Audiophile Fuses

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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Some humor. Still waiting for someone to come out and claim that resistors are also directional, and cite "fuses" as a basis for such a claim, or power cords that don't fit the other way.
Hey Ack, "some humour" is on a par w "quite good looking", so I'll settle for that.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Hey Ack, "some humour" is on a par w "quite good looking", so I'll settle for that.
Yes, "Audiophile Fuses & The Beauty Pageant" is a more fitting thread title. Pure circus.
 

HenkbergNl

New Member
Aug 17, 2019
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Hi Everybody,

I am use a audio magic beeswax ultimate shd fuse in my audio research ref 110,
for 50 hours, and it is unbelievable so much more air and detail and information.
Lovely!!!!!
Henk.....
The Netherlands
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Hello Henk! Welcome to WBF!

Thank you for posting!
 
Sep 3, 2016
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I’m just starting to experiment with fuse upgrades (trying first in my linear power supplies) and have been wondering about fuse run-in/burn-in(?). Assuming that this is a thing for fuses, and I am prepared to accept that it is, is it only the parts of the fuse end caps that are in contact with the fuse holder that get run-in, or does the effect spread beyond the points of contact (accepting that the wire running through the fuse is run-in regardless)? If trying a run-in fuse in another device must I try as best I can to ensure the same parts of the fuse end caps come into contact with the fuse holder in order to benefit from the run-in? Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.
 
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sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
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I would think the fuse end caps' contact point isn't the area being burned in. I would think it's the actual filament in the fuse that does. However since you brought up the fuse end caps and fuse holder contact points I would recommend ensuring both are clean not only for good contact both also for a more accurate A/B comparison.
 
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highstream

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2013
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I think of the power fuse as a mini power cord. Given how relatively infrequently fuses blow due to electrical surges, its role as such is its primary function practically speaking for audio. So like a power cord, you’re burning in the whole thing. Hence it needs to be fully in place and receiving current. Having a live power cord to the component is sufficient, I believe, and speeds up the process. From what I’ve read and been told repeatedly by companies, it is that not necessary for the component the fuse is in to be on, although if the latter is in a low current steady state when not being used, all the better.
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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Please take the following I received from Pass Labs regarding my blown power supply to heart:

It appears that the aftermarket fuse did not fulfill it's intended task. Looking only at the power supply we see failed voltage regulators. Will address that before even looking at the control unit.

Having said that: CE rated time delay fuses have a different overload characteristic curve than UL rated time delay fuses. Frequently they do not exchange directly.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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This is, or it at least could be, a pretty serious indictment of fancy after-market fuses.

I can tell you that after this post I am no longer inclined to try after-market fuses myself.

Which fuse did you have in that unit, Tasos?
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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I used a HiFi-Tuning fuse, from Germany. The short-circuit was created by an after-market umbilical for Pass that a lot of people use, which blew up the power supply. The worst part is that I actually replaced the stock fuse with that one right before attempting to plug in that umbilical. How stupid, I know.

And since I brought it up, Pass also said the following regarding those after-market umbilicals:

We've seen this more often than you might imagine

Bottom line: quality control comes with the negotiated price, and I negotiated too low. So blame me solely again; no need to name that brand. To the contrary, let's simply count what it would take to assert correctness of connectivity in that cable, and please check my math:

1) pin-to-pin, 25 times (they are DB-25 connectors); plus
2) Mathematical sum of 25, to make sure that no pins on the same end are accidentally connected to another (e.g. solder traces accidentally dropped onto the connectors); I can even settle for a smaller number if we think there is no chance of two pins situated far away from each will ever cross; plus
3) Multiply that by 2, for two connectors
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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Sorry to hear, ack. I've seen some horrific cables out there in terms of build quality, unfortunately. The further you go into the "artisan" type products the more the risk, it's just not possible for most to thoroughly test things like custom or home made wire. I've seen cables with home made gold wire that always breaks, cables with ribbon conductors that can't flex without putting too much stress on the cable and it's terminations, power cables made out of 12g solid-core wire that will sound worse every time you bend it and eventually resistance will increase enough that it will heat up like a toaster wire. Cables with conductors that are unprotected from corrosion, because pure silk just sounds SO MUCH better vs teflon, people put bare wire in teflon tubes surrounded by air, so you get corrosion, it's just horrible.

As far as fuses, yes I'd have a hard time believing they are to spec and built properly as well.
 
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ack

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May 6, 2010
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Sorry to hear, ack. I've seen some horrific cables out there in terms of build quality, unfortunately. The further you go into the "artisan" type products the more the risk, it's just not possible for most to thoroughly test things like custom or home made wire. I've seen cables with home made gold wire that always breaks, cables with ribbon conductors that can't flex without putting too much stress on the cable and it's terminations, power cables made out of 12g solid-core wire that will sound worse every time you bend it and eventually resistance will increase enough that it will heat up like a toaster wire. Cables with conductors that are unprotected from corrosion, because pure silk just sounds SO MUCH better vs teflon, people put bare wire in teflon tubes surrounded by air, so you get corrosion, it's just horrible.

As far as fuses, yes I'd have a hard time believing they are to spec and built properly as well.
Totally agreed.
 

highstream

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2013
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Very unfortunate. And a tale for caution. Yet, given the variety of aftermarket fuses out there, if they were really a general problem audiophile sites would be full of stories.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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Very unfortunate. And a tale for caution. Yet, given the variety of aftermarket fuses out there, if they were really a general problem audiophile sites would be full of stories.
It's hard to judge as I don't think many fuses pop. In my life I've only ever had one go. I have had a tube preamp's power trafo meltdown and it didn't pop the fuse. :mad: Not my pre! ...it was a Sonic Frontiers with separate tube rectified PS.
 

dan31

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2010
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SF Bay
I think several have tried after martlet fuses and have returned to fuses that are properly designed, manufactured and tested.

I tried a few from an established audio cable company. They blew immediately when I turned on the component. I have returned to the fuses provided by the manufacturer.

It’s littlefuse for me.
 

highstream

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2013
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@dan31 Which fuses were those? If you’re referring to Synergistic Research, yes, starting with the first SR Blacks, a number of people had their fuses blow initially. The informal advice given was to use a somewhat higher amperage, e.g., 1.6A for 1A. After that, reports about blowing disappeared, even among those using the spec value. I haven’t read of any such problems with the Audio Magic beeswax fuses, which I primarily use (and prefer sonically over the SR).

I recently purchased and had factory upgraded a tube dac made by a European company where the U.S. distributors recommend using a higher amperage fuse than the company specifies, 3.15 vs. 2 (they’ve been trying to get the company to change the U.S. spec). I wonder if that’s due to the CE vs. UL difference that ack experienced. I haven’t looked at the fuse they supplied yet.
 
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dan31

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2010
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SF Bay
I tried the Furutech fuses. The difficulty is for the price of these fuses to find the right value.

I used 2A slo blow. If I go up to 2.5 and they blow I would go to 3A. If they blow then the next higher. It gets expensive.
 

highstream

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2013
179
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Understood. Along the way, I used Furutechs in Quad actives at spec value and had no problem. With blowing like you report, I have to wonder if something was wrong with the component (or if it was the CE issue). As I mentioned earlier, companies typically rate conservatively — give a lot of leeway in value — to minimize problems in the field.
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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I have typically found that SR fuses of the same value as the original generic are sensitive to blowing with start-up current surges. No issues with Padis, which Furutech relabel, nor with HFT ages ago. As an amp builder once explained, using a higher rating gives just a few extra milliseconds of delay in a fault event. That said, I have had output valves running away and transistors failing without the generic fuse blowing.

Ack - sorry to hear of your misfortune and I hope the company concerned are constructive in resolving. I do get asked to make umbilicals but they present an unattractive risk profile and pin out data is seldom available with which to optimise the geometry / shielding.
 
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ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Thanks Sablon. I am glad that ratings and fuse behaviors are surfacing. It is NOT a simple replacement practice.
 

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