• 12-07-2008, 04:34 AM
    Feanor
    1 Attachment(s)
    HiFi-Tuning fuses in speakers
    I thank emaidel for his recent endorsement of HiFi-Tuning fuse as used in his Dalquist speakers. That put me in mind to try them in my Magneplanar 1.6QR's. Many have recommended bypassing the fuses in the Magneplanars but I have be reluctant to do that, so better quality fuse seemed like an option. I bought my HiFi-Tung fuses from Parts ConneXion.

    Let me say that I'm no tweakaholic but I'm not totally closed-minded either. Much of the buzz about these fuses has been about their use in active components like amps, but frankly to me the much more obvious and plausible use is in speakers where the actual music signal passes through them. In the case of my Magneplanars the fuses protect only the quasi-ribbon tweeters, (actually mid-tweeters since they carry the sound above 600 Hz).

    I've been listening to them now for about a dozen hours and I do have the impression of a real improvement. That is, a fairly subtle improvement to transparency and, maybe, microdynamics; there is no change in the musical character or tonal balance.

    I have not done A-B testing (as yet anyway). Before hand I just listened to a few or my favourite test pieces, then I popped in the HiFi fuses and listened to them again. By the way, my testing favourites included those pictured below. I think medium-scale choral works are ideal for evaluating sound where, of course, the recordings are of outstanding quality.
    ...
  • 12-07-2008, 04:58 AM
    emaidel
    I'm glad you're satisfied with the Hi-Fi tuning fuses. I found they made a very noticeable improvement in my Dahlquist DQ-10's, and have been delighted in having them installed for a while now. I also noticed that they seemed to sound better with repeated use, suggesting a "burn-in" time.

    When I first inquired about ordering them, I asked whether or not they'd make any difference in my speakers, and was told that they would, especially with the use of the fuse directly in line with the tweeters.

    I installed the main fuses first and then listened. Everything sounded better, from one end of the audio spectrum to the other, with an all new "sweetness" to the top end. Then I installed the fuses in line with the tweeters. Again, there was an improvement, with still more transparency and less stridency in the tweeters, but the real difference to me was from the main fuses, and not so much those for the tweeters. Perhaps having two Hi-Fi Tuning fuses per speaker makes more of a difference - I just don't know.

    Still, I'm a wholehearted supporter of them as a relatively cheap and easy tweak.
  • 12-07-2008, 06:09 PM
    blackraven
    Feanor, what size fuse did you use for the 1.6's and are they fast or slow blow? I'm usually skeptical about these things but I'm willing to give this one a try for $39 a piece. Thanks!
  • 12-08-2008, 03:30 AM
    audio amateur
    40 bucks for a fuse sounds a 'little' (big brackets on that word) steep. But if you think there's improvement, good!
    I bought the Naxos Requiem for my Dad, so haven't heard it yet. I hear the Reference recording is good, but apparently the choir sounds like a bunch of Texans singing in Latin. True?
  • 12-08-2008, 03:34 AM
    Feanor
    Worth a try
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    Feanor, what size fuse did you use for the 1.6's and are they fast or slow blow? I'm usually skeptical about these things but I'm willing to give this one a try for $39 a piece. Thanks!

    B/R, the 1.6's take a 4 amp fast-blow fuse. You'd get the .25" x 1.25" size.

    To my withered ears the difference is small, but then I tend not to hear differences between cables or even digital sources. Nevertheless I think there is some improvement here, granted, it's most salutary on the really excellent recordings.
  • 12-08-2008, 03:49 AM
    Feanor
    Requiem
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by audio amateur
    40 bucks for a fuse sounds a 'little' (big brackets on that word) steep. But if you think there's improvement, good!
    I bought the Naxos Requiem for my Dad, so haven't heard it yet. I hear the Reference recording is good, but apparently the choir sounds like a bunch of Texans singing in Latin. True?

    Well, I look at it this way: people will pay $200 or more for interconnects for the small improvement they might provide, so $80 for a couple of fuse is relatively small potatoes.

    I guess the Requiem performers sound like Texans but articulate ones: of course the words are by an Englishman. What makes this, and most, Reference Recordings worth it for me is the sound which is superb. I dare say its a tiny bit better if your CDP or DAC has HDCD decoding, though it's great even without.

    John Rutter's music is religous (with a Church of England flavor -- I mean in musical style, not doctrinally). The Requiem is the most complex and interesting piece, the others being relatively simple anthems. All are pretty but saccharin religiosity, at least to my taste.
  • 12-08-2008, 04:41 AM
    emaidel
    When I first installed the Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses in my Dahlquists many months ago, I was quite taken back by the improvement: I expected only a very subtle one, but found that it was a good deal more noticeable than just "subtle." Everything had a more open, less strained sound, and I was quite surprised and impressed that something as simple as a fuse could be responsible for such an improvement.

    After having listened to my system for a while, I no longer noticed it sounding better - just still sounding good. Then, one day, I put on an LP I hadn't listened to in quite a while and was quite surprised at how good - and how much better - it sounded as compared to when I last listened to it. Why was this so, I asked myself. Then it dawned on me: the Hi-Fi Tuning fuses!

    These little babies really do work, and while $40 for a fuse may seem a bit high, it's a very small price to pay for the amount of improvement they make. I can't think of anything else that I could have done to the DQ-10's for such a minor investment that could have made such a difference.

    I have no idea how well they'll work in other speakers, but it would seem a small price to pay just to find out.
  • 12-08-2008, 05:02 AM
    blackraven
    Thanks for the info Feanor.
  • 12-08-2008, 07:25 AM
    Feanor
    1 Attachment(s)
    Maybe someday
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    Thanks for the info Feanor.

    Welcome, b/r.

    Having heard improvement from fuse, I'm thinking some day I might upgrade the MG 1.6's crossovers. A lot of people think this is the way to go; Magnepan is (in)famous for its mediocre crossover components.

    Here's a diagram of the 1.6 crossover, including the color of the connecting wires; it's a fairly simple crossover as these things go.

    [edit]
    Opps! disregard the earlier diagram -- it showed the wrong capacitor values for the tweeter. Here is a more up to date diagram.

    BTW, my 1.6's are bi-wired so I avoid the jumpers which so people feel degrade the sound, not that I heard said degradation.
    [/edit]
    ...
  • 12-09-2008, 06:53 AM
    blackraven
    I've considered biwiring them as well. I've been doing some reading on upgrading the crossovers but I'm pretty satisfied with the sound since I bought the Van Alstine gear. I pick up my Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid DAC this week. It was just built and is ready to pick up. I will give the fuses a try sometime after Christmas though and may try one in my Parasound amp.
  • 12-09-2008, 08:10 AM
    Feanor
    Great
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    I've considered biwiring them as well. I've been doing some reading on upgrading the crossovers but I'm pretty satisfied with the sound since I bought the Van Alstine gear. I pick up my Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid DAC this week. It was just built and is ready to pick up. I will give the fuses a try sometime after Christmas though and may try one in my Parasound amp.

    Sounds like a heck of a nice system there, b/r, enjoy. We'll look forward to your further comments, for instance, about the AVA DAC.

    I'm not using fancy bi-wire cables, just some Monster 14 ga. quad wire and Parts Express connectors; here again Blue Jeans can provide Canare 4S11 and connectors for an extremely similar result. In my case the cables are only 3' because my monobloc Monarchys are placed closer to the speakers than the preamp.
  • 12-10-2008, 03:06 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emaidel
    These little babies really do work, and while $40 for a fuse may seem a bit high, it's a very small price to pay for the amount of improvement they make. I can't think of anything else that I could have done to the DQ-10's for such a minor investment that could have made such a difference.

    Years ago when I rewired the transformers on my last electrostats, I decided to bypass the fuse blocks altogether. While this is potentially a risky venture, I had opened up only one in a span of about twenty years. The difference in transparency is as you indicated. On the other hand, I do not plan to do that with my current speakers, but may well try out the ceramics.

    rw