By WL Low
Fuse tweaks – do they make a difference to the sound of your audio system? Many audiophiles who have tried say a re-sounding “Yes!” The technical brigade calls it a placebo effect, as a fuse is meant to protect one’s equipment from un-expected power surges or circuit breakers’ sudden shut down, in the event of a short circuit. A fuse’s function was never designed to be a sonic performance enhancer. MS HD Power is not the first in to the market with audiophile grade fuse product. I believe that honour goes to HiFi Tuning Fuse of German origin. MS HD Power is China of origin, but if it’s other products(as in the MS-328 BS Standard plug, which will be dissected later in another post) are any indicator, then product and engineering quality is at least on par with the German stuff.
I was supplied by CMY Audio & Visual a piece of MS HD Power-Rhodium 13 Amp fuse(cost RM$230.00/pc), meant as drop in replacement for UK style, BS standard plugs, very much commonly used in our Malaysian homes. The really over sized packaging makes the product look like it’s worth more money, but a fuse is a fuse, granted, the MS HD Power-Rhodium ones are Rhodium plated at both the contact ends, and then cryo-treated for that audiophile “feel good” factor.
Fuse replacements are a doodle, as any fool(like moi!) can attempt to do so, just make sure the power cable is disconnected on both ends for safety’s sake. You can’t get it wrong, as fuses are technically non-directional, however some swear by the sound differences when one reverses the direction(let”s not get in to that for now).
|Fuse Comparo: BUSS branded fuse(left) and MS HD Power-Rhodium(right), which actually started life as an original UK made, garden variety BUSS branded fuse, until it reaches China, in the hands of MS HD Power, where it is rhodium plated at both ends and cryo-treated and re-packaged for audiophiles.|
I installed the MS HD Power fuse in to my main power cord(replacing a standard BUSS branded fuse that came with my MK Duraplug), a JPS In-wall, capable of very current delivery, feeding juice to my Torus Power RM8A AVR, from the wall. In essence, the effect of the fuse should be felt by all and sundry of my hifi components, as each and every one of them gets power via the Torus AVR. I powered up my system as per usual sequence, Torus, followed by source & pre amp, then power amp. I shut down the system in reverse sequence(no, I do not hear a difference in sound this way either, Ha! Ha!)
Compared to when the system was powered via the BUSS branded fuse, the MS HD Power item provided higher “jump” factor to the music. This is very prominent and the very first thing I realised, as represented by a very explosive dynamic transient in the music. Next was the super tight and grippy bass. High frequencies seemed to extend further up an octave or so, but I did find the cymbals and high hats on the drum kit to be have slightly split ed ends and can sometimes sound a little dry, but it was never edgy, harsh or over bearing. However I noticed no change in tonality, or other performance aspects(like sound staging and imaging) of my audio system. I think this tweak will induce a certain “jump” factor in to systems that are too laid back, just to balance things up a bit.
Granted, it’s not a big change, but a difference none the less. This confirms that audiophile grade fuses does offer sonic differences(for better or worse, you decide in the context of your own system), or perhaps I too, am suffering from the Placebo effect, like so many other audiophiles!
If you”re curious enough to explore this tweak, you can go to your nearest CMY Audio & Visual outlet and check it out, or better ask for a demo!
Next, we check out MS HD Power MS-328 BS Standard power plug.
MS HD Power is sold by CMY Audio & Visual, contact John at 03-21439206.