where to buy transformers

Duane24

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Let me start by saying, I have a mercury magnets tranny in my deluxe, I love it, but I'm building a Marshall clone, and all their Marshall options, from what I can.gather, are wayyyyyy expensive, like double the ot I put in my fender. So, in an effort to save a little scratch, who else makes high quality, vintage correct transformers for my project.

I just don't really know what else is good. I know mercury is great, but that's where my transformer knowledge ends
 

Greg's Guitars

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From what I have heard they are the best direct replacement tranny's to get.
 

David Corrales

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Although I haven't bought one, I've read very good stuff about Classic Tone transformers. In fact I'm planning to get one for my Class 5 to see the real impact of a better transformer on tone.

They are much much cheaper than MM.
 

bilbarstow

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I have used ClassicTone transformers (all fender style) in several builds and have found them to be VERY good for very reasonable $.

I don't have any direct experience with the Marshall style transformers, as I haven't built any Marshall "clone" amps. But my very positive experience with the other CT products (PTs, OTs and chokes) would make me take the risk on them to start. If you don't get the accurate sound you are looking for, well you could always upgrade to MM later, possibly only needing the OT. (save a few $)

I've bought my ClassicTones from Triode.

Hammond transformers are good at reasonable $ as well.
 

X–Ray

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When I first read the thread title I thought of the MM SuperStack OT and PT in my DSL100 which made a good amp great - then I read about financial aspects of the OP's goal...

Hopefully, others' suggestions will be helpful short of saving up for another MM

Good luck!
 

THDNUT

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Hammond trannies made in Canada.
 

Duane24

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I have used ClassicTone transformers (all fender style) in several builds and have found them to be VERY good for very reasonable $.

I don't have any direct experience with the Marshall style transformers, as I haven't built any Marshall "clone" amps. But my very positive experience with the other CT products (PTs, OTs and chokes) would make me take the risk on them to start. If you don't get the accurate sound you are looking for, well you could always upgrade to MM later, possibly only needing the OT. (save a few $)

I've bought my ClassicTones from Triode.

Hammond transformers are good at reasonable $ as well.

Quality made stuff? Because I can tell you the stock crap I pulled out of my deluxe wasn't even in the same realm of quality that the MM was.

I might just get MM, but I was.just asking around because there has got to be something else of quality on the market aside from them
 

bilbarstow

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Quality made stuff? Because I can tell you the stock crap I pulled out of my deluxe wasn't even in the same realm of quality that the MM was.

I might just get MM, but I was.just asking around because there has got to be something else of quality on the market aside from them

Well, there are different levels of quality. I would say that the ClassicTones and the Hammonds I have used in the past were of very high build quality for their prices. The (CT) OT I used to rebuilt my marshallized Valve Jr. (complete turret build with all new upgraded components - essentially a scratch build) was night and day different in the quality of the tone put out (and more ballsey) from the stock OT it started with.

But what you are comparing - buy a Lexus, it has much greater "quality" built in than a stock Yugo. But can you compare a Lexus to a Bentley ? Not really, but the $ scale factor may make the Lexus exactly what you need to get the groceries.

Mercury trannies are VERY nice, especially their custom build stuff. The stock OT from your deluxe may not have been a Yugo, but it was probably only a Ford. I know that direct replacement rated ClassicTone transformers are up-rated from the stock items they are meant to replace. Maybe they are Lexus level. That can be a pretty nice "ride", especially for a working musician.

Only you know if you need the "Bentley".
 

rsi

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I have used classic tone, heyboer and marstran. All are perfectly fine. If you are building some model of marshall that is way off the beaten path, then MM may be the only ones offering the transformers.
 

VanR

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Classic Tone from Triode Electronics. I'm running their 18 watt Marshall OT in two of my builds and they deliver the goods. Prices are great too.
 

dsolse

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Another vote for Classic Tone. Used them on 4 builds with great results.
 

woolenmammoth

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a lot of people get put off to classic tone transformers because of the price. Magnetics Components Inc has been in business since WW2 and was the original OEM for valco, national, etc. amps. What makes them wildly significant today is they wind transformers with paper insulation, which is how every original marshall transformer was wound in the 60's regardless of who made them. I think heyboyer might do some transformers with paper, but its just them and classic tone using paper insulator so far as I know because it is illegal to sell a paper wound transformer in the EU. The insulating material you use absolutely has an effect on the inductance and overall tone of the transformer. Classic Tone transformers have a tone to themselves for sure but I have built many marshall circuits using mercury transformers and the classic tone stuff is not lower quality in build or sound and not by any stretch of the imagination. They make really great transformers. And not great transformers on a budget, great transformers period.
 

sonar

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FWIW, the only reverse-engineered, 5E3 power transformer that I know of is made by Classictone.

What I get from builders is that while MM are well made, they are not worth the premium price when companies like Heyboer and Magnetic Components (Classictone) are making iron of the same quality.

If you really want to get serious about transformers look at spec sheets and compare new offerings to originals. The Heyboer 18 watt transformers made for companies like GDS and Trinity, Marstran transformers for the bigger Marshalls, Classictone for old Fender... research why people like these transformers. Don't fall for a cool logo and a premium price tab as necessarily being "the best".
 

Duane24

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FWIW, the only reverse-engineered, 5E3 power transformer that I know of is made by Classictone.

What I get from builders is that while MM are well made, they are not worth the premium price when companies like Heyboer and Magnetic Components (Classictone) are making iron of the same quality.

If you really want to get serious about transformers look at spec sheets and compare new offerings to originals. The Heyboer 18 watt transformers made for companies like GDS and Trinity, Marstran transformers for the bigger Marshalls, Classictone for old Fender... research why people like these transformers. Don't fall for a cool logo and a premium price tab as necessarily being "the best".

See, I thought this was.true, just never had enough evidence/knowledge in the field to prove it. I want quality, I know MM makes quality stuff, but I also knew there has to be something out there that is more of a value, without skimping on quality.

Thank you everyone for the replies, its all been very helpful in my decision making process
 

dspelman

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See, I thought this was.true, just never had enough evidence/knowledge in the field to prove it. I want quality, I know MM makes quality stuff, but I also knew there has to be something out there that is more of a value, without skimping on quality.

I've got a Mercury Magnetics mod in one of my Epi Valve Jrs. I think the kit was about $290 and installation by a good tech was around $140. That was just manifest silliness, thought I, spending over $400 for a $99 original cost amp. Truth is, I don't see that amp head very much -- it gets "borrowed" for recording an awful lot.

I'm sure the other transformer options are outstanding. The MM version may be overkill and will certainly be expensive. But I'm just no longer sure about the "more of a value without skimping on quality" business. Given how often I replace transformers in my amps (not very), I've picked out a few to get MM transformers when the time came, and I've never regretted the outlay.
 

woolenmammoth

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See, I thought this was.true, just never had enough evidence/knowledge in the field to prove it. I want quality, I know MM makes quality stuff, but I also knew there has to be something out there that is more of a value, without skimping on quality.

Thank you everyone for the replies, its all been very helpful in my decision making process


Its not incredibly hard to wind a power transformer if you are a transformer company. One thing to consider is that line voltage coming out of the wall in the 50's is not what it is today. Personally, I would not go crazy over the "old spec" for a *power* transformer, just be focused on what the B+ is going to be with whatever your voltage measures. This alone is a good enough argument to be using a modern power transformer.

Mercury, Heboyer and Classic Tone all make very good transformers. They all make equivalent models, one design might be stronger with one company, another design might be stronger with the other. Pricing is all over the map and there are LOTS of things to take into consideration. If your company paid off the building it is in way back in 1964, you might have an entirely different type of overhead than a company that started, say, ten years ago and is renting in an industrial park. When you buy a product, you are not only paying for materials and labor in that product, but also stuff like the company's property tax, loans for equipment, etc. Just because one guy charges less should not denote its an inferior product any more than the fact that the guy that charges more yields a superior product. I wish more people would consider the big picture of economics when they look at these things. Classic Tone has been winding transformer for DECADES and has made transformers for thousands and thousands and thousands of guitar amps. Lots of experience doesnt equal quality automatically, but comparing the different JMP transformers from the big names youd be a little surprised. There is a clip on the classic tone website which very closely matches my experience. One thing is for sure, for all the "vintage correct" people out there, your old marshall had paper as an insulator in the transformer.
 

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