Magic little boxes

Redboy

Knobophobe
#1
Many of you know that I like to build stuff, especially tube amplifiers and various tube amp-y things. And if you've seen some of my builds, you know that I like to use a lot of vintage iron...

Transformers, that is.

I especially like the good old mil spec transformers; potted and hermetically sealed, designed sixty years ago to run 24/7 in demanding environments like the boiler room of a navy ship, or the ass end of a military tank (I don't actually know if these specific details are correct, but it's where I picture them in my mind's eye).

I'm really intrigued by the stuff. It's a weird thing to be attracted to, granted, but there's an inexplicable magnetism (heh!) to these things that draws me in...


 

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Redboy

Knobophobe
#2
I've built a bunch of step up transformer (SUT) devices for LOMC phono cartridges with old input transformers, too.

Several months ago, I found a pair of Peerless 4665 transformers on that big auction site. They were listed at an attractive price, so I clicked that BIN button.

This weekend, I finally got around to building something with them, and you know what? They're just amazing.

They're truly magical little boxes!

 

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Redboy

Knobophobe
#3
It used to seem counterintuitive to me that these old things - antique by some standards - could be a viable option in a new build, that they'd even be functional at this point. But more often than not, they're not only functional, but superior to anything currently available.

These 4665s, for instance. They sound amazing... did I mention the magic? How can a crusty old chunk of iron and copper sound so great?!

I can't pretend to know all the answers, and that's okay with me. But I was happy to stumble on a new (to me) site yesterday, vintagewindings.com. If you've ever wondered how the old Peerless iron was wound, and wanted to know a little bit of what the magic might be, this site is worthy of your time. Neat stuff!
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
#6
I've got a brand new transformer or two in a box of my father's radio/audio bits from the 40s. I should drag them out and see what (if anything) you could build with it/them. if they could be turned into a SUT or something it would be fantastic and I know my father would have approved.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
#7
fiddlefye;n63046 said:
I've got a brand new transformer or two in a box of my father's radio/audio bits from the 40s. I should drag them out and see what (if anything) you could build with it/them. if they could be turned into a SUT or something it would be fantastic and I know my father would have approved.
Dig 'em out and take some pics! :)
 
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#10
"When the Audiophile is ready, the transformers will appear....."

Or should it be: "When the transformers are ready, the Audiophile will appear....."

;)
 
#11
opa1;n63051 said:
Cool stuff! You must watch the sites a lot to find all that good iron. Carry on! :)
I do indeed... It's an affliction! I make a point to watch for deals, and buy when the opportunity presents itself. Some of these things don't come around very often! I keep some of it for myself, and sell some of it to feed the habit.

David;n63054 said:
There's something very Shindo about your approach mate
Thank you, I'll take that as a compliment! The Japanese and other Asian audiophiles really figured this stuff out early. Back in the day when we Westerners couldn't dump these old things fast enough in favor of cheaper, crappier solid state stuff, they were filling shipping containers with our cast-offs and hauling them away! I wish I could read Japanese...

TubeHiFiNut;n63056 said:
"When the Audiophile is ready, the transformers will appear....."

Or should it be: "When the transformers are ready, the Audiophile will appear....."

;)
Did someone say transformers? :)

 
#14
I like the step-up trannies! Maybe one of these days...
Thank you! They're fun to build, and I like searching out oddball vintage input transformers to try. I've got a few pairs of them that I need to build up, soon.
I’ve never played with a SUT before.

I keep threatening to build a SUT around the venerable Altec 4722 someday.
Just do it, mang! That's one sweet sounding little step up transformer. Do you own some? They don't come cheap anymore...
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
#15
Thank you! They're fun to build, and I like searching out oddball vintage input transformers to try. I've got a few pairs of them that I need to build up, soon.
Just do it, mang! That's one sweet sounding little step up transformer. Do you own some? They don't come cheap anymore...
Sadly, I don’t own any. I keep thinking that with patience I’ll find a set for less then $400.

So far, that strategy isn’t working for me. ;)

Probably should just bite the bullet.
 

je2a3

Junior Member
#17
I've built a bunch of step up transformer (SUT) devices for LOMC phono cartridges with old input transformers, too.

Several months ago, I found a pair of Peerless 4665 transformers on that big auction site. They were listed at an attractive price, so I clicked that BIN button.

This weekend, I finally got around to building something with them, and you know what? They're just amazing.

They're truly magical little boxes!

You are one lucky guy! I’ve been looking for a pair for almost 20 years, always evaded me. :(

Enjoy!
 
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