Anyone use a Variac? (variable transformer)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dspblues, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,189
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Chester, NY
    I just got an amp from Europe. My tech tells me that it does/will sound better at 110v, not 120v. Anyone using a variac to step down?

    Anyone selling theirs?? :D

    Can you hear the difference?
     
  2. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

    Messages:
    6,185
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Normal Heights, Calif
    Yes there is a sound difference, but no you shouldn't really use a variac just to drop voltages.

    The big issue with European voltages won't be solved with a variac. The electricity there is 50hz, here it is 60hz. The other issue is that most European amps want to see 220v or 240v. If the amp has a switch to run it at 110v or 120v, then I wouldn't use a variac.
     
  3. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,189
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Chester, NY
    The amp has already been modified to run at 120v. However, I've been told it would be happier at 110v.
     
  4. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,932
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Exit row seat
    This topic has come up a bunch lately, dspblues. I recommend a quick search on "variac." :)
     
  5. Carol-AnnAmps

    Carol-AnnAmps Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,688
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Pelham, NH
    If it's an older amp this is true. Old Marshalls were designed to run 105-115V. 110V is in the middle and at that voltage, everything is running optimal.
     
  6. outtahear

    outtahear Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    I recommend these for dentists who USE old amps;
    https://amptechtools.powweb.com/browner.htm
    Work great, and @ $75, cheap insurance of the kid/girlfriend/stoner bud playing "what's this knob do??"
    with a variac...
     
  7. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,189
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Chester, NY

    Hmm, they are out of stock and there's no "contact" info. :(
     

Share This Page