Jack, a few thoughts. Try a cheater plug on the power cord and reverse the polarity. Try taking the bolts out that mount the transformer and put rubber o-rings between the bottom of the transformer and the top of the amp around the bolts holding it in. This will make the trannie sit on the o-rings and not be in direct contact with the top of the amp. You said the shop tightened the bolts, but usually it is a different thing to tighten the transformer bells than it is to tighten the transformer to the top of the amp. Either can cause hum, and both should be addressed. Good luck.
You ask if this is normal, but don't give the make or model number of the amp. Perhaps some psychic audiophiles can give you guidance on that one.
If this is a new unit and the shop is local tell them you want a replacement. You should not hear any buzz coming from the transformer. Do try a cheater plug which will lift the ground
Also you could bring the unit to the dealer, hook it up and see if it buzzes. If it does demand a new unit
Jaybo is correct times 3.
You don't have to suffer in this hobby.
In fact it should be outlawed.
Nervosa maybe nothing worse.
It could be that you have DC on the line. I had this problem in my last apartment with my FirstWatt F1. There are two devices you can get to solve the problem (if it is in fact DC on the line!): the PS Audio Humbuster and the CI Audio XDC-2. Both are sold with 30 day money back guarantees, so if they don't fix the problem you are only out shipping costs. Both companies often have these as B stock as well.
May be that this isn't your problem, but solved my chassis hum problem pronto. One way to tell if DC might be the problem: was there an hum when plugged in at the audio shop you bought it from?
Return it. period. The thing is making noise that is completely unacceptable to you.
It IS defective.
You can only return it for a short while when new. Do NOT allow the shop to screw you around.
If they persist in claiming they can fix that one, tell them to get you a new one, and then they can fiddle with that one all they like.
And yes you should give them a chance on accepting a new one. (perhaps even the demo model? if it is quiet, yes)
It is not necessarily the amp that is defective.
Does it make this hum regardless of where it is plugged in or what it is plugged into?
In my case, it was my apartment's cruddy power. The amp was a Nelson Pass designed and built FirstWatt F1. One of the best amps I have ever owned and lived with (the entire FirstWatt line is fabulous). The crappy receiver I had before the F1 didn't make this noise. Did I want the receiver back in my system? Heck no. I found the cause of the problem and fixed it. Thank you Humbuster and long live the F1.
I suggest systematically explore the issue until you determine exactly what the culprit is.
Regardless, I wish you a hum free existence.
I tried two other wall outlets and there was no change, so I don't think it is the polarity.
Previously I did have the identical model demo unit at home, and I could hear it but only up to about 4 feet. Mine is significantly louder. My desk is is centered behind the sweet spot seating, and I can hear it from the desk, with my ears 17 feet (I measured) from the amplifier.
This is NOT normal. Return it and get a full refund.
This is not acceptable and is ridiculous for them to tell you anything otherwise.
There are plenty of other integrated tube amps that will NOT give any transformer hum.
Return it NOW. The other thing to check is a loose tube socket. Touch the tubes with a wooden stick and see if one of them is resonating. If so, a socket may be loose. If so, then you return it. Either way, return it. The transformer is just a buzzer, get rid of it. The goal is less noise, not more. If they don't have better quality control, change brands. Jallen
It sounds like a defective transformer. Is this unit new? Who makes this unit? A mild buzz is not uncommon in a unit that's a few years old.
What is your amp sitting on? I had a similar problem with a more or less new RM-10. It was my first tube amp as well and I could hear it 10 feet away. I had it sitting directly on a piece of ply on spikes on a rug over concrete. I believe it was resonating with the ply and amplifying the existing hum--and it was annoying as hell. I happened to have some herbies tenderfoots I wasn't using so on a whim I stuck them underneath the amp. Problem solved. I can still hear the same hum if I stick my ears right up to the amp but it's no longer audible from my seating position or even 2 feet out. Nothing magical about the tenderfoots, because I switched them out (tonight as a matter of fact) with some audio technica footers I have and same result: quiet. Try it ASAP. I suppose trying a different platform might work as well.
If it doesn't work then, as most everyone has said (and obviously correctly), return it.
I have a pair of monoblock amps and one of them had a slight buzz that eminated from a transformer. The buzz was related to a quality control issue with the epoxy inside the transformer in a small batch of transformers they had received right around the time my amps were built. If the transformer didn't develop a buzz within a couple of weeks, I was told it never would. The other amp was perfectly silent, by the way.
Based on my experience, I would ask your shop to return the amp to the manufacturer diagnosis and replacement of the transformer if necessary.
I have had my amps for over a year and both remain silent.
Absolutely return the unit.