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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Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #40 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:47 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.

What was his point and how did I miss it?

Guy 13

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #41 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:48 pm »
Hi Roger.
I find all your post super interesting.
Thanks.

Guy 13

Like they say:
Keep up the good work.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #42 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:52 pm »
Hi Roger.
I find all your post super interesting.
Thanks.

Guy 13

Like they say:
Keep up the good work.

Thank you. It was a post you put up yesterday on the noise device that got me to post. Now I am taking the flack. Would you care to help out?

Here is that sleeping giant that was awoken. http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106277.msg1345876#msg1345876

Early B.

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #43 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:57 pm »

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.

The above quote from an author is accurate -- it "seems" like an airtight argument.

I can only change what I control, and I do not control the "cleanliness" of the power that comes to my house. However, the "inferior" power coming to my house should be filtered in the same way that I filter my tap water which I have no control over, either. Clearly, the filtered tap water is "better" and measurably cleaner than the unfiltered water. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that electricity works in the same manner.  Based on experience, I know that my system sounds better when the electricity is filtered at the wall than when it is not.   

barrows

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 441
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #44 on: 23 Jul 2014, 02:59 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:.

I often see comments like the above from folks who likely do not have any experience in producing audio components for sale.  Adding very expensive fuses to a commercial product makes little to no sense for the manufacturer, as the cost/benefit ratio (assuming that a better fuse even has a performance value at all) is not adequate to justify the considerable additional expense.
At first glance it would appear to be no big deal for a manufacturer to supply, say, Hi Fi Tuning Supreme fuses in a component.  But, consider: first, the cost of a good quality ceramic body fuses to a manufacturer is going to be ~.50 each, and the cost of the high end fuse is around $35.00 or so.  OK, so the lay person with no experience in production costs would say the upgrade just adds $35 to cost of each unit, but, not so fast...  The manufacturer needs to keep a stock of these fuses on hand (perhaps in different values as well).  Say they need to keep a couple thousand fuses in stock to support production.  OK, suddenly they now have tied up 70000$ in capitol to keep the fuses in stock, vs the $1000 it requires to stock the ordinary fuses.  So we see that there is a significant cash flow expense to speccing the high end fuse-often this capitol would be borrowed, which means interest would also apply.
Most high end audio companies are barely staying in business these days, and do not have a bunch of extra cash laying around with which to play with frivolous things like expensive fuses or power cables.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #45 on: 23 Jul 2014, 03:06 pm »
The above quote from an author is accurate -- it "seems" like an airtight argument.

I can only change what I control, and I do not control the "cleanliness" of the power that comes to my house. However, the "inferior" power coming to my house should be filtered in the same way that I filter my tap water which I have no control over, either. Clearly, the filtered tap water is "better" and measurably cleaner than the unfiltered water. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that electricity works in the same manner.  Based on experience, I know that my system sounds better when the electricity is filtered at the wall than when it is not.   

Your analogy does not hold water technically. It is just this kind of thinking that tempts people to buy these things. I explained how the power supply in the amplifier does a much better job than a power conditioner and renders it useless. If  there is a clearly heard noise in the system at rest and a filter can remove that, then by all means use one. However most are being sold on another basis and the device to measure things you aren't hearing is one of them.

The point of this post it techincal. I stated that in the beginning. The hope is that people will pay more attention to what technically can make a difference than what can't. I know many won't like this and I invite them to leave.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #46 on: 23 Jul 2014, 03:10 pm »
I often see comments like the above from folks who likely do not have any experience in producing audio components for sale.  Adding very expensive fuses to a commercial product makes little to no sense for the manufacturer, as the cost/benefit ratio (assuming that a better fuse even has a performance value at all) is not adequate to justify the considerable additional expense.
At first glance it would appear to be no big deal for a manufacturer to supply, say, Hi Fi Tuning Supreme fuses in a component.  But, consider: first, the cost of a good quality ceramic body fuses to a manufacturer is going to be ~.50 each, and the cost of the high end fuse is around $35.00 or so.  OK, so the lay person with no experience in production costs would say the upgrade just adds $35 to cost of each unit, but, not so fast...  The manufacturer needs to keep a stock of these fuses on hand (perhaps in different values as well).  Say they need to keep a couple thousand fuses in stock to support production.  OK, suddenly they now have tied up 70000$ in capitol to keep the fuses in stock, vs the $1000 it requires to stock the ordinary fuses.  So we see that there is a significant cash flow expense to speaking the high end fuse-often this capitol would be borrowed, which means interest would also apply.
Most high end audio companies are barely staying in business these days, and do not have a bunch of extra cash laying around with which to play with frivolous things like expensive fuses or power cables.

Thank you. If they really made a difference we manufacturers would use them. I must add that one of the makers of these fuses outright insults all manufacturers over their choice of 60 cent vs $60 opamps as if cost was the determinant of quality.

srb

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #47 on: 23 Jul 2014, 03:54 pm »
If they [audiophile fuses] really made a difference we manufacturers would use them.

Actually I don't think you would.  Even if you thought that somehow they made an audible difference, I don't think you would use a safety related component part in your product that didn't have some kind of electrical testing certification (UL, CSA, etc.) just as you wouldn't source a power transformer or power switch that lacked certification, and there haven't been any audiophile type fuses revealed so far that have any testing certifications.

Steve

jupiterboy

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #48 on: 23 Jul 2014, 04:03 pm »
In general, I find the debunkers more strident and as easily duped as the tweakers. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

That said, real science is real science, and he more we understand the better, period. I did not vote, as none of the categories seemed to apply. Also, I often find it valuable to compare hi-fi science to other more critical applications—military and medical. If a concept exists in those worlds, I think it is foolish to be dismssive. Now a reasoned response as to why technology X is not applicable is fine.

Freo-1

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #49 on: 23 Jul 2014, 05:07 pm »
Many of the folks pointing out the nonsense regarding the use of "tuning fuses" have engineering backgrounds, and some are well respected members of industry.  I think there input is much more creditable than any audiophool who has no technical background, but somehow claims to "hear a difference" with a placebo effect that could actually damage equipment in some conditions.


jupiterboy

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #50 on: 23 Jul 2014, 05:21 pm »
Many of the folks pointing out the nonsense regarding the use of "tuning fuses" have engineering backgrounds, and some are well respected members of industry.  I think there input is much more creditable than any audiophool who has no technical background, but somehow claims to "hear a difference" with a placebo effect that could actually damage equipment in some conditions.

As it should be. When it gets rough is when you have a bunch of people with engineering degrees who hold reasonable but factually wrong fundamental beliefs. Then it gets nearly impossible to have a conversation. I think there are many audio issues that inhabit some grey area, moreso than fuses. For example, USB audio cables. I have seen many people with an intimate knowledge of engineering not be able to sort out IF there is a check-sum operation going on with audio data transfer. Turns out to be a complicated, multi-faceted issue; however, if you have an engineering degree and a completely dismissive attitude you can trot into a thread, give an authoritative answer and offer zero reason for that answer. Maybe the best approach is to offer as simple an explanation as is likely to apply to any given scenario and let people figure it out for themselves. How many times have I listened to an engineer make the point that all amps sound the same? I used to hear that much more often than I do now.

Freo-1

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #51 on: 23 Jul 2014, 05:31 pm »
As it should be. When it gets rough is when you have a bunch of people with engineering degrees who hold reasonable but factually wrong fundamental beliefs. Then it gets nearly impossible to have a conversation. I think there are many audio issues that inhabit some grey area, moreso than fuses. For example, USB audio cables. I have seen many people with an intimate knowledge of engineering not be able to sort out IF there is a check-sum operation going on with audio data transfer. Turns out to be a complicated, multi-faceted issue; however, if you have an engineering degree and a completely dismissive attitude you can trot into a thread, give an authoritative answer and offer zero reason for that answer. Maybe the best approach is to offer as simple an explanation as is likely to apply to any given scenario and let people figure it out for themselves. How many times have I listened to an engineer make the point that all amps sound the same? I used to hear that much more often than I do now.

Can you provide an example as it applies to fuses?

jupiterboy

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #52 on: 23 Jul 2014, 05:40 pm »
Can you provide an example as it applies to fuses?

No. I have never heard anyone explain why a fuse would make a difference.

I suppose, having a less technical understanding, I am less annoyed at the believers. What I tend to notice is expert opinion that is incorrect, because it holds so much more authority. I also used to work in college textbook publishing, so my view of the value of a high-level degree is particularly jaded. I also got to watch how often what is taught gets updated. Obviously, soft side is more prone to these vagueries than hard science.

bdp24

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Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #53 on: 23 Jul 2014, 06:19 pm »
Jupiterboy---Roger explained why an amplifiers power supply does a much better job of filtering the powerline than any add on does. The big problem seems to me to be the fact that the High End Audio reviewers for the most part (there are exceptions, such as Dick Olsher) have zero technical knowledge, and therefore no ability to question the claims of the makers of such things as the fuses. The makers of these products are therefore free to make any product they want, and to claim any benefit from it they want, virtually risk free. They didn't count on the likes of Roger Modjeski (funny, the first three letters of your last name!) and Frank Van Alstine.
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2014, 11:19 pm by bdp24 »

Scroof Neachy

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 49
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #54 on: 23 Jul 2014, 06:33 pm »
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:

  I'm glad someone pointed this fact out.

Russell Dawkins

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #55 on: 23 Jul 2014, 06:41 pm »

No. I have never heard anyone explain why a fuse would make a difference.

I suppose, having a less technical understanding, I am less annoyed at the believers. What I tend to notice is expert opinion that is incorrect, because it holds so much more authority. I also used to work in college textbook publishing, so my view of the value of a high-level degree is particularly jaded. I also got to watch how often what is taught gets updated. Obviously, soft side is more prone to these vagueries than hard science.

Interesting and, I think, relevant comment.

jupiterboy

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #56 on: 23 Jul 2014, 06:41 pm »
I am all for well done debunking. If you make a clear point and give reasons why, that is fantastic.

Anyone have any insights on why triboelectric noise is a non issue in audio?

atmasphere

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  • Posts: 34
Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #57 on: 23 Jul 2014, 07:34 pm »
We have a lot of customers that have good things to say about some of the boutique fuses.

Back in 1989 we were working on our MA-2 design. I had noticed back then that the link inside some fuses can 'dance' a bit depending on the current going through it. Its not much of a stretch to see that the series resistance must also be changing- after all, the fuse blows by being heated up enough to break the element. So we know it has some sort of resistance, and some of the lower current ones are pretty measurable on a regular DVM.

We were looking to reduce the effects of the AC wiring on the amp, as we had shown by that time that AC power cords could impose artifact on the sound (took a while to sort out why) so again it did not seem like that much of a stretch that the fuses might be able to as well. Since the MA-2s actually use two power cords to reduce the effects of both internal and external AC power wiring, it seemed like not a bad idea to try out some different fuse types. Back in those days the audiophile fuses did not exist. The best we auditioned was a slow blow device (which we needed as we were building a tube amp) that had a redundant element in it so that the main element would heat up a little slower. This fuse did not fit in the regular 3AG fuse holders- it was a larger style often used in electrical contract work. Interestingly enough many of the examples we found had silver contacts. None of them were purported for audio use. So someone elsewhere in the electronics industry thought that there might be a benefit from the use of silver...

Waker

Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #58 on: 24 Jul 2014, 08:43 am »
Roger, I have to apologize, for in my defense of keeping an open mind about trying items questionable to those who have technical backgrounds, I appear to have directed my comment at you,  the facilitator here.  If I may, the spirit of my thought was meant for the collective "you"--all who have made their minds up and are no longer open to what seems implausible.  I suppose that, as an inventor, you had to have an open mind to have introduced innovative products.  I want to correct my references to include only those who seem to have jumped on the naysayers' bandwagon not from experience, but from other motivations.     

neobop

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Re: Debunking Tuning Fuses et al.
« Reply #59 on: 24 Jul 2014, 03:08 pm »
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:

There's another side to that story.  It's also about people who hear some kind of change without any external validation, and it's not about getting used to the sound.   

Just because you can't explain or measure something doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening.   Your presumption is that you can explain or measure everything, but it's not true.  You can measure certain things and those measurements are only as good as the resolution of your measuring device. 

The other side of that story is the "poor schmuck"  actually heard a change and has come to agree about the cable run-in.  Your characterization of his talking himself into it presumes that it's a delusion, but most "poor schmucks" would probably return said cables than seek validation for something they don't like. 

Your story is not only arrogant, it's stupid.  You seem to think these forums have some kind of power over people's perceptions, that people will be convinced into liking something they really don't like.  Not only that, it's only a silly cable.   

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
neo