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Please weigh in on 5e3 transformers

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by theprofessor, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Hi all -

    I realize this is not the first "which transformers for a tweed Deluxe" thread. I've read what I've been able to find and have narrowed my options down to these pairs. I'd like to know what everyone thinks. They'll be mounted on a Mojotone 5e3 chassis. I believe that all of these PT's should help me hit vintage-appropriate voltages for a 5e3, unlike the Mojotone PT and others. I'm hoping for around 360-370V for a loaded 5e3, and I'd like to have a center tap so that I can use dropping zener diodes if necessary (I realize not all of these PT's have a high voltage center tap). Of course if I hit the voltage I'm looking for, I won't need to use the dropping zeners.

    (1) PT: Classictone 40-18016 - This is the Deluxe Reverb (et al.) transformer with lower, more appropriate, voltages for a 5e3. At Tube Depot: $62.96
    With 2-1/4" x 2-13/16" Mounting Centers. The original 120V version! The classic! Great paper layer wound power transformer like originals! The basic 120V Deluxe type amp power transformer used from the '60s until the modern era.
    Suitable for use in the following amps: Deluxe, Deluxe AB763, Deluxe Reverb, Blackface Deluxe Reverb, Deluxe Reverb AA763, Silverface Deluxe Reverb, Deluxe Reverb AB763, Deluxe Reverb AB868, Deluxe Reverb A1172, Deluxe Reverb A1270, Deluxe Reverb with Volume Boost, Tweed Tremolux
    OT: Classictone 40-18022. At Tube Depot: $40.95
    Paper layer wound output transformer that was actually replicated from a '50s original transformer! This is a must for the purist that wants the most accurate type replica for any 5E3 type project or for a "dead on" replacement!! Matches well with the 40-18021 power transformer.
    Suitable for use in the following amps: Original '50s 5E3 Tweed Deluxe

    (2) PT: Hammond 290BX. $68.57 at Angela Instruments.
    Designed by Hammond for 'drop in' replacement of the original Fender power transformers found on old Deluxe and Deluxe Reverb amplifiers. Material used and design specs. were kept as close as possible to the original to preserve the stock tone. Physically designed to look similar to the original; transverse/'sideways' through the chassis mounting. Four bolt mount like the originals. Primary 120VAC. Secondaries 330-0-330@120mA for high voltage, 50V bias tap, 5V@3A for rectifier, 6.3VCT@5A for filaments.
    OT: Hammond 1750E. $38 at Angela Instruments.
    1750E Output Transformer For Tweed Deluxe! Replacement for '50s tweed Deluxe, Princeton, Princeton Reverb etc. Also handy for building amps using a pair of 6V6GT, 6BQ5/EL84 etc. in the 15 watt power range. The 1750E is rated at 15 audio watts, 8K primary, 8 ohm secondary. Equivalent to Fender 125A10B and 022913 iron. Upright mounting shielded clamshell construction. Mounts to chassis with two screws. Mounting centers approx. 2&7/8".

    (3) PT: Allen (Heyboer) TP22D. From Allen Amplification: $99
    Dual voltage secondary power transformer for both tweed and blackface Deluxes™. 270V-0-270V secondary for tweed and 320V-0-320V for blackface/silverface, both at 120mA continuous. 6.3V@3A heater winding and 5V@2A filament winding. Hum shield, copper flux band and heater center tap for lowest noise/hum emission. Old school paper-wound construction and made in the U.S.A! 2-1/4" by 2-13/16" mounting centers. 4.5 lbs.
    OT: Allen (Heyboer) TO22. From Allen Amplification: $69
    High Quality output transformer is an excellent replacement for Deluxe™, Deluxe Reverb™ and 5E3 style amps using a pair of 6V6s in push-pull, a great upgrade for a Princeton™ or Princeton Reverb™ amp (bolts right on with no drilling) and is an awesome unit for 2xEL84 "18W" amps. Custom wound to stringent Allen specifications and made in the USA by Heyboer. 6,600 ohm primary to 4 or 8 ohm unit features the same core steel and ratings as the original vintage amps for great tone plus the option for 4 ohm "two speaker" configurations. Paper tube with paper-layered and specially interleaved windings. Durable and cool looking black oxide finish with 12" Unistrand pretinned leads for easy installation. Stainless-steel mounting hardware is included! The perfect choice for a 2x6V6 (or 2xEL84) amp where vintage tone and domestic manufacture are essential. 3-1/8" mounting centers, 2-1/4"H by 2-1/2"W. 1.6lbs.

    The cheapest are the Classictone, the most expensive are the Allen (Heyboer), and the Hammond are in the middle price-wise, but closer to the Classictone than the Allen ones. I'd say I'm leaning at this point toward the Hammond, but if I could be convinced that the Allen transformers were superior in every way, I could spring for those. I'm leaning away from the Classictone ones merely on account of their using so many exclamation marks in their descriptions. :)
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  2. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Your descriptions for 40-18022 and Hammond 1750E are double-copied... or something.
    Classic Tone prices are less directly from their web site too.
  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, @FenderLover. Sorry! I fixed that stuff above. I had hoped to get everything except the chassis from Tube Depot, who carries the Classictone stuff. But that's cool if they're cheaper elsewhere. Any thoughts on the relative merits of each?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  4. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Good price on the Hammond transformers from Angela Instruments. I bought hammond transformers from Mouser a few months ago and was really happy with the speed and service. I ran those numbers against their catalogue and it looks like you'll save a few dollars with Angela Instruments.

    Mouser may still be a better deal on Hammond because you'll probably get free shipping on the purchase of both PT and OT from them.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  5. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Nothing bad about any of those, and I suspect any and all of those PTs would work great. I didn't review the OTs in detail.

    That said, I researched the heck out of this and went with the Magnetic Components P-TF41316 & P-TF22913, which IIRC are identical to the CT 40-18016 and 18022. Love the results. I've built 4 amps with ClassicTone transformers, and if you make sure you get the right output voltage and impedance, I haven't read many other users who don't love 'em as much as I do.

    I don't know for a fact, but I read that an 8k primary winding on the OT is a good thing on an 8-ohm 5e3, so my OT hit that mark too.

    FWIW I may be wrong, but I think most PTs have an HV center tap, so that may not be a factor. OTOH, I really hope you won't need zeners this time, either. The 330-0-330 on my PT with an NOS 5Y3 put my B+ right at Telenut's 370VDC, and gives me great self-biasing with all the 6V6s I'vie tried.
  6. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    Oh good! I love transformer fights.
  7. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I've got my popcorn ready!
  8. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Jul 13, 2009
    Lone Star State
    I use Classic Tone transformers in mine, and I love how they sound. I like their less expensive price point a lot, but they really do sound incredible to me. I can’t say anything from experience about your other options, unfortunately. I was just glad that you didn’t have Mercury Magnetics on the list (I think they’re way over priced and lack in the warmth department—they always sound way too hifi and sterile to me)... Good luck!
    harleytech likes this.
  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, Royal Tele! That makes you and King Fan both for the Classictone ones. They're the cheapest, and they're the ones I could purchase along with all my other parts from Tube Depot. So they're looking good right now...

    Yes, from what I've gathered, Mercury Magnetics stuff is more about how the transformer looks on the outside than anything else... other than brand-name recognition like Nike or something. So Fender boasts on some of their amps that they use Mercury Magnetics transformers. Big deal. That said, I don't have any personal experience with them. I'm just not willing to spend that kind of cash for name recognition and for a really neat and clean package when other stuff will do the job just as well or better.
  10. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    The Classictone 40-18016 PT will get you a perfect 360-370vdc with a vintage 5y3. It does not have a filament CT so you will need to do the artificial CT with 100ohm resistors.
    red57strat likes this.
  11. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Great, dan40! That's exactly where I want to be, voltage-wise!
  12. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    Bruce at Mission Amps recommended that PT to me a couple years back when I was researching the build. If you decide to use, tie the artificial CT to the 6v6 cathode for a bit of DC elevation. I would go for the standard 5e3 OT (8k/8ohm) for a true vintage sound.
  13. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Great! Thanks!
    dan40 likes this.
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Not sure if it matters but Mojotone transformers are Heyboer, and their 5e3 OT is $56.95.

    Like tubes, most transformer retailers don't make transformers, and they also make it a bit hard to tell if the Heyboer/ Mojo/ Allen 5e3 OT is the same.

    I can't say what I'd choose, but I have three 18w clones, two with Heyboer and one with MM OTs. They all sound similarly great.
    I have a D style with a Classictone OT, but I haven't bonded with the amp so can't comment on the OT.

    They're probably all fine, and at the same time there are probably players/ builders who hear differences and prefer one over the others.

    Hoffman sells a Heyboer Deluxe/ Tweed Deluxe 25w 4/8/16ohm OT for $50.12.
    Odd, eh?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  15. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Holic

    Aug 31, 2013
    Central Florida
    I used the Classictone transformer combo you listed in my 5e3 and they sound amazing. I'd recommend them to anyone. And for the price I don't think that they can be beat.
    red57strat likes this.
  16. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    I used mercury Toneclones in one of my 5E3's OT FTDO-M PT FTDO-E-FS not cheap but the amp stands out. I built two 5E3 exactly the same , components, speaker , tubes , cabinet every thing but the transformers One had the Mercury's one Had Classic tones side by side test my guitar playing friends picked out the mercury set over CT. All my others I've used CT for the price hard to beat CT
    telemnemonics likes this.
  17. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, @SacDAve ! That's a very positive assessment of the MM Tone clones! Thanks!
  18. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 3, 2004
    Not that it matters much, nut unless something has changed, Allen power transformers are by Marvel Electric Corp. (EIA code:989). MEC also makes the "generic" transformers for AES/CE and they own Magnetic Componenets but appear to keep both companies running seperate operations (they are both in the Chicago area and used to be competitors).

    Allen output transformers are Heyboer.
    theprofessor likes this.
  19. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Do you recall how the voltages came out compared to each other?
  20. red57strat

    red57strat Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Oct 4, 2003
    I used option 1 in my 5E3 and it sounds great! The B+ voltage is just right with an NOS 5Y3.
    As the first reply stated, they're quite a bit cheaper- $54.96 and $35.55 on their site through Triode USA or Amps Parts Direct.
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