HiFi Tuning Fuses - What's your take?

StevenZ

Active Member
#1
So, on a whim I purchased a HiFi Tuning (Supreme) fuse from Michael Percy audio as I had a credit to use up. I haven't read much, if actually anything about these fuses nor had I read any reviews. However, curiosity got to me and I figured it would be an interesting experiment.

Well, it came in this morning and install was quite easy. However when I powered up my amp (the one I put the fuse in) I sensed an immediate improvement in low level resolution and clarity. Now bear in mind, I'm very familiar with the sound of my speakers as I've had them in this office setup for nearly 7yrs now. They also happen to be the most resolving speakers I'm aware of, within sane money of course. Couple that with near-field placement and I'd say I know them quite personally.

So I went on the hunt as to WHY am I hearing a difference and it seems to be that nobody really knows. Other than the fact that this fuse is solid silver, tip to tip, including the filament. Not silver plated. It has also been cryo'd and is in a special mixture of ceramic for the body. 99% Silver, 1% Gold.

Could this little 5mmx20mm fuse actually make a difference? I was skeptical at the very least, but now I am just shocked at not only that it actually made a difference, but that it seemed as if the (get ready for a cliche) veil has been lifted. Music sounds more open, more detailed and more dynamic. Especially at low volumes that I listen to.

So, these fuses are expensive. Not for everyone, but considering the cost and the performance I'd say worth it. However, that put me on the chase for a more reasonable fuse that may make a difference as well. Mouser.com stocks Schurter which is a military spec fuse that uses a similar ceramic body but the end caps are gold plated copper. Doesn't say what the filament is though I'd assume it's copper as well (probably wrong).

If anyone has any experience with tuning fuses or has any sort of explanation other than the common "you can't hear a fuse, expectation bias, blah blah blah" I'd like to hear it.


Best,
Steven Z.
 
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#2
i'm a skeptic too but my mccormack DNA-1 amp, modified by SMC, uses similar high end fuses and they are convinced they make a difference. that amp is by far my best sounding amp.
 

Wntrmute2

Junior Member
#3
As one who has built a few amps and phono-stages I am skeptical at best. The reason I say this is that when a project is being built there are dozens, usually, hundreds of less than optimal connections of steel resistor and capacitor leads to a variety of terminal strips, poorly finished pot connectors, etc. The leads on many power and output transformers, chokes and filament transformers are not of any special quality - thin and of dubious quality is the norm. Every solder connection may be less than perfect. To believe that in inch of better fuse material such as silver makes a difference, requires a suspension of disbelief that I for one do not posses.

I am NOT saying you don't hear a difference but it is hard to wrap one's mind around that thought.
There are those that say that they do not want to hear a difference so they are objective when analyzing a fuze for instance but that flies in the face of the scientific method.

If you are perceiving a difference then more power to you as you can tweak to your heart's (wallet's) content and be satisfied. For me, there must be a reasonable scientific explanation for the differences to be believable. Again, I am not saying your fuzes cannot change the sound. It just isn't a change that can be explained by science. While on that thought, why not try eliminating the fuze altogether? Just as an experiment mind you.
 
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StevenZ

Active Member
#4
As one who has built a few amps and phono-stages I am skeptical at best. The reason I say this is that when a project is being built there are dozens, usually, hundreds of less than optimal connections of steel resistor and capacitor leads to a variety of terminal strips, poorly finished pot connectors, etc. The leads on many power and output transformers, chokes and filament transformers are not of any special quality - thin and of dubious quality is the norm. Every solder connection may be less than perfect. To believe that in inch of better fuse material such as silver makes a difference, requires a suspension of disbelief that I for one do not posses.

I am NOT saying you don't hear a difference but it is hard to wrap one's mind around that thought.
There are those that say that they do not want to hear a difference so they are objective when analyzing a fuze for instance but that flies in the face of the scientific method.

If you are perceiving a difference then more power to you as you can tweak to your heart's (wallet's) content and be satisfied. For me, there must be a reasonable scientific explanation for the differences to be believable. Again, I am not saying your fuzes cannot change the sound. It just isn't a change that can be explained by science. While on that thought, why not try eliminating the fuze altogether? Just as an experiment mind you.
I considered removing the fuse and may experiment with it later after I get the other fuses in.
 

StevenZ

Active Member
#8
Swapped in the Schurter into my DAC and did some good listening. Only have about 9hrs on it so far but again, just like with the amp, I heard a very slight increase in lower level detail and an "ease" about the music that I haven't fully experienced previously. I'm sure to get lots of flack here and elsewhere, but I'll be damned if I'm a believer.

That said, I don't think the difference from stock to Schurter was as large as the difference in my amp from stock (ceramic) to HiFi Tuning Supreme.
 

Wntrmute2

Junior Member
#9
Swapped in the Schurter into my DAC and did some good listening. Only have about 9hrs on it so far but again, just like with the amp, I heard a very slight increase in lower level detail and an "ease" about the music that I haven't fully experienced previously. I'm sure to get lots of flack here and elsewhere, but I'll be damned if I'm a believer.

That said, I don't think the difference from stock to Schurter was as large as the difference in my amp from stock (ceramic) to HiFi Tuning Supreme.
The last sentence would lead me to believe that the Schurter fuses cost substantially less than the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuse. Possibly a perfect example of the placebo effect.
 

StevenZ

Active Member
#10
The last sentence would lead me to believe that the Schurter fuses cost substantially less than the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuse. Possibly a perfect example of the placebo effect.
I appreciate your participation however I'd rather you not dismiss my own findings. The Schurter didn't make as big a difference as the HiFi fuse. Plain and simple.
 

Wntrmute2

Junior Member
#11
You got it. I would like you to consider this though. All day, every day I give narcotics and sedatives. If I tell people in pain that I am giving them big doses of extremely strong medications it works much better than if I tell them nothing but give the same amount. Same thing with sedation. Telling someone that they are getting sedation works better and faster than telling them nothing.
Remember, I didn't say you are not hearing an improvement, I'm trying to explain WHY you might be hearing differences.
I will refrain from calling your findings into question in the future regardless.
Peace.
 
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StevenZ

Active Member
#12
@Thermionics I saw the message before you took it down. I feel if it were a placebo, the effects would have worn by now. I still feel there is an increased low level resolution and "ease" to the sound that wasn't there before the fuse swap. At this point I'm not listening for changes, nor am I expecting anything further. It's not even in the back of my mind while listening to tunes. However, my feeling stands in that it made a very slight but noticeable improvement. Color me confused on how/why.
 
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Punker X

Junior Member
#13
An interesting experiment would be to just bypass the fuse all together using the existing internal wiring. Then compare. Does is it sound better with no fuse? Is the fuse coloring, detracting or adding something.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
#14
An interesting experiment would be to just bypass the fuse all together using the existing internal wiring. Then compare. Does is it sound better with no fuse? Is the fuse coloring, detracting or adding something.
Of course, that should only be a very, very, very short experiment as that's a safety hazard.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
#15
Steven, I look forward to seeing how this works for you. I've heard of folks having good success with fuses, and as weird a hobby as audio can be, you just never know until you listen to it.

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
 

Punker X

Junior Member
#16
Of course, that should only be a very, very, very short experiment as that's a safety hazard.
Yes it could be a safety hazard and do at your own risk. Could always put a dropping resistor or fusible link in. Can't think of the last time I had a fuse blow from a equipment failure while in use. Think it was on a set of Dynaco Mark III's and I was using reproduction 6550's and one shorted out. Stopped using that tube. On the bench is another story.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
#17
Yes it could be a safety hazard and do at your own risk. Could always put a dropping resistor or fusible link in. Can't think of the last time I had a fuse blow from a equipment failure while in use. Think it was on a set of Dynaco Mark III's and I was using reproduction 6550's and one shorted out. Stopped using that tube. On the bench is another story.
Yeah, but if something does go wrong while you have a fuse jumpered (e.g. fire, injury, etc.), your insurance company will not cover damages in that scenario. Not trying to be a debbie downer, here.
 
#18
Reminds me of the time we fried a Heil AMT - was not my system. ;)

It was a party. Kept blowing the fuse protecting the AMT. Folks wanted more volume. The host "Tin foiled" the fuse on his AMTs.

Got more volume.....for a while. ;)

Yes, alcohol was involved. ;)
 
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