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US HT receiver use in UK

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by jkeny, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. jkeny

    jkeny
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    Has anybody used a US home theatre receiver (110 volt) on UK mains voltage (250 volt)? Have a used a step down transformer? What size transformer for a 6*100 watt receiver?

    I have a daughter going to New York in Nov and I thought of getting her to pick up a panny SA-XR55 digital amplifier/home theatre receiver to bring home to Ireland - the price difference is substantial 450 euro compared to $250 - almost pay for the flight. The only difference I believe is the power? But I wondered if it would require a huge stepdown transformer? I also thought that there might be an isolation advantage in running off a transformer - keeping mains DC out of receiver?

    Alternatively,how difficult would it be to modify the Switched Mode Power Supply to deal with 250v from 110v?

    I'm surprised more people haven't tried this approach based on the price differential between Ireland & UK verses US (410 euro Irl £250UK $250US).

    Mind you the price in Germany is 250euro but another 80euro shipping plus VAT at 21%.

    John
     
  2. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    A while ago a mate bought back a US receiver from abroad and ended up with a bit of a turkey. At the time the US did not have RDS or an equivalent, their am channels don't line up (10khz separation instead of 9 here) and he had an intermittent fault with no support from Pioneer. He ran the setup for 2 years before upgrading to a UK spec amp... All in all, possibly a false economy?
     
  3. jkeny

    jkeny
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    Thanks Cable Monkey for your quick reply and I hear what your saying about support & am channels.

    I am mainly interested in using the Panasonic SA-XR55 as audio amplifier - did your friend use a step down transformer? What size transformer?

    The financials work out at < 200 euro - less than half price
     
  4. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Got your answer right here (being as I've just gone through exactly the same thing in emigrating back to the UK):

    Firstly, the ideal method of running a US 110v amp on a UK 230v supply is to... uh... throw a switch? There are a number of products where that's all there is to it these days - there's a switch on the back panel where you select what voltage you have, so it's worth checking out if your intended purchase has such a thing (download the manual from the MFG's website and look at the back panel diagram).

    Failing that, the next most preferable method is that it might still be possible to get the machine switched to UK voltage once you get the unit back to the UK. It might be, it might not be - it varies from product to product. However, watch the cost of this - in some cases, it's a simple operation (I've been quoted 60 quid for that kind of work on a different component I have), but in other cases, it's more complex and your savings will be eaten up pretty quick. Best bet is to check with the manufacturer, or, preferably, an authorized dealer near you (who would be doing the actual work).

    Finally, there's the transformer option. Will you need a big transformer? Depends on the output of the amp. Check the back panel again (or the manual) for the maximum power consumption of the amp, and multiply whatever the figure there is by 1.2 to give yourself a safety margin. Transformer's aren't expensive, even the more meaty ones: I bought a 1000w step-down unit for about $80 while in the US - if your daughter's there long enough, order ahead from a company called Stark Electronics (Google 'em), that's where I got mine from and it works a treat. Stark also do a really nice little transformer that handles 50w and looks just like an adaptor plug - for only about $6 each. I bought about 5 of them to accomodate various other little bits of electronica I didn't want to dump (my DVD player being one of them!)

    The only thing you've got to worry about with transformers, especially with amps, is that they can hum - most quietly enough that you wouldn't notice (no more than a fridge for instance), but some more distractingly. However, unless you get a real dog of a unit, it's never so loud that you can't accomodate it - I've seen shoeboxes put to effective (if not exactly aesthetic) use in that department.
     
  5. jkeny

    jkeny
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    Excellent, thanks cmcg55 - just the info I wanted.

    I don't think the unit has a 110/230v switch at the back - can't find it in the manual and getting it modified would be costly I believe.

    So a step down transformer is the path to go - although its a 7 by 100W amplifier the power consumption stated at in the manual is 135Watt (this is a digital amp - so high effeciency explains this?)

    Anyway, thanks again - looks like a no brainer
     
  6. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    7 x 100 = 135? something up there, maybe the amp is capable of 100 for each speaker but only individualy, i can't remember my physics equations though so maybe putting some resistance in could pump up the watts (although i doubt it). Anyway it shouldn't matter that much as doubling the power doesn't double the volume ...
     

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