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Old 18th March 2003, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default What makes a good audio transformer?

With the development of the chip amp, we are hearing some odd reports (ie: bigger and and more robust power supplies not sounding as good as ones less endowed) so...

What do we look for in an audio transformer and is what we look for different in a Class A amp or an amp that uses bias versus an amp that is operating completely Class B?
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Old 18th March 2003, 10:48 PM   #2
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Default AUDIO XFORMER.

Hi,

Are we to assume powerxformers, not coupling xformers?

If powersformers, then I can only repeat what I said before: I only use EI or C cores, always overrate them by at least 40% and have an electrostatic shield.

If possible I advise centertapped xformers even when no symmetrical rails is required.

The xformer is the heart of your amp IMO, try to make it tick to the music.
They should not run too hot, be comfortable to touch, they should not vibrate and be that for class A, B or AB.

Cheers,
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:01 PM   #3
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fdegrove
Quote:
Are we to assume powerxformers, not coupling xformers?
Thanks for your reply. Yes, we are only concerned with power transformers. May I politely ask that we limit this thread to discussions of Solid State amps. Perhaps experiences with OTL tube amps should be included since their power supplies are more similar than different. Others have proposed in other threads that bigger is always better but if you note reviews of the Gaincard, the higher power version with the larger power supply sounds inferior to its smaller sibling. Has this new world of Class B chip amps shown us that there there may be more to making a power supply? Is it possible that bigger is not always better?
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:15 PM   #4
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Default Xformers.

Hi,

For info, semiconductor amps exist that are xformer coupled at the output too, hence my question.

I use OTL amps, have designed and built quite a few of them and I feel that theory and experience there applies to a lot of sand state amps as well.
A lot of SS designs use OTL topologies, hence.
Moreover all of these experiences are beneficial to the hardcore tube guys as well.

They often use better quality xformers (some of them may not be aware of it) than people building solid state.
A lousy powerxformer for audio is just that, lousy.

I don't feel a need to distinguish between SS or VS technology here, in fact I feel a big percentage of the success of VS technology can be attributed to the use of better powerxformers and choke input supplies.

Quote:
Is it possible that bigger is not always better?
Oh, yes absolutely...that is quite circuit and class of operation dependent IME.

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Old 18th March 2003, 11:26 PM   #5
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Excellent! This is a great start. Okay, we have established that we are concerned only with the power transformer coming off the mains. Yes, some solid state amps use output transformers and I believe Kwei mentioned in the Gainclone thread that this is a useful topology to use with balanced lines but this thread will try to focus attention on that one part, its build quality, its specs and which are the most important to consider for audio happiness.

Okay, how important is the quiescent current leakage of a transformer in determining how it will sound? What is an acceptable level of leakage for a 1kVA transformer? Does it even matter at all?
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:41 PM   #6
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Hey Frankie, Hey Ted

I can't believe I have two of my favorite people on line at the same time. You know you guys should know each other, right
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:45 PM   #7
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Hey G!

What are you tallking about? Never mind, just turn on your IM, K?
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:51 PM   #8
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Default Rotflmao.

Hi darling,

LOL...

Nania and I are not acquainted as yet...

Good to see you again missie.

Cheers,
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Old 18th March 2003, 11:58 PM   #9
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Frankie

Oh yes you do! Think back and you'll remember that I'm right
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Old 19th March 2003, 12:03 AM   #10
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Default AMNESIA.

Hi,

Quote:
Oh yes you do! Think back and you'll remember that I'm right
Hmmm..if you say so.

Nania, do you have recollections?

Ciao,
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