A Few Words About Mercury

Your quest for truly inspirational and superior tone has led you to the final link in the chain — Mercury Magnetics. Premium guitar amplifier power transformers, output transformers and chokes.

Transformer sets are often misunderstood, yet vital musical components. They’re integral to the nuances of your guitar amp’s sound. Far more than tubes, speakers or other amp components, the transformers establish the platform for shaping your amp’s unique sound.

Today’s players are more informed and demanding than ever. They hear the differences and know that both transformer design and build-quality have a dramatic effect on their tone. Indeed, if your tube-based amp is suffering from bland and unexciting tone then it’s probably related to low-end or poorly designed transformers. As amp designers, techs and manufacturers have discovered, the practice of dumping generic, low-bidder transformers into their amps doesn’t cut it any more. And now you know why.

Who uses transformers by Mercury Magnetics?

  • The Who’s-Who of top guitar players.
  • The majority of top boutique amp makers, world-wide.
  • Amp manufacturers who produce high-end and signature gear.
  • .. and players like you who are crave the best possible tone from their amps.

Within the player community no other company commands as much respect as Mercury Magnetics. You can depend on our uncompromising, fanatical build quality, consistency and reliability.

All of our transformers are 100% handmade by us here in California, USA. They come with an unheard of 10-Year Workmanship Warranty as well as a money-back Tonal Satisfaction Guarantee.

Who is Mercury Magnetics and why  is our guitar amp project so important to you?

Did you know that tube-based guitar amp transformers are unusual and very different from industrial as well as audio transformers? And did you also know that it is impossible to engineer the “perfect” guitar amplifier transformer from strictly “by the book” specifications? Interestingly, almost all of the great-sounding amp transformers contain either flaws, “happy accidents,” or have other issues in their construction that were not part of their original specifications.

Decades ago, when Mercury’s engineers first discovered these curious phenomena, the music industry was already in the process of losing its references to tone. In the throws of converting to solid state, tube and transformer platforms were mistakenly being relegated to relics of the past. Those who knew the original technology were either retiring, dying off, or jumping ship for the “new improved” way of doing things. By the time we collectively began to realize what was happening to guitar tone, it was almost too late. “Old school” manufacturing had been all but shut down and as quality dwindled N.O.S. (new old stock) components became the last bastion of our tone.

It was during those Dark Ages that the transformer connection to tone was almost lost completely. However, Mercury was there as a hold out — and even when it wasn’t fashionable, never compromised. But as often happens, when an older era fades, the remnants of what made it great were readily available to study. And like archeologists, Mercury’s engineers began sifting through the bones of the most coveted old amps in an attempt to discover what made them better, and often times so different than others.

The resulting products of those studies were the earliest ToneClone and Axiom designs. Mercury quite literally evolved a new science of guitar amp transformer design for tube-based guitar amps from there, and has continued to innovate and revolutionize it since. Perhaps few people realize the significance of these discoveries and the resultant developments. But without Mercury’s catalog of transformer designs, guitar tone as we knew it would have been lost.

We build transformers exclusively for guitar amplifiers. And we’re unique in a number of related ways:

  • 100% American made — no hidden imports — we really do make ’em from scratch, right here in California!
  • 100% handmade and hand-tuned using only handwound components. We never compromise or play bean-counter games by short-cutting, attrition or using cheaper materials. Each and every transformer is consistent. If you ever need to replace one of our transformers, your amp won’t lose its tone — your replacement will sound exactly the same as the original.
  • American-made steel — we’re the only transformer manufacturer who custom orders, from an American steel mill, the unique alloys used in our transformers. These alloys are not only made here in the USA to military specifications, they are not available anywhere else in the world. They’re the same alloys used in the all-time best-sounding transformers during the “sweet spot” era (pre-1965) of guitar amplification history.
  • Things are never stagnant around here. Mercury maintains active and ongoing R&D (research & development). All kinds of new and exciting-sounding transformer designs (Axiom series), as well as our ongoing cloning of outstanding transformers mined from the great old amps (ToneClone series). For vintage British amp freaks, check out our Radiospares, Hiwatt and Partridge series. And many modern amps can be upgraded with our APS series — our newest line of guitar amp-specific transformers.
  • For any popular amp design we’re likely to have not just one but several transformers for different purposes and different tonal characteristics. It’s always a smart idea to discuss replacement, restoration or upgrading with your Mercury rep. — you’ll find his input invaluable.
  • Our transformers are found in the amps of virtually every major player in the world. Many specify Mercury and won’t play an amp without them.
  • Mercury transformers are standard components or factory upgrades available in virtually all high-end boutique amps, including Fender’s boutique and custom shop lines.
  • Mercury transformers are so highly rated that they typically increase the value of any amplifier they’re installed in.
© Mercury Magnetics