Toshiba Transistor Fakes – another case

In February 2004 I ordered Toshiba power transistors 2SC3182 and 2SA1265-type
at a major German supplier.
All transistors died immediately.
During investigation it turned out that I was not alone.
There are circulating fakes of power transistors.

February 2004, somewhere in Germany

I used freshly bought Thoshiba transistors as drivers in the final stage of a Fine Arts A9000 amplifier. The types 2SC3182 and 2SA1265 corresponded exactly to the original service documents. A few seconds after switching on power the base-collector paths of these transistors blow. As a result immediately also the complementary driver transistors burned through, as they experienced a short circuit to the supply voltage against which they tried to work what they can not do. This happened with aconsiderable production of heat.

After all of the transistors and resistors were replaced (almost the entire stage) the same process happened with the new transistors in an identical manner a second time! The heat damaged the PCB so that some pads were pulled, and a repair of my amp got more difficult.

Figure 1: Extract from the circuit diagram of the power amplifier

The following reasons suggest that the delivered transistors did not meet the specified parameters, so that they were declared as the wrong types:

Everything pointed out that the amplifier transistors were beaten simply by applying the working voltage.

After some research I came across a web site about Toshiba transistor fakes.
The descriptions were practically identical with my experiences.

Evidence for a fakes

Toshiba transistor fake

The burnt-out transistors from the outside ...

Toshiba transistor fake

... And from within. 2SC3182 (left) and 2SA1265 (right)

I had luck that that the transistors blow immediatly and not a few hours later. At this amp I was running my brand new speakers ME25, where a damage would be eally expensive (price of the speakers was 783 € each).

As a gesture of goodwill I received pin-compatible transistors 2SC5200 and 2SA1943 from the supplier, which have more power and higher limits. They worked.

Not allone

More cases of Thoshiba Transistor Fakes: – Site of Scott Elliott – German translation of Scotts site