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Bringing audio equipment across the Atlantic

Discussion in 'Audio' started by HausMusic, Sep 1, 2010.

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  1. HausMusic

    HausMusic

    4
    0
    Sep 1, 2010
    I bought an audio amplifier in Canada and brought it back to Ireland and i'm wondering if a step down transformer (with enough power) will be enough to get it working. My particular problem is if the difference in frequencies would be a problem as the transformer won't be able to change this. The mains frequency in America is 60Hz and in Ireland is 50Hz.

    Thanks
     
  2. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    You can't run the 60hz stuff on 50hz, and get clean audio. (Plus the voltage difference
    you probably have in Ireland, and the effect of the different freqs on the input).
    Check your manual you got with the Canadian purchase. Most of the Japanese designed stuff, has switchable 50/60Hz capability built into it. (As well as switchable voltages). Just a thought, in case you're like me, and only read the manual as a last resort). The manual will tell you how to find and change the freq/volt.
    If your gear doesn't have internal switch capability, maybe somebody else will know what
    to do to get you up and running, on a following post. (I'm not familiar with European conversions).
    You might add a post giving manufacturer and model number, and maybe you'll get a specific response.
     
  3. Resqueline

    Resqueline

    2,848
    2
    Jul 31, 2009
    Equipment made to run only on 60Hz has to be de-rated to make it run safely on 50Hz. That is; if it's rated at 120V - you'll want to input only ~100V to it to "keep it cool".
    A little more hum than usual may also present itself on the internal power supplies, but this is usually harmless and may go unnoticed on the sound.
    Modern equipment may very well employ switchmode power supplies instead of transformers, in which case the above does not apply.
     
  4. HausMusic

    HausMusic

    4
    0
    Sep 1, 2010
    Its a Technics amp model SAAX540 but i took a look at the manual and a good look inside and out of the amp for any switches and theres no sign. I'll just go with the transformer, just needed to make sure it was worth the investment!

    Cheers lads!
     
  5. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    I know you're in a hurry to run your new gear, but I'd wait a little while if I were you.
    I contacted the mfgr, and will see if they send me a reply. If this site will show it, the mfgr is: 2.panasonic.com
    If they get back to me, I'll post what they say about getting the SAAX540, bought in Canada, running properly in Ireland.
    I really wouldn't run your gear as is over there (even with your transformer), until you get more info on how the 50/60Hz will affect the circuits.
     
  6. HausMusic

    HausMusic

    4
    0
    Sep 1, 2010
    Ah thanks a million. Yeah to be honest it would be strange in the frequency difference didnt effect it at all.
     
  7. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,701
    462
    Jan 15, 2010
    Awww, lazy manufacturer support.
    The email address I contacted sent me a reply that says THEY only deal with stuff
    sold in the U.S.
    They gave me a new email address for worldwide support, if you want to try it:
    www.panasonic.net
    I checked the owners manual for your model, and it is ONLY for 120VAC 60Hz.
    I lived in Japan for 2 1/2 years. They supplied 120VAC 50Hz. My tape decks, turntables and TV all were affected. The moving parts ran slower, and the TV had
    horizonal lines running through the picture. (My stuff set for 120VAC 60Hz)
    BUT, at that time, all the gear had user switchable voltage and cycle (Hertz) switchable inputs. Who knows with engineering these days (that was 1970's). I suppose a receiver might work at 50hz, if they built-in circuitry safeguards these days. But I'd contact the world-wide support email, and ask them, just to be sure.
    Hope you get it running (with expected life-expectancy) with few problems.
    By the way, all the Japanese audio gear I bought in Japan in the 1970's is still running flawlessly in my home today. Akai, Pioneer. I did buy U.S. speaker though, Acoustic Research (Teledyne), who may be out of business now, but speakers still
    sound great.
     
  8. HausMusic

    HausMusic

    4
    0
    Sep 1, 2010
    Thanks a mill for the help, I think i'm gonna just go for and buy the transformer. I'm actually pretty curious to find out what happens anyway and i'll lets ye's know how it works out!

    cheers
     
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