Transformer Basics

In many places in our product portfolio, we refer to transformers. Many users love their vintage equipment, which is usually equipped with them. With current equipment, however, this is rather exotic. This is due to the size, the weight and above all the costs. In terms of measurement, too, things are better without transformers.

In the real world, however, not every audio device is operated separately under laboratory conditions. The decisive advantages of transformers are, among other things, the better interaction with other devices. The focus here is on any form of signal interference, which in this day and age – with WLAN, mobile phone, etc. – is very diverse.

Further advantages lie in the straightforward physics upon which a transformer functions. These are “simply” a few copper wire coils wound on a core material (although doing this well is really a science in itself, which only a few manufacturers in the world have mastered). Since the processes here obey more or less the same laws as the musical instruments themselves, it helps to achieve a very coherent music transmission. The I/V stage in our DACs, the microphone amplifier and the phono MC amplifier are places of use with advantages beyond the line technology.

At this point, we would like to make this general remark based on many discussions on the subject of transformers: As already mentioned above, the production of transformers for audio is a science that only a few manufacturers have mastered. Each application has its own requirements, too. That is why there are countless types of transformers. However, the selection and the integration of the transformer into the application is just as complex. Therefore, general statements about how transformers sound in comparison should be treated with caution. Even the same type of transformer can sound completely different in one application than in another. An enormous amount of time has gone into fine-tuning all our applications. For example, individual components with variances in capacitance in the order of hundreds of picofarads determine the optimal sound. A slightly different tuning, however, can produce a completely different sound with precisely the same transformer. Furthermore, the final determination can almost always only be made with the ears.

Consequently, please forget any impression – and even more so any opinion based on hearsay – you may have gained elsewhere about designs with transformers. You can only make your judgement about our solutions after you have heard them.

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