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Mercury Amp Transformers

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by drb1346, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    merren audio also makes very high qulity transformers and if i was going to do a marshall they would be the only consideration for me.

    they are as good as it gets and have the most accurate repros. they also do custom winding
     
  2. Telenut62

    Telenut62 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No one charges so much more than the "ball park" market price than Mercury...with pickups and speakers you normally get what you pay for. I said Mercury are the bees knees as a transformer replacement company....but it would be a very rare occasion I'd pay up to $100 more each for a PT and OT when there's no benefit.
     
  3. dgr888

    dgr888 Tele-Meister

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    Magnetic Components Inc. in Chicago make some of the best transformers today for the money spent. Mercury's are way overpriced and overhyped period.. And not a "snipe" just the truth..
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  4. Synchro

    Synchro Tele-Meister

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    When I was in my teens I decided that Fram oil filters were the best. My reasons were entirely scientific, they were painted orange. That's what made me notice them in the first place, a nice big orange filter threaded to the side of a Ford 289. It was ingenious marketing on the part of the manufacturer; that distinct orange paint cost no more than the white paint on most filters but it stuck out like a sore thumb. Years later I found out that Delco filters were actually constructed differently and, to my way of thinking, were a better product. Better sealed and equivalent or better filtering media.

    In the case of electronic components I see all of the same elements at work. I've seen people post emotional defenses of various well known brands of components but the reasons seem to boil down to 'they cost more so they must be better'. IMHO, any decently built component should do the trick if it's within spec.

    The point of diminishing returns kicks in early with this one, IMO. If something is good enough to do the job and remain in specs there's not much to be gained by upgrading it. With bargain amps built to a very low price point the transformers might be somewhat of a compromise and an upgrade would help matters. If an amp is built to vintage specs it probably has iron that at least come close to vintage specs. Remember, even the vaunted amps of yesteryear were compromises built to a price point.
     
  5. sink

    sink Tele-Meister

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    This probably went way too deep than the original question but transformers are a heated subject. The Mercury's are a high end product (as previously stated a million times) and should be treated as such. They make sound, whether that is better or worse than the original transformers is solely up to the individual. However, they are very expensive; 2-3 times is some situations. I've used Magnetic Components and Edcor and both make great transformers. What does that mean? You can get the job done for far less money (and do it well).

    Below is a link demonstrating the sound of several different brands. I think there is a slight difference but I'm not sure I could pass the Pepsi Challenge if the samples were randomly played by someone else and I had to guess which brand.

    http://www.classictone.net/PaperVsPlastic.html
     
  6. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    +1 I recently repaired a '66 Bandmaster in need of an output transformer. The Magnetic Component replacement sounds just like the original, (I have the same amp) has the same "footprint" (no drilling extra holes in the chassis), and has the option of 4, 8, or 16 ohm taps. The price was right also.
     
  7. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'll tell you what unlocks the wailing tone that's trapped inside every Champion: One resistor. Remove that one resistor, the little bugger wails

    Muchxs, which resistor is that? Do you have pic or diagram showing it? It sounds like its just a matter of nipping it off. Thanks.
     
  8. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have used Mercury Magnetics, Mojo, and Allen transformers -- all with good results. I will say this, that the MM power transformers I've had have been beautifully finished -- which, of course, has nothing to do with performance! Also, while MM iron is expensive, there are lifetime accumulating price breaks from MM that make a real difference. But for a one-off purchase, that doesn't help.

    Bob Arbogast
     
  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a Mercury Magnetics transformer in my Marshall. It blew the original Drake shortly after I bought it in 1989. Apparently, the original Drake was not up to the task in this model, so it's a model that is notorious for blowing output trannies. I have very rarely seen one with an original Drake still in it in the last fifteen years.

    When I finally got around to fixing mine a few years later, I asked the tech what he thought I should get. He said "let me get you this one, from Mercury, you won't ever have to buy another one." So far he's been right.

    I don't generally find trannies to be "unreliable", truthfully, that Marshall is the only amp I've ever owned (out of more than a hundred) that has ever blown a transformer. But I will say, I've been beating that little Marshall really hard for a lot of years, and it always sounds amazing. The Merc has FAR outlasted the original tranny, so in my book, it's doing it's job.
     
  10. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    fram oil filters are complete junk, i would not touch one with anyone's wallet. search for a thread on them and see how much damage they do to your engine. laughs. off topic, im a car nut.

    well im new to this guitar stuff. but one thing i do know, iv learn to trust what bill, and muncx, and mr boothill amps input/opinions/facts/working knowledge/etc ( and so many others offer valid info, just cant think of all of them off the top of my head ) opinions are. they say what they think, they are not being paid to do other wise. and i appreciate all iv learn from them. my harmony 400A project is getting closer to getting started ( apparently the harmony 414a is the one people want for valco harmony amps ). will start a thread, and we will learn what we need to do to get this amp working which was sold to me as working. but when i plugged it in for a few seconds all i saw was one tube glow a dull orange, ( hot plating i guess this is called ) and made zero noise no hum nothing etc I unplugged it and forgot about it but the more i learn the more i think i can fix it, its a simple amp, so thats a good place to start, and complete original . im glad i did unplug it right away, i had no idea the 2 prong power chord was not safe ( picked up a 3 prong chord for that project already. will be a fun learning experience. hell i was thrilled when i fixed my pignose. ( figured out what was wrong with my pignose on my own ) if i saw a none working pignose on ebay id buy it a heart beat, not much can go wrong with them little piggies.

    chris.

    p.s

    what confuses me.. is all the dang tube labels ( numbers ). i can only imagine there had to be some kind of reference book for which tubes were interchangeable back in the day. since they made so many dang tubes with different number prefixes.

    and that 400.00 upgrade for the champion 600. apparently that company has a good reputation from what google shows. maybe its gone down hill since the last couple of items iv seen him try to sell. like that really expensive speaker cable, etc.
     
  11. swaptronics

    swaptronics TDPRI Member

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    I've built over a dozen tube amps as a hobby over the past 10-years and have mostly used Magnetic Components and vintage iron from TV's, tube consoles, and old Hammond organs. I recently built a 5F2A tweed princeton amp to keep. I put in an old console stereo PT along with a vintage vibrochamp OT, and the amp just sounded "OK." I had used good electrical components, including F&T caps. I found a NOS Mercury 5F1 PT on eBay and recently installed it. I cannot believe how good this now sounds. It has a 330-0-330 secondary with 6V and 5V taps for filament rectifier. No center tap on the filament circuit, so I'm using two 100-ohm resistors to ground as a virtual center tap, etc. The amp has come alive, tone and "feel" of the amp is fantastic. The B+ and cathode current are in the sweet spot. It is mounted in a Mojotone 5F2 cabinet with a WGS 8" 4-ohm speaker. I had built an identical amp for a friend using Magnetic Components PT and OT, and the sound and tone of it pale in comparison. I have to think this PT has something to do with this.
     
  12. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    I've built many amps. I built two identical JTM45s for friends. One got a Mercury Magnetics transformer set, the other got a set from Classictone.

    The Mercury transformers are bright red. The Classictones are not. The Mercuries cost almost double the what the MMs cost. Otherwise...
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Mercury are great transformers.
    Will they make your amp sound different? No.
    Are they worth how much they want? I personally dont think so.
    Years ago they weren't so ridiculous priced.
     
  14. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    That must have been well more than 8 years ago, since people were complaining about pricing being ridiculous back in 2012, in this very thread.
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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  16. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    If you feel MM are a waste of money then don't buy them.

    You can't argue that they are not a good quality product. I'm sure there's people who think an iPhone is a waste of money when you can get a different brand for half the price and it'll do roughly the same things. Or buying a Suhr or Mario Martin vs a Fender. They're all just bolt on guitars, right?

    Anyway, buy whatever your wallet feels comfortable with and don't feel you need to run around bashing a company for their pricing when clearly the market will allow it. If their product is bad, then absolutely call them out. But it's not.

    MM's came stock in my 57 Twin RI. I got them for my 5F6A build as well. My 5E3 has whatever Bruce at Mission was putting in his kits. They all sound great and have been trouble free.
     
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  17. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    Good timing on this thread. I’m currently on the fence between MM and CT to upgrade the OT, PT and choke in my ‘59 tweed Bassman RI that I’m having gutted and hand wired. The MM is more money I know but maybe a selling feature down the road as there is a hype factor with them. If I don’t spend too much on other parts being replaced I’ll probably spring for the MM. Honestly other than the additional cost, the other thing that might hold me back is all the times I’ve read that the MM made the amp noticeably louder. I don’t want the amp any louder!
     
  18. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I did this exact same thing to my 59 Bassman LTD. (The RI transformers are Chinese made and the voltages aren't correct for actual 5F6A specs). I went with MM and I have no basis for comparison but they sound great! Whatever concerns you have about volume are unfounded. The efficiency of the speakers is going to have way more impact on that.
     
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  19. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    Ok thanks I’m excited to get it done. Yeah I read that about the transformers. The speakers are the stock blue Emi’s and sound great! Btw, I’m having Marsh do the work. I already have one of his HW tweed Bassman clones and it’s absolutely killer. I just recently picked up this Fender from a friend and figured why not before I start throwing money at it in repairs. The amp is 27 yrs old, no known history. Also, Marsh has the MM in stock and would have to order from CT which is not a problem but now I heard CT is shutting down?
     
  20. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Nice! I've eyed his kits for years.

    I did my conversion because of boredom and I got all curious what an actual 5F6A sounded like. Local tech did the work. I have a quad of Weber 10A125's in mine. Sounds glorious! It does sound different than the RI did. Better? That's hard to say objectively.

    But yes, the original "Schumacher" transformers are Chinese. They're stamped "Tai Chang" on the side.
     
    hotrodkid likes this.
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