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"Audiophile" fuses (Read 8153 times)
Lon
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"Audiophile" fuses
04/11/14 at 20:55:12
 
Okay, I confess I've enjoyed not being on the forum for a while, and I'll probably be limiting my involvement for a while; my life needs my stepping back from the internet and reconfiguring what I can do while taking care of my parents, a very demanding "job."

I want to thank Mike (tgarden) for MANY things the last few years. He's sold me some great things at great prices and he's pointed out certain things that have really enriched my listening such as tubes for the ZP3, the excellent early bottle-shaped 5U4 rectifiers for Toriis, the use of five or six Iso-Cups under amps, the use of KT-66 in the Toriis, and MORE.

I want to talk about audiophile fuses which Mike introduced me to by selling me a few. That Mike found them to be a benefit made me consider using them. I bought a few Isoclean brand ones and put one in my Torii Mk III and one in the most used CSP2+ in my system. With a bit of burnin there's no disputing 9to my ears at least) that these improved the sound in the system. Dynamics and 'clarity' improved and there's a general robustness. After months, I've now tried a Furutech fuse in the amp (I have one for the CSP2+ as well and haven't yet installed it). I like it, a bit "bigger" sounding than the Isoclean but that works well with the KT-66. I put the Isoclean in the Torii Mk II in my Dad's system, and it's an improvement. Heftier sound.

A few years ago I would have ignored installing audiophile fuses or just have 'known" they were not really something important. But. . . I now think they are.

Mike is using another brand that he was experiencing as a prototype some time back. Maybe he'll shre his experiences. Anyone else using an audiophile fuse and want to share some experiences?
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jsm71
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #1 - 04/11/14 at 21:43:20
 
Over the years I've tried a few tweaks that after close examination I honestly can't say really improved the sound.  These fuses fall in that category, but I've had very limited exposure.  For me in the application I was using them, the Hi-fi tuning fuses I bought did nothing.  They didn't even change the sound, let alone improve it.  YMMV.

They were highly touted by Maggie owners to use them on the speakers because "all the HF signals travel through this cheap wire".  Seemed like it should make it better, but I didn't hear it.  I left them on and they got sold along with the speakers.  I never did try them in any electronics.

If your application benefits from their use, go for it.  Buy more.
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #2 - 04/11/14 at 23:30:20
 
Thanks for weighing in jsm. Not only is the change in sound noticeable, immediately, but the sound is different whatever direction the fuses are placed in. Surprised the heck out of me. I would probably buy two more in the near future, for my other CSP2+ and the ZP3.
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4krow
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #3 - 04/12/14 at 00:03:42
 
What I find with many tweeks, if anything, is that they may change the sound, but not necc improve it. After some time, another change is introduced by way of another tweek. Perceived improvement is what it is. Strange as it may sound, I change the sound every once in awhile. I am happy with change sometimes, and I leave it until the next change. In the end, it's about enjoyment, not measurement.
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #4 - 04/12/14 at 01:10:27
 
I hear you.

Agree that this is a "change" and so far two different manufacturers examples sound a bit different-- but I find them definitely an "improvement" over the stock fuses, unquestionably on immediately hearing the change I have a positive reaction and it has continued for months to be a very pleasant change. So I call it an "improvement" and will seek to improve more components in such a manner.
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« Last Edit: 04/12/14 at 01:57:38 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #5 - 04/12/14 at 02:08:00
 
I had been thinking of them for years. I had heard useful tuning differences from the metal used on power cord plugs (like F11 Furutech gold versus F11 Furutech copper), and with different power cord wire and size, so it seemed logical that fuses would matter...at the amp everything starts with them.

Then for me too, Mike selling some at a good value, I finally dug in. They most definitely changed the sound though I am still unsure as to the reason(s). The first fuse I got was a Furutech rated at 6.3 amps rather than the Torii MkIII's 5 amp fuse. I found it smoother, warmer and bigger, still with very good detail, but not bright and cool sounding like the stock fuse now sounded. I liked it  in most ways, but found the denser/bigger presentation a bit much. I had also gotten some HiFi tuning gold fuses from Mike to try. The HiFi Tuning gold 6.3 amp in the Torii was more open than the Furutech, but still a little big and dense to me. By then though, the benefits of the tuned fuses left the stock fuse sounding too hard and cool, so I kept the HiFi gold in.

I put a HiFi Tuning gold 3 amp in the CSP3, and this is was an immediate improvement in most ways without excess density. So I am wondering if a 5 amp Furutech or HiFi gold would sound better to me than the 6.3 amp fuses in the Torii.

Furthering the exploration, I decided to try a HiFi Tuning Supreme 5 amp. Somehow making it easier to pay 59 for a fuse, I tacked it onto an order from VHAudio for making a new pair of ICs.

This is my favorite so far. Great detail and smoothness, with warmth, but no dark density. I like it!
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #6 - 04/12/14 at 02:52:27
 
Lots of people really like those Hi-Fi Tuning Supremes via reports online. I can see where the 5 amp may be the best for the Torii. Though that dark density seems to really match up well with the wide open airiness of the Tung-Sol KT-66 in use right now, I think I'll keep the Furutech in place in the main system.

Of course it's all about tube complement, cabling etc. as well. . .everything matters with these revealing components!

Thanks for weighing in will.
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #7 - 04/12/14 at 16:08:02
 
Yes, I agree. I am thinking that working in the last few percent is really sort of huge in the overall experience, and this sort of fine tuning can really help!
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #8 - 04/13/14 at 11:15:25
 
Yesteday afternoon I added the Furutech fuse to the CSP2+. Wow. More of a good thing. I will get two more for the other CSP2+ and the ZP3, and I will not go back, this is a great addition to the system. ZMA owners, look into this!
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #9 - 04/18/14 at 23:34:52
 
Yes, the Furutechs do something really special. Sweet, relaxed and detailed. It is a very similar quality as their copper receptacle which I love. I just did a bunch of comparison with my 6.3 amp Furutech and the 5 amp HiFi Tuning Supreme in the MKIV. Going back and forth between the two as well as changing directions with each. I need to get a 5 amp Furutech and see if it makes any difference in the density. There are things I like about both, but I might give the Furutech the edge today.
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #10 - 04/19/14 at 00:52:40
 
Yes, they've settled down nicely. When fully broken in they don't seem as different form the Isoclean than they did at first, like you both sets that I have are a great choice. I have two more Furutechs on the way for the second CSP2+ and the ZP3, and the Isocleans are sounding very nice in my Dad's system. (Well, now that it is 100 percent my own components, I guess it's my system at my parents' place!) Wink
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Lon
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #11 - 05/05/14 at 14:47:58
 
I got the two additional fuses in and put them in the second SCP2+ in the main system (which I removed from the system and put in the second system replacing my first CSP2+ there--I have one on the shelf now). I also put one in the ZP3 which now runs straight into the Torii Mk III in the main system. GLORIOUS SOUND. The ZP3 may be the best non-amplifier that Steve builds.
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #12 - 08/22/14 at 22:35:26
 
Synergistic Research Reds are surprisingly good, though even more expensive. They facilitate a very high resolution but very smoothly. More resolving than the others I have tried and with a very refined, not peaky top end. I really like them.

If you try a Red fuse, be aware that the writing area is not ceramic, but some teflon like material that can be torn putting them in and out of Decware fuse holders. After figuring this out with one damaged one, I taped two pieces of scotch tape together sticky to sticky, cut it to the right width, and then taped the loop together to protect it. Still returnable then....highend-electronics.com has a discount now and 30 days based on owning other hifi fuses, and the assurance we will like these better.
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« Last Edit: 08/22/14 at 22:38:48 by will »  

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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #13 - 03/27/15 at 18:06:19
 
I want to try an upgraded fuse in my CSP3. I'm looking at the synergistic research red. It is directional I believe. Which direction is the electron flow? I'm guessing someone has already experimented with this to see which way sounds better?
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #14 - 03/27/15 at 18:15:31
 
I have tried several kinds, and they all have slightly different sounds qualities, as well as different sounds directionally. One way will likely be more warm and one more open and clear if I recall. This may be a matter of tastes and needs in the system, so I suggest trying it both ways at first and find a favorite, and then try again after it settles a few weeks later. Like I said in the post above, if you get SR fuses, don't forget to protect the center area from the fuse holder somehow. Putting it in and out will rip that material (if they still use it).
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #15 - 03/28/15 at 14:47:16
 
I put one of these in an old class d amp and thought it helped the sound.  What is the type fuse to use in a Torii III?  Slow/fast, amp, size?
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #16 - 03/28/15 at 16:13:59
 
Stock in the MKIII is small five amp and I recall Steve saying fast or slow is fine. I get slow with some hope that it might not blow tooooo easily, but this may be completely delusional.

Cool
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« Last Edit: 03/28/15 at 16:31:23 by will »  

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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #17 - 03/28/15 at 16:16:02
 
The manual shows 5 amp fuse but doesn't specify fast or slow blow.
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Palomino
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #18 - 03/28/15 at 16:33:18
 
There are two sizes.  Small and large. I haven't opened it up.  Anybody know the size?   I'd rather not pull it off the rack.
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #19 - 03/28/15 at 17:02:24
 
reply #16 Quote:
Stock in the MKIII is small five amp
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« Last Edit: 03/28/15 at 17:03:05 by will »  

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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #20 - 03/28/15 at 20:56:23
 
Hey Palomino...btw. I think you will find the fuse holder is part of the IEC input on the Torii, so probably only have to pull the AC cable on the amp end to get to it.
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« Last Edit: 03/28/15 at 20:56:52 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #21 - 03/29/15 at 15:43:34
 

Yeah, if you have the big IEC with the fuse in it, it will be a standard 20mm (small) fuse. Power fuses are usually slow blow so they don't pop during the inrush of current on startup.

I'm going to need some new fuses for my ZMA - I blew a fuse yesterday, and the replacement. So I have a failure somewhere in the system. After I get Steve to repair it, this might be an excuse to try a nicer fuse. (which I'm highly, highly skeptical of....especially when people start talking about directionality and all that...BECAUSE WE'RE DEALING WITH A/C!!).

All that said - it would sure suck to pop an $80 fuse if a tube blew...like what happened to me last night. So now that I think about it, buying an $80, probably non-sound improving part that's designed to pop and be thrown away sounds retarded.
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #22 - 03/29/15 at 16:56:09
 
I put the new SR. Red fuses in my P5 and my CSP3 yesterday and don't hear much difference but I understand there is a burn in of about 200 hours to get the best out if them, at least that's what I've read.

After trying several different fuses in the ZMA and hearing no difference I have given up on this. I think the size of the caps on the ZMA make things like fuses and power cords irrelevant. The thing sounds like it runs off batteries anyway.
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #23 - 03/30/15 at 00:01:27
 

I wouldn't say the ZMA makes those things irrelivant, as long as they aren't holding the ZMA back. A wimpiy 18awg power cord would probably have a sonic impact. LOL

Otherwise I completely agree with you the big caps on the ZMA make power regenerators and other power related stuff have little to no impact. It's such a great amp design!
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #24 - 03/30/15 at 00:37:31
 
I guess irrelevant was a poor choice of words. I meant all of the aftermarket PC's and fuses seem to sound pretty much the same on the ZMA. I stuck with the Lessloss PC.
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #25 - 03/30/15 at 15:12:35
 
I was going to try one of those discount Parts Connexion fuses, but they don't have 5 amp.  Only 3.5 and 7.
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #26 - 04/01/15 at 16:38:01
 
I installed an Audio Horizons fuse in my SE84CKCS and the sound definitely improved.  They are very expensive, though.  The sound became cleaner and less homogenized.  There was a perceived reduction in the sound-floor, allowing some more detail to get through.  I wouldn't go back to cheap fuses.  This was definitely superior to the Hi-Fi Tuning Gold that it replaced.
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #27 - 04/05/15 at 01:09:45
 
Lonely R said:
Quote:
(which I'm highly, highly skeptical of....especially when people start talking about directionality and all that...BECAUSE WE'RE DEALING WITH A/C!!).

All that said - it would sure suck to pop an $80 fuse if a tube blew...like what happened to me last night. So now that I think about it, buying an $80, probably non-sound improving part that's designed to pop and be thrown away sounds retarded.


Based on these circumstances and beliefs, I can't quite figure out why you would try one.

ILance,

It seems to me that even with really good gear and revealing systems, dedicated audio fuses are more about refinement than more obvious changes. But it also seems relative...with good reference tunes and serious listening, I find the improvements notable in this room, the level of refinement sort of huge in some ways.

There are just too many variables with systems and rooms that could cause things to be more or less easily heard, but I agree, the Red will open and refine with more burnin. Here, I am not aware of any system bottle necks, and the stock fuse in the P5 seems quite clear in general presentation, but is also cruder with harder edge detail...less complexity. Though several audio fuses I have feel darker/warmer, most seem to provide more complex musical information. After adjusting to one or another, the refinement can sound less clear and bright, but also more resolving....finer detail feathering edges, enhancing spacial information and doing it in a smoother way. Of those I have tried in the P5, the burned in SR Red is closest to a stock fuse in open clarity, but with notably more complexity and smoothness...more “analog.”

But I am all about refinement these days. Also I have not had a fuse blow but once, years ago, when I had a rectifier go in the MKIII. So weighing the improvements and risk, it is worth it to me.

I started with some used fuses, already burned in, a HiFi gold and a Furutech, both 6.3 amp (which seem fine in the P5, but may be too much in the Toriis???). Then I got a HIFi Tuning Supreme and a HiFi Silver (both 5 amp) and liked them both in the Torii. I don't recall which was my fav in the P5, but I heard some resolution benefits with the NEW SR Red right away, as did my wife, who had no idea which fuse was which other than A/B.

I just did a comparison in the P5. Changing directions on all 5 is noticeable, particularly important for micro detail and subtle articulation. And all but the SR, for my tastes, are best one way. The SR sounds better than the rest to me in both directions (an anomaly here). With the R end of the SR toward the inside in the P5, it is most revealing across the spectrum having more fine detail, ambient information, subtle articulation, and tighter bass. I don't find it to suffer from the very high level of micro detail...it is smooth and musical. With the S inside, I hear more tonal density and warmth, with a softer/smoother top, but still very good detail and a seductive slightly warm musicality. Which is “better?” Depends here....

Altogether, the SR stands out to me as more "complete”...freer flow, more openness, and better balance, micro detail and dynamics throughout. I also get a slightly wider and deeper soundstage. Next I would probably put the Furutech, or maybe the HiFi Tuning Supreme. The Furutech sounds better at micro detail and flow, but the Supreme has better frequency balance for my tastes, and a slightly more “analog” smoothness in this use but is a little "tight" by comparison. The HiFi Silver is next, a lot like the Supreme, but a bit less revealing, complex and refined. Last for me is the HiFi gold. I never really fell for this fuse though I liked it better than the stock fuse early in my explorations...just a bit too warm and veiled for me.

In my Toriis, that is another story, the signatures similar but effecting the amp differently.

Looking back, I would have heard the fuses before I got the P5 fine-tuned to my system, but not as much as I do now. I had to explore a lot to get the P5 to let my gear reveal what I had grown used to. Here, the regenerator had too much impact on natural tone and timbre, probably mostly from suppressed detail complexity, and associated, a slightly unnatural “warmth” and tonal rigidity...But once sorted out, it is really good in my system.

Along these lines, this may interest you.

I have been playing around with P5 Phase Tuning the last few weeks. The 0 setting has qualities that indicate it is likely “right” for the design intent, reflecting balanced clarity, articulation, and dynamics. But here anyway, going off 0 a bit either way I find it more musical. Both ways shift the sense of tonal rigidity with added detail complexity, increasing ambience, texture and space. If this is not specific to this system/room, zero, plus, or minus being better would depend on sound balance.

Minus opens/clarifies the sound with increased spacial information, fine detail, and edge textures. Plus adds a warmish tonal density, but also makes detail complexity and ambience seem more complete and natural. I find different Phase settings can also benefit from Hi Regulation versus Low Distortion settings, and/or a volt up or down. For more space, minus 3-4 is enough to get a feel for it here.....If it is a bit much with high regulation, the low distortion setting should soften/unite it some. Going out further than 4 is a lot to me here. Not having enough time to really get in deep, I am not clear on where I will end up, but doubt I will use zero anymore. At the moment, I seem to like these equally, for different reasons:

119V, Sine Wave, Phase plus 2, High Regulation
119V, Sine Wave, Phase minus 2, Low Distortion or High reg...

Edit: I need to do more playing, but somewhere in there I believe I can find a setting to hang with, later, perhaps making simple adjustments like High regulation or Low distortion based on recording sound...like gain riding with a CSP.
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« Last Edit: 04/05/15 at 03:12:07 by will »  

PSA P5/mod'd Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/and more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen, modded Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Jupiter CSP3; Torii MKIV; DIY Speaker Cables; HR1; Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup feet
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lLance
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #28 - 04/05/15 at 03:40:34
 
Will, thank you for sharing your experiences. I am giving some burn-in time to the SR reds and will try changing directions tomorrow. I hadn't given it much thought but I will try your ideas with the P5 as well. It looks like the ZDSD will be shipping out next week so more variables in my system.
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will
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #29 - 04/05/15 at 18:49:27
 
Exciting the ZDSD is coming soon. I look forward to your impressions of it, and what you find in your system with the Red fuse and P5 adjustments. It does seem variables keep mysteriously showing up when we are after great music at home!
Cool

Best I can tell from what I have gathered on the Phase adjustment, PSAudio designed it for unusual power issues, and says 0 is optimal for most. Harmonic Distortion is apparently really high with serious power phase problems and this can help solve it. Mine is 2.7-3 in, and the P5 takes it down to .1 or vacillating between .1 and .2...well managed, so they said I don't need it. It seems the regenerator syncs with the zero crossings of the sine wave, but the peaks can vary from center due to incoming phase distortion, and each phase adjustment seems to shift the peak a little to the right or left.

So when I first started looking at it as a sound tool, I checked the output THD, and settings up to 8 either way did not change the THD out reading, though they do change the voltage out reading a bit...With an input voltage of 122, and out set at 119V, in the Phase adjustment range I am exploring (minus 4 to plus 4) it shifts the output voltage here by .4 -.5 volts...minus 4 = 119.1, and plus 4 = 119.5/6. If this is accurate, I think this would explain part for what I am hearing, more density with higher voltage, but there is clearly more to it...Phase appears to be my friend!

Right now I am trying:
119V, Sinewave, minus 4 Phase, High Regulation

Getting into the 4 range is really spacious with articulate but complex edges, and less pushed/full than closer to 0 but quite dynamic....live sounding with these tubes and settings, good for Kind of Blue and Patricia Barber Nightclub anyway.

I am beginning to think this is similar to tube rolling in tuning potential.

The way the adjustment acts/sounds, I am guessing that for most power situations the effects may be similar to here, though different tastes and systems might take it to different places....But I don't know, so I look forward to what you find.

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« Last Edit: 04/05/15 at 18:56:21 by will »  

PSA P5/mod'd Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/and more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen, modded Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Jupiter CSP3; Torii MKIV; DIY Speaker Cables; HR1; Madscientist, SynRes, Archie's, Herbie's isocup feet
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #30 - 04/09/15 at 02:51:23
 
Will, the SR. fuses are starting to show their stuff. Soundstage, spaciousness, more everything. I'm sure they have more burn in to go but the early results are very good, quite impressive.

I have been playing with the P5 adjustments a little but this will require more listening for me as these changes are apparently very subtle.

The ZDSD shipped out today so I will soon have it on the rack next to my DS DAC for comparison. Big fun.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: "Audiophile" fuses
Reply #31 - 04/09/15 at 13:14:42
 

Quote:
I have been playing with the P5 adjustments a little but this will require more listening for me as these changes are apparently very subtle.


You've got a PS Audio P5 now too? Cool!

Yeah, the changes are subtle, depending on the power supply of the device that's connected into it I believe.

the ZMA for example, little to no improvement. But then I put the little Zen amp on, and it's like WOW! There was also a thread in the PS Audio forums about a particular setting that sounded good for the DirectStream DAC. I didn't believe it but tried it myself and I swear I heard a little bit of improvement - just a bit more air and sparkle. Of course that was several Firmware back so it might be moot now.

Just having a power regenerator is an improvement - if you can happen to dial in something slightly better with the multiwave, then that's just icing.
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