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  1. #1

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    Default Studies On Residential Power Line Noise - Part 8: Audio Grade Fuses For Home Theater

    Prologue

    "Submitted for your approval: A nascent videophile, stirred by the performance enhancements in his tricked out audio system, yearns for similar warm, fuzzy feelings from his lower resolution upper mid-fi home theater system. Such warm fuzziness can certainly be had...but only for a price. Next stop: The Blu-Ray zone."

    Home Theater Noise Reduction Program


    Denzel tries to hide his elation about the prospect of audio grade fuses coming to the SDA Shrine Theater.

    So what do you do when you are getting 500% of your maximum daily requirement of audio thrills from your two channel system? Sit and listen? That would be too much like right wouldn't it? The correct answer is that you turn your attention to tweaking home theater.:D

    Out of curiosity, I installed audio grade fuses in the power amps, preamp, and subwoofer of my modest home theater system. These "fuses" are actually noise reduction devices in addition to being circuit protection devices. More technical details are here. The following noise reduction measures were already in place:

    1. Two additional 20A AC circuits, terminated with PS Audio Power Port Premier AC receptacles.
    2. Two PS Audio Power Plant Premier (PPP) AC regenerators. The Blu-Ray player, plasma television, preamp/processor, and center channel amp are on the first PPP and 20A AC circuit. The front speaker's amp and surround speaker's amp are on the second PPP and 20A AC circuit.
    3. All stock power cords were replaced by Signal Cable MagicPower cords.
    4. The subwoofer has its own 20A AC circuit, which is terminated with a PS Audio Soloist Premier SE in-wall passive power conditioner.

    The additional power tweaks consisted of:

    1. Replacement of the stock subwoofer power line fuse with an Isoclean audio grade fuse.

    2. Replacement of the stock power amp power line fuses with Isoclean audio grade fuses. I did not want to spend the money to replace the four rail fuses in the three Adcom GFA-5500 power amps because this would have required twelve fuses at $45 each ($540) and the expected improvement, if any, was small. This was based on the small improvement provided by replacing the JC 1's rail fuses. Rather than replacing the power amp rail fuses, I would get more bang for the buck applying that money toward a higher performance Blu-ray player.

    3. Replacement of the stock preamp/processor power line fuses with HiFi Tuning fuses. I would have preferred Isoclean fuses, but my Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro requires a 5A fast blow fuse and a 3.15A slow blow fuse. Isoclean does not make fast blow fuses and they do not make a 3.15A slow blow fuse.

    My three year old Hitachi plasma HDTV (720p) still holds its own against younger, newer, higher resolution displays. I may eventually upgrade to a 1080p display, but I have yet to see a 50 to 60 inch 1080p plasma display fed by Blu-ray sources that makes me dissatisfied with my current TV. Furthermore, my choices among current HDTV plasmas are limited because I prefer a model with a swivel stand and cable card slot. I don't like those aesthetically unappealing silver/gray cable boxes.

    I will be upgrading my Blu-ray player in the near future, not because I am dissatisfied with the Sony BDP-S2000ES Blu-ray player, but rather because I want a Blu-ray player in my home office. The BDP-S2000ES is replacing the Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD player in my home office and something "more wonderful" will be replacing the BDP-S2000ES in my home theater...but that is a subject for a whole 'nother thread.

    Music and Video Selections

    I used the following scenes at the beginning of Star Wars Episode II for low frequency sound effects evaluation:

    1. Senator Amidala's ship approaching Coruscant.
    2. Senator Amidala's ship exploding on the landing platform.

    For 360 degree sound field cohesiveness and detail evaluation:

    1. Space battle scene at the beginning of Star Wars Episode III.
    2. Battlefield scene at the beginning of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

    For movie dialog clarity and natural sound:

    1. The conversation between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Dryden at the beginning of Casino Royale.
    2. Sarah Connor's monologue at the beginning of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

    For two channel music sound staging, clarity, and bass drive, bass articulation and bass detail:

    Track 1-"Funkin' For Jamaica (NY)", Tom Browne, "Love Approach" CD.
    Track 5-"Dianne's Blues", George Howard, "The Very Best of George Howard" CD.
    Track 3-"Take Five", Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Time Out" CD.

    Subwoofer Fuse Replacement


    A civilized and refined bass beast is more so with a $35 fuse installed.

    I was surprised when I heard the SVS PB12 Ultra/2's performance improvement with the Soloist SE ($250) over that provided by the Power Plant Premier AC regenerator ($2,200) [addendum to this review and post #4 of this review]. You just never know what will work.

    Replacing the PB12 U/2's stock fuse with an Isoclean fuse enhanced bass articulation, added more definition to rumble, and added more bass weight and tactile sensation. The subwoofer also sounded slightly louder. I first listened to movies and CD's with the other speakers off, then with the sub blended in with the other speakers.

    When the sub was blended in with the other speakers, images were a little heavier and dialog was a little clearer. During the scene in Chancellor Palpatine's office, near the beginning of Star Wars Episode II, The crisp edge of Palpatine's baritone voice was enhanced and, overall, his voice was a little heavier and clearer.

    On music, the bass was a little faster and more defined.

    Power Amp Fuse Replacements


    The three Adcom GFA-5500 power amplifiers at the bottom of my audio credenza now have fuses with arrows on them, because fuses with arrows on them help make Such Good Sound.

    The first thing I immediately noticed was all the subtle sounds from the front and surround speakers that I had never noticed before. Then I noticed that the sound stage for both music and movies was a little wider and deeper by 1 foot. Center images were a little heavier and more detailed. The throaty, rumbly growl of the Terminator's motorcycle in "Terminator 2" was heavier and apparently louder. The subtle "crunch" of the Terminator's leather jacket and pants was clearer and more defined as he got off his motorcycle and walked up to the club owner to swipe the shotgun out of his hand.

    Preamp/Processor Fuse Replacements

    Replacing the fuses in the subwoofer and power amplifiers was an easy task which only involved accessing the ample space behind each unit. Those fuse replacements were completed in under five minutes each. Replacing the two fuses in the Sony TA-E9000ES was not fun because I had to disconnect all the inputs/outputs, pull the unit from its shelf, remove the case top, then remove a small circuit board above the rear of the power supply board. This took an hour...but it was worth it.:)

    Replacing both of the preamp/processor's fuses resulted in a degree of improvement over that provided by the sub and power amp fuse changes. The sound stage grew by an additional two feet at the sides and front. There was an overall enhancement to three dimensionality and space between images within the sound stage. The enhanced detail and image weight from the front and surround speakers provided a more immersive and cohesive 360 degree listening experience.

    Some background sounds that were previously confined to the plane of the TV and speakers were now projected one or two feet forward. For example, the "whooshing" sound that Senataor Amidala's ship makes as it is about to land was louder and projected 1 foot in front of, and near the top of, the right speaker. Previously, that sound was confined to the space just in front of the right speaker and was nearly lost in all the other background sounds.
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 05-27-2009 at 01:30 PM.

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    Default Studies On Residential Power Line Noise - Part 8: Continued

    Blu-ray Player Fuse Replacement


    Sony BDP-S2000ES power line fuse.

    The Sony BDP-S2000ES uses an axial lead sand-filled ceramic body power line fuse that is soldered to the power circuit board. Certainly, back and forth comparisons of the stock and replacement fuse would have been tedious and aggravating. Because of this, and because this player is slated to be moved to my home office when it is replaced by the upgrade Blu-ray player, I decided to skip replacement of this fuse. If the upgrade Blu-ray player uses a standard type fuse holder, I will definitely evaluate it with and without an audio grade fuse.

    Additional Power Line Conditioning

    I considered replacing the two Power Port Premier receptacles (located behind the HT equipment credenza) with Soloist Premier SE in-wall power conditioners, but I was quite satisfied with the audio resolution improvements provided by the fuse upgrades. The Soloists would have cost an additional $500 and I preferred to put that toward a Blu-ray player upgrade. Curtailing my lust for higher resolution and forgoing the power amp rail fuse upgrade and Soloists saved me $1,040...for now.

    No Love For Meter Pontiffs

    No 'scope traces or other quantitative measurements this time. You'll just have to take my ears' word for it...or better yet, run your own noise study and take your own measurements.:)

    Conclusion

    The highest degree of improvement was provided by the preamp/processor fuse replacement, followed by the power amp fuse replacement, followed by the subwoofer fuse replacement. In each case, the improvements were immediately evident after the fuse upgrade. Further investments in lower noise interconnects, lower noise power cables, power amp rail fuses, and additional in-wall power conditioners, would probably yield yet more resolution enhancements, but I'll (try to) wait until the next house and it's dedicated theater room for all that.

    Epilogue

    "So there you have it. In the ordinary world, fuses are just protection devices and AC receptacles just provide 120V@60Hz. But in this dimension of sight and sound, fuses are directional and they, along with high end AC receptacles, passive in-wall power conditioners, AC regenerators and well shielded, heavy gauge power cords, suck copious amounts of electrical noise from power signals. It's all for the burgeoning videophile's aural and visual pleasure...in the Blue-Ray zone."

    Associated Equipment

    ■Hitachi 55HDT52 Plasma HDTV (720p)
    ■Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD/SACD/CD Player
    ■Sony BDP-S2000ES Blu-Ray Disc Player, Ver. 4.30 Firmware
    ■Sony TA-E9000ES Digital Preamp/Processor Ver. 2.1 Firmware
    ■Three Adcom GFA-5500 Power Amps (350 wpc into 4 ohms) for Front, Center, and Surround Speakers
    ■Dual Polk Audio LSi9 Center Channel Speakers
    ■Polk Audio LSi15 Surround Speakers
    ■SVS PB12 Ultra/2 Subwoofer with 1000 Watt Bash Amplifier
    ■Monster M1000CV Component Video Cable
    ■Acoustic Research Coax Cables (DVD, CD)
    ■Monster Z2 Reference Speaker Cables
    ■Monster Z100i Interconnects
    ■Signal Cable MagicPower Cords
    ■Monster UL/CL3 In-Wall 12 Gauge Speaker Cable for Subwoofer
    ■Salamander Synergy Quad 30 Audio Credenza
    ■Acoustic Research HDMI cable
    ■Two PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerators
    ■PS Audio Power Port Premier 20 Amp AC Receptacles for Power Plant Premiers
    ■Two Dedicated 20 Amp AC Circuits For Amps, TV, and Source Components
    ■Separate Dedicated 20 Amp AC Circuit for Subwoofer
    ■PS Audio Soloist Premier SE Power Conditioner For Subwoofer
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    References

    Do a search on '"residential power line noise" and you will find enough to read from now until a week shy of the end of days. Good luck.

    Your legendary predilection for exaggeration never ceases to amuse me.~DK
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proper power tweaks bring music and video....

    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 05-27-2009 at 01:41 PM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Default Follow Up

    Reserved for follow up.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    You amaze me every time. Great write up.

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    I may have missed it, but I dont think you listed your front mains in that enormous list. What are they?

    Thanks

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    You're right. I missed them when I cut and pasted. Thanks for pointing out the omission.:)

    The front mains are Polk Audio SDA SRS's.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    DK, do you guys have earth rods? Have you done anything in regards to yours?

    Since getting my amp and seeing a 20amp iec on it, power has become quite intriguing to me...
    Last edited by polkie4life; 06-12-2009 at 07:25 PM.
    In terms of audio, i truly feel sorry for the visually impaired. How can they know what they like if they cant read google?


    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=86838

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    I don't have anything other than the power company's grounding wire and grounding rod at the side of my house near the meter.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    you have a very nice system there darqueknight, but are you comprimising the sound of the main speakers by having them against the wall and with the ends of the nice audio cabnet protruding past them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom t View Post
    ....are you comprimising the sound of the main speakers by having them against the wall and with the ends of the nice audio cabnet protruding past them.
    No. SDA speakers are designed to be placed close to the rear wall. As the photo below shows, the active drivers are above the cabinet and are not affected by any diffraction effects it might cause.

    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    No. SDA speakers are designed to be placed close to the rear wall. As the photo below shows, the active drivers are above the cabinet and are not affected by any diffraction effects it might cause.
    There isn't any baffle step compensation either, so pulling them away from the rear wall will result in a lack of low end.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    i see what to mean. fully understand now. enjoy the music

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    Darqueknight,

    Why would you prefer to use the isoclean fuse over the hi fi tuning silverstar fuse (silver/gold)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    In every report I have read where Isoclean and HiFi Tuning fuses were compared, the Isoclean fuses came out on top. I did not compare Isoclean and HiFi Tuning fuses in the same component. I would not have ordered the HiFi Tuning fuses were it not for the fact that Isoclean does not make a 0.5 Amp 1-1/4"x1/4" fuse. Comparing figures 6 and 9, the Isoclean and HiFi Tuning fuses have comparable noise amplitudes but the Isoclean fuse has overall lower noise density.
    You can also reference this noise study: Studies On Residential Power Line Noise - Part 7: HiFi Tuning and Isoclean Fuses
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    They look kind of similar.. But is it true that each of them "colors" the sound differently?
    I read reports saying that the hi fi are laid back and the isoclean are neutral..
    What is your take on that?

    I am starting to upgrade my HT.. I started with wiring a special circuit to the rack, and adding some power ports to the outlets.. I will replace the main one with the soloist. I also changed all of the power cords... As a conditioner I am using a Belkin pf60 power conditioner...

    I plan to replace the fuses of a B&K 200.7 amp and a M&K MX350 SFX subwoofer.. I am not sure if I can replace the fuses on the oppo bdp 83 or the marantz AV 8003 preamp....
    Which ones will you replace first? the ones in the amp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post
    They look kind of similar.. But is it true that each of them "colors" the sound differently?
    I read reports saying that the hi fi are laid back and the isoclean are neutral..
    What is your take on that?
    That's certainly possible. Anything you run the signal through is going to color it in some way. Weather the coloration is audible or if it is audible and unpleasant are the keys. I have not taken the opportunity to compare both brands in the same component.

    If you are going to try both, please let us know your results.

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post
    I am starting to upgrade my HT.. I started with wiring a special circuit to the rack, and adding some power ports to the outlets.. I will replace the main one with the soloist. I also changed all of the power cords... As a conditioner I am using a Belkin pf60 power conditioner...

    I plan to replace the fuses of a B&K 200.7 amp and a M&K MX350 SFX subwoofer.. I am not sure if I can replace the fuses on the oppo bdp 83 or the marantz AV 8003 preamp....Which ones will you replace first? the ones in the amp?
    I'm glad you installed other power quality improvements before the fuses. I did not realize the full benefits of the fuses until dedicated AC circuits, better power cords and power conditioners were installed.

    In my two channel rig, going from most improvement to least, the degree of improvement by component was:

    1. Phono preamp power line fuse.
    2. Line level preamp power line fuse.
    3. Power amp power line fuse.
    4. Power amp rail fuses.
    5. SACD power line fuses.

    If you can replace the preamp fuse, I would do it first.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 08-10-2009 at 06:52 PM.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Thanks Darquenight!
    Today I will be installing the soloist! Hope it improves some...

    I don't plan to do a shootout on the fuses...Yesterday I placed an order with the cable company before reading this thread and the reports on a hi fi forum and the hometheater hifi website... After I read your post, I was able change my order from the hi fi tuning to the isoclean fuses.. The only bad thing is that they are not in stock and will take about two weeks and half to get them... I ordered three of them: one for the amp, one for the sub and an extra one... However, I need to find out the size of the fuse in the preamp in order to place the order for it...

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    Darqueknight,

    The improvements that I had with the soloist were very similar on what you described in your review... In my case it just gives me peace of mind that my amp is safer... I replace the power port for the soloist.. so I did expect those results based on your review..

    Tomorrow i will be getting the fuses and will try them in the amp and subwoofer.. If they work I will open up the preamp and order one for it...


    I saw in your first post of this thread that you replace all the power cords...
    Did it made a difference by replacing the one in your subwoofer?
    That is the only one in my gear that I haven't replace yet...
    I will really appreciate your insights....

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    Were you able to test for noise drops after you changed the fuses or just hearing differences?
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
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    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
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    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post
    I saw in your first post of this thread that you replace all the power cords...
    Did it made a difference by replacing the one in your subwoofer?
    Yes. See post #10 in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchOfEvil View Post
    Were you able to test for noise drops after you changed the fuses or just hearing differences?
    I didn't do any measurements in this case:

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    No 'scope traces or other quantitative measurements this time. You'll just have to take my ears' word for it...or better yet, run your own noise study and take your own measurements.:)
    I did document some quantitative evaluation of the fuses in the thread mentioned here:

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    DK,

    Nice write up! Are there any room treatments? Seems like it would get pretty live with the ceramic floor in there.

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    No room treatments, but it is not a very live sounding room.

    The tiles have a rough, stone-like texture and are not as acoustically reflective as smooth tile. The space also has angled walls, art niches, heavy fabric window coverings, and an area rug that absorb and break up sound.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Darqueknight, the roo looks incredible, your setup is very impressive, and your write up is always very informative and over the top. You are a great contributor to this forum.

    Quick question:
    How did you connected your center chanel to be able to have two of them?

    Again thanks for all your many incredibel posts.
    Last edited by olilugo; 08-18-2009 at 08:51 AM.
    Current HT setup
    Mains: B&W 804s
    Center: Polk CSi5
    Surround: Polk FXi3
    Sub: Velodyne DLS-3750R
    Receiver: Pioneer SC-07
    Amplifier: Sunfire TGA5200
    TV: Sony KDS60A2020
    DBP: Sony DBP-S350
    CDP: Pioneer DV-48AV
    Interconnect cables: SignalCable analog II
    speaker cables: SignalCable Ultra Speaker Cables Bi-wire

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    I think it's all bull crap science. Anyone that starts his post with Studies raises a red flag and is way into himself.

    Audio grade fuses! Who and what makes them audio grade but the rant of some nut in advertising.

    The lack of simple logic amazes me. It's a series circuit people. Do you replace all the fuses in the power line?

    Doesn't anyone understand the logic and laws of a series circuit? Apperently not, go do a little reading. If there is noise in a series circuit the only way to reduce it is with a resonant circuit which requires capacitance and inductance. Fuses have no inducatance or capacitance. WTF.

    Speaker Wire nuts, think about this, what kind of speaker wire is in your SDA speakers that were made over 20 years ago. Did you replace all the wire in your speaker cross over? Did you replace all the wire in the voice coils of the speakers.

    It's a series circuit.

    Add these fuses to the TV commercials late at night that sell, diets, HD sunglasses, special cloths for clean up and you name what ever crap they sell. Two for the price of one.

    It's a bad joke and Mr Studies laughs at you.

    America is going down hill based of the fact that people really believe this crap and encourage him to continue his STUDIES. What a joke.

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    Somebody forgot their meds.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Duplicate post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa View Post
    I think it's all bull crap science. Anyone that starts his post with Studies raises a red flag and is way into himself.

    Audio grade fuses! Who and what makes them audio grade but the rant of some nut in advertising.

    The lack of simple logic amazes me. It's a series circuit people. Do you replace all the fuses in the power line?

    Doesn't anyone understand the logic and laws of a series circuit? Apperently not, go do a little reading. If there is noise in a series circuit the only way to reduce it is with a resonant circuit which requires capacitance and inductance. Fuses have no inducatance or capacitance. WTF.

    Speaker Wire nuts, think about this, what kind of speaker wire is in your SDA speakers that were made over 20 years ago. Did you replace all the wire in your speaker cross over? Did you replace all the wire in the voice coils of the speakers.

    It's a series circuit.

    Add these fuses to the TV commercials late at night that sell, diets, HD sunglasses, special cloths for clean up and you name what ever crap they sell. Two for the price of one.

    It's a bad joke and Mr Studies laughs at you.

    America is going down hill based of the fact that people really believe this crap and encourage him to continue his STUDIES. What a joke.
    Sounds like a raving, angry fool.

  28. #28

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    Darqueknight,

    Have you tested in your gear something like the Ultrabit Platinum, snake oil or Ultrvivid CD enhancer in your CDs, etc...?
    Does it work?

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    Can you guys reply with more than one sentance. You are getting very repetative. Expand and clarify your thoughs.

    Or are you still trying to increase your post count.

    DK is pulling your leg.

    So as I understand it if you disagree with the EE DK God by using basic electrical science you are considered angry. That makes as much sense as DK's fuse theory.

    I swear DK is off his meds or he works for a snake oil company or is laughing his ass off at the crap these people will believe.

    Did you know that if you apply solder to the ends of your speaker wire, called tining, you will make the lowest resistance contact to the speaker terminals. The crushed solder/wire will form a larger contact area with the speaker terminal thus lower contact resistance. It's also much easier to connect the speaker wire to the speakers.

    Isn't science helpful and this tip is free, no cost.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa View Post
    Isn't science helpful and this tip is free, no cost.
    As the leper said while leaving the whorehouse, "keep the tip."

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