Anyone else using slugs instead of fuses? Comments on metals used and sound please

I recently began experimenting with slugs in place of fuses on most of my components and the results have been VERY rewarding. I'll write up a full review eventually but am awaiting possible different metal slugs in the near future.  I started with copper and the improvement from stock fuses to the copper slugs was quite noticeable but, honestly, nothing compared to the upgrade from copper to solid silver slugs from Golden State Silver and, shockingly, titanium slugs.  Can anyone comment on their DIRECT experience(s) with slugs other than copper?   I'm looking into tungsten and possibly molybdenum presently.  I'd love to try platinum or palladium but that's probably beyond my reach.  AND PLEASE, THERE'S NO NEED TO COMMENT ON HOW FOOLISH IT IS TO BYPASS THE FUSE WITH SLUGS-----WE ALREADY KNOW---YOU'VE TOLD US EXHAUSTIVELY.


Bypass the fuse holder entirely by connecting together the two leads going into it; better yet, replace the two lead wires with a single wire to eliminate the joint where the fuse holder used to be.  Drive yourself crazy experimenting with different wire for this purpose.

There are a million ways to enjoy tinkering in this hobby and this is the exact worst way to do it.

I strongly suggest you stop this and get a kit of something and go build it, find another place to experiment that doesn't put you and other readers in danger.

Mike Powell’s silver slugs and jumpers were awesome in my Magnepans...

I use an old Mac 2105, and for a couple of years I used a piece of high purity silver wire in place of a fuse. It was admittedly risky and foolish, but the reason that I even dared to try it was because the amp had always been so stable and had never blown a fuse. I can't say that I noticed a difference. Having older parts replaced in the amp made a big difference. 


i don’t use slugs in place of fuses, although my amplifiers come with thermal couplers instead of fuses. which eliminates the noise factor there. and my preamp is battery powered so no fuses there either.

what i did do relevant to slugs is my Equi=Tech 10WQ Isolation transformer wall panel has GFI’s for each circuit. this 375 pound wall mounted isolation transformer is just for my system circuits. my barn has a separate 'dirty power' 100 amp panel for all other uses.

i had my electrical contractor remove the 10 GFI’s and a straight pure copper wire is put in place for each circuit. since my room is in a separate building and like a commercial studio i got him to do it.

GFI’s are even noisier than fuses.

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larryi---your suggestion does make the most sense, but I am having fun hearing the differences in the sounds the slugs produce.  Honestly, I'm shocked at how much detail and how precisely in space titanium places individual sounds.  There can be a strangeness to the way some mids are portrayed, which is why I'm interested in hearing other metals as slugs but the difference between having the stock fuse, or even the copper slug in my DAC, versus using the titanium slug is the kind of sonic difference I would expect from a MAJOR component upgrade.  


erik_squires:  duly noted (and ignored) again.  

erik_squired:  no, that was rude of me and that is not my intention.  But I did request these kinds of comments not be included.  We all know that this can be dangerous, bypassing the component fuses, and, as adults, we will make our own decisions.  You could start another thread decrying the stupidity of some audiophiles and the dangers of such activities.  Again, I don't wish to be rude.


mikelavigne:  that sounds incredible!!  I'd love to be able to do such but, as a renter, that's out of the question and probably nothing I could afford either.  One of the great things about experimenting with slugs is the relatively low cost.  I bought 2 99.99 solid silver slugs, with shipping from California to Indiana for less than $45 and they sound very good.  Still, I'm rather envious of your solution!

This thread will get deleted.  People can't deal with probabilities so they think you're an idiot.  You'll have to keep your ideas to yourself and just enjoy the improved sound.  Their loss



Hey Jerry.  Did you try out those titanium slugs I sent you yet?  I'm talking with a manufacturer now about getting tungsten stock.  I'm trying to not have to purchase a whole foot of it though.  Thanks

Not yet.  I've been traveling.  Going mountaineering this weekend and then I should settle in for some controlled listening.  I want my ears tuned to what I'm used to before I slip them in.

I can’t believe people are talking of using slugs in the Twenty First Century.  If you are using slugs in your equipment and God-forbid it started a fire, your insurance most likely won’t cover it, especially if it’s Allstate or Liberty.  Just saying.  

OP:  My comments do not require a thread or discussion.  They can stand alone as is, and need no follow up from me.

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For those of you that find this thread shocking, consider instead the Swiss digital fuse box that replaces the fuse by a magnetically controlled relay and gets rid of 98% of the negative effects of a fuse.


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I find this thread very interesting and hope it is not taken down, even though some of the comments are goofy. I understand the apprehension and safety concerns. I may give one of these Swiss Boxes a try, seems a bit safer than piece of titanium in place of a fuse.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Swiss fuse box replace just the main power fuse?

I just googled it and yes that is all it does. I think Jerry and others are doing the same only with these slugs. I would not want to change any internal fuses with these types of bypasses, as those would be more critical in preventing a thermal event and costly repairs. 

Warning Will Robinson!  In the end, it's not our stuff in jeopardy.  So why so much concern?  I had to replace a fire rated door in my house because the previous owner had punched a pet door in it completely negating its purpose.  Important to me, not to them.

The guy at Window World where I ordered a new one shared that his dog and a pet door were far more important than a fire rated door.

An insurance investigator finding such a thing would reject any claim for fire loss. We all make choices.  And really, who are we to police everyone and their actions with no direct involvement? 

I worked Level l trauma for years.  How many stupid things came through the doors in just one shift?  Not my place to judge.

@jacobsdad2000 yes, that is all it does, replaces the main power fuse.  Most amps only have one fuse.  What other fuses are you thinking of?


@celtic66 I watched a couple of episodes of lost in space the other night.  The robot wan't even in them so I looked it up and the robot only says "Danger Will Robinson" once and that wasn't until the 3rd season.


And so people ask me all the time “Chris why did you sell off your rental properties”.

@bikeboy52  I hear you.  I sold 4 rental properties off in 2022.  One left.  Herding cats is coming to an end.

@carlsbad2 in other components they can have internal fuses, my DAC for example has 3 internal and no main fuse. Oh my Integrated has 4 internal fuses also. 

Sorry the OEM was so generous with fuses in your components.  these fuses are designed to protect components and minimize warranty claims.  I guarantee they were not put there by the sound engineers.

These are the types of fuses you are very safe to jumper out, just a very slight risk of equipment damage. Now some of them don't affect the sound much.  I've seen fuses on the bottom of rectifier tubes that didn't seem to have a detrimental effect on sound.  I've seen fuses in the signal path (eeeek!) of amps with high powered tubes to protect the output transformer in the event of a short.  Not good for sound.


Replacing fuses with slugs on expensive equipment.  Makes me embarrassed to be involved in this hobby.  Utterly moronic.

My Tube Integrated has 8 fuses internally. I trust EE, SE not so much with this kind of stuff. 


@lcherepkai WOW! No matter how bold or nice you ask the critics can’t help themselves. I use copper slugs on selected components without issue.  Can you explain the sonic differences of silver compared to copper slugs?  And, where do you buy your 5mm Titanium rods? Thanks

Thank you carlsbad2 and tksteingraber for not being alarmists.   I purchased the titanium rod when I bought my copper rod from McMaster-Carr, both for under $20 shipped and only another $30 for the machine shop to cut them down to 20mm lengths.  This has been, by a huge margin, the biggest bang-for-the-buck audio improvement I've ever made.  

It had been a while since I'd had the copper slugs in the system since the silver and titaniums are much more suited to my listening preference, so I just spent a couple hours going back and forth with either in my Bel Canto DAC 2.8.  I presently have a titanium in the Bel Canto CDT-3 transport and a silver in the Red Dragon S-500.  I would have swapped these around to, but both are in the back of the components and take a bit of digging to remove the fuse tray so my apologies for only swapping out the DAC slugs.  

As would be expected, the copper has a warmer or fuller sound.  This does come at the expense of inner detail but does smooth out some occasional brightness.  Where I particularly notice the loss of inner detail is in decays as the copper sounds positively truncated in this regard.  The silver is more open on top and there is a greater sense of the area around the instruments.  The copper sounds a bit dumbed down.  The copper also throws slightly but noticeably larger images while the silver has more precisely drawn and palpable images.  If you like warm and fuzzy, then the copper is your slug but for me, there is no comparison, and I just can't have the coppers in knowing how much better it would sound with silver or titanium in there instead.  




And for all the others, once again just NEEDING to tell me how incredibly stupid I am for bypassing the fuses to use slugs,  let me ask you this, which do you think is more dangerous and likely to actually cause harm; listening to my stereo without fuses to protect the components, all plugged into an Equi-Core 1800 with its circuit breaker ready to kick out in things get too hinky or getting in your car and going for a drive?  If we go back the 35 years I've been driving, I've been in 5 minor accidents and 2 of those were due to deer (natures stupidest creature).  During that same time, I think I've blown 3 fuses, 2 of those in a big SET tube amp which I would never consider using slugs with.  The other was in an early Threshold Stasis 2 amp, which was over 20 yrs old when I got it. 


I'm not terribly concerned about going for a drive.  I've been doing deliveries for the last 20+ yrs.  I'm even less concerned about using my stereo sans fuses.  But thanks for the concern

So many know-it-alls in this forum! You know who you are! This really gets tiring here! He specifically asked people to not criticize about the risks since he knows what they are! Some people just can't resist and IMHO these people are holding back other people posting to these forums! If you have nothing beneficial to say, then why not just keep quiet! We aren't children and these are all opinions. Not many things in this hobby are set in stone and most things are opinions! 

More power to you and your ears but I used copper slugs in my Magnepan 20.7s, and PS Audio BHK preamp and BHK 300 monoblocks and heard no difference.  

I'm really not fond of the copper slugs at all.   I thought them an improvement over the stock fuses but it's the silver and surprisingly, titanium slugs that really transformed my system.  A quick story about this:  my amp is a Red Dragon S-500.  I have been using a single one in stereo mode for a few years now and recently acquired another at a shockingly low price.  Upon arrival, I swapped it out with my original one to test and make sure it was working and sounding as it should given the exceptionally low price.  Immediately I noticed something quite wrong and thought the amp wasn't working correctly.  Everything sounded a bit opaque, and the highs were rolled off.  Honestly, I was about to shoot the seller a probably beligerent email about the damaged amp when I remembered that the original Red Dragon was fitted with one of the solid silver slugs.  I pulled the fuse tray out and installed a silver slug and PRESTO!!!!  All was back to normal.  That's the kind of improvement I get with the silver and titanium slugs.  Of course, your system needs to be adequately resolving to get similar results, I would assume. Check with Golden State Silver for the silver slugs, less than $50 for 2.  I really can't imagine as significant an improvement for what would be such a minimal investment.

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We all know that this can be dangerous, bypassing the component fuses, and, as adults, we will make our own decisions.

I fully agree!  Does your landlord know what you are doing so they can make their own decision about your continued tenancy?

@jacobsdad2000 Fuses limit power changes since they must have a small resistance.  This generally isn't a problem is the load is fixed.  So I'm not very concerned about fuses in the DAC.

I would be concerned about that many fuses in a tube amp.   I wouldn't be happy because thes fuses are likely limiting my dynamic response.  

There are some exceptions.  Fuses on the heater circuit don't generally affect sound so if you've got fuses on your heater circuits and avoided a fuse to the power circuit, then kudos to the engineers.  If the fuses are in the signal path to protect the output transformers, that's the worst place for a fuse.  

I also say the fuses were not put there by the engineers, they were requested by the bean counters after an expensive warranty repair came in.  And the repair was almost certainly caused by operator error--putting the wrong tubes in for example. 

There is a reason that audiophile fuses are selling like hotcakes.  Asking about fuses in the design before buying an amp will become a thing as buyers become more aware.


I really like reading all of these comments. Not because any of the comments will get me to try the different replacement ideas but for human psychological reasons.

I enjoy that there are individuals who have to see what will happen if they do x, y, or z no matter what warnings have been given.  The results are always in one of 3 categories: 1) Nothing happens good or bad, 2) Something good and or new is discovered, or 3) Something bad happens. This need for discovery is what makes us humans. I was one of these people during my first 50 years.  It is what made me happy and financially successful.

It is also interesting that so many have to respond in the negative when they are completely aware that they are not telling us anything that we already do not know or anything that we want to hear, again

Aren't people just amazing?

This has little to do with slugs, but How do magnetic breakers work and do they make the sound better? When I had some amplifiers updated, they replaced the fuses with magnetic breakers and I was never given a good answer, other than it’s better than fuses.



@carlsbad2 not overly worried as it sounds fantastic, stuck so called Audiophile Fuses in her and after 6 months took them out and sold them. No Bueno just wasted my money. This is a shot of my Integrated internal and it was 10 fuses. 

I know you’re going to do what you’re going to do but I’ll just say this.  As an electronics tech in several audio companies I’ve seen the damage this kind of thing causes.  Especially in tube amps but the same goes for solid state.  I think tube equipment is a bigger risk because when a tube fails drastically it can blow the power and even output transformer out, as well as the parts.  I’ve opened up amps and found foil wrapped fuses or hardwired passed the fuse and had to call the customer to tell them that it’s going to cost a couple thousand dollars to repair.  They go ballistic but they did it to themselves.  With solid state you don’t have to worry about a tube failing but if a cap, transistor, etc. goes bad you blow out the entire circuit or even burn up the circuit board.  And worse it burns other things around it, like your house.  

@jacobsdad2000 That's not an amp I would ever own so I guess I can't comment.  Can you even trace your signal path?

All things said I do like and agree with firstonetalgull   As audio enthusiasts and tweekers we continue the search for the best sound possible no matter the amount of work involved or risk to the equipment.  Yes unfortunately I do understand that and have done it too many times.  But then I always figured I could repair it myself, well usually anyway.  And yes I do find it interesting figuring out the sound quality differences in metals, electronic parts, etc.  But not using a good fuse is one I’d rather not play with as I don’t want to go transformer hunting for my old tube equipment which is modded to the hilt.  Also they’re not available unless I find someone selling a full old amp that I want to buy for stripping.  But yes I do understand the search for the best sound. 

The Swiss Fuse Box with its slugs works great!

The music becomes stronger and more effortless. Afterall, we spend all kinds of money on thick power cords, cables etc. only for the power to be restricted by a thin wire inside a fuse. The Swiss Fuse Box by-passes that and protects your equipment.

Highly recommended!




Really a lot of people to thank here :)

We have a good Black Friday deal which I made mention of elsewhere (not allowed here which I fully endorse)

The new High Purity Copper with Gold Immersion seems to be coming out on top in most use cases. 

Rhodium in the mix for next year as is a Graphene Treatment variant. We are hard at it to get the best out of every system

Thanks - Mark 

@carlsbad2 Well I do and I love it.  Now I think I may give a SDB a try.  based on few reviews here. 

That's not an amp I would ever own so I guess I can't comment.  Can you even trace your signal path?