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Toroids and Guitar Amps

ToroidsToroidal inductors are passive electric components that are shaped into a circular ring.  They have the appearance of a doughnut that is made up of hundreds of miniscule wires. The inner ring is composed of a magnetic core that has high magnetic permeability material such as iron or ferrite.  The core is surrounded by coiled wire in order to make it an inductor. These devices are used in almost any mains-operated electronic equipment, and they are a vital aspect of many electronically driven machines and devices. Toroidal coils are used in a variety of different applications, ranging from AC electronic circuits to amplification enhancers for musical equipment.

Toroids make a superior tube output for guitar amplifiers, but they are normally more expensive to manufacture than traditional E-I transformers.  There are many benefits for choosing an amp that uses toroid as output transformers.  Toroidal output transformers are often used in tube amplifiers. Historically, toroids were twice as expensive as the traditional E-I transformer—a popular choice for many guitar amplifier manufacturers—but due to advancements in the industry, toroidal winding machinery has allowed labor expensive to decrease, making EI and Toroidal transformers  more balanced in cost differences.   

Quick Facts About Toroids in Guitar Amplifiers

Toroid transformers have excellent magnetic coupling between winding.  The mass of the toroidal core is larger than the conventional E-I transformer because toroidal cores saturate at low frequencies, which causes unpleasant distortion.

  • The superior sound is a result of the toroid’s capacity to have a more efficient magnetic circuit path that and radiate less leakage of magnetic fields.
  • Toroids are mechanically quiet, and extremely easy to mount. They only require one hole.
  • The process of making a toroid is monetarily inexpensive. 
  • Toroidal transformers are innately more efficient than any other type of transformer type, which in inherently important to abetting the agenda of environmental consciousness and energy reduction.  For amplifiers, the amp uses less energy when being used.
  • Toroidal amps have the tendency to hum if you are too close in proximity. It is recommended to stand at least 5-7 feet away from the amplifier to limit distracting hums.
  • Toroids are highly revered in solid state amps as they send less EMI and interference to surrounding components.
  • High quality toroidal transformers handle low frequencies very well, but add some weight to the device.

The next time you are in the market for a guitar amp, ensure that it has a toroidal transformer.


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