Fuse directionality

Re: Fuse directionality

Postby WntrMute » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:00 pm

I am not discounting what you believe you hear as I am a firm believer in the placebo effect. But let us consider for a minute the effect of the fuse.
I is located right after the IEC inlet, from there the power travels through the same switch, then to the power transformer, then to rectifier (sometimes a tube) then on to the first capacitor, usually then a choke or resistor circuit, then back to a series of capacitors (sometimes PIO motor run/start caps) then on to the heaters and B+/B++ if SS then this same transformation occurs in the digital arena. From there the current from those fuses travels through a series of tube grids and anode plates or through a OPAMP or similar and then hopefully through the output transformer through your speaker cables and through the crossover to be reproduced by the speakers' transducers. Now I realize the fuse COULD make an audible difference but looking at things logically and scientifically, the quality of the fuse really cannot affect the sound. All the other pieces/wires/components have not changed. If so, then changing that inch or so of wire from the fuse holder to the switch has an equal or greater effect. So does the next bit of wire or PC trace. It really makes NO scientific sense. If you believe that it does then you might believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy but the sound will sound better to you. All IMHO of course!
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Orchids1 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:21 am

I guess that audiophiles who believe in wire directionality might experiment with their fuses, but for some of the reasons noted above, I think any difference in sound will not be noticable. (By the way, some high-end equipment manufacturers now use circuit breakers instead of fuses.) A number of the manufacturers that continue to use fuses, including PS Audio, are of the opinion that ceramic fuses make an audible difference, and install them in their equipment. However, I can’t recall any equipment manufacturer, apart from the manufacturers of expensive directional fuses, themselves, that has reported an audible improvement in sound quality based on fuse directionality. Rich
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Golear » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:21 pm

@Wntrmute

I can think of two mechanisms, going no further than: IEC power input > fuse > transformer. But what's the point? Knowing a mechanism doesn't have a bearing on whether you can hear it. If anything, it can lead to bias. One might, for example, think that a speaker should be connected to the 4 ohm tap on the transformer because the speaker is listed as "4 ohm". Speaker impedance varies a lot with frequency, and it's very possible for a "4 ohm" speaker to sound better on the 8 ohm tap.

Also, we have a host of phenomena that cannot be explained. Our ignorance of how/why those things happen has no bearing on the reality of the phenomena. We continue to do research and try to find the underlying how and why. So saying, "We don't know the mechanism therefore it doesn't exist" is not a correct position.

I suggest trying it out, Doing experiments is the heart of science. If you don't want to try with hi-fi fuses, you can also try bypassing the fuse with a short copper rod - they're available in bulk lengths at Home Depot, and you can trim them to size, then drop them into the fuse holder. Of course, do be careful as you're dealing with mains power, so the power cord should be unplugged when changing fuses and put the fuse back after the experiment. If you hear a difference, then you might want to get a hifi fuse. If not, the fuse thing is something you don't need to worry about. (Given the money back guarantee offered by most shops, it's easier to just try the hifi fuses.)
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby WntrMute » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:33 pm

Golear wrote:@Wntrmute

I can think of two mechanisms, going no further than: IEC power input > fuse > transformer. But what's the point? Knowing a mechanism doesn't have a bearing on whether you can hear it. If anything, it can lead to bias. One might, for example, think that a speaker should be connected to the 4 ohm tap on the transformer because the speaker is listed as "4 ohm". Speaker impedance varies a lot with frequency, and it's very possible for a "4 ohm" speaker to sound better on the 8 ohm tap.

I agree with you here but there is a scientific explanation as to why this is. My Altecs sound better on the 4ohm tap than the 16ohm taps they are constructed for. The fuse issue has no similar explanation.

Also, we have a host of phenomena that cannot be explained. Our ignorance of how/why those things happen has no bearing on the reality of the phenomena. We continue to do research and try to find the underlying how and why. So saying, "We don't know the mechanism therefore it doesn't exist" is not a correct position.

There are lots of unexplained phenomena. The thing is though, the attempt at explanation shouldn't fly in the face of established scientific theories. To use a religious example (forgive me). I have friends that like to try and convince me that because I believe in a natural/scientific basis for life and evolution but cannot explain how life began, they want to use that as evidence for a god. I claim you can't just put some magical being in place just because we don't know the answer yet.

I suggest trying it out, Doing experiments is the heart of science. If you don't want to try with hi-fi fuses, you can also try bypassing the fuse with a short copper rod - they're available in bulk lengths at Home Depot, and you can trim them to size, then drop them into the fuse holder. Of course, do be careful as you're dealing with mains power, so the power cord should be unplugged when changing fuses and put the fuse back after the experiment. If you hear a difference, then you might want to get a hifi fuse. If not, the fuse thing is something you don't need to worry about. (Given the money back guarantee offered by most shops, it's easier to just try the hifi fuses.)

If you want to be "scientific" then we need to utilize the double blind study which is anathema to most in the audio world.
Just my two cents and if the fuses sound better to the OP, who am I to disagree. My point was it is likely the placebo effect at work here.

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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Golear » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:24 pm

I agree with a lot of what you wrote!

The proposition is: fuses make a difference but we don't know how/why. It is very similar in form to: life evolves via genetics but we don't know how it started.

I don't know what magical thing is being enlisted to help the fuse proposition so I don't follow that part.

In both, there are "we don't know" parts. The "we don't know" parts don't cast shade on fuses or on evolution.

Evolution is established via empirical data - we've been doing it with dogs, cats and farm animals for thousands of years. When it comes to fuses, we need to listen because we're dealing with our personal enjoyment of music.

You did that with your speakers. The theory said use the 16 Ohm tap. But your ears told you to use the 4 Ohm tap. Your ears are king and the theory takes a back seat. And even if there's no theory, your ears are still king. No matter what, you prefer the 4 Ohm tap. As a listener, the theory is immaterial to your enjoyment of music. As a listener, who cares what the numerical value of the tap is.... just label the 16/8/4 Ohm taps as.... Flower, Train and Shirley. And for you, Shirley is the way to go.

All I can do is encourage readers to try it, and to trust your ears.

PS: This will be my last post in this thread. I don't want to hog the discussion. Thanks.
Last edited by Golear on Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby WntrMute » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:27 pm

I'll join you on the sidelines.
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Brf » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:40 am

IME, the tube amp tap that will sound the best with a particular pair of speakers can be easily calculated and measured; and in most cases, will correspond with the listener’s preference. Fuses, not so much.

I do use aftermarket fuses in my equipment, but I will admit, I cannot hear a difference. YMMV
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Dorian » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:50 am

Brf wrote:IME, the tube amp tap that will sound the best with a particular pair of speakers can be easily calculated and measured; and in most cases, will correspond with the listener’s preference.

What’s the calculation please Brf?
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby Brf » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:38 am

Dorian wrote:
Brf wrote:IME, the tube amp tap that will sound the best with a particular pair of speakers can be easily calculated and measured; and in most cases, will correspond with the listener’s preference.

What’s the calculation please Brf?


The speaker's speaker impedance is measured and plotted vs frequency and then you apply Ohm's law ( V = I*R ) to determine how the amp will react to the load.
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Re: Fuse directionality

Postby MOON » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:56 am

Since my posting on the first page I have upgraded to all Synergistic research blue fuses. I didn't plan on doing that since I just bought 2 black fuses 4 months before the blue fuses came out.

I was reading the huge forum topic on audiogon with all the comments that the blue fuses bested the black fuses right out of the box and we're significantly better by a wide margin. So, I thought I would order 1 blue fuse for my power amp just to see. Well, from the get go the blue fuse made a big improvemet.

So I ordered 4 more, did the pre, phono pre and 2 LC 1's going to my Martin Logans. Yes, the fuses are directional. One direction gives you cleaner extended highs which is easily heard.
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