Question about current


If using electrics with voltage 220 and converting to 110 for USA use how will that affect sound?

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Uh, if the unit is meant for 220 and is fed 110, it will not do well unless a transformer is used to step up the voltage. If the unit is meant for 110 and fed 220 it will not affect the sound what so ever. There will be no sound but ther will be lots of smoke.

Make certain the transformer for the step down/up has sufficient current capacity.


The question is once converted will it affect the sound?

I did not say can I use 110 int 220 or viceversa.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The answer still is: "Make certain the transformer for the step down/up has sufficient current capacity."


Will it affect the sound. it is ok to say you do not Know.

Silver Member
Username: Usa2k4

Post Number: 113
Registered: Dec-04
No but make sure the step down converter gives 110V/60hz output if you're gonna use it with components made for the US. And as J. Vigne said, make sure it provides sufficient power.

Many converters also include a 50Hz/60Hz switch.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

50/60Hz is irrelevant unless you are going to use equipment with an AC synchronous motor. If the switch is there, it should be set appropriately as a transformer's noise may be increased if the cycle is incorrect.

Most amplifiers won't do well on step up/down transformers due to the limitations of current. So I would consider that to mean - it will affect the sound. OK?


Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 361
Registered: Sep-04
Actually, my understanding is that it is relevant. 110v models tend not to be quite as dynamic or have as much dynamic headroom as their 220v cousins apparently. I don't know the technical details why this should be the case, simply reporting what I'd heard. Something to do with the lower voltage having an effect on capacitor charge times...

Incidentally, on the subject of conversion, if the kit has a switched mode power supply, you may simpoly have to change an internal fuse or switch a relay to effect the switch to/from 110/240v. Linn uses SMPSs and all you have to do is change the internal fuse on them.


Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 39
Registered: Dec-04
most newer universal devises have an invertable input at the plug on the unit. invert the 'fuse adapter' at the plug and align the arrows for the voltage you require. Most units(not sure of audio equipment) are built for 220/230 and adapt to 120.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

In an effort to eliminate grey market items, most audio gear that is sold in the US is designed for 110-120 volt operation only.


Bronze Member
Username: Eramsey

South carolina United States

Post Number: 55
Registered: Feb-05
Actually Frank, it's doubtful European gear will sound more "dynamic" than it's American counterparts. Keep in mind while In the U.S. the AC voltage is roughly half of what is used in the UK and the rest of Europe, the current portion of the equation is much higher with an availability of up to 15A from a standard wall socket as opposed to just a few amps from a standard AC outlet in the UK. A polarized DC capacitor, which is used extensively in amplifiers in power supply and amplifier coupling as well as filtration will always charge at an exponential rate(which is five time constants per second) irregardless of capacitor size or applied voltage. E.Ramsey
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