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Any Advice on Step Down Voltage converters for USA Monitors to be used in Germany?
Old 25th March 2014
  #1
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Any Advice on Step Down Voltage converters for USA Monitors to be used in Germany?

Hello

I'm taking my USA model Yamaha HS8 studio monitors with me to Germany and need to purchase a step-down voltage converter as American electronics are mostly designed to handle about half the voltage that European outlets generate.

HS8 - HS Series - Studio Monitors - Music Production Tools - Products - Yamaha United States

They are 120Ws each, so was going to purchase 2 500 Watt converters (to be in the safe side, people suggest at least 2 or even 3 times the maximum wattage capacity in a converter).

Has anyone else had experience with this? I don't want to fry the monitors, but also don't want to spend hundreds on a converter when it might make more sense to just buy a pair of European versions of the monitors.

I was looking at these and I can't see anything wrong with them. But they seem so inexpensive.

TC-500A-U/D 500 Watt Step Up And Down Voltage Transformer

This one is many times more pricey, but I don't see anything about it that indicates I would need this or what even is different about it. Any reason to spend so much that I am missing?

VOLTCRAFT AT-400 NV Vorschalt-Transformator, Spannungswandler, 115/125/230/240 V/AC / 230/240/115/125 V/AC / 400 W im Conrad Online Shop | 511360

They are supposedly for "continuous use" electronics, so they SHOULD be ok. But....does anyone out there have a better suggestion?


Thanks So Much
Chris
Old 26th March 2014
  #2
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
A 500W transformer for EACH monitor seems excessive. I would think that ONE 500W transformer would be more than adequate for two 120W loads.
If it exhibits an excessive temperature-rise during use, then buy another one.

Assuming your speakers are rated 120V only and are not "universal" or switchable?
The information about power for those things seems to be a proprietary secret!
Old 27th March 2014
  #3
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the first one is an auto transformer. and they get hot and most are noisy.
the second one is an auto transformer with nutral sensing.


nope.

Hammond 172D
but before you buy one,
I would at least try to get ahold of someone at yamaha to see if they were smart enough to use a universal supply.

or at least 50hz compatible.

also you could open up one of these things, you might find it having a jumper for 240V
Old 27th March 2014
  #4
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
There is nothing inherent about auto-transformers that make them "hot and noisy". (Or proper transformers that make them "cool and quiet", for that matter.)
But cheap, lousy transformers (or any product for that matter) can be expected to perform at a lower level.

I doubt very much that the monitor speaker power supplies care about the mains frequency. Even if they are hard-wired to 120V or to 230V (or even 100V for Japan)

I always thought Yamaha was a more heads-up kind of company and used universal (or switched) supplies. Or, at minimum, actually published mains power specs.
Shame on Yamaha for being so sloppy.
Old 27th March 2014
  #5
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Time Tech's Avatar
 

From Yamaha site...

"HS8/HS5 Overseas Voltage Compatible? (switchable power supply)
Back to the list
Go to Product Information

Last Update: 09/25/2013

No, these do not come with a switchable power supply, thus will need to be used with a voltage converter if/when used with voltage other than US 120v."

This appears to be a US / North American designated product. Overseas 50 hz line frequency could be a concern if the amps are fitted with 60hz only power transformers. The power transformers may overheat or worse.

As for the step down transformers they will only convert the voltage not the line frequency.

The Yamaha amps power draw is 60 watts as detailed in their spec info. I'm too lazy to do the full calculations but since 2 speakers would draw 120 watts (2x60) and the drop down transformer ratio is 2:1 (240-120) I would guesstimate that any step down transformer rated above 250 watts would work fine for two speakers.

That's just my 2 dB on the subject, YMMV. enjoy overseas!

Last edited by Time Tech; 27th March 2014 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 31st May 2015
  #6
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I bought a pair of US Yamahas HS5 and brought them to Spain,i bought a couple of cheap transformers, im guessing this wasnt enough... so if i could get my hands on a couple of these TC-500A-U/D 500 Watt Step Up And Down Voltage Transformer - World Import i should be okay?
Old 31st May 2015
  #7
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickALon View Post
...i bought a couple of cheap transformers, im guessing this wasnt enough...
What does "cheap transformer" mean?
Did you buy the transformers but you did not try them?
Why are you guessing that they are not enough?
You question contains no useful details.
Old 15th March 2017
  #8
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What about the other way round... just moved to usa and i have krk's bought in europe...should i open one monitor and check for a jumper? If available...even though i wonder why would you have a jumper inside and not voltage switch outside the monitor
Old 15th March 2017
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transilmania View Post
What about the other way round... just moved to usa and i have krk's bought in europe...should i open one monitor and check for a jumper? If available...even though i wonder why would you have a jumper inside and not voltage switch outside the monitor
The jumper is cheaper. The switch cost money. You do the math.
Old 14th August 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnsl View Post
What about the other way round... just moved to usa and i have krk's bought in europe...should i open one monitor and check for a jumper? If available...even though i wonder why would you have a jumper inside and not voltage switch outside the monitor
Hey i'm running into the same issue bringing a pair of Yamaha HS7 230V model for use in the USA. Do I just need a step-up converter for them? Thanks guys.
Old 14th August 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yomamajomama View Post
Hey i'm running into the same issue bringing a pair of Yamaha HS7 230V model for use in the USA. Do I just need a step-up converter for them? Thanks guys.
I ended up buying new ones in usa... sell them before you move
Old 14th August 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnsl View Post
I ended up buying new ones in usa... sell them before you move
appreciate the update man - i'm already in the US lol def a lesson learned here
Old 14th August 2019
  #13
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If the supply voltage isn't selectable, you do need either a step-up transformer or a 240V outlet and appropriate plug converter. It's certainly possible to get 240V outlets installed in (most) US houses and businesses; but they are not too common except for dedicated outlets for high-power appliances or tools. It would probably cost more to hire an electrician to install one than to buy a transformer. If you're in an apartment building or office space with three phase power, you'll most likely need a step-up transformer as typical American three phase power for these buildings has 208V between the phases (and 120V phase to neutral).
Old 14th August 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
If the supply voltage isn't selectable, you do need either a step-up transformer or a 240V outlet and appropriate plug converter. It's certainly possible to get 240V outlets installed in (most) US houses and businesses; but they are not too common except for dedicated outlets for high-power appliances or tools. It would probably cost more to hire an electrician to install one than to buy a transformer. If you're in an apartment building or office space with three phase power, you'll most likely need a step-up transformer as typical American three phase power for these buildings has 208V between the phases (and 120V phase to neutral).
Thanks for the quick reply man! I'm actually ready to get a transformer like the one below, but just realized that line frequency could be an issue. My HS7's run on 50Hz while the US is 60Hz.

https://www.amazon.com/PowerBright-T...dp/B000MW83OG/

I'm not well versed in electrical engineering, so have a couple questions:

1) what are the potential issues for the 50Hz monitors running on the correct voltage, but on 60Hz?

2) most transformers only convert voltage and not frequency. should i be looking into another frequency "converter" or is that a lost cause?

This is turning out much bleaker than I anticipated lol
Old 14th August 2019
  #15
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The line frequency won't matter for a monitor speaker (or most any electronic device). There are only a few things where 50 Hz vs. 60 Hz makes much difference: offhand all I can think of are (some) clocks and appliance timers that use the power line frequency as their timebase, and some vibratory motors such as may be found in hair clippers, some electric razors, etc.
Old 14th August 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
The line frequency won't matter for a monitor speaker (or most any electronic device). There are only a few things where 50 Hz vs. 60 Hz makes much difference: offhand all I can think of are (some) clocks and appliance timers that use the power line frequency as their timebase, and some vibratory motors such as may be found in hair clippers, some electric razors, etc.
Appreciate your input - gonna try it with a step-up converter tomorrow.. fingers crossed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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for those wondering, the pair of HS7s are working just fine so far with my step-up converter. thank you to all you guys for the help
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yomamajomama View Post
for those wondering, the pair of HS7s are working just fine so far with my step-up converter. thank you to all you guys for the help
Just curious, which step up converter did you use?
Someone gave me a pair of UK Yamaha monitors and I'd like to try the same thing, using them in Canada.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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using this at the moment - so far so good: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FHIF8KC/

Also sharing the reply i got from Yamaha's twitter: https://twitter.com/meticmusic/statu...53324778811392

hope it works out!
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