Raphaelite Audio Transformers & Sino Tube Amplifier Kits - What's your experience ?
This is not sales promotion for this brand of inductor - BUT - I have come across a Chinese brand of Audio/Power/ Choke-Transformer range which is both very cheap in price, but also appears to be "well made". They also seem to have "acceptable" performance specs and a good reputation amongst the Chinese audio community as based on the poor english translation of emails on their website.
I've never been a big fan of Chinese anything, but because of our declining Australian dollar, locality to home and shear desperation to find cheaper costing quality parts - I think these might be worth a try.
You can buy an output transformer for under $100 dollars AUD which is quite affordable on my wage, even though it might be a small power rating ( 15 watts or so ). It cannot be any worse than the same size A&R or Ferguson brand names as sold in Electronic shops through the 1950's - 70's period.
These are even cheaper than the Hammond Transformers which have a "say so" reputation.
The largest wattage I saw was a 6K6 / 8 ohm 60 watt Push pull Output transformer. The SE models are not over 20 watts. There maybe others that are bigger ?
You can also buy transformer end covers, E/I core laminations ( only God knows what grade they use - could be bl***y stove iron as far as I know ) and mounting clamps, etc; from the same source - as well as - the SINO Tube Amplifier kits use the same transformers.
The Sino kits I feel from my own 35 years experience in Electronics would make a cheap introduction to tube amplifiers for the beginner. You can purchase a STEREO kit for under $500 AUD includes all the transformers and I think the tubes. Add Taxes, Freight and other misc costs ( Customs duty ) to get it to your front door. Still under $1000 AUD. If they work as good as they look then I will get a 20 watt push pull unit for workshop trial.
Has any one had experience with these RAPHAELITE BRAND TRANSFORMERS, and if so what - good & bad ?
They look similar in quality to the Taiwan brand of JAMES Transformer and look some what similar to the Japanese devices in the 1960's model tube amps. ( See sample picture of Potted version below.)
The Canton factory website is >
The online shop to buy Raphael parts is >
Sino who no longer make tubes and now only sell kits and completed TUBE Amplifiers. They use tubes from the Shuguang Factory in China as far as I can tell with the Raphaelite brand Audio/ Power Transformer. The SINO Kits and completed Amplifiers are at >
And finally - I cannot speak Chinese, so your on your own in that regard.
Have you tried the inexpensive/small Edcor single ended output transformers? For US $20 ea., they do quite nicely.
The taboo shop link seems to provide a selection of links to what appears to be porno and wife finding sites, no transformers at all..:confused: :D
Clicking on the British flag on the Raphaelite site didn't get me any English language text other than today's date..
(Firefox 3.0.5 on Ubuntu Linux 8.10)
Happy New Year for 2009 to All;
Sorry about the link goof-up. The online shop link is >
As to the above question about using Edcor transformers the answer is > NO - I have not used them and may do so at some future date.
The Aussy dollar is so poor because of the mortgage crisis & Wall Street Stock Market Crash, the US market is too expensive for now; - Hence I'm looking in the Asian market.
I was trying to locate a supplier closer to home as there is "no one" in Australia who can wind Audio Transformers a fair price - if at all.
The transformer companies in Australia are just not interested in DIY audio hobbyists unless you buy 10,000 pieces, or alternatively pay big bux for a one off ( if they will do it ).
What's more, almost none of them carry GOSS steel in stock as power transformers is all they are interested in. For example > Companies such O'briens & Australian Insulation Materials (AIM)- Isola; have both recently amalgamated into OBA-IC. They carry a "full range" of E & I Lams, but only in Lycor steel; as that is suitable for Power Transformers, Motors, etc; and is also what the Electrical Industry wants.
Another case is AEM Cores in South Australia. They have dropped selling E & I lams a few years ago, because of higher labour costs in assembly, as many transformer manufacturers a moving away from these in favour of alternative core types; to attain faster assembly times. AEM are pushing their patented Unicore system, which I like, and has a faster assembly time. Unicore can be attained in GOSS steel if you want it. For small transformers as the DIY hobbyist wants, Unicore does not appear to be such an effective assembly system - but I may be wrong on this. In many cases GOSS steel has to be specially ordered in; at a price.
Difficulty in attaining a free flow of GOSS steel might change in the not to distant future as based on a recent Australian Government report I read on Global Warming; having links to Transformer inefficiency. Up to 45% of power station losses are caused by the transformers with pahse imbalances and poorer core and winding design, this producing megatons of carbon emissions each year - which we are paying for in carbon trading taxes.
Mind you, Australia is one of the biggest polluters in the western world outside the USA - and we can do it with less than 1% of the USA population.
In reality that makes Australia a bigger polluter than the USA, if not the worst in the world per head of population. Our country is so slack, at times, I am ashamed of being born an Aussy. This was all known back in the 1970's with the oil crisis then, but the Aussy attitude was "She'll be right mate" and now some 30 years later the world is falling apart as result. Nothing has been done about the matter until the polar caps start melting. In another couple of years, it will be illegal in Australia for any one to sell you a standard monode, or incandescent light globe. They all have to be these new fangled RF flouro-spiral types, which produce interference and won't fit many light assemblies. I just hope to God, Vacuum Tubes don't get scrapped altogether, but it would not surprise me if they do. The New RoHS laws are screwing things up in the electronics industry, thanks to the EEC ( European Economic Community ).
Global warming is now becoming such a serious issue, it appears GOSS steel and amphorus cores will be implemented to increase Pole, Substation and Distribution Transformer efficiency - About bl***y time I say - and long over due. It might also have something to do with why Mirabella's more efficient brand of light globe can help you "save the world" if you buy them; as they state in their Australian TV Ads. ( Some companies are full of it ! )
As for the Edcor series of Transformers ( Audio in particular ) I believe they use Orthosil Laminations, which are supplied through Thomas & Skinner in the US. What I know of them is "they are good" and that is all.
Of course the last resort is - cut out the middle man and WIND YOUR OWN - which is, as partly described, another ball game for me.
Happy new year!!!
I was seriously considering buying a pair of Raphaelite transformers from Analogmetric, who are the resellers (http://www.analogmetric.com/store/category.php?id=17), and in doing some background research in the transformers I came across those websites you have linked above-not the porno ones though! ;)
The problem is is that none of them answered any emails for further details etc-if a business cant be bothered to answer even basic questions about the product they are selling then they're not getting my custom! Even Analogmetric who are suppose to be the resellers for US/Eurpoe/Australia didnt get back to me-plus they had a bad reputation for taking ages to deliver their orders. BUT for some reason I have kept an eye out for them and they seem to have re-launched themselves so perhaps they got their house in order now.
do check out their ebay site-if you do purchase from them, I would use Ebay for what ever security and purchase protection they (suppose) to offer-they deserve a serious consideration I say
Re: Weblink Correction
Ten years ago I was using Chinese made transformers (OPTS and power) in some of my moderate cost products and while they weren't the ultimate in performance they weren't at all bad either. Only way to know is to try some I guess.
Shipping the USA makes them much less compelling unfortunately, but I suspect it would be a different matter shipping to Oz.
Happy new year!!
Kimbal, have you seen this lot?
I have not contacted them or done any more research at all at this stage. No idea on pricing therefore. Looks interesting though. Their "audiophile" grade apparently use GOSS core materials?
I have looked at the Analogue Metric site as well. Good prices for the bits, including PTs. Freight is just astronomical IMHO. Ruins the deal for me. May change with better exchange rate/lower freight costs/deals.
I noticed that Twin Audio in the manufacturing section here is using these. Any users of their creations or your own care to comment?:radar:
Raphaelite el34 - 12ax7
I went to Western China recently and visited a hifi mfg shop, small scale only sell to Canada. But now I'm intrigued by the whole Chinese audio industry. (I was there on oil/gas business)
So now I'm collecting Dynaco ST70 and always looking for fixer-uppers etc. Its my hobby.
A lot of junk was delivered to the US in the past but now the situation seems to be improving. Just a matter of time on this one, I like it. Any circuit issue is fixable I believe. We shall see.
Also attached here is a photo of a street in Chengdu.
More on Raphaelite-SinoVT
Still trying to figure out the 110-220 VAC and yahoo is blocked in China now I think.
Translated page --->
Here is a direct link to the complete brochure. No translation required. 33meg so you have to wait a few minutes.
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