HiFi Tuning Fuses - What's your take?

Discussion in 'System and Room Tweaks' started by StevenZ, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    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.

    Steven Z.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  2. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer Junior Member

    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.
  3. Wntrmute2

    Wntrmute2 Junior Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    Thermionics likes this.
  4. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    I considered removing the fuse and may experiment with it later after I get the other fuses in.
  5. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Be interesting to see where your investigation leads. :)
    Wntrmute2 likes this.
  6. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    I figure worst case scenario if anyone wants to try the Schurter fuses and they DONT make a difference is you're left with a high tolerance high quality mil-spec fuse to protect your audio gear. Seems like a win either way. They're only a buck a pop, too.
    John Frum, opa1, billfort and 2 others like this.
  7. John Frum

    John Frum Junior Member

    I'll keep using the aluminum foil tweak on my fuses, thankyouverymuch. :cool:
    Thermionics and opa1 like this.
  8. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    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.
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  9. Wntrmute2

    Wntrmute2 Junior Member

    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.
  10. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    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.
  11. Wntrmute2

    Wntrmute2 Junior Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Thermionics likes this.
  12. StevenZ

    StevenZ Active Member

    @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.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  13. Punker X

    Punker X Junior Member

    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.
  14. Thermionics

    Thermionics Post Whore In Training

    Of course, that should only be a very, very, very short experiment as that's a safety hazard.
  15. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    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.
    StevenZ likes this.
  16. Punker X

    Punker X Junior Member

    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 likes this.
  17. Thermionics

    Thermionics Post Whore In Training

    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. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    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. ;)
    Celt and MikeyFresh like this.

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