Moving to the UK - Power Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BuiltToSpill17, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I'm living in the US right now but will be moving to the UK in a month or so for a new job. I have a Mesa M6 Carbine that I would like to take with me, along with a Fender Super Champ (guitar). As far as power goes, would I just need a different power cord, a wall plug adapter, or some type of voltage step down converter?

    The back of the Mesa says it's 120v with nothing about 220v. The manual also says nothing about what it could do. Same goes for the Fender.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    The champ will need an outboard 240/120V transformer. Other Mesa models I've heard about use a north America or a European power transformer. Meaning you'll have to swap out the power transformer or use a honking great 240/120 outboard transformer. I'd contact Mesa and see if the Carbine has a dual voltage primary and is therefor switchable.

  3. St Drogo

    St Drogo

    Oct 9, 2009
    Can I just commend you on getting a job in another country? It seems to me quite a step to just get up an go live in another country, takes some balls and a sense of adventure. Good luck!
  4. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Even more so if you don't have a job to go to and take the whole family anyway!

    Thank you for pointing this out and best wishes to the OP on his venture.

  5. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Congrats - I did the same thing almost two years ago when we relocated from Seattle to just outside London. I would definitely do some research to see if the amp is internally switchable (many amps seem to be these days) or if there is an easy mod. My experience with external power transformers and amps is not very good. You'd need a fairly large one - much bigger than the wattage of the amp. The amps draw much more than that at startup and peak - will tend to blow the fuse. The outboard transformers are not cheap and heavy to boot.

    May be an opportunity to pick up a UK manufactured amp for a good price compared to the US... ;)
  6. BassmanAd


    Mar 19, 2008
    Welcome to the UK! Sorry about the weather...

    Yep, you'll have to get a step down transformer. They're about £40 over here. But +1 to the suggestion of checking to see if the Mesa is switchable, I don't know much about how it's done but I've heard it's a fairly easy job.
  7. Thanks guys, that's great info! I plan on calling Mesa and finding out what's up with the M6 then. That's unfortunate that the Super Champ sounds like a lost cause... I just bought it from a friend, maybe I can get a refund!

    Thanks for the well wishes on the move to the UK! It'll be quite an experience... I was in the military for a few years and never got to go overseas, so I'm excited about the opportunity to finally go!

    The $ to £ conversion is 1 - 1.5 (better than when I visited briefly in 2006 and it was 1:2, so hopefully they have lower prices on the Oranges/Marshalls in the first place :)
  8. Mikell


    Aug 3, 2010
    Na us british get charged loads more so no doubt it will be cheaper in the us even with the conversion rate.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I was in Germany for 3 years in the early 90's. At that time we bought transformers to use our American equipment with. Basically just a big box that you plugged into the local 220/240 and had american style 110/120 plugs on it to hook up our stuff. We carried our own PA and everything. You think bass rigs are heavy, try lugging around a couple of those things big enough to power a band. You'll be wishing all you had to carry was your "lightweight" SVT rig and plug it into the wall.:D

    Some amps that sell in different countries may have a 220 switch on the back, it's cheaper for them to make them that way instead of making a different model for the US, one for europe, one for japan, etc. I don't know about your mesa though.

    And best of luck to you over there, man. An experience you'll never forget no matter how it ends up going.
  10. Thanks Will, good point on the manufacturing cost, I hope Mesa made the same business decision there!
  11. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I am moving to France this thursday. This may not help the OP but I have a GK MB500 and an MB200. Just an FYI for anyone wanting to know this. On these new GK heads, you just have to switch a jumper on the inside and the swap out the external power cord with the euro style. Pretty easy really. And easy to switch back.
  12. So I finally called Mesa... they said that the amp does not have internally switchable power capabilities and that I'd either need an external step down transformer or to have someone go in there and replace the power unit with a UK capable one. :( I guess I'll go the step-down external transformer route for now and see how it goes since I'll be coming back to the US eventually. Hopefully I won't have any issues with the step-down...

    Although I don't miss it all that much, I wouldn't have had to worry about this with the TC Electronic RH450 I sold to buy the Mesa!
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    You'll have to bring your own power with you.......
  14. My own power? The step down transformer would convert the 220v into 120v and allow me to plug in my amp directly to the transformer or a connected power strip.
  15. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    When in Rome use Roman amps...