Initial Build, Part III: More Transformers!

Good morning!

When we last left our intrepid hobbyist (me), I had just mounted the Mother Of All Mains Transformers on the chassis. Our Audio Note Kit 1 build saga continues today with the affixing of the remaining transformers. By the way, “RGA,” a reviewer, Audio Note fan and frequent poster to the SET Asylum on is following this blog, too. He refers to these kit parts as “big-arse” transformers and opines that they are responsible for the excellent low end of extension of these kits. I am going to write to Brian Smith and suggest that the newest revision of the kit construction manual include the colorful descriptive “big arse” before each instance of the word “transformer.”


The first thing to be added to the chassis today is the choke transformer, the smallest of the lot. (By the way, it’s my shallow understanding that the function of the choke transformer is to filter the incoming power, but I’d be glad to be gently and politely set straight by someone who knows better).

The choke transformer’s a good inch or so shorter than the other transformers, which is why the manual recommends propping up the overturned chassis books or boxes before beginning to affix the parts, like so:


Below you see the nifty little threaded hex spacers which, along with some washers and screws on the other side of the chassis, hold the choke transformer in place. These are female threaded on one end and male threaded on the other. The threaded, male extensions will eventually serve…


… to hold a PCB in place, like so! (Again, what I’ve referred to as the “architectural” or “3D” aspect of the design).


And voila, here’s the choke transformer getting acquainted with it’s mains transformer buddy. (And yes, my work space is a non-dedicated mess…)

transformers-4And now, here are the two massive output transformers, ready to be screwed down with nuts, bolts and two kinds of washers (having threaded their wires through the appropriate grommets).


And what else can you say at this point but —



Let me add a couple of closing thoughts to this post:

Another, very satisfying aspect of the kit building experience is (oddly enough) screwing down the parts to the chassis. You bear down and turn that screwdriver until you are sure it’s a solid attachment, which means that (unlike buying a cheap amp from eBay) you never have to wonder how strongly or carefully it was assembled because you assembled it.

At the risk of excessive repetition, I wish I could convey how freakin’ HEAVY this thing now is! We’re talking, pause-and-make-sure-you-have-a-good-grip-and-draw-a-deep-breath-before-you-try-to-lift-it heavy.

Until next time, when we begin to assemble the IEC power section…

3 thoughts on “Initial Build, Part III: More Transformers!

  1. Have you thought about isolating the transformers and choke from the chassis so that vibrations are not transferred. Ask on AA if this is good practice and, if so, what material DIYers recommend.

    1. Interesting question, John. I noticed, of course, that the kit supplies rubber strips for isolation under the Mains Transformer, but I don’t know why they are not recommended under the choke and OPT’s.

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