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UK -> US gear electricity question
Old 24th December 2019
Here for the gear

UK -> US gear electricity question


I’m moving to the US from the U.K. and hoping to take a couple of pieces of studio gear with me but I’m aware I may need to be careful of the difference in electricity between the two countries (I have no idea what I’m talking about). I’d love some advice on how to make sure I can use my gear. Here’s what I’d like to bring:

Yamaha THR10
Adam T7V x2
A variety of guitar pedals, majority 9V, some 12V
Klark Teknik 1176
Roland OctaCapture

Thanks so much, I appreciate any help.
Old 24th December 2019
Best to check the manual for each bit a of gear to make sure but anything with a switch mode power supply will work on both UK and US. Guitar pedals may just need a new power supply.
Old 24th December 2019
Lives for gear
JohnRoberts's Avatar

Check the rear panel of the products you plan to use.

UK is roughly 2x the mains voltage and 50Hz AC instead of 60 Hz... so old school heavy iron power transformers may need to be swapped (unless they have rear panel voltage switch).

Some universal switching PS, will only require a different line cord (should plug into an IEC line cord socket in the back.)

9v batteries are the same but walwart/lumps will require replacement with 240V/50Hz versions.

Old 24th December 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by mrfantastic View Post
Best to check the manual for each bit a of gear to make sure but anything with a switch mode power supply will work on both UK and US. Guitar pedals may just need a new power supply.
There are plenty of (mostly older) switch mode power supplies that are not internationalized and won't work on both 120 and 240 volts, and others that require setting a switch or jumpers or something to change the supply voltage. Many newish ones are indeed specified to operate at any international voltage without requiring any changes or adjustment. It's best to verify on the individual power supply.

Examining the unit should tell which voltage it's suitable for. Something like "100-240 VAC 50-60Hz" is international and good to go; something that just specifies "120V 60Hz" or something similar is US-only and would need a step-down transformer or new power supply or other changes; and something that says something along the lines of "110-120/220-240 VAC 60/50Hz" most likely has a switch or similar to change the voltage (though it may automatically switch as well).

For most audio gear, the difference in line frequency is immaterial. It matters mostly for devices that use the line frequency as a timebase, such as some electric clocks or appliance timer modules, and also for some vibrating motors such as are sometimes found in hair clippers or razors. For electronics where it gets converted to DC anyhow it's nearly always a non-issue.
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