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Positive Feedback ISSUE 54
march/april 2011

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hifi-tuning

Supreme3 Fuses

as reviewed by Greg Weaver

 

hi-fi tuning fuses

 

 

 

 

GREG WEAVER'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Von Schweikert Audio VR-5 Anniversary, Escalante Designs Fremont, Acoustic Zen Technologies Adagio, Buggtussel Somu, Buggtussel Circa.

ELECTRONICS
ModWright SWL 9.0 SE with Tung-Sol upgrade, Channel Islands Audio VPP-1 (passive) preamplifiers. Channel Islands Audio D●200 Monoblocks (Class D), Channel Islands Audio VMB●1 Monoblocks (gain-clone). DSA Phono ONE, ModWright SWP 9.0SE, Monolithic Sound PS-2 with HC-1 supply, and Channel Islands Audio VPP-1 with VAC-1 Supply phonostages.

SOURCES
Redpoint Audio Design Model D, Oracle Delphi Mk III/with Mk V suspension and other mods (including sapphire thrust plate), Tri-Planar Mk VII Precision arm, Origin Live Silver 250 Arm, Transfiguration Temper V, Clearaudio Virtuoso Mk II, Denon 103-D/with vdHul Mods, McCormack UDP-1 Deluxe.

CABLES
Von Schweikert Master Built Signature bi-wire speaker cables, Audience Au24-e speaker cables, Stealth Hybrid MLT and Acoustic Zen Hologram II speaker cables. Stealth Indra, Stealth Nanofiber, Stealth PGS, Audience Au24-e interconnects, Acoustic Zen Absolute, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reverence II interconnects. Acoustic Zen Absolute and Gargantua II power cables, Audience powerChords.

ACCESSORIES
Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System equipment stand. Formula Shelf, Apex Footers, Audience adeptResponse aR-12-T, Furutech eTP-80, Monster Cable HTS 800, Quantum Products, Inc. Symphony Pro's for power conditioning. Aurios 1.2 MIB, Extreme Phono Solid State Stylus Cleaner, VPI HQ-16.5, Nitty Gritty Mini-Pro, Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions, Buggtussel Vinyl-Zime, Disc Dr. Miracle Record Cleaner and Quick Wash, Xtreme AV Quicksilver Gold, KAB phono Tools, AudioQuest DM-100 demagnetizer, CornerTunes, Furutech RD-2 demagnetizer, Digital Systems & Solutions UltraBit Platinum and Gold, Audience Auric Illuminator, and Xtrem AV Liquid Resolution.

 

In September of 2010, HiFi-Tuning of Berlin, Germany, announced the release of their new Supreme3 Fuse line, a new, higher performing version of their well-received fuse products. What distinguishes the new Supreme3 product is its choice of conductive material. They are constructed from an alloy of 99% Silver impregnated with 1% 24 Karat Gold, very similar to the mixture used in the Mundorf Supreme Silver/Gold Capacitors.

Mundorf has said that the Supreme silver/gold products consist of pure silver with a  mixture of 1% pure gold. The Gold alters the crystalline structure of the silver and contributes to maximizing its, already, very good electrical conductivity. The wire drawing process results in micro cracks in the conductor's surface, while the cooling process further contributes more imperfections in the resultant crystal structures of conductors. The addition of gold to the silver allows for substantial filling of both the micro cracks and the empty spaces between the crystal boundaries. This more uniform crystal structure contributes greatly to improved transmission properties, additionally curtailing surface oxidation and the tarnishing that occur over time.

Available in both .75" length GMA (5 x 20 mm ) and 1.25" 3AG (6 x 32 mm) sizes, this new line of fuses are the next logical step up from HiFi-Tuning's US-GoldČ fuses, previously reviewed by Myles Astor in Issue 51. The Gold2 and Supreme3 share a number of commonalties, including low in-circuit resistance, a ceramic (rather than a glass) body, and both lines are cryo treated by Cryogenics International for further stabilization of the conductive materials.

These fuses are further resonance optimized by sheathing the internal fuse filament inside a Polyolefin tube, as well as encasing the conductive materials within black ceramics rather than the more common glass. HiFi-Tuning settled on the Polyolefin tube approach once they had exhausted other methods, including filling the fuse body with sand or glass beads. The thermal properties of this ultra-pure conductive material don't lend itself well to the use of sand, and the glass bead process made the production cost prohibitive. The final process applied to all the Supreme3 fuses is that of a proprietary quantum level treatment.

When I reached out to HiFi-Tuning to inquire about a closer examination of these new devices, principal Bernd Ahne responded that he would happily send some along to appease my curiosity.

hi-fi tuning fuses


To go "all in" on this one, I would need two 3A GMAs for my preamplifier, two 500mA GMAs for my universal disc player, two 1.5 GMAs for my phono preamplifier, and four 4A GMAs (two each for my mono pair) of amps. Once I shared my system needs with him, the fuses arrived from Germany very quickly and I was ready to get underway.

After a brief bout of quite to install all eight fuses, I re-fired all my components to let everything have some time to "run in." Over the next three to three and a half weeks, I heard some exemplary, if subtle, improvements.

While I had expected some slight advances here or there, in a few specific categories, I was treated to small but encompassing, readily distinguishable, sonic improvements to virtually every attribute of my rig. The overall improvement wrought by their insertion was simply astonishing.

What stood out from the first was the notable enhancement in overall timbre, especially through the lower to mid bass, and the upper midrange through lower treble regions. Bass runs, from the thundering electric bass licks of the "Ox" Entwistle, to the engaging and often nuanced cello efforts of Janos Starker, were weightier, "woodier" sounding, and more tonally balanced. Strings, horns, and cymbals further shed most remnants of that "white-ish" sonic tinge and were rendered in a more fluid and coherent manner.

Transparency enjoyed a wholesale improvement; slight, granted, but bettered without question. This comes in two forms as I heard it. First, through the reduction of a miniscule yet inclusive fine graining, offering a more liquid texture overall, and secondly, by contributing to a slight reduction of the noise floor.

Spatial recreation enjoys special attention. Dimensionality takes on a slightly more focused nature, and at the same time, instrumental lines are recreated with better delineation and seemingly more accurate and appropriate size.

Both microdynamic events and microdynamic shadings are more readily revealed, unleashing enhanced detail and offering enhanced perception of physical and emotional involvement.

hi-fi tuning fuses

The overall result with the HiFi-Tuning Supreme3 fuses in place is an enriched clarity to the entire audio spectrum, advancing resolution in an involving manner, becoming crisper without adding glare, grain, or edginess, combined with a more natural presentation of tonality, texture, and soundstaging. They afford a heightened sense of reality, with the music being at once much more natural sounding and open, flowing with more dynamic involvement and greater vibrancy. They nudge the entire system toward a slightly more organic, authentic nature.

In general, the resultant sonic effect of their installation is very similar to that experienced when replacing a component's decent AC cable (≈$150) with an excellent one (≈$1500-$2000). The total retail cost for the eight HiFi-Tuning Supreme3 fuses I installed was $540. That represents less than four tenths of one percent (0.0039%) of my overall system investment. This kind of inclusive sonic enhancement, for an outlay of only $55 or $75 each, is not only hard to replicate by any other manner I know, but reveals what a bargain they actually represent.

I suppose your individual results may vary. For me, even the slight, delicate aural benefit gained by dropping $110 worth of fuses into my $4000 universal disc player, is unprecedented, and as of this writing, I honestly know of no other way to spend so little, so effectively. In my system, the enhanced clarity, focus, and transparency, the enriched, more natural and organic tonality, combined with the reduced grain and noise floor, make them a no brainer. These fuses may just afford the highest musical return on your investment available in today's market.

I've no way to test how effective they may be with more modestly priced players or electronics. If you step up to the plate with more affordable gear, drop me a line with your findings; I'd love to learn what you discover. Most musically and enthusiastically recommended! Greg Weaver

GMA = 0.75'' (5 x 20 mm)
Retail: $55 USD

3AG = 1.25'' (6.3 x 32 mm)
Retail: $85 USD

Bernd Ahne - HiFi-Tuning
web address: www.hifi-tuning.com
email address: order@hifi-tuning.com

Canada & USA-Distribution

Ultra System
web address: www.ultrasystem.com
800-724-3305 or 215-862-6570

 

 

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