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Old 18th February 2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Firstwatt Transformer Wars

I decided to order several different brands of 2 X 18V secondary transformers. I have used mostly Antek's in the past.

I will be testing these mostly by ear, but I will have the R-Core transformer tested by another group member for more numerical data.

The transformer on the left was custom spec'd for this stuff by Custom Magnetics in Chicago, but looks to have been outsourced to Shilchar in India. This in an R-Core transformer.
The left is a 077014201 Plitron, the Papa standard.

My test platform will be an F5, with a common Power supply and outputs as a control. I bi-amp, so I will try both in a bass, and mid-treble positions, hopefully testing all three trannies.

This by no means will be a fully objective test. I plan on sticking some test tracks from some well known CD's. Suggestions welcome.

To me, I would hope actually the most expensive (R-Core) will actually not provide significant sound improvement over the Antek. This may display to myself at least significant value in the product.

Of course there has been some debate on the matter, so I figure I will stir the pot more on this.

I may of course loan these out to gather other opinions here.

Mike T.
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Old 18th February 2009, 03:58 PM   #2
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Default more pic

another R-Core PIC
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Old 18th February 2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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Default spec sheet.

here is the pdf.
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Old 18th February 2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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You mean there won't be any giant robots fighting in this movie?

I've got movie trailer on the mind ... nevermind me

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramo...fthefallen/hd/

http://www.transformersmovie.com/

on-topic - I'd be interested to see if you hear any difference between the plitron and the antek.

I have both, but can't be bothered to swap out the Antek (in my F4). For me, the Antek ended up costing as much as the Plitron.

$42 ebay + $26 shipping and then got nailed for duty and tax at the door. Hopefully I won't use up all my Plitrons at any given time, otherwise I'll have to buy $250 worth of them next time
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Old 18th February 2009, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by twitchie
You mean there won't be any giant robots fighting in this movie?

I've got movie trailer on the mind ... nevermind me

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramo...fthefallen/hd/

http://www.transformersmovie.com/

on-topic - I'd be interested to see if you hear any difference between the plitron and the antek.

I have both, but can't be bothered to swap out the Antek (in my F4). For me, the Antek ended up costing as much as the Plitron.

$42 ebay + $26 shipping and then got nailed for duty and tax at the door. Hopefully I won't use up all my Plitrons at any given time, otherwise I'll have to buy $250 worth of them next time


There will be robots, a close inspection shows my avatar robot standing guard at the R-Core. The naming of the title was intentional with the release of the new movie. Made you think of Megan Fox, didn't I?
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Old 18th February 2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tea-Bag
Made you think of Megan Fox
A woman you can read when she turns out a boring brunette.
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Old 19th February 2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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Well I'm glad someone is doing a comparison.

I don't have the budget to try one of everything and I'd really like to know if we can use less expensive transformers.

If I had to guess I'd say there's some subtle differences in sound.
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Old 19th February 2009, 11:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by labjr
Well I'm glad someone is doing a comparison.

I don't have the budget to try one of everything and I'd really like to know if we can use less expensive transformers.

If I had to guess I'd say there's some subtle differences in sound.

I would imagine it may be subtle, possibly measurable with some audio tools which I don't have. Of course, the results may be completely dependent on ones rest of the system.

In the tube world, working with someone who had quite a clip lead project and different interstage transformers and chokes of various metals, certainly could hear a difference when he swapped them out. There were types that I did prefer.

I can say this, the F5 might also be a common platform for some, and I expect if there is a notible difference, the difference would likely be seen by others with the same amp.
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Old 20th February 2009, 12:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tea-Bag



I would imagine it may be subtle, possibly measurable with some audio tools which I don't have. Of course, the results may be completely dependent on ones rest of the system.

In the tube world, working with someone who had quite a clip lead project and different interstage transformers and chokes of various metals, certainly could hear a difference when he swapped them out. There were types that I did prefer.

I can say this, the F5 might also be a common platform for some, and I expect if there is a notible difference, the difference would likely be seen by others with the same amp.
Usually reviewers have reference systems they have listened to for a while consisting of components which they know to be neutral sounding. This way when they try a new component they can tell if it makes their system sound better worse or the same as the component they are replacing

Designers like Nelson Pass do this at component level. I always read Nelson's posts about component selection and what sounds better or worse in a given circuit. ie using Fairchild MOSFETs in the F5. Why? Because his stuff consistently gets great reviews. Otherwise we wouldn't be here building his circuits. When he comments on parts selection, he doesn't go overboard with esoteric parts. When something really makes no difference he says so.

I'd be surprised if there wasn't some difference in the sound quality with different transformers. They probably have different core materials. They probably regulate a little differently. Use different wire, among other things.

Maybe they sound a little brighter or darker, have more or less bass slam, change the soundstage. They may make little or no change. But it would be nice to know. This way we all don't need to spend all the money for Plitron if it's not needed.
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Old 21st February 2009, 10:16 AM   #10
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I don´t find such a Discusion to be usefull-it would be better to know more about Transformers in General,otherwise is good what sounds good to you-thats all.There is no Transformer making Bass...or more....
Excuse,but there are enough examples for excellent Transormers of every different Type-think of the Discussion Torroid vers. EI-core and than the knowledge of Lundahl.So why do we have to bring in our non-knowledge.I´m a Tech-loving Musician,and if you are writing down Experiences of what you are listening to-it will be more about you than about Technic or Music.Whats better-save money for the Transformer and spend more in a good Bottle of Wine?
For Proffesional Production,there are many more important Things like warranty-conditions and so on,or what sayd N.Pass about using the IRFP240:~~~simply because I have a good Stock of them......
Chears
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