230 V. > 110 V. -- options?

230 V. > 110 V. -- options?

First of all I should probably say I know little to zilch about audio equipment other than using the buttons on the front panel. But maybe the answers to my question will lead me on into hitherto uncharted territory.... this certainly seems to be the forum to find people qualified to help me with my questions!

I will be moving back to Canada soon from Europe, where I've acquired some decent audio equipment. It is all 230 V., 50/60 Hz, and I am wondering whether I should sell it (and get a pittance for it basically) or keep it and try to run it through a transformer there. Or alternatively, since you seem to be able to replace everything these days with 'audiophile' components, perhaps this is the chance to also vastly improve my set-up by giving each unit a new power supply. I am thinking of taking my integrated amp, CD-player and DVD/SACD-player with me. All are past their guarantee limits, so there is nothing to lose by modifying them if this would be desirable.

Are there any characteristics about any of these components that would favour / necessitate going the sell route or the upgrade route? I imagine (not knowing much about the stuff) that I could just take my European power bar with me, plug it into a transformer there, and be able to use the equipment as I always have....

Or are there sensible (or even exotic) things that are changeable in these units that I could do/have done that would be more advantageous (or vastly better) than that solution?

I would appreciate any helpful advice (in terms that a layperson like myself can understand).


2005-07-02 8:17 pm
65N 25E
some power supplies have internal connections for 110v or 230v operation, rather easy modification if only wiring inside case is needed to modify. Or you can have someone to replace all of your power supply transformers. Big step-up transformer for entire rack is easiest choice, I would prefer isolation type transformer


2004-11-03 7:51 pm
I have had the same problem some years ago. For the low-power components like CD player and tuner I bought a small step-up converter that they sell for travel. It converts about 50 watts from 110V to 230V, is quite small and inexpensive (DM 15 10 years ago, approx. 8 euro) and has been working without problems. You'd have to be careful not to exceed the maximum power, maybe buy a separate one for each component. Check the maximum power consumption in the back.

I am not sure what this approach does to the sound quality. Given the small size of these converters, they are likely switching types with the associated hash and noise in the outputs, but I haven't heard a difference with my not-high-end quality components.

Obviously, this doesn't work for high-power things like a power amp. Since I was building my own, I used a transformer with dual primaries to make it switchable. If that is not an option, you can probably get a fairly large step-up transformer, but I have no experience with that.

Good luck. Also good luck getting the stuff through security, with all those wires and weird shapes you will get some interesting looks. I have had my power amplifier opened up and checked for explosives when I moved across the pond.

- Bertu