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After market transformers


Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 02:09 am:   

Has anybody used these guys? There supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread..

http://www.mercurymagnetics.com/axiom.ht m
Steve Kennedy
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 04:17 pm:   

I personally have not used them, but they they have an awesome reputation for doing great rewinds of original transformers.

John Drexler
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 06:11 pm:   

Question: I have a 65-112 with the 12AX7 driver, and a 65-210 without the driver. Both are apparently early 70's vintage, given the silver badge with black lettering. When I bought my 65-112, my first MM amp, it came with a "new" power transformer. When I got my 65-210 later, I noticed a BIG difference in the power and "swat" between the two amps...the 210 having significantly higher volume ceiling without breaking up. I am wondering if the "new" transformer that came with the 112 was a correct match, and if it is possibly underpowering the amp? The 112 is biased correctly and using new Svetlana EL34's. At low volumes is has a nice tone, but at higher volumes it tends to distort, while the 210 keeps its clean, punchy sound. So. Am I on the right track, and how can I tell if this is the problem? Or is it just the inherant difference between the two amps, i.e. tube preamp driver vs. all SS? Is the difference in the fact that the 210 runs on 4 ohms and the 112 runs at 8 ohms? Thanks in advance for any help here.
John Drexler
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 06:13 pm:   

Addendum to above: Both amps have been recapped and re-tubed. The 112 have runs a replacement Fender vintage speaker, the 210 has both original speakers.
Steve Kennedy (admin)
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 04:54 pm:   

Have you driven the "problem amp" into a cabinet or known good speaker? Are you sure the speaker isn't breaking up?

Did you measure the plate voltage supply to the output tubes? The older MM amps typically have a power transformer that delivers 700+ Vdc in the high power mode and then "sag" down to 450Vdc or so when the Hi/Lo switch is in the Low position (which selects a larger primary winding).

The newer MM amps do the power selection by changing a secondary winding instead of a primary winding. If the replacement is not meant for a Music Man amp, it probably won't have the correct "alternate" windings and the power selection switch may not do anything or have minimal effect. If that is so and if it was a Fender transformer it may only develop 350Vdc which would be somewhat less than 1/2 the normal power rating of the amp.

I would measure the B+ plate voltage... pull both power tubes and carefully place the red multimeter (set to read high DC voltage) probe in the Tube socket at pin 3, and the black lead to the chassis. With the power selection switch in HIGH position, you ought to read 700Vdc or more. This should drop down to 400-450Vdc when set to Low power position.

Of course, be VERY careful when making this measurement (stand the amp on its head against or on a couch for stability and ease of access to the tube sockets). The voltages here can KILL you if get across these connections. Of course, the Standby switch must also be in the ON mode.

If you cannot make somewhere near 700Vdc, then you can't expect the amp to sound like the other one.


John Drexler
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 02:41 pm:   

Thanks, Steve. I'm willing to bet that's exactly what the music store did...drop in a Fender tranny instead of one for a MM. Not being adept at electronics, I will heed your sage counsel and take the amp head to a qualified tech and have him check out this area of the amp (furnishing him your comments) rather than risk death at the hands of 700 volts! I'll let you know how this works out. Oh, and yes, I did check out the speaker integrity first thing and it handles the additional wattage of the 210 amp head just fine. In fact, I'm switching heads out until I get this resolved with the 112 head.
John Drexler
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   

Well, it turns out NOT to be the power transformer, but the audio output transformer that's incorrectly matched! I note that, by the way, the prices at Mercury Magnetics are DOUBLE the cost of the same item at handwoundtransformers.com...at it's $90 bucks there! (including shipping). Anyway...anybody out there got an old 65-watt chassis that has a 3-65 rated audio output tranny hanging off it you want to sell?}
Steve Kennedy (admin)
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 02:03 pm:   

Well, so it turned out to be a transformer after all, just not the one we were talking about!

I wish I could help on the transformer but all I have are working amps. Perhaps you could post a Want in the For Sale area and see if you get any bites.


John Drexler
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 11:21 am:   

Yup, it was the audio output transformer: my tech spotted it. The one currently installed is marked 5-75. My schematic for the chassis shows it should be a 3-65. The transformer company owner said that would definitely drop the volume level...so I've gone ahead and ordered a new one made for me. Dave, the owner at handwoundtransformers.com was very helpful and put the item on sale for me for $10 off plus free shipping, making an out-of-pocket cost to me of $69. Not cheap, but worth it if it gets this little princess back on track! Thanks again for your input, Steve. I'll post after it's received, installed, and tested out.
Steve Kennedy (admin)
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 12:24 pm:   

That's a good price! Certainly less than one would normally pay for a chassis to rob one from under normal conditions.


John Drexler
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:44 pm:   

Update on the OP transformer replacement: I placed an order with handwoundtransformers.com. Dave, the owner, was most polite and responsive over email to answer my questions. And, their website has some impressive testimonials from customers. I ordered mine just before Thansgiving. Understanding there would be a delay due to the Holidays, I expected to receive my unit within 2-3 weeks after the order was placed. It is now going on 6 weeks, and it still isn't here, the company doesn't know where it is (or won't tell me), and won't commit to any delivery date. In summation, I've had three promises for delivery dates, none of which were honored. Then they tell me the unit came back to them because the shipping label fell off of it and UPS returned it. They said they wanted to test it again, then would ship it out in a day or so. After 5 days of waiting, I contacted them again, and was told I could expect it last Friday. Still no transformer. So now I've asked for my money back. I've gotten a bit of a tussel there, but Dave at this point in time seems to be on the up-and-up and finally agreed that I've had to wait too long with no fulfillment at their end. What do I think? I think the thing never got produced to begin with and this has all been smoke and mirrors to cover their screw-up because they never would provide me with any kind of shipping tracking number or documents to show it ever HAD been shipped. Supposedly it's on its way to me again, but they won't tell me when it shipped or when UPS says it'll be delivered. I wouldn't recommend using them unless you get the product FIRST, then pay them. Just FYI for anyone who might be considering using them. They require payment by PayPal up front, but won't refund except through the mail (more waiting!). I'll say this, though, Dave always responded to my emails...he didn't always SAY anything useful, be he has never avoided this issue or avoided contact. Funny, though, they don't have a working phone number and won't supply one to me (at least at last request). So...caveat emptor, as they say.
I guess I'll trot over to Mercury Magnetics' site and see what they have to offer. This attempt has been a total bust.
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 04:41 pm:   

Sorry, but I know how you feel. I worked for a company in Hampton Virginia that serviced home alarms systems. The boss was always asking us to lie to the customers because he would wait until the last miniute or not have something, telling them it was on its way (when it wasnt) and its fixed (when it wasnt) and etc etc. This seems to be common practice among some lesser than...honorable companies to say the least...I quit that job and told the boss that I wasnt going to lie for him.... Paypal, thats a give away there.... he should accept real credit cards... and have a working phone number... sorry for all your trouble...Bill
michael kaus
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 05:52 pm:   

Don't know why I never saw this thread but I contacted handwound and was told they didn't make anything for MM's. Maybe that's why you got the reamy's. They were fumbling around trying to figure out how to make one! Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 06:18 pm:   

Jeez, Mike. NOW I find this out (no criticism of you in this!). I asked Dave, the owner, SPECIFICALLY if he knew my amp model, etc. and he replied in the affirmative, and implied he'd done a lot of new trannys for MM's. Mike, did you call them or contact via their web site? If it wasn't too long ago, and you have a working phone number, I'd like to get it. When did you actually talk to them, and did you talk to this guy Dave or someone else? And, Bill, thanks for the sympathetic reply above. Yes, integrity seems to be a vanishing quality in today's business world...it has always been in short supply in general, but it seems in the last 10 years or so, lying and misrepresentation has become an accepted practice. I really feel dumb about the PayPal thing...I never thought anything about it. Although, I believe PayPal insures its transactions, so I may have recourse through them if their promise to refund is also so much smoke. I'll keep this thread informed as the plot sickens. Thanks, guys.
michael kaus
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 05:35 am:   

I talked to them by email. It was a real short email. Like, "sorry, we don't have anything for Music Man amps". It's been over a year ago and I looked and didn't keep the email. Sorry. Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 08:45 am:   

Yeah, they don't like to publish their phone number. They had one on their email, but it was not a working number, and when I asked why, they said a "storm had knocked it out", but then I got to thinking, email requires a computer which requires a phone line! And the email worked just fine! Anyway, as of this morning they have refused to tell me when I will receive my refund, and refused to divulge their physical location, phone number and the tracking number and date of the supposedly shipped tranny. Conclusion? A total rip off outfit. I don't think they ever made the unit, and you're right, they were scrambling around trying to find specs on the correct transformer and couldn't because of the MM's age. It's looking like I'll have to track them down by tracing their email address and then contact the State Attorney's office in the appropriate state. I'll also contact PayPal and advise them of the situation. Sheesh. You just can't trust anybody these days. I'll keep the group posted on further developments/resolution.
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 10:42 am:   

We should all email him with fake amp model numbers and manufators to see what they say or do...I think they probably had good intentions at first, then the bills or shopping made them greedy, we dont know...I bet the guy you emailed is the same dude using different names or IS the company....but the fact he was replying to your emails is a mystery.. maybe a stall tactic....anyway, you still can call Paypal and see what your options are, but as i remember, they have a deductable of some money before payment of losses...
michael kaus
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 11:36 am:   

Actually, I emailed him this morning, just for
s$%ts and grins. He emailed me back and said he could ship next week a pair of OT and PT for $119.00 and free shipping! I don't know but if its a rip, this guy's good. THe sight has all the right info and the right catch phrases like he really does
know his stuff. I would email him back and ask for a phone number and demand a response by phone and try to get an answer that way. I really hope the guy turns out to be legit-his prices are great! Mike.
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 08:19 am:   

I emailed them also and got the below response...
I asked for a twin Reverb Output/transformaer

""Hi Bill!!
I appreciate your business!

"""We are currently having Paypal technical problems. If you mail in a check I can offer you
FREE SHIPPING on this. All details below.

I'll confirm receipt of payment & shipping.

Thanks again!
Dave """

Dont know

michael kaus
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 02:09 pm:   

Just a little after glow, I checked around on the Fender sight and they seem to think the guy is OK. He supposedly ships good product at good prices. If you get a chance, you might go over there and look for hand wound etc. Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 06:55 pm:   

Now WHY would he be having PayPal problems? A lot of complaints, methinks? They've cut him off, perchance? There's nothing "technical" about PayPay at all, nothing to go wrong. So I think this is an insight into a failing company. Dave, he told me EXACTLY the same thing in my email when I first contacted him...comfirming receipt of $ and shipping. He didn't to either. And, Mike, I have have asked for his phone number on two different emails...along with requests for tracking numbers of the supposedly shipped item. He won't answer those requests...just some ubiquitous "I totally agree with you," and "I'll handle the matter." But nothing happens and no commitments are made as to dates for refund or delivery. Sure he offers free shipping...he doesn't ship anything!!! Bill, go ahead and email him some bogus amp model and information and let's see what he does with it. He already knows my email address, other wise I'd do it. Hey, guys, thanks for all your help and support in this mess.
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 08:12 pm:   

btw he did say the Fender Tranny was $69.00 with free shipping.... I emailed him the below bogus amp information, lets see what he says...""""The other amp I own is a 1982 Robert Craig 4 el84 Power Transformer... it smoked on me a few years ago as I am still looking for a seller...thanks for the Fender quote as that is a great price....Bill"""""
John Drexler
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 01:20 pm:   

Thanks, Bill. I'm interested (very) in seeing how he handles this "curve ball." This could be extremly telling. Keep me posted and again, thanks for your involvement in this!
michael kaus
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 06:52 pm:   

Somebody did a web search somehow for a registartion for his IP address- came up with this:

Dave Lucas
Dave Lucas
Po Box 211 33 Main Street
Strattanville, PA 16258
Phone: 8147643092
Email: abcd1@penn.com

Also found some disturbing emails on an ax84 web sight(?) about people getting slammmed by this guy. It's not starting to look good. This is also at least the third email address I've seen. Mike.
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 10:29 pm:   

http://www.guitar-forum.net/amps/handwou ndtransformerscom_433551.html

michael kaus
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 04:39 am:   

Sent a request to him for his address and he stated that he sent in to me in his original email, which HE DID. DAVID LUCAS
> 330 MAIN ST.
You can do look up in the white page for him if you want. He also so he guesses it's a product of his own success and he's "all caught up now". Really. I would probably like to trust this guy but if it take a year to get, no thanks. Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 09:51 am:   

Oh, man. Looks I got conned but good. Went to the sites you guys listed, and nothing good to say about this dude. Well, thanks again for your research, guys. Either this guy is an out-and-out thief, or he's so inept that he has to leave bread crumbs to find his way home from the office. Either way, I don't think I'll be seeing my new tranny in THIS lifetime. I just hope other potential customers of his will read this thread before sending him their hard-earned money.
John Drexler
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 09:58 am:   

I tracked down his phone number, and it's working but has an answering machine one it! It's under his name, not the company name and its 814-764-5580. I'll keep trying to get him, but he's probably screening all his calls.
John Drexler
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 12:21 pm:   

Mike: I don't understand the context of his statement "all caught up now..." Was he admitting that he was not shipping on time or what?
michael kaus
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   

I really don't know about this guy. He admits he had a problem but that it is "all caught up now"? I mailed him and told him that I was going to wait because his reputation was preceding him and that I thought he should go to some of these web sight and try to explain to all these people that have not received their products why they haven't. This guy is obviously a problem and should be isolated. If you know of any people with intentions of purchasing his products, I would suggest enlightening them Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   

I absolutely agree with you, Mike. That was a good move, letting him know you're not going to buy from him because of his track record. Maybe the loss of $$ will wake him up. But you're right, he should be cut off and isolated...he is not ethical in his business dealings at all, "caught up" or not. I haven't heard a word out of him so far...even the email responses have stopped. Bill...has he responded to your Robert Craig amp question yet?
John Drexler
Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 02:19 pm:   

Well, I got an email from this guy named Karl Schimmel, and he said this "will be taken care of" tomorrow. He didn't say whether that meant the tranny would be shipped or the refund mailed. So I emailed back a query about same. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Or ever. I'll keep this up to date.
michael kaus
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 04:42 am:   

Please do. I have put this guy's rep out on some of the other bbs's that I haunt and I got nothing but the same answers. Let me know what happens. Mike.
michael kaus
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 05:06 am:   

By the way. If anybody's interested, go to the ax84 sight- www.ax84.com/bbs and look at the comments last posted. One guy's talking lawsuit and BBB complaints. It might be good to get togethet with this guy. Mike.
michael kaus
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 05:07 am:   

Forgot to add, it's the non ax84 threads. Mike.
John Drexler
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 10:46 am:   

Thanks, Mike. I've posted on that site and resposonded to a guy who's already filed a complaint with the Atty. General of Pennsylvania on this guy Dave Lucas. I'll be following suit (sorry for the pun) shortly.
John Drexler
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 02:58 pm:   

Mojotone.com has Heyboer replacement trannys for ALL models of MusicMan amps! Andy Turner is my contact there. He says he BOUGHT all MusicMan's parts inventory and still has many original parts. The trannys went first, he said, because MM's were notorious for eating output transformers. But he says the new ones are built by Heyboer and are better than the original ones, and claims they are are a good upgrade even if replacement isn't needed, simply because they "sweeten" up the sound so dramatically. I've ordered one from him. He had a 3-65 in stock for only $5 more than Handwound (the rip-off company that's currently in VERY hot water on the internet for not delivering or refunding as promised) and it went out to me today, he said. I'll post how it sounds once it's installed. As to Handwound...thppppp!
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 07:30 pm:   

hope they are an honest company....2 times ripped off aint fun... keep us informed...
John Drexler
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 08:08 pm:   

Thanks, Bill. I will. By the by, did you ever get a response to the bogus amp information you sent to Lucas...did he "bite" on that? Of course, if he's reading this thread...assuming he knows about it, which I think he does...he wouldn't respond.
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 09:21 pm:   

na, he didn't bite... I guess he may be a bit scared...
John Drexler
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 05:04 pm:   

I got my tranny from Mojotone today...exactly 3 days from ordering it. It is the correct 3-65 and the price was as specified. I haven't rigged it into the chassis yet, but so far so good as to kept promises. This is a Heyboer wound transformer, so it should be a honkin' good one. I'll post how it sounds when installed.
John Drexler
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 07:51 pm:   

OK. The wife had the "girls" over. So I figured it a good time to wire in the new OP tranny. Whoa! It was definitely the right move. The amp positively SPARKLES now! Much clearer at higher volume, much louder and just generally richer tone. Andy at Mojotone was right...even if it didn't really "need" it, the replacement was a favorable upgrade. But it did need it, as the 5-75 was a mismatch for this amp. If anyone has a 210-75 or 212-75, which I believe takes this specific output transformer, it's up for sale in the "For Sale" thread. Excellent condition and relatively new. So that's my last post on this thread. All's well that end's well...except I'm still out my $69 from Hellwoundtransformers.com
ed_goforth's picture

Mercury Magnetics Transformers.

Not trying to say anything bad about these guys but my experience should be noted.

I was trying out their output and power trannys for the RD-50, and though the Power transformer worked out fine, they sent me an output tranny 3 times that would not work in any RD-50 I had in the shop. We tried, I even sent my personal tranny that they dissected and would only rebuild for $300! Each time it had this awful farty distortion that when turned up got worse, and yes I tried revering the wires, no, did not work! So I needed a tranny, ordered one of the Mojo tone trannys that are built from Heyboer. Mercury told me that the RD50 went through some changes and had different trannys over the years, but in my many years of experience, never seen a different output tranny. When ordering the Mojotone replacement, they had no option for year or version, only one replacement for each the power and output. When receiving the output tranny from Mojo, I installed as normal and had no issue what so ever, it even had a warmer, fuller tone! 6 months later, Mercury Mag contacts me saying they had a working tranny and asked how I would like to pay for it. I said well to be honest, I was really disapointed for the wait, the excuses etc. when I went to Mojotone and got one that worked first try with NO problems! So they said "we will send the tranny for you to try, if it don't work, just keep it!" ........ so I had it laying around for almost a year, did not need to really change what sounded fine to me with the Mojo tranny, but one day got curious, so.... Yea, I tried it and the same thing happended! IT DID NOT WORK! A waste of time and money, though the power tranny works fine, Im at a loss Mercury Magnetics.... As a side note, I have noticed that some of these RD-50's eventually get a slight background distortion that does not go away even on the Clean channel. So one day I was chatting with Andy Fuch's and he was saying (as he also mods these amps as some of you may know) that he ran into this problem, sometimes the windings break down and start to arc slightly, and you hear this static distortion going on. Anyway there are some replacements out there that work well, one being the direct Mojo replacment made by Heyboer and Magnetic Components Inc. make a tranny that works, Im not sure the part # right off. Im happy with with the less expensive Mojo/Heyboer!

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