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Thread: Transformer Conundrum: 1965 Gibson GA15-RVT

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    Transformer Conundrum: 1965 Gibson GA15-RVT

    Hey guys - thanks in advance for any insight.

    So I'm a bit out of my depth - having brought my GA amp to a tech in town (actually the second tech to take a stab at this beast!) Things appeared to be moving along - he replaced the caps, blown fuse, swapped out the old two prong plug etc...The tech identified the culprit preventing the amp from working as the power transformer (T1). The original was toast - so he had me purchase this one: https://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/P...er-Transformer

    This is where he got flummoxed - it was clear after several weeks that the transformer we got from Mojotone was not going to work - simply couldn’t figure out how to mount the thing. . This is what the tech said "the transformer we got from Mojotone is a muti-tap transformer and isn't specific to the amp (Mojo does say on their website that it'll work for Gibson GA type amps - but alas it appears not mine). It has 2 more legs on the secondary side than what the original transformer had. I need to match up voltages from the transformer to the amplifier. This needs to be correct or damage to other components will happen - if it works at all..."

    He's suggesting that this replacement would work for my amp: http://bit.ly/tubedepottransformer

    I've also attached a photo of the original transformer as well.

    Any help or insight would be much appreciated.

    I've perused several posts on here where the following transformers were suggested.

    MERCURY

    https://www.mercurymagnetics.com/?s=...t_type=product

    HAMMOND

    https://www.hammfg.com/electronics/t...rs/classic/200

    !. Which would be the optimal, best Transformer to use on my amp?

    2. Any other insight as to mods or upgrades that may also either mitigate future issues or improve to overall tone of the amp?

    Much thanks again for any help you can provide.

    MJL
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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Whoa!
    This is the schematic for the GA15RVT.
    GA-15-rvt-1965.pdf

    The power transformer that you purchased will Not, as your tech ascertained, work.
    That one is clearly marked as for the RV series of Gibson amps.

    Your tech may have gotten confused as the link you posted as his replacement is for the Output Transformer.

    The Mercury transformer that you linked is a Reverb Driver Transformer.

    The Hammond 272FX should work.
    Hammond EDB272FX.pdf
    It may take some work to get it to fit in though.
    The 5V winding can be shrink wrapped & tied off as the RVT does not use a tube rectifier.

    Also, the Edcor has been suggested here: https://music-electronics-forum.com/...ad.php?t=29735

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I don't think the Hammond 272fX is suitable either. At 600VCT into a diode rectifier it's going to result in much higher B+ voltage. It's also a lot bigger and mounts on a different plane than the original unit which could cause insurmountable mounting problems. I think a more suitable transformer might be:

    https://www.hammfg.com/files/parts/pdf/270DAZ.pdf

    It'll still be larger and produce higher than stock voltage, but not as much as the 272FX. It's the smallest "Z" mount offered in the line. It probably has a closer current spec too.

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    Last edited by Chuck H; 03-16-2019 at 09:36 PM.
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Consider that you bought the first unsuitable transformer on this techs suggestion. And consider that the next one suggested is also unsuitable, being the wrong type of transformer. And the third one isn't even in the ballpark.

    I might start to question if this tech is even on the right path. Even if he/she is, are they capable of a retrofit installation? I'm confused about how all the other work was scheduled when the amp doesn't even power up in the first place, as a bad power transformer would suggest. I don't think I would continue with this tech, but I don't know the whole story.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Thanks for responding JPB

    He very well may have sent the wrong link - who knows at this point. As for the Mercury - I mistakenly scooped that off another post thread regarding a similar amp as mine.

    Aside from the EDCOR and perhaps the Hammond - which seem to require some level retrofitting and may still not be ideal.

    If it was your amp what transformer would you use? I'm just trying to get the best info for him I can at this stage.

    Thanks again

    MJL

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widget2640 View Post
    Thanks for responding JPB

    He very well may have sent the wrong link - who knows at this point. As for the Mercury - I mistakenly scooped that off another post thread regarding a similar amp as mine.

    Aside from the EDCOR and perhaps the Hammond - which seem to require some level retrofitting and may still not be ideal.

    If it was your amp what transformer would you use? I'm just trying to get the best info for him I can at this stage.

    Thanks again

    MJL
    Considering Chucks comments , we're not even sure the PT is bad or if your tech ruined it, etc. Time to find someone else. A tech would not have the customer hunting for a part , a good tech for the most part be able to source most things.

    Looks like heyboyer rewound one last yearhttps://music-electronics-forum.com/...ad.php?t=29735
    nosaj

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Considering Chucks comments , we're not even sure the PT is bad or if your tech ruined it, etc. Time to find someone else. A tech would not have the customer hunting for a part , a good tech for the most part be able to source most things.

    Looks like heyboyer rewound one last yearhttps://music-electronics-forum.com/...ad.php?t=29735
    nosaj
    Check with some of these stores and see who they recommend in the Portand, Maine area
    nosaj
    https://www.yelp.com/search?find_des...Portland%2C+ME

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    .., we're not even sure the PT is bad or if your tech ruined it, etc. Time to find someone else. A tech would not have the customer hunting for a part ,..
    That^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    The first part purchased on the techs advice was wrong. And I'll guess at least difficult, if not impossible to return for any monetary recovery. If the links sent were incorrect that's just another ding. If they weren't incorrect then they were wrong, again. And then there's the point about other work performed.?. If an amp doesn't power up (or have filament voltage or whatever) then that is the priority. I immediately wondered if the "tech" didn't work on the power supply, make a mistake and burn up the PT upon powering up. Clearly this person doesn't know what transformer to put into the amp based on their first recommendation and/or is too unfocused to have noticed it was wrong on that or this next time and/or even to send the correct links. Too many mistakes to write off for me.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Ok... I just went to the Mercury link above, AND... The reverb transformer that appears in your face is a "featured" product. The link is for a search at the site with keyword GA15 rvt. The first list transformer is the GIB-GA17-P, which looks like it may be correct when checking the specs for the Gibson GA17 RVT. A lower wattage amp, but then the power transformer in the pic above is a bit small, so.?. Anyway, it could be the correct link and the correct transformer and I might be bashing this tech prematurely. But I WILL give him a ding for choosing Mercury iron at some two or three times the cost of other options

    EDIT: I see now that the Mercury transformer was a suggestion from THIS site (bow's head in shame). And that the "tech"s link is, indeed, for an output transformer and not a power transformer. So they're back on the gooble gobble list.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    I had a hard time reading that schematic, but maybe this Hammond 290XX or another Blues Jr. replacement might do the trick. The stated voltage is after rectification so seems reasonable. I'm not sure if the Gibson transformer is horizontal or vertical mount; the Blues Jr. is horizontal.

    http://www.nextgenguitars.ca/product...ansformer.html

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    Last edited by Bloomfield; 03-17-2019 at 06:31 PM. Reason: link didn't work

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Check with some of these stores and see who they recommend in the Portand, Maine area
    nosaj
    Hoffman also has a list of recommended techs: https://el34world.com/service.htm

    Don't neglect the not too far away New Hampshire zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Consider that you bought the first unsuitable transformer on this techs suggestion. And consider that the next one suggested is also unsuitable, being the wrong type of transformer. And the third one isn't even in the ballpark.

    I might start to question if this tech is even on the right path. Even if he/she is, are they capable of a retrofit installation? I'm confused about how all the other work was scheduled when the amp doesn't even power up in the first place, as a bad power transformer would suggest. I don't think I would continue with this tech, but I don't know the whole story.
    Thanks again for responding Chuck - While I am not filled with confidence this guy can ultimately get my amp fixed - some of the "suggested fixes" are my fault just trying to find info and some is the veritable rats nest of wiring (and less than comprehensive schematic) and a shit ton of conflicting info out there. I guess I'd ask if it was your amp what transformer do you think would be the optimal choice? EDCOR? Any other mods or upgrades you may have done, or heard of or might suggest?

    Thanks

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloomfield View Post
    I had a hard time reading that schematic, but maybe this Hammond 290XX or another Blues Jr. replacement might do the trick. The stated voltage is after rectification so seems reasonable. I'm not sure if the Gibson transformer is horizontal or vertical mount; the Blues Jr. is horizontal.

    http://www.nextgenguitars.ca/product...ansformer.html
    The Gibson in question has a laydown PT mount. Unfortunately it requires a CT HV secondary and that 290XX doesn't have one. Changing rectifier type is no great shakes IMHO. The 290XX is also somewhat larger, so it would require some retrofitting, if it fits at all. Vp would be about 30V higher than stock I guess. Certainly no worse than my suggestion above.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

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    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    How about a Deluxe Reverb PT?
    If the trans is bad.

    They're about the same and cheap.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewl View Post
    How about a Deluxe Reverb PT?
    If the trans is bad.

    They're about the same and cheap.
    ?????????????????????????????????????????

    The amp in question has 300Vp using a diode rectifier. A Deluxe Reverb PT would push it to about 460Vp It's also a laydown type mount rather than upright.

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    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewl View Post
    If the trans is bad.
    ^^^ yes right there is a pertinent observation: IF. So far we have only the opinion of a so called "tech" who doesn't seem to be able to get anything straight. It would save us ALL a lot of flailing around if the condition of the original PT would be verified by a tech who does know how to check it proper-like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Unfortunately it requires a CT HV secondary and that 290XX doesn't have one.
    Good catch Chuck, I missed that. Looking at that schematic sideways didn't help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ?????????????????????????????????????????

    The amp in question has 300Vp using a diode rectifier. A Deluxe Reverb PT would push it to about 460Vp It's also a laydown type mount rather than upright.

    Agh, I was thinking of a different Gibson.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widget2640 View Post
    I guess I'd ask if it was your amp what transformer do you think would be the optimal choice?
    If it were mine I would probably:

    1) Get the Heyboer if they have it on file and don't charge too much for the custom order. They often don't. They're easy to talk to and work with. You don't get anything if you don't ask.

    2) If that didn't pan out "I" would probably measure the existing hole and see if I could cram the Hammond 270DAZ in there. The specs for mounting the Hammond are on line in the specs. The 270DAZ will probably raise your B+ 30V to 40V. The tubes will handle that with no trouble. I can't say about the OT, but it'll probably be fine with an extra watt or two.

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloomfield View Post
    I had a hard time reading that schematic, but maybe this Hammond 290XX or another Blues Jr. replacement might do the trick. The stated voltage is after rectification so seems reasonable. I'm not sure if the Gibson transformer is horizontal or vertical mount; the Blues Jr. is horizontal.

    http://www.nextgenguitars.ca/product...ansformer.html
    Thanks for responding Blooomfield - the tech confirmed it's a "flat mount" based on this chart: https://mercurymagnetics.com/pages/_...klTM80C5OFzPy8

    Yeah the schematic is brutal. Incomplete, and inconsistent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Hoffman also has a list of recommended techs: https://el34world.com/service.htm

    Don't neglect the not too far away New Hampshire zone.
    Hey Leo - thanks. I sent an email to the fella in NH seeing if he could help. We shall see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    If it were mine I would probably:

    1) Get the Heyboer if they have it on file and don't charge too much for the custom order. They often don't. They're easy to talk to and work with. You don't get anything if you don't ask.

    2) If that didn't pan out "I" would probably measure the existing hole and see if I could cram the Hammond 270DAZ in there. The specs for mounting the Hammond are on line in the specs. The 270DAZ will probably raise your B+ 30V to 40V. The tubes will handle that with no trouble. I can't say about the OT, but it'll probably be fine with an extra watt or two.
    Sincerely, thanks again for providing so much info Chuck. - couple follow ups

    1.) Regarding Heyboer - I followed the link and read the thread - I am baffled as to what to ask Heyboer or what to look for? The thread doesn't mentioned specifics or specs of the custom PT they did for that fella. What would I ask that they had on file? I've put so much time and effort into getting this amp up to speed that I would spend a little bit extra for the best possible replacement. Do I simply call and ask what? Do you have a Drop in replacement PT for a 1965 Gibson 16 RVT? Do they "rewind" the original PT?

    2. The 270DAZ from Hammond is mentioned a couple times, as is this EDCOR on several similar threads... (EDCOR: Power transformer for a 120V, 60Hz. or 240V, 50/60Hz. line to 510V (255-0-255) at 125mA center tapped and 6.3V (3.15-0-3.15) at 4A center tapped. https://www.edcorusa.com/xpwr013 ) If Heyboer doesn't pan out - you would choose the Hammond over the EDCOR?

    Thanks again,

    MJL

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    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    So if the power transformer is found to be faulty there is another place that does rewinds. It seems that TRS (Transformer Rewinding Services) has recently been sold by the original owner. I am pretty sure BlueGlow is the same one I have watched on youtube. Now I don't think they are taking in any rewinds until later in 2019, but who knows maybe by summer. Still good to know there is someone out there offering the services of rewinding transformers. The original website for TRS shows all the Gibsons that they will rewind and the GA15-RVT is on the list. I guess this is more for the future but it's out there.

    Old owner's website: Lists all Gibson amps that they will re-wind. Too bad since he was working in Maine...
    http://members.tripod.com/tubes_tube...vice/id69.html

    New owner's website:
    https://blueglowelectronics.wordpres...mer-rewinding/

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widget2640 View Post
    Sincerely, thanks again for providing so much info Chuck. - couple follow ups

    1.) Regarding Heyboer - I followed the link and read the thread - I am baffled as to what to ask Heyboer or what to look for? The thread doesn't mentioned specifics or specs of the custom PT they did for that fella. What would I ask that they had on file? I've put so much time and effort into getting this amp up to speed that I would spend a little bit extra for the best possible replacement. Do I simply call and ask what? Do you have a Drop in replacement PT for a 1965 Gibson 16 RVT? Do they "rewind" the original PT?

    2. The 270DAZ from Hammond is mentioned a couple times, as is this EDCOR on several similar threads... (EDCOR: Power transformer for a 120V, 60Hz. or 240V, 50/60Hz. line to 510V (255-0-255) at 125mA center tapped and 6.3V (3.15-0-3.15) at 4A center tapped. https://www.edcorusa.com/xpwr013 ) If Heyboer doesn't pan out - you would choose the Hammond over the EDCOR?

    Thanks again,

    MJL
    I'd probably still choose the Hammond if only because it's a lay down mount like the original. The Edcor is not. I don't know what the interior geometry of parts fit is though or how much retrofitting would be necessary for either. At face value I would expect the Hammond to be easier to retrofit.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Weber W025130, The secondary voltage is only slightly higher and it's a lay-down. About 50$.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitman321 View Post
    Weber W025130, The secondary voltage is only slightly higher and it's a lay-down. About 50$.
    A good alternative, but...

    It's 20V higher than the Hammpnd, larger and has an ancillary secondary winding that the Hammpnd doesn't

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-22-2010, 10:40 AM

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