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In Reply to: RE: "Solder would just have their [sic] own indentations" posted by 1973shovel on April 28, 2017 at 19:59:38
I try and keep an open mind about things, but I guess I'm too much of a skeptic to spend $100 on a disposable fuse "Just to see".
Me too. Upon re-assembling a system after a 10 year remission and scanning Audiogon for some deals, the mega-dollar fuses were all over the place. I viewed them with the same skepticism (or was it rolling eyes?) that I did many years ago when audiophile power cords became fashionable. But back then I decided to try a rather expensive cord and confirm my skepticism, but my skepticism was instead replaced by a lighter wallet. :)
When it came to the fuses, like you I wasn't willing to spend $100+ just to see. Then Parts Connection put the Hi-Fi tuning fuses on sale for $19.99, and I figured $20 was reasonable enough for a trial. I bought one (just one), and after hearing what it did in my CD player went back and bought the ones needed for the rest of my components. The improvement was not consistent, and it turned out that the biggest change was in the CD player. Less (but still noticeable) improvement in the preamp, and I really couldn't tell any difference at all in the amp. So in my experience, there's no guarantee there will be an improvement, and if there is, it's component specific. I've purchased a couple SR Black fuses since then (yeah, the expensive ones), and to my ears, they are better. But not as big a change over the HiFi Tuning fuses as the HiFi Tuning fuses were over the stock fuse. They were the biggest bang for the buck in my system.
Parts Connexion now has these fuses for $9.99, which may satisfy the curiosity/price ratio for anyone interested.
Edits: 04/29/17Follow Ups:
I hear you!
Your experience seems to mirror mine with regard to power cords. I had a difficult time believing that they could make a difference. I ordered a Zu Bok with a thirty day trial, convinced that the most I would be out was the return postage after proving to myself that people were simply hearing things.
As you have already guessed, the Bok is still in my system.
I recall being just as skeptical regarding better interconnects and speaker wire years ago, but had my ears opened by actually trying them. My position on fuses isn't a total "contempt prior to investigation", because I certainly am curious.
But, assuming for a moment that I could hear an improvement, two things give me pause with boutique fuses. The first is the accuracy of their specifications. Does their 0.125 A fuse really open at more than a 0.125A current draw? Am I willing to risk a $1000 phono stage to find out?
The second reason is that one power hiccup, one capacitor going bad in the power supply, and I've just lit $100 on fire when the fuse opens. I could still sell my $100 power cord if I chose to, but they don't "self-destruct" like the fuses are intended to.
The big consideration for me is the value for my dollar factor. As I posted in a reply to CD player upgrades a few posts down, the Belleson regulator is the biggest "bang for the buck" I've yet to experience. I also quoted from the TNT review of the Belleson regulators, "These regulators are expensive compared to other types, but not compared to cables and other accessories, and in my system they improved things more than any cable I've ever tried..." , which was also my experience when I replaced the regulator in my Graham Slee phono stage with the Belleson.
So, given that I have to be judicious with my spending, laying out $35 to $55 for a Belleson makes more sense for me than dropping hundreds (or even thousands, according to the TNT review) on cables, fuses, etc. If money were no object, I'd go for the Belleson, upgraded power-cord, and a boutique fuse, but since I can't, I'll opt for my biggest "bang for the buck" and start with the Belleson.
Oh, and thank you for the wise suggestion to try a Hi-Fi tuning fuse or two from the Parts Connexion. That sounds like a reasonably priced (by insane audiophile standards, anyway) foray into fuse testing.
But, assuming for a moment that I could hear an improvement, two things give me pause with boutique fuses. The first is the accuracy of their specifications. Does their 0.125 A fuse really open at more than a 0.125A current draw?
Good reason to pause. None of the boutique fuses have any independent agency listings (UL, CSA, CE, etc) to my knowledge. And while a UL listing doesn't guarantee that a 1.25 amp fuse will blow at 1.26 amps, it does offer an assurance that the engineering is sound and the manufacturing processes are consistent. The boutique fuses add some risk to the equation to be sure. I have only one component that I consider irreplaceable (my amp -- no longer made), and I'm almost glad I didn't hear any difference with the boutique fuse in it....it retains its UL listed Littelfuse. Maybe something subconscious was going on there that I didn't even know about.
Thanks for the additional info on the regulators (I hadn't read your post below). I guess I need to go yank the cover off my DAC now... :)
I'd be sure to check out where some of these "magic" fuses are manufactured.
This warning is not necessarily audio related, but a good friend who owns a local auto repair shop encountered a Chinese made glass bodied fuse that was stamped 10 AMP but would not blow when it was fed with over 30 amps. It caused an expensive wiring harness fire in a custom 1970's model Chevrolet C10 pickup that had a worn out heater/AC blower motor that was pulling over 30 amps draw after running on high speed for about twenty minutes.
The customer stated that he bought an assortment of fuses packaged in a plastic bag from a discount auto parts store and used one of the fuses in the heater blower spot in the fuse box. These were Chinese made fuses according to the package.
I only wonder if some of these un-rated "boutique" audio fuses might be subject to the same condition. I'm not pointing any fingers or making a wild accusation. Just curious.
I consider my amp irreplaceable too, given that there were only 100 made. I could see me trying to explain to Nelson Pass that I was trying out a boutique fuse, and smoked my First Watt F1J.
You're welcome regarding the Belleson regulator info. I admit that I haven't tried any of the other brands of "boutique" regulators, and maybe some perform better than the Belleson. I just know the level of improvement I got for $55 wasn't small.
When you see what's inside your DAC, if I can be of any help, just let me know.
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