Voltage down-converter to use US gear in the UK.


Prominent Member
Oct 7, 2003
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Hi all. :)

Simple question:
Does using a voltage down-converter - to use US amp in the UK - have a detrimental influence on sound quality?
I'm thinking of trying to get an Harman Kardon AVR7200, as I've seen it at half the original retail price. ;)

Thanks in advance.
Why don't you just do a voltage conversion on the amp?Ask and find out if it is easy to do?Some just involve moving wires,flicking switches ect.E-mail HK to see what is involved.I have a cal audio DAC which was a simple job,so was a Bel canto power amp,it was just pulling out the fuse holder and turning it around,and a Conrad Johnson pre, which was a transformer re-wire after Conrad Johnson service department sent me instructions of how to change it,very easy.I would try this approach first,before adding another transformer to the chain.
Originally posted by ddlooping

I'm thinking of trying to get an Harman Kardon AVR7200, as I've seen it at half the original retail price. ;)

Don't forget shipping and import duties!!!!
Thanks for the info, SKA.face. :)

Any idea how much would the import duties be?
- Don't forget (much?) higher power consumption, because of the converter.
- Don't forget expensive re-shipment, when exchanging or repairing is needed!

To answer your first question: You might experience some 50Hz humm, which can be removed through propper grounding.

ps: I would seriously look for a local discount in your own country, or not far abroad.
Thanks for your reply , Ettepet :)

A bit off-topic. Do you know what is the UK equivalent to the Harman Kardon AVR7200 (US model)?
The HK AVR-7550? I really have no idea. Just look on a UK/European site that sells HK, and you should get a list of all/most types here. You then compare features to see if us Europeans have a similar type. :)

Depending on what you want you could get an older model, like the HK 8500 for cheap..
Well, I can't find a correlation between the 7200 and a Uk model.

For start, it has a (supposedly) 7 x 100 watts output.
As far as I know, the 7500 is 5 x 100w.
The 5550 is 7 x 70w.
Its current capability is rated at ±75 Amps, which is equivalent to the 7500.
Could it be the equivalent of the 7550 but with 7 x 100w instead of 5 x 100w?

In any case, it looks like it can be had for $800 or less, which at current exchange rate is about £440. :)
Any idea how much would the import duties be?

I've just imported one of these from the States,MRC44

Import duty was around 5%, don't forget you get charged VAT as well - oh and give Parcelfarce £8 for them collecting the fees :eek: :eek:

Duty rates vary depending on what the item is , or what they feel like charging. I worked on the premise of adding 25% to the total to cover all fees.

There is another issue you may want to consider if you frequently listen to FM radio. FM broadcasters do not transmit a signal with a flat frequency response. Rather, as a noise reduction technique, the broadcaster boosts the high end of the signal through a premphasis network at the transmitter, and every FM tuner has a corresponding deemphasis network to yield a flat response at the tuner section's output. The problem is that the standard for FM deemphasis in the USA and UK are different. In the US the deemphasis standard for FM Radio is 75 microseconds. In the UK, that standard is 50 microseconds. A US tuner used in a UK environment will overcompensate by 25 microseconds, which is about 3 1/2 dB. You'll need to adjust your tone controls to get the proper frequency response whenever you listen to FM, then remember to readjust tonal response when using any other source.
Thanks, garyroboff. :)

I have actually never owned a receiver, so I'm not that bothered, but it's always good to know. ;)

Would you know by any chance what the equivalent (if any) to the 7200 is in the UK.
I'd hate to import one to find out it's available over here for not much more $$ (or should I say ££).
I did a quick scan of the HK web sites for both the US and Europe and did not see an exact match. Detailed specs and operations manuals are available for downloading for most models, so you should find it pretty easy to compare. Good luck!
"...you should find it pretty easy to compare."
I did and my guess would be the 7200 is the equivalent to the 7500, but with some of the 5550 features (like 7 channels of amplification). ;)

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