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nanocrystalline amorphous OPT

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Surfing on the web I found an online shops, honk kong based, selling nanocrystalline amorphous OPT made dont know where using dont know what material from Japan.

The guy running the shop dropped me a mail saying that those OPT and IT are under development but soon he will be able to sell them at 450-500USD/pair.

The price seems to interesting but ...

1) I dont know anything about this material, actually he didnt specify the chemical composition. I just know Lundahl is offering a few trannies made of amorphous material and reports are widely good.

2) and I found he was banned from diyaudio.com as he was promoting quite unfairly, I believe, his shop

I wont say the name of the shop obviously, but probably the moderators can remember the facts.


-any idea/info/advises/reports/suggestions about this material? and what is the difference when compared to the "standard" amorphous one?
-what other info should I ask for?
-and how can you recognize nanocrystalline something from permafantastic materials or pure steel? ... I mean he could be cheating and none wants to waste money.

Oooooh, nanocrystalline. That's much better than microcrystalline, at least a thousand times better.

Seriously, feel free to mention any particulars you want, the shop, whatever. You're not trying to advertise, you're just asking questions, and specifics will help people answer them.

there are details of the transformers on the forum here


I don't think Thomas would lie about the actual core material, it is claimed it will be fe-ni.

The rest is a matter of trust. I have not seen any negative posts with regards to kits he's supplied in the past, have you? Meaning that they match product description, IP issues are another matter and I think that was the reason for the ban.

The pricing seems reasonable, I am not in any form of collaboration with Thomas. But if he can supply those products at the specs and prices mentioned I welcome it.



Joined 2003
Paid Member
> actually he didnt specify the chemical composition.

Suppose he told you it was "Strontium Scandium Thallium Bromine Gadolinium with a pinch of Rubidium". What does that mean?

Or even: "Iron Carbon Silicon" ... you would not know from the recipe how many different magnetic properties you could get. Even when you get a good mix of Silicon Steel, you have to roll it and temper it in very specific ways to build a common transformer.

And what is wrong with Silicon Steel anyway? It isn't perfect, no. It distorts, but so does everything, at least everything with magnetic properties better than a vacuum. It has Barkhausen Noise, but that is a non-issue in output transformers. It has losses; get bigger tubes. (Loss is generally 5%-20%, not a big deal.) Losses rise with frequency, but can be low-enough over all the audio band, and the slight droop can be compensated.

> I just know Lundahl is offering a few trannies made of amorphous material and reports are widely good.

You like "amorphous"? I'll melt some beer-bottle glass into C-cores and sell them for big money. Glass is amorphous. Or is glass nanocrystalline? Seems to me that if it is any kind of crystalline it can't be amorphous. But hey, this is audio, not the ceramic engineer's convention.

They are doing wonderful things with non-traditional cores. But even if you knew every detail of how to make these nano-new materials, you could not predict the exact test results. And even if you had test data, our ears hear many things not easily tested.

Five hundred bucks sounds like a lot of money to me. I will not be the first on my block to buy them. I'd need to hear from many others that they have real significant advantages. And if they do, then production and competition will drive the price down. I guess it is good that there are people in the world who can afford to rush into new things.
PRR said:
Glass is amorphous. Or is glass nanocrystalline? Seems to me that if it is any kind of crystalline it can't be amorphous. But hey, this is audio, not the ceramic engineer's convention.

You're right. It can't be any kind of crystalline and still be amorphous. Perhaps it's a "pin stripe" or some other laminated combination of nanocrystal and amorphous core materials?

@ raja ... it seems you are going to buy them ... well I dont know if I will. Frankly speaking the price seems interesting to me, its just 250USD each and I believe you cant find anything at a lower price but standard silicon steel. I will need also a pair of IT ... this will make the bill less attractive.

My concerns about the material/composition is just that I can accept to pay more for a Ni based steel, as nickel is getting more and more expansive, but I would not accept topay the same price for an usual Si steel. And I can pay more for amorphous due to the more complex melting process.

Again on various forums/posts I read amorphous and high Ni steel sound better, the reasons beyond this fact are to a unknown to me. I would like to hear that difference (but at a resonable price).

:D :D :D
Hi Gluca,

I will be making an amplifier with amorphous transformers, at the moment I have a pair of amorphous opt's on order from tribute for my cd player ouput stage. These will be compared to sowter ei core transformers, that are 'alleged' to have a high nickel content. This will help me to make my decision on whether or not they are 'better' for me.

I think there are 3 types of 'amorphous'

iron and nickel
iron nickel and cobalt

I may be wrong and I'm sure someone will intervene to correct if required.

The iron amorphous is generally cheaper than the other 2 which are supposed to be 'rarer' (always helps to boost commercial prices and sales). I don't think iron amorphous is supposed to offer anything spectacluar over conventional hi nickel cores.

Iron/nickel amorphous is supposed to be good. I think Tribute uses these cores, response all over the web is generally very good in comparison to other types. Prices for these seem to be in the same ballpark as the estimates from Thomas. The one thing that interests me with his upcoming range is the 3k/5k transformer, this is quite a good deal for those who would like to experiment with both the 45/2a3 and 300b, offering both impedences in a single transformer, whilst satisfying idealist mentality inherent in most of us. Not ideal from a purist point of view but a good compromise, and what I believe to be a reasonable price, still this is subjective.

It's unfair to judge the range before it's released, so I can't offer any real advice, I guess we'll have to wait and see.


I had worked it out to be around four people,

one of the primary beings seems to use a few different names,

tube lover, thomas, and maybe even thomasc..........

still as with all places including here you have to read between the lines........

Gluca said:
Tribute?? Raj1, May I ask specs and price if this does not bother you?

Gianluca [/B]

With regards to that forum I shall just wait and see what happens, it will be interesting, but one thing I have noted is that one of the products being sold actually has a thread here, and none of the users seem dissapointed.

Tribute, I don't know what specs your after, I don't have any, the specs for the transformers I've ordered for my dacs can be found on sowters pages, lookup for the 8650a. Still these transformers are of no real interest to you, as you're looking for something else right? Pieter is winding the trannies for me for 210 euros potted.

I think I have read posts around that Tribute charges in the region of $500 usd for their power tube opt's...... Again you'd need to email him, and also be aware that he's on holiday until around the 20th of this month I think. Plus he's a one man setup so getiing a quick response from him is also dependant on how busy he is.

There's plenty over at aa tube diy and set pages if you do a search......

You may even want to search up the word amorphous, there's plenty about pro's and cons, measurements and also listening comparisons, I can't guarantee if it's all bona fide info though......



has many differnt experiences, it's a nice site lot's of info. I've had email correspondance with him he's a nice guy. He likes Tribute and AE and has also tried some Japanese opt's, quite fair views on all of them, of course he is dutch as are his favoured suppliers, but still interesting info. Hope you find the info your looking for. There are so many different opinions out there. I have looked at many suppliers, and different types of transformers on the web, each with their supporters. I think listening to some of Tribute's stuff will help me make up my mind as to how much I am prepared to spend for my power amps. I have not forked out any money yet, and will ultimatley try some of the smaller less expensive items using amorphous cores first.

We are all in differnt financial situations and not everything seems reasonable or fair, I have a budget for each year that I can comfortably afford. This gives my life room for experimentation, but I still have my limits. I don't drink or smoke, have little social life, this saves me a lot of money! That's the way I choose to live :D

No, not me. I searched the web but nope. I didn't find any reference to such a material, I can only remember from my school days, as PRR pointed out, that amorphous come with no crystals at all. It puzzles me so.

BTW Thomas sent me a pic of the 3-5K 120mA 15W SE OPT. More trannies are under development.



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anatech said:
Why doesn't www.diyaudiocraft.com exist, I wonder out loud? The forum doesn't feel right either. 'nuff said

Actually, www.diyaudiocraft.com does exist.

As far as I hear from friends in HK, Thomas has a dayjob that often keeps him away from home/pc's for longish stretches at a time, diyaudiocraft appears to be mostly a labour of love, commercial sides nonwithstanding.

I'd agree, 'amorphous', and 'nanocrystalline' are mutually exclussive categories of a material.

Amorphous: no organized grain (crystal) structure, essentially you could say this material has a grain size of zero. Soft magnets made from amorphous metal glass have a high permeability. The problem is that this material usually has a high resistivity which creates higher hysteresis and eddy current losses.

Nanocrystalline: grain sizes < 1 µm, generally in the 100nm - 10 nm range. Soft magnets made of nanocrystalline material have lower resistivity and thus lower hysteresis losses because of the organization of atoms into organized crystals. A high permeability is achieved by having grain (crystal) sizes which are smaller than the magnetic domain wall size (usually in the 10 nm range).
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