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Please weigh in on 5e3 transformers

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

  1. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I watched a video on YouTube recently that kind of made me stop and scratch my head on transformers. Power transformers at least. A guy breaks down and completely unwraps an old Deluxe PT that died. Looking at that, the only manufacturing differences I can think of is wire quality, wire gauge and turns ratios, and laminate bulk/density.

    • For quality, I have to think that any reputable maker that is one of the maybe top 5-6 companies who are usually listed on forums like this are all using similar quality wire.
    • Wire gauge, I can see this being a bigger part of the equation for what separates different models. Obviously, larger gauge wire will have more current handling, and it is going to be more expensive to use. So, somewhere along the line I assume that differences include heavier wire - which makes a bigger wrapping, needing bigger/more laminates to house it - or using more turns (I assume) with smaller wire that is cheaper, fits in a smaller housing, and isn't going to have as much current capacity in comparison. Eventually leading to overheating and failure, which I'm guessing comes from the insulation on the windings getting too hot until a weak spot causes a short.
    • I think I kind of covered the steel laminate part above, but again, quality costs, so the more steel that is there, the more heat it will dissipate. I know there is the "grain orientation and magnetic properties" part, but I have no idea how that works, so I'm going to wrap that up in the quality part and skate on that one.
    I'm sure I missed some things because it's all assumptions based on this video. I'm not an engineer. Please chime in if I'm just way off base here.

     

  2. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    Wall current 118
    Mercury B1 373DC / B2 337DC / B3 250DC
    Classic Tone B1 347DC / B2 317DC / B3 240DC

    Same Mercury Transformer with 110 wall current Variac B1 337DC / B2 308DC / B3 234DC
    On some of my other 5E3's with classic tones the voltages can be 20 volts higher They all read a little different
    pic Robs page
     

    Attached Files:


  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks for that, @jsnwhite619 . That was really interesting. When you say "scratching my head," I assume you mean, "there really isn't much more to power transformers than wire quality, wire gauge, turn ratios, and laminate bulk/density." That is, what's the real difference between all these PTs?

    One thing that seems obvious to me is that Allen PTs are big chunks of iron. Some of them require special parts stiffener to keep them from torquing the chassis. That said, the Allen PT above is listed at 4.5 lbs. Does anybody know the weight of the Classictone or Hammond PTsI listed above? I haven't been able to find that spec.
     

  4. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    194
    Nov 24, 2017
    Texas
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017

  5. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Yeah, I don't know if the mojo dust had already fallen out of that one, but I didn't see any...

    The BX is 5.3 pounds shipping weight from their website. It's also rated for 138mA, not the 120mA you listed. It's for a Brown/Black Deluxe, but a 5y3 gets right at 370v B+.
     

  6. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2003
    Cochise, AZ
    For an OT I like to find a vintage one. The Hammond Organ OT is the right size as are others you can find. My 2 cents.
     

  7. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Holic

    758
    Apr 30, 2016
    Crawfordville, FL
    ClassicTone transformers from Tubedepot appear to be more expensive at first glance, but if you consider that you get free shipping on orders over a certain amount, it will probably come out cheaper overall, especially since you're ordering other stuff from them.
     

  8. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    One other OT note. I forget. Were you building a head here? An OT with 4-8-16 ohm options is popular, and Rob shows how to fit a selector knob into a 5e3.
     

  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Good point, @King Fan . Yes, I've built the head cab and have a separate 1x12 speaker cab. That's definitely worth considering, though it's hard for me to see myself using anything other than my recently acquired and re-coned Jensen P12P!
     

  10. magic smoke

    magic smoke TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    87
    May 28, 2017
    Quantum Entanglement
    theprofessor and jsnwhite619 like this.

  11. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    King Fan likes this.

  12. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN

  13. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    My thinking at this point is to go with the Hammond PT and either the Classictone OT or the Hammond OT.

    I like the fact that the Hammond is rated at 138 mA and so will probably run cooler than the others. It's big and hefty, too, at just over 5 lbs. More iron. I don't like the fact that the Allen (Marvel Electric Corporation; thanks, @Wyatt , for the correction) PT is only rated for 2A at the rectifier, while the others have plenty of room to spare at 3 filament amps.

    So it will depend on the price, I guess. I'll compare prices, with shipping, when I'm ready to move forward. Thanks, all!
     

  14. tubeswell

    tubeswell Friend of Leo's

    Jul 1, 2008
    NZ
    The classic tweed deluxe PT spec was:

    HT: 325-0-325VAC @ 80mA (this current rating is on the verge of minimum adequacy, but contributes to the saggy charm of the original. 90 or 100mA would be more 'secure')
    Heater: 6.3-0VAC @ 2A
    Rectifier: 5-0VAV @2A

    In a 5E3, this should produce a B+ around 350VDC with the stock circuit.

    The OT:

    15W
    Pr: 8K Plate to Plate
    Sec: 8R
     
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  15. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, @tubeswell ! So 120 mA is plenty of cushion, and 5V and 2A for the rectifier was stock. Thanks again!
     

  16. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    The higher the current is rated at, the less '5E3' it will be. That can be a good thing, but it just depends on if you are intent on a clone or something more to your liking.

    Another great example is the Princeton Reverb. The PT is barely adequate, but is what makes a Princton Reverb a Princeton Reverb. Drop a 120mA transformer in there and it is a different amp for sure.

    If you decide on Hammond, AES has free shipping over $100 if you have other shopping to do.
     
    King Fan likes this.

  17. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, @FenderLover !
     

  18. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Maybe keep in mind that I think most searches, mods, advice on 5e3's is how to fix the farty low end and improve the bass response. Some people love, some hate it. If you are used to more modern amps, that may be something to think about.
     

  19. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks, @jsnwhite619 ! Yes, I've been mulling over that a lot. I have been going round about various possibilities, like upping the power filtering, making all the coupling caps .022μF, using "boutique" coupling caps, trying to put metal film resistors everywhere possible to keep the noise floor down, or putting in a couple of variable NFB switches.

    I've decided to keep it simple and just build a 5e3, warts and all. I'll probably use a 22μF filter capacitor in the first position and then 16μF for the next two. I'll use metal film resistors up to the first triode of 12AX7 and then NOS carbon comps everywhere else on the signal side of the eyelet board. So it'll pretty much be a stock 5e3. I can always mod it later, if I'm dissatisfied somehow.

    P.S. I'm not sure I've ever really played many modern amps before. I've rarely played one that I liked. I know there are fantastic ones. I'm just "stuck" in a slice of history. Maybe nostalgic or whatever. But I doubt I'll dislike the sound of the old stuff. I have a "thing" for things being very close to historically "correct," too, at least in spirit.
     

  20. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I have a question about the Allen transformer. I contacted Allen Amplification, and the TP22D is indeed be the PT they recommend for a 5e3. I don't understand, however, why they recommend a 270V secondary for a tweed Deluxe. Wouldn't the resulting voltage be much too low? I don't know how to figure this stuff, however, so what would a ballpark for the final voltages be if one were to use this winding. Here's the write-up from Allen Amplification again:

    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.
     

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