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What kinda changes in tone from a transformer swap..

8/15/1999 6:04 PM
David Manson
What kinda changes in tone from a transformer swap..
I dont have much experience with it,, but was wondering  
what the general differemces (soundwise) that a tranny swap makes in old marshall/fender amps... and what to look for in the tranny's when you have to swap them out...  
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8/15/1999 8:42 PM
Try and find an OEM unit (original) or a well made repro for the particular amp in question. It's a major part of the mojo (IMO), esp once you hit overdrive land. Not all trannys are created equal, but fortunately there are good folks (Doug Hoffman for example) making trannies you can trust.  
For proof, look no further than the ads for old Marshalls (for example) that request "original transformers", not replacements...  
just my 2 cents
8/16/1999 2:18 AM

The devil is in the details. About the only thing that doesn't necessarily matter is paper versus plastic bobbins. Other than that, it all depends on  
- accuracy of windings, including placement and sectionalizing  
- Care to maintain constant coil margins  
- no rought treatment of the transformer iron - bangs can affect the sound  
- Proper stacking and "tightening" or "squaring" of the laminations in the stack on assembly  
among other things.  
They're not unknowable or a black art, but the number of things to consider is truly large and interrelated. A good rewinder can duplicate a good transformer.  
A cheap replacement can cause one or more of poor bass, odd ghost note distortions, poor treble, oscillation, hum pickup, or just sound "harsh"( from poor coupling between half-primaries to the full secondary something like crossover that can't be adjusted out).

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