Audio Magic and its vendors advertise this $240 fuse as “…sometimes it takes up to 3 tries to get one good fuse…” That should be taken seriously as a caution about its construction and handling. After a few years of great experiences with the AM fuses, including with a few of the prior Ultimate Beeswax (e.g., in a DS dac and P15), I was offered an Ultimate Premier by someone who after about 100 hours had found it didn’t meet his tastes. I placed the fuse in a PrimaLuna preamp, but it didn’t sound quite right, like it was in the wrong direction. So I carefully tried to remove it from the fuse holder, but it was very tight, tighter than the SR Orange I had just removed. I then started to gently work it from one end and at that point it fell apart at the junction of glass and metal cap, with the beeswax grains spilling out (photo). Since I had inserted and removed Audio Magic and other fuses quite a few times in two systems and never seen anything like this happen, it sure looked like faulty construction. What to do?
I wrote Jerry of AM, questioning the integrity of this fuse’s construction, but he said that there wasn’t anything he could do since it was broken and, in any case, since it wasn’t bought from him directly I’d have to go through the dealer. I wrote the private seller, who then wrote the dealer on my behalf. In the email to the dealer, he explained that he hadn’t seen any problem and that when removing the fuse he had always used a fuse puller – and not just any fuse puller, but a $45.90 Jonard (https://www.amazon.com/Jonard-FP-600-Puller-Plier-Length/dp/B07PWNBXZS/ref=a)! Well, not only had I’ve never heard anyone mention the need for a fuse puller in dealing with small aftermarket fuses, but it’s also not clear to me how pulling on the center of the glass in that tight location would have resulted in a different outcome than what happened manually (something I had done many times without problem, including eventually five times overall with the pictured SR Orange). Of course, the dealer never responded to my emails.
So this is posted as a caution about handling if you do buy a Premier. I don’t know how the Premier sounds, but I do know that for $240 – or a discounted secondhand price – it’s not something I wish to repeat.