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General Discussions => Drawing Board => Topic started by: CurtZHP on January 21, 2021, 04:07:35 PM

Title: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on January 21, 2021, 04:07:35 PM
I noticed that the OEP website no longer exists, and whatever web presence they had seems to have been rolled into Carnhill.co.uk.

I was trying to find out if anything changed regarding the A262CAN shield can that they provide for their transformers.

I just ordered a couple transformers and cans from Newark.com (apparently the only US vendor for OEP).  I've ordered several of these over the years from Newark, and every time I bought shield cans, they included the bottom plate.  This time around, there were no bottom plates in the package.  Contacted Newark, and the rep tells me there's no bottom plate for that item.  I tell him that, not only have I gotten bottom plates before, but every other OEP vendor in the world includes a bottom plate, as depicted on their sites.  (Newark's site, for some reason, only depicts the can itself.)  They do not offer the plate as a separate item either.  After I give him this response, he writes back and suggests I contact Newark tech support.

 >:(
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: ruffrecords on January 21, 2021, 04:23:07 PM
I did not know the OEP site had gone.

RS also do OEP - does RS operate in the US? They certainly include the bottom plate if their web page can be believed:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/audio-transformers/2106469/ (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/audio-transformers/2106469/)

Of course Newark is just Farnell in disguise. Farnell shows the can without the base and charges more than RS too.

Cheers

ian
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on January 21, 2021, 04:25:51 PM
I did not know the OEP site had gone.

RS also do OEP - does RS operate in the US? They certainly include the bottom plate if their web page can be believed:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/audio-transformers/2106469/ (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/audio-transformers/2106469/)

Of course Newark is just Farnell in disguise. Farnell shows the can without the base and charges more than RS too.

Cheers

ian

If you look closely at the picture, where it shows the can from the bottom, you can actually make out the bottom plate tucked up in there.  Look for the pin holes.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Walrus on January 21, 2021, 06:39:17 PM
Ordered some of the cans from Farnell UK before Xmas and they came without the plate. Spoke to Farnell who said they werent sure if the plate was being supplied anymore.
So contacted OEP who were very apologetic and said yes, the plate should have been supplied and sent me some direct.

So the ones Newark got from OEP were probably from the same batch that Farnell UK got.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on January 21, 2021, 08:27:41 PM
Ordered some of the cans from Farnell UK before Xmas and they came without the plate. Spoke to Farnell who said they werent sure if the plate was being supplied anymore.
So contacted OEP who were very apologetic and said yes, the plate should have been supplied and sent me some direct.

So the ones Newark got from OEP were probably from the same batch that Farnell UK got.

That's good to know.  How did you contact OEP?
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: rackmonkey on January 21, 2021, 11:58:19 PM
The Carnhillification of all the UK transformer manufacturers rolls on.

Are there any left that Carnhill hasn’t bought up?
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: ruffrecords on January 22, 2021, 04:29:32 AM
The Carnhillification of all the UK transformer manufacturers rolls on.

Are there any left that Carnhill hasn’t bought up?

There are still quite a lot of small independent transformer manufacturers in the UK and many of them make audio transformers. None of them is/was as prominent as the ones Carnhill acquired but maybe that is why they are keeping a low profile.  ;) Most tend to be family run businesses so if there is no offspring willing to take on the business when the owner retires their only option is to sell it. Of course, audio is only a tiny fraction of the transformer market so many of them will be of no interest to Carnhill. Carnill is owned by John and June Hall who also live near Oxford where OEP is based. John is now 73 so maybe maybe he will sell the lot to the Harmon empire?

Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Walrus on January 22, 2021, 08:34:30 AM
That's good to know.  How did you contact OEP?
Carnhill Transformers Ltd t/a OEP
Tel: +44 (0)1865 855085
Fax: +44 (0)1865 855075
DDL: +44 (0)1865 855098
E-mail:  [email protected]
Web:  www.oep.co.uk
Address: Unit 5, Oxonian Park, Langford Locks, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 1FP
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on January 22, 2021, 10:07:28 AM
Carnhill Transformers Ltd t/a OEP
Tel: +44 (0)1865 855085
Fax: +44 (0)1865 855075
DDL: +44 (0)1865 855098
E-mail:  [email protected]
Web:  www.oep.co.uk
Address: Unit 5, Oxonian Park, Langford Locks, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 1FP

Thanks!
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: mjrippe on January 22, 2021, 03:12:42 PM
Carnill is owned by John and June Hall who also live near Oxford where OEP is based. John is now 73 so maybe maybe he will sell the lot to the Harmon empire?

Good grief, Ian, how could you even say that out loud?!?  ;)
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: ruffrecords on January 22, 2021, 03:31:30 PM
Good grief, Ian, how could you even say that out loud?!?  ;)

Look, if Covid has taught us one thing, it is to look these devils in the eye.  ;)

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: abbey road d enfer on January 24, 2021, 06:48:18 AM
John is now 73 so maybe maybe he will sell the lot to the Harmon empire?
I doubt the now Samsung-owned Harman conglomerate would be interested in the audio xfmr business.
But Beh....er may be. I believe he would appreciate owning a brand that has so close links to Neve.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on January 25, 2021, 10:36:00 PM
Update:

OEP promptly responded.  Said they will send me the bottom plates, and also said they will contact Newark to straighten them out as far as what's included with the shield cans.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: warpie on January 26, 2021, 03:27:46 AM
Good news.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 03, 2021, 09:33:51 PM
The Carnhillification of all the UK transformer manufacturers rolls on.

Are there any left that Carnhill hasn’t bought up?

Sowter
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: warpie on February 04, 2021, 03:57:27 AM
Sowter

We wish...
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Newmarket on February 04, 2021, 09:02:38 AM
The Carnhillification of all the UK transformer manufacturers rolls on.

Are there any left that Carnhill hasn’t bought up?

How about these not that far from myself in Sussex ?
https://www.stevens-billington.co.uk/ (https://www.stevens-billington.co.uk/)

Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: CurtZHP on February 04, 2021, 10:59:22 AM
Have any of you guys tried Vigortronix?  Near as I can tell, they are an OEP knock-off.
Look just about identical.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that one of their designers used to work for OEP.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 04, 2021, 11:17:10 AM
How about these not that far from myself in Sussex ?
https://www.stevens-billington.co.uk/ (https://www.stevens-billington.co.uk/)

Never heard about Stevens Billington before, but the transformers sure look good.

I bought some Lustraphone clone transformers from Cyril Jones(Raindirk) and the transformers look pretty similar to the Stevens Billington even the wiring and wiring colors, I don't know if there's a connection there but physically look pretty similar.

Anyone used Stevens Billington transformers before or has any info?
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 04, 2021, 11:18:38 AM
Have any of you guys tried Vigortronix?  Near as I can tell, they are an OEP knock-off.
Look just about identical.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that one of their designers used to work for OEP.

Yes, Vigortronix and OEP transformers look exactly the same I even though they were both produced in the same factory but re-branded differently. But I have no info on those also
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: EmRR on February 04, 2021, 11:51:32 AM
Isn't the Billington stuff known in guitar amps, historically? 
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: [silent:arts] on February 04, 2021, 04:05:08 PM
Sowter
Look at the bottom left on their homepage.
https://www.sowter.co.uk/
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: ruffrecords on February 04, 2021, 04:58:29 PM
Look at the bottom left on their homepage.
https://www.sowter.co.uk/
80:20 rule probably.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: rackmonkey on February 04, 2021, 06:16:51 PM
Isn't the Billington stuff known in guitar amps, historically?

A quick glance at their web site shows a pro-audio bent, which surprised me. I always thought of them as focusing on hi-fi based on what I'd seen on ebay (MC transformers).
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 04, 2021, 09:23:35 PM
Look at the bottom left on their homepage.
https://www.sowter.co.uk/

Ohhh really??

 :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\


I didn't know that, thanks for letting me know
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: abbey road d enfer on February 05, 2021, 02:46:26 AM
Look at the bottom left on their homepage.
https://www.sowter.co.uk/
Shock! Like Volkswagen being absorbed by Skoda.
Or Bentley by Volkswagen. Oh well! It can actually happen...
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: My3gger on February 05, 2021, 04:58:03 PM
Ohh no, this probably means they won't make much custom stuff anymore, if at all. Makes me wonder what will prices be and if selling will be direct as before. It is so much better when manufacturer looks at schematic to find best product for application.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 05, 2021, 05:27:43 PM
Ohh no, this probably means they won't make much custom stuff anymore, if at all. Makes me wonder what will prices be and if selling will be direct as before. It is so much better when manufacturer looks at schematic to find best product for application.

I see what you mean on the custom stuff, but prices for more current or standard transformers might be lower, Sowter is expensive like Jensen, while Carnhil transformers are not pricier...

Well but maybe all stays the same, it depends on what the involvement is.

Midas is a top manufacturer of Live sound consoles, when it was taken by Behringer prices of Midas stuff went down, fortunately that didn’t seem to impact Midas products quality.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Squeaky on February 05, 2021, 10:47:00 PM
Ohh no, this probably means they won't make much custom stuff anymore, if at all. Makes me wonder what will prices be and if selling will be direct as before. It is so much better when manufacturer looks at schematic to find best product for application.

The takeover has certainly impacted Sowter shipping (perfect storm, I suppose, along with the advent of the man-pangolin-bat bug). 20 weeks and waiting for my xfmr.
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 06, 2021, 02:37:19 PM
The takeover has certainly impacted Sowter shipping (perfect storm, I suppose, along with the advent of the man-pangolin-bat bug). 20 weeks and waiting for my xfmr.

Sorry to hear that, hope it gets sorted soon
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: My3gger on February 07, 2021, 02:16:38 PM
I see what you mean on the custom stuff, but prices for more current or standard transformers might be lower, Sowter is expensive like Jensen, while Carnhil transformers are not pricier...

Well but maybe all stays the same, it depends on what the involvement is.

Midas is a top manufacturer of Live sound consoles, when it was taken by Behringer prices of Midas stuff went down, fortunately that didn’t seem to impact Midas products quality.

Cinemag is also winding small quantities of custom products beside others, so Sowter has competition in this regard. Carnhill is probably cheaper because they don't make many models, as far as i know their outputs don't have Ni content which drives prices up.
Smaller companies are interesting too, we have big list of them.

Beside Sotwer people are reporting Cinemag is also delaying shipping for months, could be because of Covid related problems.

Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: ruffrecords on February 07, 2021, 03:10:55 PM
I think the situation is messed up by Covid more than anything else. The Carnhill group takeover of Sowter happened nearly a year ago and Brian is still acting as a consultant. I spoke to him back end of last year about a custom inductor which they were still happy to make in quantities of 2. OEP is similar. It got taken over earlier but it still functions much as before. I have had great support from them in designing special transformers for the Mark 3 tube mixer.  Before Christmas I also spoke to Dave at Cinemag about the same inductor. He gave a better price but lead time was much the same as Sowter. I paid for them in December and have contacted him twice since about it but not had a reply.

It will not be until Covid is really gone that any true differences will emerge.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: What's up with OEP?
Post by: Whoops on February 07, 2021, 04:56:19 PM
I contacted Cinemag several times in the past and even then the lead times were long, and most of the transformers even the standard ones they didnt have stock of them so they were manufacturing to order.

Although Cinemag is more affordable than Sowter,Jensen or Lundahl , great quality though