Just when I thought I'd seen and heard it all, I started to see a lot of press on HiFi Tuning Fuses. Call in serendipity as they've been around for years but I needed to try something and there they were. Long story short, I have a Classic 6.1 integrated that never quite settled down and along came the Burson that I won from here. Hands down, the Burson beat it on all counts. In fact, I believe the Burson to be among the best I've heard. Period. It has that wet and fleshy sound of real humans playing real instruments that only a truly great tube or SS piece can recreate. But the Classic had convenience that the Burson could only dream of: 4 inputs, an above average headphone input, and remote. If only I could get the best of both, then I could put off getting the newest version of the Burson integrated for awhile.
Long story short (yeah, right) I contacted Alfred Kainz at highend-electronics.com and together we figured out what I needed. It turned out that since the amp came from China, the board they were on depicted 220V instead of what we use here and he sent out the proper fuses. The two needed came to around $80 and before anyone thinks I've lost my mind, hear me out. These are not you run of the mill cheapo fuses. They have solid silver end caps, a ceramic tube instead of glass, and a high quality copper wire properly welded at both ends and its cryo'd. I was told to put them in directionally (follow the arrow) and to give them about 60 hours to break in. Break in? Fuses? Well, yes. It turns out that they are like any component and need time, just like any component.
Long story short, I had to listen right upon insertion and the stridency that never went away, went away. That, and most of the bass and body. All the musical info was there but lacking in substance. So I kept the tuner on at a low setting and upon waking and coming home from work (every 8 and 12 hours) I gave it a listen. Bit by bit, inch by inch, measure by measure, it all got better. It actually took a full 4 days for the bass to reassert itself to where is was before but by then, I had a totally different integrated. The Burson is still the King but there is a new Knight in town. The sound is so much better in all areas and on all accounts. Not quite the wet and fleshy portrayal of the Burson but a damped and skinny one and that is not meant as a slight. The leanness allows more info than the Burson but at the expense of sounding truly organic. The Burson takes you there whereas the Classic shows you. What additional info one hears with the Classic is not lost with the Burson, its just the manner in which its presented.
Long story short (last time, I promise), as the Classic improves ( and it has for the last two weeks and continues to) I am in no hurry to sell it. I tried for over two months but got no takers which led to this experiment and I'm glad it didn't sell. It makes me wonder just how much great sounding gear is out there, languishing on some shelf or in some closet, or placed in some ad for a quick sale when all that may be needed is a great set of fuses. With all the effort and expense in quality parts, power conditioners, AC cords, mods and the like, can it be that the weakest link are some crappy low end fuses? I think so. So before you chuck that next piece of gear, do yourself a favor and try this or some other brand. I've read where some have replace them in their LCD TVs after trying them in their gear and have seen a big improvement in the picture.
If anyone else has tried them, I'd like to hear about your experiences.
All the best,