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Help ! Need Guidance On Using US Amp In UK!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stingray_EB, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Hi, im thinking about getting my self a mesa boogie m pulse 600 from the states because i cant afford them across here there almost $3000 , the problem is I live in the uk. I understand i need a voltage transformer but thats about it lol. I've approached some electricians in my area and none of them seem to understand what im talking about. Does any1 here use this us amp in the uk ? i havent a clue what trnasformer to buy can any1 help ? :meh:
  2. man_at_arms84


    Jun 3, 2007
    hey man.
    check out my million posts about this!

    If you use the search you can find them on here.

    I'm in a similar place. I bought a fender made sunn amp from states and had it imported here.
    That was three months ago and Im yet to plug it in.

    im no tech wizard trust me (more a plug in and play)

    but From the info I've gathered here you need to

    A: Find out if it has a "switch" inside the amp to switch the voltage over or a simple re wire job.
    if not then
    B: what kind of internal transformer it is and how much it will cost to buy the UK one and have it fitted

    C: find out how much power it requires (usually where the plug is conected to amp rated in w)
    and get a Step down convetor to change the voltage.

    In my case I've found no switch.
    the transformer I need will cost me £400 to buy (ista BIG toridiol one and thats before a tech fits it.)

    My amp needs 1800w to power so I now need to buy a 2000w Step down convertor which costs around £100.
    Im going with the stepdown convertor route cheaper for me.

    Dont let that put you off though, as it really does depend what amp it is.

    i know people who's imported amps only require 150w to power and a 300w stepdown convertor is readily available from maplin etc for £15 to £30.

    So you could still be snatching a big bargain. as the exchange rate is good for us UKers buying in US. (near half the price)

    The other thing to remember importing amps is the customs charge and the VAT charge.

    Do that search and read more technically abled people give you better info!

    hope I helped a little.

    Good luck. :)
  3. I got this reply from the seller am i right in saying i would need a 150w step down transformer ?: This amp works on 120 Volt AC at 60 hertz. You will have to ask an electrician in Scotland what type of converter you will need. It will have to be heavy duty as this amp draws a great deal of current in order to put out 600 watts.
  4. man_at_arms84


    Jun 3, 2007
    Ask him what the "power requirements" are.
    For Example my Sunn 1200s is (american) 120v AC, 60hz, 1800w.
    its the "w" You need to know to establish which step down convertor you need. Watts as in power not sound output.
    its sometimes put down as VA. it will be where the plug is on the amp.
    The 120v is the current coming from the US mains. Teh 60hz is the rate the power is delivered (i think?) and the *enter number"w is the power needed to pwer the amp.

    The step down convertor works by plugging your amp into the convertor and the convertor into your wall socket.
    So the 230v from the wall goes into your step down convertor
    where it is converted to 120v and then the 120v goes to your amp. powering it safely.

    My amp needs 1800w to power it so my convertor needs to be over that. hence Im buying a 2000w convertor.

    Here is a place that makes them in the UK.

    let me know what you find out from seller buddy.
  5. satchmo


    May 1, 2007
    Sorry to hijack the thread (kind of), but do you guys know if the VAT is applicable for someone who is bringing gear into the UK when he moves there?

    I suppose I should just check a UK gov website, but thought I might ask.
  6. no worrys man, i really dont know i honestly need to touch up on all this uk to us vice versa stuff.sorry couldnt help.
  7. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have never heard of personal household belongings you
    move with you being subject to import duties or VAT as you
    are not buying them or importing them for sale. You may be required
    to declare (in writing) the items you bring with your
    hosuehold. Some countries require a valuation. If you
    ship household goods well after your move, you may have to
    demonstrate that you already owned them with a receipt.
  8. man_at_arms84


    Jun 3, 2007
    I dont think you will need to pay VAT and Customs on your stuff if you're moving here. Only if you buy stuff from US and have it Imported over.

    Stingray =
    Let me know what you find out from that seller.
    Its been doing my head in for months trying to figure all this out so I sympathise!

    I found the manual here http://www.mesaboogie.com/manuals/M-Pulse.pdf

    But I cant see how much Watts it needs to power.
    Email mesa boogie if all else fails and explain you need to know the power requirements to obtain the correct Stepdown convertor.

    I should imagine the most it would be is 1800w. Meaning a £100 convertor.

    I am no expert though. Im just letting you know what I found out from digging myself to get my amp working!
    let me know what you find out tommorow. :)
  9. Hey man, Welcome to the club :p I'm from Australia where an amp which is $300 in US is about $1500 AUD :p. The Switch that they talk about would be very similar (if not the same) to the ones you find on the back of your computers power supply usually. Its a little switch with two voltages written (mine says 230v to 150v) You flick it and everything blows up... Its awesome :D anyway does anyone know of any amps or manufacturers that make amps with the switch instead of going through the step down converter process? Personally Im going to look for some of those step down converters they sound like the best way, who cares if you got an extra box sitting around, if you ever get famous you can go touring in America and don't need to get a new amp :p
  10. hey man thnks for all ur help damn i feel like an idiot now!, see ive just read a thread mesa vs ampeg and suddenly relised the m pulse is not gonna gimme the warmth i was expecting, and now i think i mite be better of with a 4 PRO wt u think ?
  11. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think some of the newer Edens are voltage switchable
    on the back panel.
  12. man_at_arms84


    Jun 3, 2007
    I wouldnt know what amps are best for the sound your after.

    Is the Ampeg SVT 4 the 1200w valve amp?
    I think I have a freind who has one and its sounds great, but I have heard people say its not as goot as SVT 2. Every SVT 2 have heard sounds amazing. Pure Tube warmness.

    I bought my sunn purely on what I'd read about it. its a hybrid (tube pre amp and solid state power similar set up that I had before) Sunn is hard to find in the Uk and when it is found its mega expensive hence me importing.

    good luck in which ever you choose.

    and yes stepdown convertors do seem like less hassle.

    I'll let you know how it works out for me.
  13. Good Luck Man
  14. man_at_arms84


    Jun 3, 2007
    Just to add dont feel like an idiot.
    I was in the same boat a month ago!

    I know nothing about gear really I just like playing music and touring etc. Unfortunatly I need the gear to do it!
    Im completey tech retarted.

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