Author Topic: 8th MO: Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses  (Read 7056 times)

Offline KopiOkaya

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8th MO: Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses
« on: January 15, 2017, 21:08 »
Visualise this typical scenario... As a serious and dedicated audiophile, YOU make every minute possibility and careful consideration to ensure the cleanest, most stable electricity powering your beloved high-end audio equipment. After all, having immaculate electricity is like having fresh blood in your veins. Therefore you invested thousands of dollars in regenerative power conditioners, 99.9999% oxygen-free copper isolation transformers, cryogenic-treated silver-plated lightning-fast trigger circuit breaker, meters after meters of audiophile-grade ultra-pure copper or silver power cords that cost more than your wife's diamond wedding necklace. And of course, these power cords must be terminated with US NEMA audiophile-grade plugs, cryo'ed whenever possible. Many people ask why not UK plugs since Singapore was a British colony and our lives are pretty much littered with the former imperialists' leftovers? Most audiophiles will give reason because of the fuse inside all BS1363A UK 3-pin plugs (this is why some audiophiles prefer the fuse-less BS546 "aircon-type" UK 3-pin plug). Fuses induce resistance to the power line thus degrade sound reproduction. This appalls most audiophiles.

I have been experimenting with fuses in audio equipment back in the 1980s, probably earlier than some of you in this hobby. Back then, there weren't many choices of fuse to fiddle with as compared to now. Experimenting with fuses is a much slower process than, say, experimenting with audio cables. How so? I didn't just replace the fuses inside the UK 3-pin plug, a few them are hidden inside the pre and power amps, CD players, turntables, phono-stage amps, music streamers, DACs, AVRs, tuners, active speakers and power supplies, etc. Some of these stealthy little "buggers" are hard to find unless I remove part of my equipment chassis.

Time flies and I have been playing with fuses long enough. Here is my final verdict - the chief culprit is NOT the fuse, it is the QUALITY of fuse. Just like everything in life, fuses come in quality variations. They range from inferior to fake fuses (yes, there are tons of Furutech, AMR, Hifi-Tuning, Synergistic Research, Padis, Audio Magic, etc, Chinese fakes circulating within the hifi market today). Many of them not just hinder the performance of your audio equipment but will pose a potential threat by causing permanent damage to your equipment, or worse, start an electrical-related fire in your home. Yes, the consequences are no laughing matter.

I am a firm believer in good price and performance ratio. What is this? A math subject? Not really. Simply put it, you get to experience the full or major performance of a Bugatti Vyron from a Nissan Skyline GT-R, paying just a fraction of the Vyron's price. Ahhh... This rings the bell loud and clear, doesn't it? Same principle applies to hifi equipment. I am not born into an affluent family with unlimited cash flow. I saved up my hard-earned money and pay cash in full to buy my audio equipment. Therefore SGD 80 for ONE fuse sounds f**king crazy to me. I am sure many people will agree.

Among the many fuses I have tried, Schurter SMD-SPT/FST 5 x 20 mm gold-plated time-lag fuses stand truthful to this no nonsense (or snake oil), exceptional price and performance ratio principle.

In my system, Schurter SMD-SPT/FST 5 x 20 mm gold-plated time-lag fuse gives good amount of detail, clarity and tonal balance. Soundstage is a deep, spacious and open. Vocal is laid back, smooth and refined. Both highs and lows are extended and neutral. Overall, I considered Schurter a very transparent-sounding fuse without emphasizing on any part of the audio spectrum.

Schurter Electronic Components, a Swiss technology company; leading innovator and producer of electronic components. Schurter gold-plated fuses are made in Gujarat, India. All Schurter SMD-SPT/FST 5 x 20 mm gold-plated time-lag fuses are stringently-tested to meet or exceed IEC, UL, CCC and CSA international standards. They are quality-certified and approved by VDE Institute and Underwriters Laboratories. Thus rest assured your equipment are in good hands. By the way, Schurter released a warning against Chinese fake gold-plated fuses on Taobao, AliExpress and eBay recently. Buyers beware! 

Man! I wrote this much just to earn 50 cents profit from every fuse sold. The last time I wrote this much was for my graduation thesis. This is hard-earned money indeed, no doubt about it!

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Anyway, here are the prices:

100mA, 125mA, 160mA, 200mA, 250mA, 315mA, 400mA, 500mA, 630mA and 800mA - SGD 3.50 each

1A, 1.25A, 1.6A, 2A, 2.5A, 3.15A, 4A, 5A, 6.3A, 8A, 10A, 12.5A and 16A - SGD 3.00 each

All Schurter SMD-SPT/FST 5 x 20 mm gold-plated time-lag fuses are rated at 250 VAC / 300 VDC.

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I am conducting the 8th mass order for audiophile tuning fuses.

MO closes on Sunday, 25th August 2019 at 6pm (Last order at 5pm). All payments are to be paid in full.

I accept payment prior to ordering via PayNow, POSB/DBS/UOB/OCBC ATM transfer, Internet Banking transfer or DBS PayLah!/OCBC Pay Anyone. International buyers may use PayPal (add 3.9% + SGD0.50 to the final total). Interested buyers please SMS/WhatsApp to me at 98805223. (Please provide your name. Do not call or SMS after 11pm and before 7am)

All items listed are strictly sold through mass order ONLY. I do not keep overstock.

Delivery of goods takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

I offer 3 methods of collection and delivery. They are:

1. Self-collect at my block in Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 (weekday after 9pm or Sunday afternoon), or
2. Via SingPost SmartPac with tracking SGD 5 for up to 3kg or package size 300mm x 190mm x 70mm. Delivery to doorstep or letterbox within mainland Singapore

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TESTIMONIES

"Cheap upgrade for my Cyrus PSX-R... Soundstage goes deeper, bass goes lower. Vocal a bit recessed compared to stock fuse. Good improvement overall." - Tony Ho

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"I could hear differences after installing these fuses. Very happy with the results." - Mr Pang

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"The sound is clearer, cleaner. More balanced overall." - Gavin Teng

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"The improvements I heard from the fuse are far greater than when I upgraded my interconnect and speaker cables..." - Thian Y S

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"My Cayin amp sounds more coherent and musical after installing your tuning fuse... Thank you bro!" - Dennis Ng

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« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 14:48 by KopiOkaya »
Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

Offline KopiOkaya

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Re: 8th MO: Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 14:28 »
VA ViaLab and LM Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses

In a joint collaboration with Taiwanese fuse maker Vintage Audio ViaLab and Singapore's friendly-neighborhood hifi equipment retailer "Littlemart", I am determine to bring some of the most "value-for-money" audio-grade fuses to the audiophile community.

VA ViaLab "silver-gold" 5 x 20mm T-lag carbon nanotube fuse - SGD 12.00 each
Sound signature: This premium audio-grade fuse gives the "best-of-both worlds" sound with superb clarity, great transient snap and outstanding dynamics without sacrificing warmth, delicate smoothness and fluidity. An all-rounder!

Available in 500mA, 1A, 1.6A, 2A, 3.15A, 4A, 5A, 6.3A, 8A, 10A and 15A ratings.



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VA ViaLab "24K gold-plated" 5 x 20mm T-lag ceramic fuse - SGD 7.00 each
Sound signature: A gold-plated fuse but is different from Schurter fuse. It has a warm, rich and full-bodied sound. Vocal is forward, more intimate. Great for vocal and jazz.

Available in 500mA, 1A, 1.6A, 2A, 2.5A, 3.15A, 4A, 5A, 6.3A, 8A, 10A and 15A ratings.



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LM Silvery UK BS 1362 13A 250V "4N pure silver" 6 x 25mm T-lag ceramic fuse - SGD 12.00 each
Sound signature: Exceptional clarity with excellent sense of space and openness. Fast transient and sensational rhythmic drive. Tight, punchy bass, textured midrange and crystal-clear highs. Can sound bright in some systems. 



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VA ViaLab UK BS 1362 13A 250V "24K gold-plated" 6 x 25mm T-lag ceramic fuse - SGD 12.00 each
Sound signature: Warm, rounded, three-dimensional sound. Smooth top-end and robust bass with gusto. Great for vocal and jazz.



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VA ViaLab UK BS 1362 13A 250V "silver-gold" 6 x 25mm T-lag ceramic fuse - SGD 10.00 each
Sound signature: This fuse uses the same silver-gold element as their premium carbon-fiber fuse. It gives "best-of-both worlds" sound with superb clarity, three-dimensional images and outstanding dynamics without sacrificing warmth, delicate smoothness and fluidity. An all-round performer, just like its sibling.


[photos: KopiOkaya]

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WHO IS KOPIOKAYA?

Also known as Larry, this true-blue Singaporean is going through a midlife crisis; he is grouchy and sarcastic. Previously taught in a public school, now a full-time tutor and an "ad-hoc" multimedia producer, Larry wants to divert his attention from his teaching job and focus on something he truly loves - hifi audio. A self-proclaimed audiophile of 40-odd years, Larry first exposed to "high-fidelity" at a tender age of 6 when his dad hauled back a set of Sansui-Luxman-Coral combo from "a friend's place" (so that Larry's mom believed it was a given set). He fell in love with the sound instantly, and the rest is history.

Throughout the years, Larry owned many "nice" equipment and accessories... until the year 2009 when he discovered Chi-Fi or Chinese Hifi. An euraka moment, it was the sound he had been looking for all these years despite spending thousands and thousands of dollars on branded, highly-reviewed equipment. He sold everything (except a few good cables) and downgraded to pretty much bare minimal. Larry wants to share his Chi-Fi journey and offer its great value to fellow audiophiles.

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« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 14:50 by KopiOkaya »
Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

Offline KopiOkaya

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Re: 8th MO: Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 14:29 »
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What are time-lag fuses?
Time-lag fuses have a time delay mechanism. They are designed to open only on an excessive current draw for a defined period of time and are typically used to protect inductive and capacitive loads that experience heavy current draws upon initial powering. The time delay action prevents the fuse from needlessly blowing during a temporary heavy current draw or surge. Time-lag fuses only blow when it receives an elevated sustained current spike over a period of time, such as a short circuit. Thus, time-lag fuses are not concerned with momentary spikes of current but only continued overloads.


Why use time-lag/slow blow fuse? I thought fast-acting/fast blow fuse is better?
There is no better or worse. Just different applications. Time-lag fuses are better at withstanding start up conditions of amplifiers, turntables and linear power supplies. This is because of the initial in-rush current associated with inductive or capacitive loads. Fast-acting fuses can sometimes blow even when you flip the switch or by getting a current spike near the fuse's limit. On the other hand, time-lag fuses will not blow as easily when the startup is well-within the normal operating current.


What is the difference between "H" and "L" fuse?
A "H" fuse is a high-breaking capacity type whereas a "L" is low-breaking capacity. Often, High-breaking capacity fuses have ceramic (hence stronger) tubes and low-breaking capacity fuses have glass tubes. High-breaking capacity fuses are able to protect against higher short-circuit currents than low-breaking capacity ones.
 

Which ampere rating fuse should I get?
The fuse’s ampere rating is determined by the maximum input current of a DC-DC converter. Typically, the maximum current consumption occurs at the maximum output load and the minimum input voltage. To prevent damage to converter components, the fuse ampere rating is selected with a large enough current capability so that the fuse will not open under steady state conditions, yet will open during an abnormal (excessive) overload or short-circuit condition. Usually this results in selecting a fuse to be 150% to 200% percent of the maximum steady state input current at maximum load and minimum line input voltage.

However, if you are unsure, I strongly suggest you follow the ampere rating of the stock fuse that comes with your equipment.


My equipment is using a fast-acting/fast blow fuse presently. Can I replace it with time-lag/slow blow fuse?
Of course you can! The "common practise" among maintenance technicians is to replace a fast-acting/fast blow fuse with another time-lag/slow blow fuse that is one ampere rating lower. For example, if your stock fuse is a fast blow 5A, you will replace it with a slow blow 4A fuse. 


I thought Schurter fuses are Swiss-made? Why Gujarat, India?
Whoever told you Schurter fuses are made in Switzerland must be paying premium prices for them - just like Rolex watches. Schurter is a Swiss company indeed - just like Logitech, the keyboard / mouse maker, but most of their products are made elsewhere to save costs. Why Gujarat, India? Simple... Gujarat is rich in calcite, gypsum, manganese, lignite, bauxite, limestone, agate, feldspar, and quartz sand, which are essential raw materials for fuse manufacturing. The west coast state is also a production hub for brass and copper components. Gujarat is also the hometown of Indian independence movement leader, Mahatma Gandhi.


Where do you obtain your Schurter fuses from? China?
I have to be honest with you... I will never order Schurter fuses from China? Why? Because I cannot tell real Schurter fuses from Chinese fakes. I have some fake fuses in my stockpile and they look almost identical. I obtain my fuses from Schurter Inc. in the US. Your equipment's well-being and safety is my priority.


Are your VA ViaLab fuses REALLY from Taiwan?
I didn't say they are from Taiwan. I stated "Taiwanese fuse maker". Just like Asus and Acer, they are Taiwanese computer makers with manufacturing facilities in China. Similarly, VA ViaLab fuses are manufactured in China. Don't worry, every fuse is tested to specs and the safety of your equipment will not be jeopardized.   .   


Larry, I understand you also do mass order for Aucharm ground box, do you recommend their audiophile fuses?
I have tried Aucharm audiophile fuses. Not really impressed with them. They don't sound as open or as transparent as Schurter fuses. In fact, they sounded bright to my ears. However if you insist on trying, I can order a few pieces for you.


Wow! Everybody is selling fuses now. This looks like a lucrative business.
I have mentioned earlier, my profit is SGD0.50 per fuse. If you consider selling fuses lucrative, then I would rather be a hawker, sell satay to tourists. At least I can hope to become a millionaire hawker within 10 year if I work hard enough. By the way, both the skewered meat on sticks and fuses will get burnt but one is so much slower. You guess which one.


I have already blown two Schurter fuses in my amp after I made the switch. Before I have absolutely no problem at all when I was using the stock fuse. What happened?
A good soldier will die protecting his country from invading enemies. A good fuse will be "sacrificed" protecting equipment, properties and lives. Many audiophiles are not aware that 9 out of 10 times their stock fuses are of inferior quality and are not properly rated to protect the equipment it is supposed to protect. You should be glad that your Schurter fuse is "doing its duty" so well. In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you bring your amp to the dealer for a thorough check.


Why is my amplifier keeps blowing fuses?
The fuse on an amplifier is there to protect against too much current destroying your amplifier. Instead of your amp overheating and catching fire, the fuse blows and kills the situation that caused excessive current.

Too much current can either be a short circuit in which the speaker wires touch accidentally, or too low a resistance presented to the amp output. Normally an amp is designed for a speaker with a general range of 8 Ohms resistance to be connected. If you want more sound you might try and connect two speakers to the one output. If you do this in series, you will end up with 1/2 the power as you’ve doubled the resistance.

Once you have determined that series does not work, you will try parallel. The danger here is if you connect two 8 Ohm speakers in parallel to an amp output, you end up halving the resistance. Whilst you can almost double the output, you’ve also doubled the current the amp has to deliver. If you push it further and connect say 4 x 8 Ohm speakers, then you’ve cut the presented resistance down to 2 Ohms.

What happens next depends on your amplifier. If it is expensive and has been over-engineered, you should be fine. If not, you will start blowing fuses as the amp vainly tries to deliver lots of current down your low resistance speaker array.

Lastly, you can get faulty power transistors that can start to leak current to earth so as soon as you start to pump up the juice and bad stuff happens.

But that is more rare. Take your pick as to what you think it might be.
   
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« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 15:06 by KopiOkaya »
Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

Offline KopiOkaya

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Re: 8th MO: Audio-grade Hi-Fi Tuning Fuses
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 14:49 »
PLEASE DO NOT PLACE YOUR ORDERS HERE.

Strictly no discussions, comments and preposterous remarks on this thread. I want to keep it as clean as possible. Appreciate your cooperation.
Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.