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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davidoc, May 7, 2003.
Does the 230 volts in europe provide a better source of power than the 110 (120?) in the US?
For heavy loads, the 220/230 volts would be better because the current draw is half of the current draw at 110 volts. Less voltage drop occurs through the (power) wiring because of the lower current draw. Hence dryers and ovens in US households run off 220.
However, the 50 Hz frequency in Europe is IMHO not as desirable as the US 60 HZ. Transformers run a tad hotter on 50 hz.
Also the European plugs are round little itty bitty pins, instead of the flat blades on American plugs. I believe the flat blades are better, but I'm biased.
If you're looking for better or cleaner power, invest the money in a good power conditioner/regulator. Not one of the cheap Furman units that basically only provide surge protection, but a true conditioner. Even Furman's more expensive units will not provide true conditioning and regulation.
Look at the high-end stereo discussion groups such as AudioAsylum.com or Audiogon.com. I would also suggest contacting the manufacturer to determine if their product will work well for you application. You will need a unit that can handle high current draw.
I've got a very good one that sits on the floor. It's only about 5x7x9 inches, but it weighs about 15 pounds. It provides a clean and consistent 115 volts and 60Hz regardless of the supply voltage, and is rated up to 1250 amps. It's made by Sutton Designs, and cost me $175 a few years ago.
They are especially helpful for tube-based systems that are more susceptible to variances in voltage and current.
Power supply in Europe is better I guess. Power conditioners are unknown to us. We don't need this. Simple as that.
You're drawing the wrong conclusion. Our power supplies are basically of the same quality. The power supply doesn not necessitate power conditioners here in the US either, but of course there are plenty of people here in the US with more money than sense, so they are easily duped by advertising.
So don't use the US popularity of power conditioners to draw the conclusion that European power is better. Use it to draw the conclusion that America has a bunch of folks who are easily seperated from their money.
As others mentioned, the current draw for comparable power consumption is one-half at 230V than at 120, so there's less power lost in the AC wiring.
However, a power source is only as good as its availability. If you have 120V available, you use that. If I ever moved to Europe, it would have to be for a better reason than 230V power.
On power conditioners: a power amp with a decent power supply shouldn't need separate power conditioning; it would be like covering the rock of Gibraltar with Kevlar.
Power conditioning is most effective on gear with power supplies that are weak or have poor regulation or filtering. But unless it also has voltage regulation, a power conditioner will not solve the ill effects of excessively low line voltage.
I have a feeling that the power in Europe is cleaner because the Europeans (at least the EU countries) are really strict about noise emissions from electrical equipment.
This is true, but for the most part everything manufactured today is for the world market, so most companies design to meet all the requirements around the world, so we get the benefits. Same goes for Canadian CSA standards on human safety.
For those who don't know it, CSA stands for "Canadian Safety, Eh?"
Just because something meets a European (EU)standard doesn't necessarily mean it's better than US standards. Despite all the hoopla, Europe is not necessarily more technologically or environmentally advanced. For example, when I lived in France 15 years ago, there was still lead in the gasoline. (and don't get me started about all the two stroke-mopeds). Hardly safe or environmentally advanced, IMHO.
And if you want real proof, visit a public French restroom with their hole in the floor latrine.
Some products are built for the world market...but some, like neon bar signs aren't. Those pesky little buggers create all sorts of headaches for us, with our single coil pickups and tweeter equipped cabinets.
As far as I understand it, the European EMC (Electro Magnetic Compatability?) directive mandates that electical products be built so that they don't emit noise. I don't believe that FCC standards are quite as all inclusive.