220v --> 110v Conversion? Tone?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by dspblues, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    I just purchased an amp from Europe that's wired for 220v. I'll have to get it modified to 110v... What's involved in doing that? I won't be doing it, but I was curious for some details.

    Also, will making this change effect the tone of the amp? From what I understand, it shouldn't... all the components care about that they are getting the proper voltage, regardless of how it gets there.
     
  2. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    im curious about this too, but going from 110v to 230v, would it be as simple as replacing the power transformer?
     
  3. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I'm in Australia and have changed a fair few P/Ts to get the right voltage. Some amps - like a lot of Bad Cats, Matchless, higher end Fenders, etc already have a multi-tap P/T in there so it's just a matter of moving a couple of wires. I once bought a used SRRI from the US because even after changing the P/T it was still half the price of buying one here. The Super Reverb P/T from mojo fits and works perfectly.

    Different manufacturers do it differently. US power is not 110V any more - hasn't been for ages. It's officially 120V, so Bad Cat use twin primaries in their P/Ts I believe. If you run them together you get 120V and if you run them in series you get 240V. Ohter P/Ts just have a different tap for each of the various mains voltages around the globe.

    There is an argument that says that some British amps actually sound better at 240V because you're using all of the P/T primary. I dunno - maybe. I guess the Bad Cat approach negates this argument.

    But yes, mcdes, it really is as easy as replacing the P/T. It just depends on whether you can get the right one. Installation is actually a pretty easy job.
     
  4. Muris_Varajic

    Muris_Varajic Member

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    I bought Triaxis 120v version and we are on 220v.
    Haven't replaced transformer inside of unit but I made
    external one,rough type+custom box so it came like an adapter.
    Maybe I would replace it but this one I got was too big to fit into Triaxis.
    Can't tell about sound change cause I haven't tried it on 120v tho. :)
     
  5. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    But yes, mcdes, it really is as easy as replacing the P/T. It just depends on whether you can get the right one. Installation is actually a pretty easy job.[/quote]

    awesome, cheers bud!
     
  6. sonhenry

    sonhenry Member

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    Rather than tear an amp apart, there's always a step-up transformer to get you there.

    I've been on both sides of this one. My 110v amps sound GREAT on a step down tranny in the UK, and my old Marshall sounds fine the other way round. Only issue I've ever had is forgetting the tranny at a gig, otherwise it's not a drama at all.
     
  7. Bonfire

    Bonfire Member

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    that shouldn't matter in amps tho, as we're converting it to DC and the heaters will run fine at either freq.
     
  8. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I've never had an issue with frequency either.
     
  9. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    Can some amp techs chime in here? My tech told me that it was not suggested to use one of these external transformers.
     
  10. TopBooster

    TopBooster Member

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    True for going from 120V-240V, but for the case of going from 240V->120V, running an amp designed for 60Hz on 50Hz power may result in more hum in the output, since the filtering may not be sufficient enough to deal with the lower ripple frequency. In most cases, it shouldn't be too noticeable, though.

    It's perfectly OK to run an external transformer, as long as it is rated high enough...It can be a bit of a hassle, though, as mentioned above. Although, you could mount a step-up/step-down inside the amp cab for convenience. (This is of course if the amp doesn't already have a transformer that can be wired for both 120V and 240V.)
     
  11. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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  12. mds

    mds Member

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    The latter is a bit of overkill...the 500 watt should do fine...maybe even a 300 watt one depending on your amp.
     

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