|Plitron's Incredible Transformers|
Don't Even Consider Not Getting One.
Back when Counterpoint was in business, they built their own transformers to my specifications. The Precision Magnetics Division (PMD of Counterpoint had tens of thousands of dollars of equipment for winding and stacking power transformers for my Counterpoint designs and they provided transformers for other companies in the San Diego area, including McCormack Audio. They built the boxy "laminated" (usually EI) type of transformer.
All audio gear uses transformers and most audio gear uses these laminated types. There is another less-common type, called a "toroid" -- a cylindrical, doughnut-shaped type that requires very different equipment to build. Electrically or
Does it seem odd to spend money on a transformer? Not really: it maker as much sense as buying a good quality high-end AC cord -- they are both part of the path through which your component gets its power from the wall outlet.
sonically, toroidal designs are not really better than laminated designs; but toroids are considered "better" by the market. To counter the unfounded praise that reviewers, dealers and retailers alike showered on toroidal transformers, I wrote a white paper, "Dollars For Donuts?" on the subject, which detailed the advantages, including lower cost of laminated transformers relative to toroidal parts, and how they were, in fact, superior in most ways.
Sonically, I never found a toroidal transformer that outperformed the laminated parts that Counterpoint's PMD built for my products until 1996, when I auditioned a sample part that Plitron in Canada built for my Claritas One preamp. The thing rocked! It had a dead-quiet background, amazing intertransient silence, greater detail top-to-bottom, better punch in the bass, and a generally sweeter sound overall. By comparison, all the other transformers I had in hand for audition, including toroids built by other manufacturers, sounded grungy and sluggish. I was jazzed.
And I still am. That's why I offer transformers built by Plitron for all my upgrades. The parts are costly, because they are hand-assembled one at a time. It takes a long time to build them but the wait is worth it. Units fitted with Plitron toroidal transformers have deeper, more powerful bass, sound more musical, more dynamic, more everything that music needs to be exciting and natural-sounding.
Without putting too fine a point on it, if you don't get one of these transformers as part of your upgrades, you're missing out on a big part of what your Counterpoint product is capable of. Allow 8 weeks for the transformer to be built and shipped to me.