220V, 230V, or 240V amp? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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220V, 230V, or 240V amp?

Hi guys,

I am about to buy a tube amp online and the options are "Voltage Standard Available: 220V, 230V, 240V"... I'm in the States so while I can't get 110V I was wondering if one option is better than the other.

Thanks,

p.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 02:42 PM
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Don't get any. You'd need a step up transformer and for audio gear I wouldn't do that. It's possible you can get a engineer in the US to convert it from 240v to 110v, but it won't be cheap.

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Don't get any. You'd need a step up transformer and for audio gear I wouldn't do that. It's possible you can get a engineer in the US to convert it from 240v to 110v, but it won't be cheap.
It should be the other way around, i.e. from 110 V to 240 V in the States. But it still won't be cheap, eh!
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 05:23 PM
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It not only differs by voltage but frequency as well. It's a pain I know!!!

USA and Canada are 60hz, and have two voltage types:
~120 volts RMS is the hot wire, and the neutral has near zero volts on it.
~240 volts RMS is both wires at +120v and -120v (you need to contact an electrician to have one installed, as it's pretty uncommon.)

Japan is mostly 50hz ~110v and the rest of the world is mostly 50hz ~230v.

This may work for you, but it won't convert the frequency: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dynex-ad...0008&cp=1&lp=4


You will have to contact the tech support of the tube amp company to see if they support 60hz with +120v and -120v; otherwise you will have to buy a DC power supply and a sinewave inverter that works for the tubes voltage/frequency.

Such as:
http://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-PS26KX...C+power+supply


230v/50hz sinewave inverter
http://www.ecodirect.com/Magnum-Ener...um-mms912e.htm

This is a quality inverter, not something from flee-bay...

Last edited by BassThatHz; 08-04-2014 at 05:30 PM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
It not only differs by voltage but frequency as well. It's a pain I know!!!

USA and Canada are 60hz, and have two voltage types:
~120 volts RMS is the hot wire, and the neutral has near zero volts on it.
~240 volts RMS is both wires at +120v and -120v (you need to contact an electrician to have one installed, as it's pretty uncommon.)

Japan is mostly 50hz ~110v and the rest of the world is mostly 50hz ~230v.

This may work for you, but it won't convert the frequency: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dynex-ad...0008&cp=1&lp=4


You will have to contact the tech support of the tube amp company to see if they support 60hz with +120v and -120v; otherwise you will have to buy a DC power supply and a sinewave inverter that works for the tubes voltage/frequency.

Such as:
http://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-PS26KX...C+power+supply


230v/50hz sinewave inverter
http://www.ecodirect.com/Magnum-Ener...um-mms912e.htm

This is a quality inverter, not something from flee-bay...
Wow. I didn't realize that. What will the difference be from going your suggested route to just buying a 230V to 120V converter? Does this matter for the internal wiring? I know that the plug is removable but I doubt that makes a difference. I was surprised because I didn't think that they would have different internal wiring for the different voltages on the same amp.

p.

Last edited by pieper53; 08-04-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 08:33 PM
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Your source for frequency information should be the manufacturer.
As to the voltage issue, your neighborhood transformer from the utility dictates the voltage in your house. The nominal voltages align with what the amp manufacturer offers, 220v, 230v or 240v. This would be a good time to verify your incoming voltage. BTW, combine a neutral (white) with any of those hot wires and you get exactly half.

Your voltage issue can be dealt with as follows:
At your wall outlet the white or neutral wire is identical to the black or hot wire except for color. If it's convenient to dedicate that outlet to the amp, at the breaker panel, the white wire can be moved from the neutral bar and moved to a terminal on a two pole 15 amp breaker along with it's black wire. Then replace the 120 volt receptacle with a 220(230/240) volt/ 15 amp receptacle.

You won't need a transformer at all, but depending on your skill level, you may need an electrician. People with some electrical skills can do this. The cost variable with an electrician is whether or not, new wire has to be pulled.

Patrick

Last edited by Patrick Collins; 08-04-2014 at 08:36 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
It not only differs by voltage but frequency as well. It's a pain I know!!!

Japan is mostly 50hz ~110v and the rest of the world is mostly 50hz ~230v.

Lets clarify a couple of things..
1. Japan is 100V not 110V..
2. Most of the rest of world, Europe, Asia, South America is 220V/230V
3. Australia and New Zealand are 240V

Many may think a 220V/230V unit will work fine in Australia and New Zealand, wrong again...
It may work for a time, but not reliabily since their local electric grid covers a wide area it is subject to significant swings in voltage and can go as high as 265V..
A unit designed for 220V/230V will have a short life if it sees 265V. In the future, things may change as more and more electronic components utilize a PWM switching power supply as most computers and displays do..

Note that there are other differences for line frequencies of 50H & 60Hz, not really a big deal if the transport has a servo drive system. Also the AM/FM tuner channel spacings are different as well.

Just my $0.03...
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 09:01 PM
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If it's a tube amp of modern design, then frequency matters very little as it's all rectified into DC to begin with (it has to be in order to prevent line frequency from becoming a part of the signal). There may be slightly more transformer heating, but it's generally minimal.

The voltages required are such that you are unlikely to be able to find a replacement power supply - the transformer windings are designed for low voltage filament as well as high voltage supply.

If you find a step up auto-transformer you should be able to use that and have it work.

Of course, you really should ask the manufacturer. Sometimes there may be a 50Hz filter somewhere that won't block 60Hz very well.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-04-2014, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies. I still have some homework to do.

The amp I'm looking at is the Cayin A-88T MK2.

Cheers.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-05-2014, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Customer support said "THE FREQUENCY OF THE AMPLIFIER FOR USE IS 50 AND 60Hz, PERFECT FOR USA". There is a little bit of a language barrier.

Again, I'm not an electrician but how does the internal wiring differ for the same piece of equipment that is to be used in different markets (e.g., North American vs. Europe)?
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-05-2014, 09:35 PM
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The transformer is the biggest part because it has to produce filament power (around 6.3V) but also a high voltage (300V+), both of which have to be rectified to clean DC to avoid line hum from entering the audio.
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-05-2014, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Lets clarify a couple of things..
1. Japan is 100V not 110V..
2. Most of the rest of world, Europe, Asia, South America is 220V/230V
3. Australia and New Zealand are 240V

Many may think a 220V/230V unit will work fine in Australia and New Zealand, wrong again...
It may work for a time, but not reliabily since their local electric grid covers a wide area it is subject to significant swings in voltage and can go as high as 265V..
A unit designed for 220V/230V will have a short life if it sees 265V. In the future, things may change as more and more electronic components utilize a PWM switching power supply as most computers and displays do..

Note that there are other differences for line frequencies of 50H & 60Hz, not really a big deal if the transport has a servo drive system. Also the AM/FM tuner channel spacings are different as well.

Just my $0.03...
Umm, the mandated mains voltage in Aus is 230V, not 240V as per AS60038-2000 and even in the states that still have not switched over the mains voltage is only allowed to go to 254V (which is very close to the 230V +10% error margin), not 265V.

Most goods that are sold are also 230V, not 240V.

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-05-2014, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheD View Post
Umm, the mandated mains voltage in Aus is 230V, not 240V as per AS60038-2000 and even in the states that still have not switched over the mains voltage is only allowed to go to 254V (which is very close to the 230V +10% error margin), not 265V.

Most goods that are sold are also 230V, not 240V.
Partially correct..
240V was their AC voltage standard since the early 1920s'
And in 2012 with the new standard being passed, assigning 230V as the nominal value.
However certain areas such as Queensland and Western Australia have not yet adopted the new 230V Standard...
Major issue is that Australia is the only 240V market worldwide, and their smaller market size raises the price significantly as they require their own safety approval plus rather large AC plug. Perhaps within the next 5 years once all areas within Australia will accept the later 230V standard as used in Europe.

Since we do product development/sourcing for certain CE brands, we will not ship them 230V products as their product failures with 230V versions is simply too high. Replacing power transformers and other components is too big of an $ expense for audio products that utilize an EL transformer/linear power supply. If the product uses an Switch Mode Power Supply than it works just fine in Australia into 240V.

Just my $0.03...
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-06-2014, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Worf View Post
The transformer is the biggest part because it has to produce filament power (around 6.3V) but also a high voltage (300V+), both of which have to be rectified to clean DC to avoid line hum from entering the audio.
Thanks. Is there a transformer you recommend for the Cayin A88-T?
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-06-2014, 11:46 AM
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This would be considered a step up transformer, going from approximately 120vac to 230vac. I'd recommend a wattage rating of 350 to 500 watts for that particular amp.

If the transformer has voltage taps to match your requirements, all the better but not necessary.

Patrick
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-06-2014, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Patrick. Would a step up transformer have an adverse affect on sound quality? I plan on using this amp for many years and build a nice system around it.
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post #17 of 18 Old 08-06-2014, 03:28 PM
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Get it converted internally or buy one specially 110V. I wouldn't use a step up/step down transformer for audio gear.

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post #18 of 18 Old 08-06-2014, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity why is that?
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