MONOLITH MAGNETICS is the result of a cooperation between Dr. Ward De Ceuninck and Yves Pexsters, two men sharing a passion for music and the technology involved in its reproduction. Office and production facilities are located in
Excellence through knowledge, knowledge through research
We do not have secret recipes, nor is there any black magic around Monolith products, which may seem unusual in the world of audiophile components. The cutting edge performance of Monolith Magnetics products are the fruit of scientific research in the domain of wideband transformers carried out over a period of several years by Dr. Ward De Ceuninck and Yves Pexsters. The vast majority of contemporary audio transformers are designs, based on procedures developed 50 years ago or more. Although satisfactory designs might be achieved, real optimisation of a wideband transformer, which is inherently a complex compromise of interacting parameters, requires a much more in-depth approach than a set of textbook formulas and design procedures.The goal of our research has been to develop a computer based model allowing us to resolve the complex equations necessary to optimize any wideband transformer on the drawing board, without the limitations of old textbook procedures, or building a series of “trial and error” prototypes.
Synthesis of our research, a computer aided design model
The urge to re-explore historical knowledge on audio transformers was originally a purely academic passion without a commercial product in mind. The idea of a commercial challenge came in a natural way during the research process. Whilst already having substantial knowledge on electro-magnetics, physics in general and practical transformer design and manufacture, a full 3 years were spent on research, the time required to build a useful computer model that could simulate and optimize a wideband transformer on the drawing board. This research process involved a series of over 80 prototype transformers with the purpose of investigating specific phenomena, comparing field data with the simulation in order to fine-tune and calibrate the model. The recorded measurements and gathered insights have enabled us to develop a computer aided mathematical/physical model that has been refined ever since and will be in future.
This model can be seen as simulation software that takes into account any design parameter relevant to a wideband transformer, be it :
- A material property of magnet wire, magnetic core material and insulation dielectric data
- A physical distance inside the core, coil and windings geometry
- An input/output electrical data like levels, frequencies, source impedance and load properties.
It gives a clear view on what can be described as parasitic phenomena, the unwanted extras that turn the theoretically perfect transformer into the real life transformer with its shortcomings like insertion loss, leakage flux and waveform distortion. It provides a detailed analysis of the different areas in the coil geometry responsible for parasitic capacitances and much more. It shows us the consequences of changing any parameter, lets us try and evaluate the performance of any winding scheme without actually building the transformer. Final optimisation requires not more than a few prototypes. To summarize, it assists us in what audio transformer design is all about: “The art of making an excellent compromise”
The attitude toward the compromise… our design philosophy
Monolith Magnetics stands for products:
Monolith Magnetics stands for products:
built for performance, starting a design with the right ingredients rather than dictated by economics. The use of over-dimensioned C-cores custom made/annealed to our specifications and exclusive insulating materials like PTFE are found throughout the top range of Monolith products.
tailored for serving a dedicated purpose rather than to be “a jack of all trades and a master of none”. To illustrate this statement, we strongly prefer to offer 3 different dedicated transformers instead of offering a more or less universal transformer that fits in everywhere like a 845 power stage, but intended as well for the 211 and maybe also the GM-70 with secondary connections to match 2, 4, 8 and 16 Ohm loads
that are more than just a handmade product. All Monolith products are manufactured with craftsmanship in a consistent way and with repeatable quality. All products are made according to strict guidelines and use techniques like clean layer winding with insulation between each layer to guarantee excellent reproducibility.my