The future of hi/end audio & a rant on honesty in reviewing (tuning fuses)

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DS-21

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***Looks like car audio might be part of high end audio's future, that and headphones.***

IMO car-fi is deader than home audio. First, OEM car stereos much better than previously (honestly my only complaint with my CT200h's "premium" stereo is the upper bass quality - it images better than any "competition" car I've ever heard even with the stock speakers) so there's much less need for aftermarket car-fi. Second, it's much harder to do aftermarket audio now than previously. Headunits are integrated rather than modular DIN/double DIN units. Signal busses are proprietary. DSP is used at all stages.

The golden age of car-fi was the 1990s, IMO. And not just because that's when I started to drive. :) The gear is definitely better now, though.

Headphones/personal audio is a different story. That niche is exploding.

Call me naive or too trustful, but when you charge 10X or more vs a standard fuse, the presumption is that they can adequately perform their primary safety purpose.

It is indeed naive to make any presumptions about the basic suitability to actual purpose of a scam product such as an "audiophile fuse."

Diamond Dog

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All of this nonsense eats away at the credibility of the industry and the buffoons who serve as its fodder. Face facts, y'all --- you are a bunch of cult members. You have religious zeal, blind faith, dogmatic certainty and a willingness to be fleeced in the name of true belief. Most of you are simply parroting things you heard and swearing it is fact, and many are busy seeding the minions with rumors and innuendo which serve the goal of exploitation. The soul has been stripped away and the carcass is in its death throes. Naturally, there will be calls for my head over this blasphemy.

Naturally. Okee doke, here we go...

"BLASPHEMER!!! OFF WITH HIS HEAD !!!"

There. How was that? Self-righteous enough or do I need a dash more umbrage?  :green:

D.D.

Roger A. Modjeski

Call me naive or too trustful, but when you charge 10X or more vs a standard fuse, the presumption is that they can adequately perform their primary safety purpose.

The design and manufacturing of fuses is no simple task. The name brands (Bussman and Littlefuse) test and publish extensive time vs overload graphs and breaking capacity (a very misunderstood quality) among other things for their fuses. They also get Safety Ratings from every organization on the planet (UL, CSA, CE, and about 6 others whose symbols are not printable here). Tuning Fuses (and other tweak fuses) have none of these industry approvals, nor do they publish any graphs or specs on breaking capacity. Therefore you have no assurance that they will protect your equipment and in some applications (such as tube fuses) they will damage your equipment. The reviewers don't look into this. In fact a reviewer in PF magazine a few years ago got voltage and current totally backwards. We should really ask why is anyone making these things and why is anyone reviewing them and why is anyone buying them.

Choosing the proper fuse is a difficult task and one not often well done. One has to consider inrush, what faults one is trying to protect against in selecting the proper fuse. Here is what I work with from Littlelfuse.
http://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/electronics/datasheets/fuses/littelfuse_fuse_216_datasheet.pdf.pdf

It's a lot to look at and it took considerable effort to construct those time curves for just that fuse type. There are many other types that have similar information. If nothing else use your magnifying glass function to look at those time vs current curves. You can also see the ten agencies that have approved most of the fuses. They are all approved by the majors.  You will find none of this at Tuning Fuses.

The real question, and I ask this without prejudice, what did you read or hear that made you trust that these fuses would offer basic protection?



jarcher

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I had assumed - perhaps erroneously - that if your going to charge so much for a product that is supposed to both protect and improve sound quality that the manufacturer would have performed sufficient testing to guarantee at least the first. I.e. It would be very bad business practice to sell a product that particularly is going to be used in high dollar audio equipment if that product has an unacceptably high risk of putting it at higher risk than a standard fuse. Just a couple of customer stories of gear blowing up or melting down in this day so rapidly spreading Internet information would seem to be the death knell for such a company.

Again : perhaps too naive on my part, as you've had direct experience of one such unhappy instance. Time will unfortunately be the ultimate arbiter of whether this an exceptional situation or indicative of a widespread problem. I wouldn't rely on sales staff at any audio company to offer a full and complete answer to a technical question - or even those who should be in the know technically to volunteer detailed technical explanations. After all - their design or construction method may be something relatively simple, and as the barrier to entry is probably low, they wouldn't want to potentially divulge that information to a competitor.

And that's about as far as I'm willing to go to "defend" hifi fuse companies. I'm still open minded and curious to try one, though your experience has had me reconsider putting them in any high voltage or high dollar component.

AJinFLA

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You have to at least be open minded to the idea that as the fuse is in the current path, that it may affect sound quality in a component.
There is nothing "open minded" about being grotesquely misinformed about basic physics, electrical engineering or perceptual science.
Though I suppose the mind has to be "open" to let in that sort of BS.
I have no doubt that the users of these things "hear" what they say they "hear". I actually take no exception to that at all. How could I? Those are their perceptions, purely subjective.
What I do exception to, is when objective reasons are given as direct correlation. i.e., the magic fuse is "in the current path", thus why it is "heard". That is NOT a subjective claim. That is purely objective...and complete BS that would unravel under any scrutiny by technically educated, rational people.
Again, I have no issue with purely subjective claims about these magic fuses and jars of jellybeans and whatnot. Beware making objective ones.

cheers,

AJ

fastfred007

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Hello Roger:
Thanks for the congratulations. I was going to post it as a reply to your old tuning fuses post from 2012, you deserve the credit for first bringing this scam to the attention of the audiophile community, and I totally agree that PFO & any other review magazine which supports these manufacturers is irresponsible in their actions.

Onto a different topic: (maybe you can help)
You may have noticed that in my reply, my user name has changed to fastfred007. It’s not a change that I’ve asked for except that perhaps it’s due to my own irresponsiblity in forgetting change my contact info, and then ticking the box saying notify me when anyone replies to this thread. When I tried to log in last evening they wanted my old e-mail info which no longer is active because I’ve changed internet providers.  Hopefully they can reinstate my old account and cancel this one or alternatively move my old info over to this account so I don’t lose my old posts etc.

Thanks also for the C-4 pre/amp in the picture with my SAR Labs LW-25's i included on the post. The SAR Labs LW 25 Monoblocks in combination with the C-4 are magic in my system. Any one looking for a great pre/amp with intelligently designed tone controls should listen to one of these better yet order one from Roger

  "rockdanny" hope this answers your question as well.

jarcher

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There is nothing "open minded" about being grotesquely misinformed about basic physics, electrical engineering or perceptual science.
Though I suppose the mind has to be "open" to let in that sort of BS.
I have no doubt that the users of these things "hear" what they say they "hear". I actually take no exception to that at all. How could I? Those are their perceptions, purely subjective.
What I do exception to, is when objective reasons are given as direct correlation. i.e., the magic fuse is "in the current path", thus why it is "heard". That is NOT a subjective claim. That is purely objective...and complete BS that would unravel under any scrutiny by technically educated, rational people.
Again, I have no issue with purely subjective claims about these magic fuses and jars of jellybeans and whatnot. Beware making objective ones.

cheers,

AJ

Uh - real "cheery" there. Perhaps the "grotesquely misinformed" subjectivists would benefit from a more specific "objectivist / scientific" explanation. I didn't make a declaration that a "hifi" fuse can make an audible difference - I don't even have any direct experience to make that claim. But you have emphatically stated that objectively it can't, so the burden is on you to provide some evidence vs making ad hominem attacks.

Roger A. Modjeski

I had assumed - perhaps erroneously - that if your going to charge so much for a product that is supposed to both protect and improve sound quality that the manufacturer would have performed sufficient testing to guarantee at least the first. I.e. It would be very bad business practice to sell a product that particularly is going to be used in high dollar audio equipment if that product has an unacceptably high risk of putting it at higher risk than a standard fuse. Just a couple of customer stories of gear blowing up or melting down in this day so rapidly spreading Internet information would seem to be the death knell for such a company.

Again : perhaps too naive on my part, as you've had direct experience of one such unhappy instance. Time will unfortunately be the ultimate arbiter of whether this an exceptional situation or indicative of a widespread problem. I wouldn't rely on sales staff at any audio company to offer a full and complete answer to a technical question - or even those who should be in the know technically to volunteer detailed technical explanations. After all - their design or construction method may be something relatively simple, and as the barrier to entry is probably low, they wouldn't want to potentially divulge that information to a competitor.

And that's about as far as I'm willing to go to "defend" hifi fuse companies. I'm still open minded and curious to try one, though your experience has had me reconsider putting them in any high voltage or high dollar component.

Hi, though you didn't quote me I assume  you are replying to my post above. Let me make it clear who I talked to. First I spoke with the rather naive distributor. Through his hands come all the Tuning Fuses to this part of the world.  Then I thought, I'll just contact the guy in Germany who makes these things, and a bunch of other tweaky stuff. We exchanged several emails in which I found that he had sent the fuses to some outside testing lab who could only make a few tests over a small range of conditions. While these fuses may be close to right in some applications they still have not gotten any safety approvals from the rating agencies. Perhaps they have tried and not been approved. The fuse construction is totally unacceptable for high breaking applications such as tube fuses or any high voltage DC application.

The real question is why do we want to pay $45 or whatever for a fuse that has a silver wire vs a standard fuse wire. A line fuse is so far out of the signal path that it might as well be in Australia as far as our amplifier is concerned.

High End tweak products are not regulated by any agency. The people who buy them are causing the demand for them. Why people buy into these things I do not know. If people stop buying them the makers of them will go away. I do my best to expose the most egregious   (shocking, appalling, terrible, awful, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous) ones by purely technical means. I hope to bring some sanity to those dedicated to this pursuit.

Here is the website of the guy who created and makes Tuning Fuses and other tweaks. Read his introduction. All this guy does is swap parts around. Why doesn't he make an amplifier with his best parts and leave others alone? http://www.hifi-tuning.com/index_eng.html

AJinFLA

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You have to at least be open minded to the idea that as the fuse is in the current path, that it may affect sound quality in a component

I didn't make a declaration that a "hifi" fuse can make an audible difference
By all means, feel free to explain.

cheers,

AJ

jarcher

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By all means, feel free to explain.

cheers,

AJ

Is the fuse NOT in the current path? I said it MIGHT (may)  affect the sound quality - not that it does or doesn't. If your going to quote and highlight, do it correctly. Having heard power cords cause substantial changes in sound quality, I'm open to the idea that fuses might - at least until I get the chance to listen objectively for myself.

YOU seem to state that emphatically that a fuse can't / doesn't and those who think it does or might are grotesquely misinformed, etc. So man up and give some more explanation of why - at least Roger alluded to one possible reasons why not (too far away from the signal path).

"Cheers"

macrojack

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What I often see people say about tweaks is that they "made a difference". But if you check the dictionary, you will notice that different is not synonymous with better.

And really, what is the obsession about improvement. Everyone here has a system that ranks in the top 2% worldwide. Isn't that good enough? Jeez, just settle in and let your appliances serve you. That's right actually, your beloved high end rig is just an appliance. It'e a machine that does something for you.

Just try to imagine obsessing about how you can tweak your dishwasher or refrigerator to make it more accurate or more transparent. Despite the best rationalizations you can raise for fixating on audio gear, you still have to overcome the fact that they are just machines. They are supposed to help your life, not dominate it.

Guy 13

What I often see people say about tweaks is that they "made a difference". But if you check the dictionary, you will notice that different is not synonymous with better.

And really, what is the obsession about improvement. Everyone here has a system that ranks in the top 2% worldwide. Isn't that good enough? Jeez, just settle in and let your appliances serve you. That's right actually, your beloved high end rig is just an appliance. It'e a machine that does something for you.

Just try to imagine obsessing about how you can tweak your dishwasher or refrigerator to make it more accurate or more transparent. Despite the best rationalizations you can raise for fixating on audio gear, you still have to overcome the fact that they are just machines. They are supposed to help your life, not dominate it.

 :thumb:

jarcher

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Hi, though you didn't quote me I assume  you are replying to my post above. Let me make it clear who I talked to. First I spoke with the rather naive distributor. Through his hands come all the Tuning Fuses to this part of the world.  Then I thought, I'll just contact the guy in Germany who makes these things, and a bunch of other tweaky stuff. We exchanged several emails in which I found that he had sent the fuses to some outside testing lab who could only make a few tests over a small range of conditions. While these fuses may be close to right in some applications they still have not gotten any safety approvals from the rating agencies. Perhaps they have tried and not been approved. The fuse construction is totally unacceptable for high breaking applications such as tube fuses or any high voltage DC application.

The real question is why do we want to pay $45 or whatever for a fuse that has a silver wire vs a standard fuse wire. A line fuse is so far out of the signal path that it might as well be in Australia as far as our amplifier is concerned.

High End tweak products are not regulated by any agency. The people who buy them are causing the demand for them. Why people buy into these things I do not know. If people stop buying them the makers of them will go away. I do my best to expose the most egregious   (shocking, appalling, terrible, awful, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous) ones by purely technical means. I hope to bring some sanity to those dedicated to this pursuit.

Here is the website of the guy who created and makes Tuning Fuses and other tweaks. Read his introduction. All this guy does is swap parts around. Why doesn't he make an amplifier with his best parts and leave others alone? http://www.hifi-tuning.com/index_eng.html

Thanks for the further info. That website is a mess and hodge podge of broken English and links!  Not very confidence inspiring.

Would agree with you that in my limited experience tweaks tend to be the least cost effective performance improvements in a hobby already plagued by dismissing returns on investment. Nonetheless all should at least be offered an open door to make their performance claims prior to verifying these based on experience and measurement.

All I can say is that I assume that for some that have very high amounts invested in their systems, even grossly overpriced fuses must seem like a minor cost relative to the alternatives. But still it seems prudent to either have a free in home trial or a liberal return policy.



Diamond Dog

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Everyone here has a system that ranks in the top 2% worldwide. Isn't that good enough?

Actually, it's too good. I really don't deserve it... :green:

D.D.

Tyson

The fuses work best if you place them on top of your components, like Shatki stones.  Phenomenal improvements!

Diamond Dog

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Wait a minute.... I can tweak my dishwasher?

D.D.

Tyson

Just remember, when you stare into the tweak, the tweak stares into you....

Guy 13

Thanks for the further info. That website is a mess and hodge podge of broken English and links!  Not very confidence inspiring.

Would agree with you that in my limited experience tweaks tend to be the least cost effective performance improvements in a hobby already plagued by dismissing returns on investment. Nonetheless all should at least be offered an open door to make their performance claims prior to verifying these based on experience and measurement.

All I can say is that I assume that for some that have very high amounts invested in their systems, even grossly overpriced fuses must seem like a minor cost relative to the alternatives. But still it seems prudent to either have a free in home trial or a liberal return policy.

 :thumb:

Diamond Dog

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 And let's be careful out there, audio lovers. You don't want to take it too far. You could be up Sh*t's Tweak without a paddle...
Goodnight everybody ! I'm here all week ! Watch out for each other, huh?

D.D.

kevin360

The fuses work best if you place them on top of your components, like Shatki stones.  Phenomenal improvements!

In some cases, I've found the best improvement is simply tossing them in the trash. With my speakers, they offered questionable protection against a failure that's not really much more than a minor inconvenience. So, they and their holders are no longer parts of the circuitry. This is actually a fuse application in which the discussion of sonic impact is reasonable. In for a penny, in for a pound - in for free, but in all the way.  :wink: