Using 110v USA gear in 220v Europe? Step down converter??
Old 11th May 2013
  #1
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Using 110v USA gear in 220v Europe? Step down converter??

Maybe a dumb question but if using in Europe imported "Made in US" gear that can't be modded, thus designed to run on 110v and US plug, is the only option to use a Stepdown converter here in Europe?

Will a Stepdown Converter adversely affect the audio in any ways??
Is it safe?

What are best Stepdown converters?

Thanks
Old 11th May 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Unless the gear has a power supply that can handle 240V as well as 110V, you'll need a step-down transformer. I once watched someone fry a 110V US power supply by connecting it to a 220V/240V mains socket in Italy.

As to whether the step-down transformer will affect the sound, I'm not too sure. On the one hand, I wouldn't expect it to make too much difference while, on the other, I can imagine scenarios where it might change current levels/characteristics and cause audible changes as a result.

However, not using one when you need one will definitely affect your sound, if only on the basis that gear with fried power supplies/internals doesn't tend to work at all!
Old 12th May 2013
  #3
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Read the tag. Some switching power supplies will take input voltage from90 to 250 that just needs a new plug.

Otherwise you need a step down transformer.
Old 14th May 2013
  #4
Gear nut
 

I've used one of those transformers with a Marshall stack bought from the US without any issues, but wether or not it affects the sound of it I can't really say. In theory, it shouldn't.
Old 14th May 2013
  #5
after the transformer it's 110V, and 110V is 110V. The only difference is that Americas use 60Hz and most of the world use 50Hz, so you'll have 110V 50Hz...
Old 14th May 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
The only difference is that Americas use 60Hz and most of the world use 50Hz, so you'll have 110V 50Hz...
...is that Good/Bad/dontmatter ?!
Old 14th May 2013
  #7
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Of greater concern is the 60Hz to 50Hz question.
Old 14th May 2013
  #8
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So using gear designed at 110v/60Hz with 110stepdown/50Hz is ok?

Better than going from 50Hz to 60hz @ 220V ?

I ask cos in planning to get a multitrack USA recorder, not that the audio quality is then gonna suffer cos of Hz mismatch !!

Thanks
Old 14th May 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
So using gear designed at 110v/60Hz with 110stepdown/50Hz is ok?

Better than going from 50Hz to 60hz @ 220V ?

I ask cos in planning to get a multitrack USA recorder, not that the audio quality is then gonna suffer cos of Hz mismatch !!

Thanks
It shouln't be a problem with any gear except with some tapemachines that use mains frequency as a reference for the capstan speed.
Old 14th May 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Power transformers that are designed for only 60Hz can get very unhappy with a 50Hz line. They can overheat and/or saturate. 50Hz transformers are comfortable with a 60Hz line. Many components are designed for both 50 & 60Hz lines. Turntables and tape recorders often need their designed line frequency.

Note that US 110V and Europe 220V are values from the past. US is now in the 120/125V range and the European voltages are also drifting upward.
Old 14th May 2013
  #11
Gear Head
Europe is running closer to 230/240 these days indeed.
You might get a slight buzzing running a stepdown converter, depends on the quality. I'm running one here in Norway for some old gear that doesn't have the ability to run at 220-240, and getting some noise from the gear:/
Other than the slight noise...no problems so far

Sent from my HTC One X
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