Novels can be written on transformers, how they are designed, what materials can be used, how those materials effect tone, etc. (I'll try to put this in context that is easy to follow or understand verses explaining it from an overly technical point of view, which often times only serves to confuse the issue.)
If you installed a 4 cylinder Ford or GM engine into a Ferrari it would be safe to say that the Ferrari would not perform or handle like a Ferrari should, even though the potential is clearly present on the rest of the car. It would look the same but to say the least the performance would be greatly altered. To take this one step further; If you had 10 different output transformers made to the exact same specs but the laminations were made from metal from 10 different countries, you would have 10 very different sounding output transformers. This is just one aspect and there are many others (IE: winding styles/methods, bobbin used, thickness of the wire, what the wire is made of, insulation material used, etc.)
Here are few common questions that we are asked when someone is thinking about replacing a transformer(s) in their amp;
"How much is the tone altered and on what scale can we gauge this?" How much the tone is altered may or may not be obvious and this greatly depends on the experience and skills of each individual player. It would be more obvious to an experienced player (someone who has been playing for years). It may not be as obvious to someone who is fairly new to playing or has not been playing all that long.
"Do all amps need to have the transformers upgraded?"
No, naturally not all amps require new transformers. If you are not certain whether or not your amp would benefit from a transformer upgrade then we would recommend consulting with an professional tech who has built, designed and/or Modified amps for years.
"Will a new output transformer be the magical cure?"
No, seldom is it the magical key that cures everything you dislike about a given amp. It can certainly make a profound difference but it will not change things such as Gain structure, an overly bright amp, an amp that has too much bottom end and so on. Those are things that need to be addressed within the amps circuitry as often times it is inherent to the way the circuit/amp was designed, which can be changed.
Having said all that, let me say this: I think if you go with a well-made output transformer and you have an ear for tone then you will not only hear the difference but you will also feel the difference in how the amp handles and performs. Naturally it all comes down to tone and how finely tuned each player's ears are.
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