60HZ at 120 or 220v. If swapping fuses here makes a difference here, you have a problem.
AC signals vary greatly in voltage and available current, depending on what they are driving i.e. the impedence they are presented with. This is where fuses in the signal path will create all sorts of different results as the signal current approaches and recedes from the blow-point.
I’d also urge folks here to be very careful changing power fuses. They are there for a reason and the recommended fuse rating should always be used regardless of cost or what the manufacturer claims makes the fuse special.
Ah, the old “it’s common sense” argument. It’s like seeing an old friend. Unfortunately it doesn’t win debates. A tear. 😥
By the way, shadorne, what I’m actually claiming, not what you say I’m claiming, since you can’t seem to keep it straight, is that all fuses are directional, no matter where they are located. And no matter what brand of fuse is examined, including stock off the shelf fuses. All fuses are directional in both DC and AC circuits. Can I direct you the HiFi Tuning data sheets for the umpty umpth time?
I appreciate all the responses, and the effort to maintain courtesy despite strong opposition in terms of conclusions. Again, derision accomplishes little and unnecessarily alienates fellow audiophiles.
At the moment, as clearly as I can tell the tally is: 6 answers aligning more with "Gift" and 8 aligning more with "Snake Oil".
It's an interesting phenomenon that some have found only a particular fuse to win them over. If I'm not mistaken the bulk, if not all, fuses available to audiophiles are AC power fuses (But, I haven't researched all available aftermarket fuses for HiFi.) If someone has information otherwise, please correct me on this. :)
Another interesting phenomenon is that I haven't seen an instance yet of someone saying that adding too many fuses to the system was detrimental. It seems in most cases that those who agree with the efficacy of fuses are in the "more the better" camp.
Though I am not pushing the conversation in this direction, I would find it interesting to see what the breakdown is in terms of attitude toward fuses and attitude toward cables. I suspect that most who have tried fuses have found aftermarket cables efficacious, and most who feel fuses are snake oil have stayed with lower cost cables and or stock cables. It would seem to me that the two activities would hang together. We might also see a wide variance in total system cost as regards fuses. I would not be surprised to see systems in the $15K+ category using aftermarket fuses, while those in the $2-10K category would not. Imo, that has no bearing on the efficacy of fuses, but says more about the attitudes about it.
Thank you to all who have participated; I hope we see many more tallying up their experiences and opinions. :)
We might also see a wide variance in total system cost as regards fuses. I would not be surprised to see systems in the $15K+ category using aftermarket fuses, while those in the $2-10K category would not.FYI, system is about $60K retail, mostly using mostly Cooper Bussmann fuses except for the designer fuses I have tried and that haven't failed yet - when they do those get replaced with Cooper Bussmann ceramic. DIY cables, after trying many others.
Common sense says that if fuses make a big difference to electronic circuits then why isnt there a market for $50 or $100 fuses for toasters and all other electrical devices?
Show me the display at Home Depot or Best Buy or an automotive shop with recommended fuse upgrades for less burnt toast, smoother coffee, faster routers, less computer crashes, longer lasting hard drives, higher MPG efficiency, more torque and HP, lower heating bills and cleaner dishes?
And don’t tell me audio electronics is different or special because that is a strawman. Only an audiofool would believe that audio equipment is a special exception and that only
shadorne"Common sense says that if fuses make a big difference to electronic circuits then why isnt there a market for $50 or $100 fuses for toasters and all other electrical devices"
Let's use science to settle this why don't you perform a double blinded test let's settle this for once and for all invite members here to particpate and help you design the test toasters have nothing to do with this silly.