Poll

What is your opinion of the majority of tweaks being discussed in magazines, forums and dark alleys

I think most tweaks are foolish and a waste of money
19 (27.1%)
I think tweaks are worth trying and I dont mind spending money on things that may or may not improve my system
17 (24.3%)
I think the specious arguments that most tweak makers propose should be exposed by knowledgeable people in the industry
21 (30%)
I think you have a chance of stemming the tide of foolishness, count me in.
4 (5.7%)
I love my tweaks and look forward to the next one
9 (12.9%)

Total Members Voted: 70

Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.

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fredgarvin

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1094
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #20 on: 10 Jul 2014, 02:49 am »
I think many tweaks are simply emulating the successful marketing ploy of 'break in time'. How many times has some poor schmuck come on a forum with "I'm not liking my XXX cables, they really sound no different than my old ones. Any owners out there?" Followed by several owners posts "Oh, you have to break those in for another 200 hrs, that's what Joe Blow says, and he's right, they really open up". So the poor schmuck listens for two more weeks and talks himself into going with the flow. "You're right, these wires and plastic really opened up." And so when the next poor schmuck posts a similar thread this guy will simply parrot the break in time meme. "Wow". Another veil lifted!" How many veils can a decent component have and still be considered decent?  :scratch:

Ben Nomura

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #21 on: 10 Jul 2014, 07:58 am »
Okay, here goes my first post ever on a forum, so bear with me.
For those of you who may not know, I work with Roger and have found this discussion to be rather amusing.

I'd like to help people discern the differences between modifications and tweaks, using the following automotive analogies.
Like exhaust or suspension modifications for a car, we should use the term modification for things like fuses, power cords, capacitors and other various bolt on components.
Roger and I would like to use the word tweak to describe an adjustment of sorts, to bring a product to its original specification. 

In this next paragraph, I try to compare tube fuses to car mufflers, and share my opinion on why some people are inclined to try easy to bolt on parts.
I'm sure many of you have seen and heard a "modified" Honda Civic with a huge muffler protruding out the back of it. Sometimes these aftermarket mufflers can have an inlet and outlet diameter in excess of five inches! Most of the time, these mufflers are tacked onto the stock exhaust pipe, which is around 1.5 inches. Sure the Honda enthusiast might be going for a more aggressive sound, but ultimately the owner is trying to unlock more power from their engine. It's much easier and cheaper to bolt on a big muffler, as opposed to a complete exhaust system from the manifold to the end tip. Even still, a well tuned exhaust system considers back pressure and valve train design, where the two work together, and should be tuned synonymously. That being said a performance exhaust system will most likely diminish the power of a stock engine, especially in the low RPM range. Consumer cars need to meet requirements i.e financial, emissions and safety, to name a few, which limit what manufacturers can do, making certain automotive modifications understandable. Amplifier builders such as Roger, should be trusted and their products should be trusted and held in high esteem like the engineers who make the Agera sports car, or Fully built race cars. The amps as well as the race cars, are finely tuned, and there is really no room for improvement (well I can think of a few things, but that's a different topic and deals more with systems as a whole, rather than just a component). I want to make the point that tuning fuses are not like mufflers, because a muffler can have an measurable effect on performance, where a tuning fuse will not. If you want to improve the sound of your system, you need to think more big picture. 

Our purpose here is to educate the consumer to the point where he or she can notice if they are being misled by someones claims. If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to email me at: tubeaudiostore@gmail.com
Lastly, Roger and I don't feel it is possible for a fuse to be microphonic, and even if they were microphonic how would that energy get passed through the extremely large caps and into the amplifier? We use sand filled fuses which should be less microphonic than said tuning fuses in theory, but they are filled with sand to eliminate arcing, not microphonics.
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2014, 06:08 pm by Ben Nomura »

kevin360

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #22 on: 13 Jul 2014, 09:14 pm »
I'll provide some personal experience which is most relevant to the 'audibility of fuses' debate. I have Magnepan 3.7s. In stock form, they have fused tweeters (ribbons) and midrange elements (quasi-ribbon (aluminum on Mylar)). These fuses are directly in the signal path and, judging by the way the fuses often fail, they operate fairly close to their rating when one is 'cranking' these speakers. Experimentation with faster fuses for the ribbons (ribbons often fail with in-tact fuses) resulted in nuisance opens about once a month. I simplified my connector plates. I fiddled with a few tweaks for a while and then returned to the purest/simplest installation.

The point I'm trying to make is that I cannot imagine a fuse more likely to introduce audible non-linearity than these, not to mention the rivet construction fuse holders. I did not upgrade these fuses. I completely eliminated them, along with the extraneous wiring and hardware. I cannot conceive a more effective upgrade along these lines than this.

What was the sonic result? To be completely honest, I'm not sure there was one. I perceive a slightly cleaner, crisper top end. I'm aware that such perceptions are circumspect. I haven't the means to prove it to myself, so I take it as a possibility. Still, that description utterly pales in comparison to those of the professional reviewers.

Removing fuses from my speaker crossovers could only endanger the drivers they formerly protected. The protection the fuses provided was questionable for the ribbons and unnecessary (short of abuse, which I have no trouble avoiding) for the quasi-ribbons. The ribbons aren't expensive to exchange and they are simple to replace. Knowing what I don't know about the HiFi Tuning fuses, I don't see any difference, from the perspective of safety, between them and no fuse at all. From the standpoint of perfect conductors, no fuse can be better than no fuse at all.

I don't know where the HiFi Tuning fuse is finding all of these other fantastic improvements. There is only one way I can imagine for more of an improvement from the use of a special fuse over the elimination of the fuses from the circuits. We don't hear with our ears; we hear with our brains. The distinction is very, very important.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #23 on: 13 Jul 2014, 11:12 pm »
That's a good one, I like it,  but educating oneself and researching helps one to perhaps make a more informed decision about whether  a tweak is 'affordable, or if it 'kind of makes sense'. Probably it could save one from a few hoaxes.

I am constantly amazed at the willingness of some to try a modification (tweak) that cannot possibly work. That is the whole point of this post.  A fuse cannot be microphonic no more than pigs can fly.  :duh:

/mp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #24 on: 14 Jul 2014, 01:22 am »
I would like to know where they connect the 2,000,000 volts,

To some this may first conjure images of Frankenstein. For me it's, "This bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it!" http://www.montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series_1/53.htm & elsewhere.

My limited contribution to this subject, other than run thru the streets screaming, "The emperor has no clothes!" is stating (the probably obvious to most):
Can fuses sound different? Don't know. Don't have the background to pontificate on this question.
Do fuses sound different? Don't know. Have appropriate scientific skepticism. Well designed & executed experimentation may shed some illumination.
How much different do they sound if at all? Seems a reasonable question.
To those who poo-poo experimentation, measurement & calculation, I agree. I have seen textbooks which prove thru careful measurements & calculation that bumblebees cannot fly. Experimentation suggests otherwise. Going further back, there was a time when consensus opinion held the world was flat. (or banana shaped. http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Holy_Grail/Scene6.htm)
Nevertheless untestable hypothesis are religion not science. Whether religion or science is the more appropriate framework for discussing do all tweaks alter sound is another thread.

Someone previously asked in these threads why weren't tweaks around in the '50s. I don't know. I didn't pay attention to the hi-fi industry in the years before I was born. I was reading hi fi mags including The Absolute Sound in the 70s & 80s. RM's HR quote aside, I recall an individual named or at least writing under the name Enid Lumely. She did all kinds of little tweaks such as testing which orientation of her power chords plugged into sockets produced less background noise. (Is this the absolute phase one poster wrote of?) Tweaks may not be 60 years old but they're more then 30 years old.

Hope this helps a little.   

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #25 on: 14 Jul 2014, 01:36 am »
To some this may first conjure images of Frankenstein. For me it's, "This bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it!" http://www.montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series_1/53.htm & elsewhere.

My limited contribution to this subject, other than run thru the streets screaming, "The emperor has no clothes!" is stating (the probably obvious to most):
Can fuses sound different? Don't know. Don't have the background to pontificate on this question.
Do fuses sound different? Don't know. Have appropriate scientific skepticism. Well designed & executed experimentation may shed some illumination.
How much different do they sound if at all? Seems a reasonable question.
To those who poo-poo experimentation, measurement & calculation, I agree. I have seen textbooks which prove thru careful measurements & calculation that bumblebees cannot fly. Experimentation suggests otherwise. Going further back, there was a time when consensus opinion held the world was flat. (or banana shaped. http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Holy_Grail/Scene6.htm)
Nevertheless untestable hypothesis are religion not science. Whether religion or science is the more appropriate framework for discussing do all tweaks alter sound is another thread.

Someone previously asked in these threads why weren't tweaks around in the '50s. I don't know. I didn't pay attention to the hi-fi industry in the years before I was born. I was reading hi fi mags including The Absolute Sound in the 70s & 80s. RM's HR quote aside, I recall an individual named or at least writing under the name Enid Lumely. She did all kinds of little tweaks such as testing which orientation of her power chords plugged into sockets produced less background noise. (Is this the absolute phase one poster wrote of?) Tweaks may not be 60 years old but they're more then 30 years old.

Hope this helps a little.   

Perhaps you are recalling my post about burn-in where I questioned: If burn in is real, how come it wasn't discovered in the 1950s? I can only suggest that people weren't searching so hard to make something out of nothing.

I recall Enid Lumely and her little tweaks, one of which was to put the cable against the wall and then put pine boards angled at 45 degrees to cover them.  The good thing about people like that is they eventually go away. However if they start to make money from it, that takes longer.

mlee

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #26 on: 14 Jul 2014, 07:50 am »
While I was writing this reply to fastFred his wonderful rant was QUARANTINED.

No these people are afraid the uninformed majority will catch the play & stop buying their product. There is no other reason for a quarantine.

The reply was quarantined likely because it was a side attack against a manufacturer.  If you have a problem with a manufacturer's product, raise it directly with the manufacturer.  AC moderators would likely quarantine similar attacks against Music Reference.

All we're doing in this thread is pointing out products we believe to be bogus.
You may not agree even if we have proof that they're bogus. If there is one person who saves his hard earned audio dollar, for another perhaps more
rational product choice. Then I've done my job. Nobody is forcing people to give up their precious tweaks. I don't go on tweak sites and try to hijack
their threads over to my way of thinking. Yet it's perfectly ok for someone in the snake oil business to come over here & challenge what I hear.

I believe the OP intent is to provide education, not to bully, insult or ridicule.

In fact, the OP said :

Scientific arguments on either side are most welcome.
I am not asking everyone to be a scientist, but I am asking them to be open to scientific discussion.

And also :

Our purpose here is to educate the consumer to the point where he or she can notice if they are being misled by someones claims.


The OP has provided personal experience regarding the physical damage that fuses not UL-certified can cause.  That to me is a useful service.
The rest is counterproductive.  Education, to me, meant learning in the classroom, not going into the schoolyard to defend against the school bullies.
If audiophiles have irrevocably partitioned themselves into the scientific, measurements side and the emotional, golden-ear approach to sound reproduction, then there will be no advance, much like a dysfunctional government.

fastfred

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 75
  • Fred Petersen
    • audiofyle.com
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #27 on: 23 Jul 2014, 01:49 am »
"extra"! "extra"! read all about it "Debunking tuning fuses" in a miracle cure. (plagiarized from Pete Townsend) the other members of the quarantine ward

were also released. .................... a freedom of speech issue???

                                         ............................ fasfred

Guy 13

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #28 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:36 am »
Hi Roger and all.
There's lots of reading in this topic.
Very interesting and simple to understand.
For me:
Most of the tweaks were invented/created so the manufacturers make money
on the back of ignorant people.
Marketing sometimes is so good that it could sell refrigerator to Eskimos.
Please keep that topic alive, I like it.

Guy 13

Gzerro

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #29 on: 23 Jul 2014, 04:44 am »
deleted. Sorry if this appeared uncivil. It was not my intention.


« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2014, 06:10 pm by Gzerro »

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #30 on: 23 Jul 2014, 07:05 am »
It is nice to see the topic back. Let's keep it going in a civil manner.

It is a thankless effort (perhaps a fools errand) to explain the science of things to un-scientific people. Yet these people should realize that the best products come from good science. I would not be able to design good sounding equipment using the pseudo science that is bandied about in the industry. Has anyone noticed that the makers of these modifications (previously called tweaks) for the most part make no real products. They do not know how to make an amplifier and many of them cannot even explain how one works yet they feel they can make it better with their "discovery".

I read this from a review on a mains noise analyzer. Why anyone would want such a thing is a mystery to me. You either have noise coming out of your speakers from some power problem or you don't. However here is the gist of why you might need this. I think this was from a positive review of the product, but I cant be sure. However I like the way it reads.

In general the music lover is told that whatever is output from the wall is of inferior quality for her precious audio gear. This inferior power needs to be filtered, regenerated and carefully transported to the audio device over the last meter. Indeed the music from the speakers is nothing but a modulated mains signal. That mains signal then should be as good as possible. On its way from the power plant the signal gets polluted by Satan knows what. Late at night music sounds so much better, doesn't it? That’s because there’s less pollution. Or so we’re told. It seems like an airtight argument.

I recall a line from the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, "We only know what we are told, and even that isn't true". That really sums up some of the things we have been discussing here. I would not call it an "airtight argument" Its more of a fairy tale to me.

First lets see what is untrue in the statement above as it is this fear that power conditioner people feed upon.

Indeed the music from the speakers is nothing but a modulated mains signal. This is far from true. The music from the speakers is modulated DC from a well filtered power supply. Power supply caps tend to be thousands of microfarads isolated my many millihenries of transformer leakage inductance. Line conditioners have capacitors on the order of 0.1 microfarads 10,000 less than the power supply filters. Line conditioners have less series inductance than the leakage inductance of the power transformer. Therefore the contribution of a power conditioner may be some very small amount, in the parts per million range.




Guy 13

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #31 on: 23 Jul 2014, 08:49 am »
Roger, keep going,
your write up is very interesting and easy to understand.
By the way, I have a 1967 diploma in basic electronics (Tubes)
that won't change anything, but just wanted to tell,
not look for congratulation and/or a medal or the same...

Guy 13

Waker

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #32 on: 23 Jul 2014, 09:11 am »
Continuing this fuse topic in a civil manner, I did try the HiFi Tuning gold fuses in my Maggie 3.6R midrange and tweeter fused pathways.  I had already placed Mye Stands and Cardas jumpers to positive effect--why not one more tweak?  Looking at the tiny filaments in the stock fuses, I doubled the stock amp rating to increase the filament size.  The listening results were good---the music had more authority, more weight to the soundscape.  I had no expectations, nor did I have cynicism--mostly naiveté, since I do not possess much in EE skills.  A few months later, I made some AC cords using Furutech plugs and their OOC cable.  I like their products--very nice to work with and hear.  They also have their own line of high-performance fuses.  Why would they risk their reputation on a fuse offering? I don't know, but I had to try them in my Maggies.  The results were even better--more clarity along with more weight--a definite improvement in the entire presentation. 

You may say I am mistaken, that I cannot hear a difference, that I am only perceiving a false sensory phenomenon.  You may certainly say all of these things, and you will, because you have to preserve your faith in your viewpoints.  It's science, not faith, you may say, and that's a solid position--can't argue with what I don't know.  But, if your thinking is so immovable, your ideas become a barrier to new discovery.  This is true in any field.  Those who keep an open mind are rewarded more often--my lack of knowledge allowed me to try something out of curiosity.  I would not put the stock fuses back--not after hearing two levels of improvement in a very revealing system.  So, let's keep the discussion going…...   

JohnR

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #33 on: 23 Jul 2014, 09:18 am »
I read this from a review on a mains noise analyzer. .....

FWIW, I don't think it makes a lot of sense and/or add to the credibility of the argument to pick on a comment from a reviewer who obviously doesn't have the technical background to explain how the thing works. If you want to argue from the basis of science, please at least do it honestly.... Just my opinion...

drummermitchell

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #34 on: 23 Jul 2014, 01:47 pm »
Personally I'm surprised Magnepan or other companies whether building preamps or amps ect don't install them.
Especially if they make such a huge difference.
I'd think at 30-70.00 for a fuse that they would at least try one just for gigggles.
Heck even my $18,000 Vac SIG MKII-A has regular fuses in it,even the power cord is average,HELLO.
Been thru the pc and fuse thing yrs ago,sold em all :thumb:.

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3449
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #35 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:12 pm »
It is nice to see the topic back. Let's keep it going in a civil manner.

It is a thankless effort (perhaps a fools errand) to explain the science of things to un-scientific people. Yet these people should realize that the best products come from good science. I would not be able to design good sounding equipment using the pseudo science that is bandied about in the industry. Has anyone noticed that the makers of these modifications (previously called tweaks) for the most part make no real products. They do not know how to make an amplifier and many of them cannot even explain how one works yet they feel they can make it better with their "discovery".

I read this from a review on a mains noise analyzer. Why anyone would want such a thing is a mystery to me. You either have noise coming out of your speakers from some power problem or you don't. However here is the gist of why you might need this. I think this was from a positive review of the product, but I cant be sure. However I like the way it reads.

In general the music lover is told that whatever is output from the wall is of inferior quality for her precious audio gear. This inferior power needs to be filtered, regenerated and carefully transported to the audio device over the last meter. Indeed the music from the speakers is nothing but a modulated mains signal. That mains signal then should be as good as possible. On its way from the power plant the signal gets polluted by Satan knows what. Late at night music sounds so much better, doesn't it? That’s because there’s less pollution. Or so we’re told. It seems like an airtight argument.

I recall a line from the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, "We only know what we are told, and even that isn't true". That really sums up some of the things we have been discussing here. I would not call it an "airtight argument" Its more of a fairy tale to me.

First lets see what is untrue in the statement above as it is this fear that power conditioner people feed upon.

Indeed the music from the speakers is nothing but a modulated mains signal. This is far from true. The music from the speakers is modulated DC from a well filtered power supply. Power supply caps tend to be thousands of microfarads isolated my many millihenries of transformer leakage inductance. Line conditioners have capacitors on the order of 0.1 microfarads 10,000 less than the power supply filters. Line conditioners have less series inductance than the leakage inductance of the power transformer. Therefore the contribution of a power conditioner may be some very small amount, in the parts per million range.

Seriously? 
You take something out of context that looks like a description of "what we're told" and refute that? 
Why don't you go to the source and refute the manufacturer's claims?
neo

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #36 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:33 pm »
Seriously? 
You take something out of context that looks like a description of "what we're told" and refute that? 
Why don't you go to the source and refute the manufacturer's claims?
neo

Here is the source. You decide what this guy is saying. I found it amusing and typical of what we are discussing here. I think he is couching his review by saying.... Hey this is what we have been told to worry about. So here is a device to help you see the gremlins.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/bluehorizon/1.html

Here are his accessories:

 Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Nanotec Nespa #1; Exact Audio Copy software; iPod; wood, brass, ceramic and aluminum cones and pyramids; Shakti Stones; Manley Skipjack
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers

Here are the sugar cubes.  http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/acousticsystem4/sugar.html

Take a look at the enormous expanse of glass he is trying to tame. How about some drapes? Does he think that little blocks of wood are going to make a difference on all that glass?

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #37 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:44 pm »
Continuing this fuse topic in a civil manner, I did try the HiFi Tuning gold fuses in my Maggie 3.6R midrange and tweeter fused pathways.  I had already placed Mye Stands and Cardas jumpers to positive effect--why not one more tweak?  Looking at the tiny filaments in the stock fuses, I doubled the stock amp rating to increase the filament size.  The listening results were good---the music had more authority, more weight to the soundscape.  I had no expectations, nor did I have cynicism--mostly naiveté, since I do not possess much in EE skills.  A few months later, I made some AC cords using Furutech plugs and their OOC cable.  I like their products--very nice to work with and hear.  They also have their own line of high-performance fuses.  Why would they risk their reputation on a fuse offering? I don't know, but I had to try them in my Maggies.  The results were even better--more clarity along with more weight--a definite improvement in the entire presentation. 

You may say I am mistaken, that I cannot hear a difference, that I am only perceiving a false sensory phenomenon.  You may certainly say all of these things, and you will, because you have to preserve your faith in your viewpoints.  It's science, not faith, you may say, and that's a solid position--can't argue with what I don't know.  But, if your thinking is so immovable, your ideas become a barrier to new discovery.  This is true in any field.  Those who keep an open mind are rewarded more often--my lack of knowledge allowed me to try something out of curiosity.  I would not put the stock fuses back--not after hearing two levels of improvement in a very revealing system.  So, let's keep the discussion going…...   

Hi,

Perhaps you missed some information in the previous posts on the topic by fast fred. http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=127160.0

I have no doubt you heard a difference with a fuse in series with your speaker. Several Maggie owners have gone one step further and eliminated the fuse. With a proper size amp you don't need them. Older Maggies have no fuses, but the company got tired of people abusing their speakers.

The original problem I had with Tuning Fuses and other Boutique fuses was to inform the public that these fuses provide no protection as a tube fuse where the circuit is DC and of high voltage with high breaking requirements. I have contacted 4 makers of these fuses and they don't even understand the problem or what a high-breaking fuse is asked to do. They have not tested their fuses for this. They have no industrial approvals.

I did an analysis of what they could do in a power-line application and found their effect was way down in the noise. Like 150 dB down. I did this because I can and the average person can't make such an analysis.

As to being closed minded, I will say that Music Reference amplifiers have broken new ground in tube design. Others here know this and will tell you.

JohnR

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #38 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:44 pm »
Roger, if you don't mind me saying so, it could hardly have been possible for you to miss neobop's point any more thoroughly than you did.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #39 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:46 pm »
FWIW, I don't think it makes a lot of sense and/or add to the credibility of the argument to pick on a comment from a reviewer who obviously doesn't have the technical background to explain how the thing works. If you want to argue from the basis of science, please at least do it honestly.... Just my opinion...

I thought I was. Is the humor not obvious?