Originally Posted by skillz335
...Im just dog paddling and not sure weather or not I have a few of the concepts correct. But from what Im able to gather based off of the purity of the solid metal core vrs sheet laminations the transformer at there respected level of magnetized state determines how much and how phase will interact with the signal(stepin up and/or steping down) ? this also determines how much and if any saturation will transfer over when when the process happens? earlier you said(again I may be misunderstanding) its the frequencys fed that determines how the flux itself interacts with the signal. What then determines the cutoff point for how much?
then, (still if im understanding correct) the tape machines get a double dose of this, first from the tape heads as well as the iorn oxide of the tape itself. in addition, as the signal plays it begins to linger on the tape heads after playback starts saturating into the next in linear piece of the signal? this phase along with flux interactions the cause of saturation?
Also thank you for so much information
. The concepts of Hysteresis(very confusing by the way
) alone has lead me to believe I need to go to school for at least an associates in electrical engineering to further understand signal flow as well as my gear and what it is truly capable of.
As you are beginning to comprehend, the effects of introducing a transformer in an audio circuit can be complex. Transformers can have complex ways of interacting with an audio signal, or they can be virtually "transparent". A transformer designer has a large number of variables to balance in any design (magnetic core alloy, core shape, lamination thickness and number of laminations, wire gauge, wire cross-section shape, wire material, wire insulation material and thickness, and a multitude of different winding geometries, to name a few), and all of the physical design specifications also carry related cost considerations. There are 1:1 ratio audio interstage transformers that retail for less than a dollar or two, and others that can cost $150.
The performance of any transformer depends on all of the above physical factors and more. The interaction of the physical design factors will affect every transformer's performance in areas such as frequency response, harmonic distortion at various frequencies, phase shift, efficiency, sensitivity to DC current, signal symmetry (for multi-winding, balanced designs, etc., etc. There are "off the self" general designs that are widely used by many microphone, mic pre, mixer, and processor equipment makers, and there are electronic equipment makers who have their own very specific transformer requirements requiring them to make their own proprietary designs.
Although analog audio tape is a magnetic medium and does exhibit some modification of an audio waveform with similarities to what happens when a transformer is introduced into a signal chain, It's really a "different animal". A thin film of aligned magnetic domains moving under a tape head has no direct analog in a "passive" nickel-iron core copper wound transformer.
A well designed, quality transformer that is intended for use in pro-grade audio equipment will often have very little or even NO audible effect on signals passing through it. It will simply fulfill it's intended function of impedance transformation, possibly unbalanced:balanced signal change, and DC isolation. Running audio through most tape machines will almost always have an audible effect because the compression and harmonic distortion is one or two orders of magnitude higher than a top-quality transformer.
To understand the function and the effect of transformers on an audio signal, it is not necessary to understand the way all the design factors interact. Leave that up to the few still living transformer designers who have mastered both the science and the "black-art" part of transformer design.
If you really want to delve into the "nitty-gritty" try and find an early copy of the RCA "Radiotron Designers Handbook". My 1952 edition has more about detailed transformer design than anyone in their right mind ever would want to know. For a more general overview, William Whitlock's audio transformer chapter in the Glen Ballou "Handbook for Sound Engineers" is a nice basic reference. See the chart on attached PDF page 28 for info on some harmonic distortion vs. frequency vs. signal level curves (for one particular transformer model only).
Apparently the chapter is too big to add as an attachment. (I tried and it won't stick.) Here's a link to an on-line copy instead