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matching line transformers

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Posted on January 10, 2017 at 09:56:13
daseman
Audiophile

Posts: 27
Location: Seattle
Joined: April 20, 2008
I was considering trying a matching line transformer (something similar to the Sophia Electric Magik Box, but with vintage transformers) in my system - either after my dac or between my tube pre and tube amps. Anyone here able to share their experiences, good or bad, with such devices?

(I also posted this in the "tweak" asylum.)

 

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What are you trying to match?, posted on January 10, 2017 at 11:30:32
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2322
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
First good transformers are expensive. You can easily spend hundreds on quality small signal transformers.

But outside of a pro environment why do you need one? Are you trying to go from balanced to unbalanced? Or do you have tube components with gross impedance mismatch?

Otherwise most modern source components are very low output impedance. Loading is not really an issue these days. You can easily drive any tube amp with modern sources.

 

RE: What are you trying to match?, posted on January 10, 2017 at 13:35:01
daseman
Audiophile

Posts: 27
Location: Seattle
Joined: April 20, 2008
Thanks for the comments, gusser. The unit I was looking at has Western Electric Rep 111C transformers.

I'm skeptical but have read that units like this can act as a buffer of sorts, with a pleasant impact on the sound, typically after a dac or between a pre and amps. My pre and amps are custom units so I'm not sure what the impedances are.

Given that devices like this are used by some and are now made by Sophia Electric (with predictably hyperbolic description), I was curious whether anyone had actual experiences to share.

 

RE: What are you trying to match?, posted on January 10, 2017 at 14:59:24
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2322
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Well the transformer can limit frequency response and also ring - neither of which are good.

If your CD player/DAC has a poor output filter that is allowing clock noise through or is peaking the HF response, then a transformer can smooth that out as it will act as a low pass filter.

But if that's the case I would look for a better CD player or DAC. You should not need to add stuff like this to fix problems in your source components.

 

RE: What are you trying to match?, posted on January 10, 2017 at 15:32:22
daseman
Audiophile

Posts: 27
Location: Seattle
Joined: April 20, 2008
Thanks again for the feedback. My DAC is a high quality unit (Lavry DA 11), so probably no issues there.

I'll put the idea to bed - - unless someone out there has had a really great experience with inserting this 1:1 transformer in their system . . .

 

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