What is the science behind audiophile fuses?

There were many threads on the topic of "audiophile fuses" on this forum, and I sure don't want to open old wounds and trench warfare. The fuse on my preamp blew suddenly two days ago, which prompted me to search for a replacement. That's when I came across the term "audiophile fuse" and the fact that they demand far-out prices. Deeper curiosity brought me to several other fora, where users posted glowing praises about their Zero fuses and other exotica. Now I am a scientist, but not a physicist or electrical engineer: so please enlighten me! How can a fuse have an audible influence on the signal, when the signal does not even pass through it? How can a fuse be "directional" when it deals with alternate current? I mean, if I recall my university physics, a fuse is basically a safety valve and nothing more. Am I completely missing an important point here? My scientific field is drug discovery, and because of this background I am thoroughly familiar with the power and reality of the placebo effect. I that's what I am seeing here, or is it real physics? I need objective facts and not opinions, please. I really appreciate your help!


I have never used an audiophile fuse so I can't comment on them either way.

But, I believe the forthcoming answers will be long on opinion and short on objective facts. 


 There were many threads on the topic of "audiophile fuses" on this forum ...

Those threads are still there. You might want to read a few.


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That's a fair question that I can't answer from experience. I would have been very interested in an actual informed answer if anyone can offer one.  May just have to do some searching and reading if I truly want to know.  

In the history of all fuse threads, and correct me if I am wrong, there has never been a straight answer regarding how the special audiophile fuses work from a manufacturer (spell check roxy54) or retailer.

Among those answers by users, as interpreted by myself:

A billion volts are shot through the fuse wire before assembly.

A thicker fuse wire is used.

A much higher quality (better conductivity) fuse wire is used.

Somehow graphene enters the picture.

A liquid or other dampener is used in the fuse to prevent fuse wire from vibrating.

More conductive fuse end caps.

Can’t remember any others.


It is not disputed that they certainly have gained favor by users.


Op congrats in that it sounds like you got a good handle on the topic.  Having seen it all here, why  one would come to this site  for science on the topic beyond what is readily available elsewhere is beyond me however.  

Nothing more to see here.  May the force be with you!

Where’s millercarbon when you need him? I can already picture him riding in on Shadowfax to defeat the dark enemies and doubters of the audiophile fuse.

the lord of the rings gifs — arwwenn: “Run, Shadowfax. Show ...

Amnesia has mercifully aided in my forgetting who that person is you mentioned immediately above.

However, I will take this moment to remember the true champion of the audiophile fuse, and while I may not have agreed with him, I much liked him.  I am speaking of a true credit to this website, Oregonpapa.


Back one money was harder to come by, when the system wasn’t flooded with it and people actually worked hard for it they were less likely to spend money on stuff like audio file fuses along with many other products. There’s so much money out there people throwing around on stuff just because they’re bored. It’s absolutely the placebo effect.

If fuses don't make any difference then why did most of the high end amp manufacturers stop using rail fuses, it's definitely not to save money.

I think the Swiss Fuse Box sounds like it has more potential....   I have never believed in audiophile fuses.... never tried one , but if I wanted to experiment the Swiss Fuse Box would be something I would be open to.  

Though I have heard differences in fuses. I believe the jury is still out as to whether they make a 'true' difference. In the end, it might just come down to how they are mated with the fuse holder.

My 2 cents...

Concentrate your efforts/money on better cables before embarking on this journey.


Where’s millercarbon when you need him?

Down at the nearest body of water trying to walk on it...

Here's a fun trick. Wrap a few turns of masking tape or PTFE tape around the glass part of a fuse making sure not to touch the end caps. Leave say, a 1mm space. 

Do a before and after test. 

They come in nicer boxes than standard fuses. Not sure how they improved my sound. However not super expensive considering the cost of everything else. But if I was on an audio budget I would definitely pass. 

@noromance If you are referring to the Pacific show in Seattle. He was there I am not sure if it was his rig or not. I do remember not wanting to stay in the room tho. It did not sound good at all. Honestly I don't think there was any attempt to display the system. I am honestly not sure what the point of his room was.

I spent the weekend at that show and went back into most rooms a couple times as some switched up the gear. Not his tho it was almost creepy and I'm not sure why. I was actually interested in talking to him a bit, before I went in his room.

It’s pretty easy a buzz 🐝 fuse is a steel zinc combo around 17 on the metals conductivity index.  Copper , silver are in the 63 , look up metal conductivity index .

some are using super conductive treatments, That help like Graphene. 
they do make a difference , but synergistic $600 fuse is very good I am told to put 1 in the chain ,but I am not will to send that ,I can get it Get it for $500 but still too much . I do use the Synergistic purple, ad Hifi tuning Copper  fuse .

Was unaware that graphene is a superconductor. I was of the understanding that it's a semiconductor 

What is an electrical fuse? An electrical fuse is a safety device that operates to provide protection against the overflow of current in an electrical circuit. An important component of an electrical fuse is a metal wire or strip that melts when excess current flows through it.

What is the rating of an electrical fuse? Fuse rating is the maximum current that a fuse can safely carry before it blows or melts. It is usually expressed in amps (A) or milliamps (mA). For example, a 5A fuse can handle up to 5 amps of current, while a 500mA fuse can handle up to 500 milliamps of current.

Advise 1: If you think the manufacturer has installed a fuse or given a power cord that is inferior and no good, then don't buy that piece of equipment, period. Because you deserve for the money you are spending a complete piece of gear with compatible accessories (fuses, power cords, feet, casings, etc) to get the best out of it.

Advise 2: If you really think you need to spend $$ on some expensive "audiophile fuse," whatever that is, then please make sure you stay within the same ratings as recommended by the manufacturer. Do not exceed current/voltage ratings under any circumstance.

There are those who think somehow some way, the fuse type will impact the sound quality and changing fuse will give you different flavors of sound! They also believe in Santa Clause delivering toys during Christmas, Tooth Fairy leaving $ under the pillow when their teeth fell off when they were young as well as when they get older, etc.

I tried 2 different fuses; I won’t name the brand but it was a waste of $300 however I did think the fuse is a bottle neck to a high quality power cable which is why I was willing to try them.

Last week I bought the Swiss Digital Fuse Box. Why? Because the week before I bought the Puron plug in line conditioner (both from Mark at Verfiaudio).

I was so impressed with the Puron and Mark, I trusted his word, and because the solution made sense; replace the thread of wire in the fuse with a solid tube of copper. The SD Fuse Box should kill the “audiophile” fuse business. 

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This brings me to a question I’ve considered submitting as a topic for the group:

This is an "audiophile" forum made up of individuals (in most cases) with vast experience(s) in auditioning, evaluating, and commenting on those observations. Tryiing new things (or, reworking old things) is a component of the "audiophile" experience.

The question is: "Why can’t we offer some level of respect to those who try something different, hear something good and share those results with the group? Why can’t we try to embrace those findings and give the person the benefit of the doubt that they did, in fact, hear something? Be somewhat curious about those observations even if the basis of the technology sounds somewhat weird to us?"

I get it that the "science" may push back against all that you’ve learned and/or experienced. And, some have suggested that those who claim to hear improvements in those products, technology, or catagory are biased, duped, gullible, or even need professional psychological help.

I funded a survey here a couple of months ago related to a "hot topic" on this forum. It was determined (by those who participated) that they had an 80+% high confidence level in their observations of the product catagory. Many were on their 3rd or 4th upgrade of this product catagory. Then, there were the "deniers" who rejected the premise completely and, therefore, did not try the product. And, there were those who conducted their due diligence, gave it a shot, and heard nothing. As the creator and admistrator of the survey, my final thought was that we should create a GoFundMe account for the "deniers" and send them to a place where there is a high confidence situation and let them listen to that system.

Personally, I believe that if something changes in the environment of the signal or power path, it’s going to change what happens at the other end. It’s feasible that those changes will be audibile, even it is isn’t measurable. I’m not a scientist. But, I do enjoy being proven wrong. It means I learned somthing that day.

Intellectual humility has it’s benefits. Perhaps, even better sounding systems if we’re willing to give things a try?


@johnfritter Interesting. I can't really imagine that combination of parts sounding good at all. 

@oddiofyl Give the Swiss Digital Fuse Box a try, but confirm with Mark if he offers no questions asked returns on it...I know he does on the Puron.

I bet you won't return it.

Fuses have to heat up and blow to protect the downstream equipment.  So they have to have a significant resistance (to heat up) and as current goes up, they heat up, resistance goes up (a property of all metals) and they heat more and blow.  This isn't a problem for electric motors or household equipment.  but a high end amplifier can have dynamic changes in power requirements over a very short time which can be limited by the fuse.  If this happens to your air conditioner, it will still cool.  If it happens to your amp, it will still make music, it just won't be as dynamic. Bass will suffer as well.  

An audiophile fuse supposedly has less resistance and limits current less.  I have never bought one and don't plan to.

I replace fuses with slugs.  an overcurrent situation in an amp is very unlikely and when it does happen it is usually caused by user error.  There is a very audible difference in most amps replacing the mains fuse.  This is especially true of tube amps.   Also if your amp has fuses on the rectifiers they should be replaced.  

No your amp won't burst into glorious flames but if you can't get this image out of your head, keep your fuses.

I have tested the Swiss Digital Fuse Box that replaces the fuse with a magnetic current sensor and a relay, thus there are no heated components in the power circuit.  My opinion of this piece was that it was better than any fuse but not quite as good as a slug.  It is also cheaper than an audiophile fuse.


@carlsbad2 when you refer to slugs what exactly are they, do you make your own or where do you get them?  Curious minds want to know 


Visiting Chuck Miller's Millercarbon room at PAF gave me the opportunity to check in on Townshend Audio, a quirky British manufacturer of audio gear best known for its well-engineered and very effective isolation products.

Not entirely clear whether MC had a room with his personal kit that happens to use Townshend products, or whether his was actually a room representing Townshend. 
It seems Townshend would want to have a say in the gear used to display their products since the resulting SQ would represent the brand - maybe they did?

BTW, back to fuses, I have done the Teflon tape thing, and also used small orthodontic rubber bands across the tops of the fuse holder tynes to insure a secure connection, after first treating the end caps with a conductive material (i.e., ProGold, etc.).

Audiophile fuses are generally supported by those who spent a pile on them and are wallowing in expectation bias. Magic Fuses have never gained acceptance by the vast majority of audiophiles and certainly not gear manufacturers as there is simply no need to use them when companies like Litttelfuse and others make great fuses that work properly. Fuses are simply tiny wires designed to protect your gear and are not part of the signal chain...period.  However, if an expensive item that has no impact on the sound of your system makes you feel better I suppose that has some value.


... if an expensive item that has no impact on the sound of your system makes you feel better I suppose that has some value.

If a comment that lacks logic or the benefit of experience makes you feel better I suppose that has some value.

@carlsbad2  Thanks for the reply…got that was looking more for what you are using for slugs.  How to buy or make them? Metal type etc. 

     No one can tell you whether/how your system, room and/or ears will respond to some new addition.   There are simply too many variables.

     LIKEWISE: no one can possibly know whether a new addition (ie: some kind of disc, crystal, fuse, interconnect, speaker cable, etc)  will make a difference, in their system and room, with their media and to their ears, without trying them for themselves.   

     Some companies offer a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, so- those that are actually interested, have absolutely nothing to lose, by trying (experimenting with) such.     

     Anyone that knows anything about the sciences, realizes that something like 96% of what makes up this universe, remains a mystery.       

     For centuries; humanity’s seen, heard, felt and otherwise witnessed phenomena, that none of the best minds could explain, UNTIL they developed a science or measurement, that could explain it.     

     The Naysayer Church wants you to trust their antiquated science (1800’s electrical theory) and faith-based, religious doctrine, BLINDLY ("Trust ME!"). 

     Theories have never proven or disproven anything.  It’s INVARIABLY testing and experimentation that proves or disproves theories/hypotheses.   

    IF you’re interested in the possibility of improving your system’s presentation, have a shred of confidence in your capacity for perceiving reality and trust your own senses: actually TRY whatever whets your aural appetite, FOR YOURSELF.         

                      The Naysayer Church HATES it, when THAT happens!  

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     "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."  (Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse , 1872) 

     "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,"  (Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873)

      "The super computer is technologically impossible.  It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required." (Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University)                        

      "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."  (Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923)

      "Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." (Dr. Lee DeForest, Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television)

      "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible!" (Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895) 

      "The bomb will never go off.  I speak as an expert in explosives."  (Admiral William Leahy, re: US Atomic Bomb Project) 

     When the steam locomotive came on the scene; the best (scientific) minds proclaimed, "The human body cannot survive speeds in excess of 35MPH."

      Until recently (21st Century); and the advent of the relatively new science of Fluid Dynamics, the best (scientific) minds involved in Aerodynamics, could not fathom how a bumblebee stays aloft. 

     Often; Science has to catch up with the facts/phenomena of Nature and/or, "reality" (our universe). 

     I haven't been in school since the 60's, but- at Case Institute of Technology; the Physics Prof always emphasized what we were studying was, "Electrical THEORY."         He strongly made a point of the fact that no one had yet actually observed electrons (how they behave on the quantum level) and that only some things can really be called, "LAWS." (ie: Ohm, Kirchoff, Faraday)   

                  PERHAPS: that's changed in recent years and I missed it?

I did not know that marketing is science. Then I am a scientist, cool. 😎