Are TO 3 transistors better sounding?

January 11, 2023
 by Paul McGowan

6 comments on “Are TO 3 transistors better sounding?”

  1. If the silicon chip was the same in TO-3 and the molded plastic ones, the sound should be the same. Also the molded one transistor must have an isolator between its metal base and a metal heatsink. But the molded transistors are of newer development and basically have better data than the old ones. By the way, in early years there were also Germanium transistor chips in the TO-3 case. One problem with TO-3 was that the solder joints from the base and emitter pins break over time due to thermal expansion when soldered to a PC board. A common failure also in power supplies where these transistors were used.

    1. Hello Sven,
      I have not noticed reference to “Germanium” transistors in 50 years! Maybe I wasn’t paying attention as life moved along. Thanks for the flood of memories you brought back.
      – Jeffrey in Philadelphia

  2. Some amplifiers that used them sounded very sweet and smooth. Nice space around instruments. What they use today sound different, very tight and punchy versus the TO-3 that had a warmer sound. I have some amplifiers with the TO-3. Love them. Love the modern ones used in my Creek amplifier as well. What great amplifiers Creek makes. Luxman makes class A and AB amplifiers that use the TO-3. Expensive amplifiers for the low watts you get in the class A.

  3. Currently I use a Crown DC-300A power amp with lots of TO-3 bipolar transistors. Huge power, clean bass down to DC voltage, but my DAC has only AC output. Of course DC in audio is senseless.

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