Questions re Ceriatone Bluesmaster Build; Transformers

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Glenn Brown, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Glenn Brown

    Glenn Brown Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm looking for some help with a Ceriatone build I'm considering. Not doing it myself; talking with a local amp builder who has experience with the Ceriatone kits. I do not have an electronics background so I don't have the knowledge or experience re specs, technical issues, etc.

    The builder's quote seemed a bit high to me and I'm looking for areas to reduce costs if possible. Nik's kit price is fixed as is the builder's labor, but he's listing Mercury Magnetics on his estimate sheet for the transformers and that's one area I think I can work around. My gut is that the builder is trying to make a few extra dollars by using the Mercury Mags and I can get by with using something else that's just as good but less expensive.

    Here are my questions...

    - If I shop around for my own transformers, what should I be asking for? Are there specs that I should give a company? Particular model or parts numbers?

    - Quote for three MM transformers (PT, OT & choke) is ~ $400.00 incl shipping. Is that reasonable or high?

    - I 've read that Hoffman is a good "bang-for-the-buck" brand that several DIY'ers and builders use. How much would those transformers cost from Hoffman and how would I go about ordering them?

    - The guy I'm talking to pleads ignorance re suggesting alternatives to the MM's...I'm kind of feeling snowed a bit. Should I expect a reputable builder to have options beyond one brand? He claims that the transformers from MM are custom-ordered to spec by Nik and that they are the only ones intended to be used in D-styled amps. My BS meter is ringing on this one...

    Thanks in advance for any replies and information.
     
  2. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

    Messages:
    3,778
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Port Angeles, Washington
    If you know the specs of the MM trannies, we could probably recommend some alternatives. In fact, since I'm not familiar with that amp, tell me the tube complement, and how it's biased (cathode or fixed), and I can probably come close. Any PT/OT/Choke that meets the specs for the build will work. They may not sound exactly like the MM "spec'd" ones, but close.
     
  3. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

    Messages:
    3,778
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Port Angeles, Washington
    OK, I found the schematic. The 50 watter is 2 x 6L6GC, and 3 x 12AX7's.
    http://shop.amppartsdirect.com/Vintage-Fender-Style-50W-Power-Transformer-120V-40-18005-40-18005.htm
    This would probably work for the PT.
    http://shop.amppartsdirect.com/UPGR...-Transformer-4-8-16-ohm-40-18001-40-18001.htm
    This would probably work for the OT. I'd go with the "big" Fender choke
    http://shop.amppartsdirect.com/Vintage-Fender-4Hy-90mA-DC-Style-Choke-40-18003-40-18003.htm
    These are great trannies. I've used them on most of my builds and love them.
     
  4. Glenn Brown

    Glenn Brown Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great info; thanks very much!
     
  5. candh

    candh Member

    Messages:
    1,916
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ito city, Shizuoka, Japan
    Your builder is pulling your chain. If he is seriously ignorant of any alternatives then I question his building abilities. Any of the transformer companies making Fender replacement trannies will have models that will work. Your spidey sense is right on.
     
  6. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Messages:
    11,516
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    playing in traffic...
    We are talking about a copy of an amp in a series that now sells for a great deal of money. HAD was a Fender/Music Man iron sort of guy. I would bet a reasonable substitute could be found for an acceptable price.

    That being said, I like Mercury Mag trannies.

    The Amp Garage would have ideas.
     
  7. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Whatever you do, make sure they're the same size and fit the same hole patterns as whatever the chassis is drilled/punched for. Otherwise expect to pay a premium for the builder's work.

    MM transformers are not cheap so $400 for all doesn't seem out of line. Whatever extra time you ask of the builder expect to be charged for. I don't know anyone in any other business who's expected to donate time.

    Heyboer makes quality iron at competitive prices.

    I can't imagine making the switch is going to save you more than $200. Considering the total expense of the project, is it worth $200 if you have to wonder "what could have been" when it's done?
     
  8. Glenn Brown

    Glenn Brown Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    That's a good point re cost/benefit versus time spent trying to make something else fit, and one I'm considering. Thanks for sharing that.

    Spoke with another amp tech/builder yesterday who might actually be better for the build, as he has actual experience with HAD and has worked on real Dumbles. He wasn't trying to sell me on getting the job; with the kind of high-profile work he does, I would be fortunate to have him do this project with me. He believes in MM's but didn't try to BS me re other alternatives being unworkable. But to your point, it might be worth that $200.00 to get his knowledge and experience.
     
  9. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Member

    Messages:
    1,934
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Windsor Heights, Iowa
    I've just had my first experience with Heyboer iron and it is fine stuff indeed, honestly priced and well finished. Highly recommended as is Magnetic Components a/k/a Classic Tone. They've got a FB page and you could post an inquiry over there. They've just introduced some replacement iron for Dagnall transformers on 50w and 100w Marshalls with the I/C winding-15 volts I think.
     
  10. guitarcapo

    guitarcapo Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    I have a brand new Heyboer power transformer that is for a Fender Super Reverb. Should wiork. I can ship it to you for $100. PM me if interested.
     
  11. FuzzyAce

    FuzzyAce Member

    Messages:
    1,080
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Yep, the Mag. Components are nice and work great, but if you're concerned with looks and details they are not the best finished trannies on the outside. That is my only issue with them honestly. Hammond would be a good choice as well.
     

Share This Page