We have some sharing after quite extensive and exhaustive discussions with a few of our usual suspects - our frequent buyers/users. They've used from Level 1 till level 3 quite frequently for their products and also for own use, and finally we came up with these BKMs (best known methods).
We feel that it is something worth sharing - our transformers user guide, so here it goes. We start with the best of course.
* Level 3 transformers
- The best! Best apply on truly balanced systems. They will reveal any Gremlins in your systems.The -3dB low frequency response could be as low as 5Hz! The highs are adequate and usually extends above 65kHz and above.
- Focus on over all balanced, with excellent low frequency response and weight. Due to this, if your room or speakers have issues on bass, it will be revealed and it will not sound good until you rectify these problems.
- Sometimes one may feel that it is slower and heavier but this IS the true nature of full un-distorted reproduction of the low frequencies. They were missing all the low frequencies all this while! It is best to re-tune the system after the transformer run-in.
- If you have low power amplifiers, it is best not to use these transformers as the true low frequency response will suck more power out of the tube to the transformers/speakers, causing earlier distortion than what it used to have than other transformers. Not many speakers and rooms can handle <30Hz frequencies. Poorly designed amp may distort, speakers may boom or distort, and your room may create problems as such abundance of low frequencies.
- If you have big speakers, perfect room, perfectly designed amplifier, high power tube amplifiers, or aren't afraid of problems on re-tuning your system, this is the perfect output transformer to have! You have to re-tune your system for the new found low frequencies though, this is a must to capture the full potential of your new found system.
- For some that feels that their system low frequency response is inadequate and they want to dig more out of them, this is something to try too if they have some power to spare.
- Character - steady, warm, weighty, extended and thick.
* Level 2 transformers
- 2nd in line top quality for wider coverage of systems. This is our best seller too where it is not so finicky on system matching. The -3db or -2dB low frequency response is usually tuned to 20Hz. The high frequency response usually can go up to as high as 100kHz or more!
- Focus general purpose use, with excellent mid to high frequency response. Bass is not overly done so that is more friendly to the overall system. Since not much music are present below 20Hz, not many speakers can produce 20Hz faithfully, and not many tube amplifiers are capable of delivering full power at 20Hz, no energy is wasted at that region and your overall system may sound more power than it is.
- If you love mid-highs more, have small speakers, have low power amplifiers, have smaller rooms, have room problems or others, this is definitely your ideal choice. It will create lesser issues for you.
- Character - lively, fast, taut, with good PRAT.
* Level 1 & 0 transformers
- This is the budget but good output transformers. It is good for entry to mid level systems and 1st time builders. They can test out their systems first and later upgrade to Level 2 or Level 3 after they get to know their systems more.
- The standard models are quite decent actually especially the ALIS or ALOS version where it has been proven many times to excel and do better than branded transformers a few times the price.
- These are something that users can buy/use everyday due to friendly price for excellent results.
- Character - very balanced, typical tube sound, slightly on the warm side.
That's all for now. Hope you enjoy the read!
J&K Audio Design