Power Change from USA to AUS

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Psychotic_Hell, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    Just wondering if it is possible for me to buy an amp in America and then take it back to Australia. I am concerned with the power differences but i am thinking that i can just buy a power cable here in Australia. My motive behind this purchase is that most music stuff is 3 to 4 times more expensive over here in Australia.

    Cheers :bassist::D:bassist::ninja:
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Your question has been answered before a number of times on this forum. Some amps designed for USA voltage can be easily converted to Australian standards, either by switching a few connections inside the amp, or in some cases, simply by flipping a switch. Others need expensive changes made to their circuitry. It all depends on which amp. The manufacturer can tell you if it's possible or not.

    You can buy a transformer which will change the Australian voltage to USA voltage, but they are bulky and expensive.

    Just a simple change of power cable won't do it.
  3. What's your mains voltage and frequency in Oz? I believe in the US it's 120v at 60Hz, in the UK it's 230V at 50Hz, in Japan it's 100V (not sure of the frequency) and in Europe it's 220V at 50Hz.

    Oh, I just found this very useful page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_mains_power_plugs%2C_voltages_and_frequencies

    It looks like if your gear is designed to work in the UK, it'll work in Australia by just buying a power cord with an Ozzy plug on one end and the IEC connector (kettle/computer type plug) on the other. Either that, or just cut the US mains plug off the lead that comes with your amp and fit your own. That's if you are allowed in Austraila. In the UK, you can buy mains plugs in pretty much any corner store. Ours look like this though:

    North American: [​IMG]

    I got these images from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_AC_power_plugs_and_sockets#Types_of_plug_and_sockets
  4. slaerts


    Aug 3, 2006
    240 volts over here dunno about hz's

    I was looking at those Eden WT heads aparently the automaticaly switch over all you need to do is put the correct power plug into it.
  5. MellowTone


    May 26, 2008
    240volts, 60Hz.

    Best bet is to send off an email to Eden.

    I was checking the same thing with an Ampeg from the States a while back, they sent schematics and instructions (didn't end up getting it, fell for a MarkBass Little Mark II).

    Just be careful that it does, if it doesn't and you plug it in, it's goodbye amp.

    Oh, and be aware that you'll either have to warranty coverage or you'll have to ship it back to the US for repair/replacement/whatever under warranty.
  6. MellowTone


    May 26, 2008
    Which amp were you looking at getting?
  7. slaerts


    Aug 3, 2006
    Sorry our plugs dont look like that.

    Its almost as if the manufacturers of bass amps have somehow managed to make the power types at different countires all different from each other in some kind of plot to charge Australian's more for amplifiers. They must be making millions of us! The Bass Amplifier Manufacturers Guild is powerful indeed.

    To be serious for a moment though, you wont get any waranty with it so make sure you research very carefully.
  8. Yeah I know the Australian plugs are different to that but I didn't bother putting a picture of an Ozzy plug on my post cos I bet my bottom dollar you'd know what plugs in your own country look like already! Heh heh ;)

    According to the page on wikipedia that I linked to above, the mains power in Australia is 230V 50Hz. This is exactly the same as the UK. The only difference is the plug that fits the wall outlet as far as I can see. Most amps are capable of working on both US and UK supplies so long as they have a multi-tapped transformer with either a voltage selector on the back or the facility inside the amp for your tech to make the change. I find it highly unlikely in the world of today that an amplifier would not be designed to work on different supply voltages.

    Still though, check the specs of whatever amp you're intending to buy and make sure. Download the owner's manual from the manufacturer's website and have a look.

    I just happen to have the manual for the Ampeg SVT-CL and Ampeg SVT-6 PRO here and both say on the back page: "Power Requirements - 115VAC 60Hz, 100/115VAC 50/60Hz, 230VAC 50/60Hz"

    In the handbook of my Marshall VBA400 it says:"The VBA400 is able to operate on 100, 115 or 230 Volts A.C. (50-60 cycles) by appropriate
    selection of internal voltage setting links and fuse types."
  9. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    The power in AUS seems to be a lot more variable than elsewhere...... No doubt the cities are more normal..... We had trouble with high mains voltages, and finally shipped everything going to AUS as 240V....... otherwise we actually burned out transformers.....

    Info from the power companies suggests that the diesel plants have rather variable outputs, and the ultimate high mains were something on the order of 240V + 15 to 20%. Normally it would be +10% per IEC specs.

    So what to choose as the mains volts may vary with where you are.
  10. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm interested in the same topic as in Poland, where I come form, music gear is 2-3 times more exprensive that in USA.

    I have made small investigation already and I can say that it is very easily to convert Ampeg and Eden amps. It's only the matter of changing fuse and moving few cables inside. Ampeg schematics are easily to get and with Eden, there are instructions inside on the chassis. With Mesa Boogie stuff things look more complicated and expensive as you have to change the whole transformer. From the other hand many people use external transformes and they work properly and don't cost much.

    Cheers, Kris
  11. Hey Kris, I've just had a look at the schematic diagram for the Mesa/Boogie Bass 400 and it looks to me like all you have to do is remove a jumper wire and replace the fuse to change Boogie Bass 400 amp to 230V that is set for 120V .

    Check it out - it's on the second page: http://www.schematicheaven.com/boogieamps/boogie_bass400.pdf

    As you don't say which Mesa/Boogie amp you are referring to I just picked one. The 400+ may be different but I imagine that if the old 400 has the ability to run at 120 or 230 volts, that the newer 400+ will also.
  12. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender Supporting Member

    For the WT550 (and most likely the other WT heads), you must open the case and move some jumpers around.

    The WTX260 automatically senses voltage.

    There are many Australian Eden users on the Eden forum at http://www.eden-electronics.com.
  13. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    I've heard that it is impossible do do with Mesa Boogie M-2000 and Walkabout. But I only have heard it, I don't know it for sure.
  14. Right now i am tossing up between an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro or an Eden World Tour.

    They both are really expensive over here which has forced me to use a behringer!
  15. EEEEEK!! I understand yr Pain!!! ;)
    PM'd U re....

    try using the Search function(top tight of Amps page) & there are lots of these points covered on TB here B4!!!
  16. MellowTone


    May 26, 2008
    Be careful though, Ampegs, although they say that, you have to re-solder some wires inside or you'll fry it.

    Over here being Australia? (That's where I live....)

    Personally, I found that getting a MarkBass was the best option. $1190, 500watts, awesome tone.

    Just be careful about the warranties if you're getting one from overseas.

    Ampeg SVT 3 Pro is easy, I got the schematics from LOUD Technologies (who distribute them) and you just have to change a few wires around (re-solder them). Not sure about Eden.
  17. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    yeah man, I've been there and done that with amps.. Seriously, buy a Marbass LMII locally (approx AUD$1000) and be happy... they freaking kick ass.
  18. +1 re the Mark Bass LMII I only brought one amp over from USA- & IMHO I was lucky-everything went smooth. A LOTTA other's've been less fortunate- to the point where they've not been able to use the amp at all...without buying a new output tranny!!
    Both -all- other amps I bought locally. My V4BH from my local. My Mark Bass LMII from Bass Centre in Melb. GREAT amp, good price & Great service. IMO the LMII Cr*ps all over the 3PRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  19. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Indeed? Care to elaborate? (says the person who has converted quantities of them without use of the soldering iron)

    Perhaps you just mean that some wires need to be moved around....... That is true, but they are all just push-on connectors

    Basically all the Ampeg units that CAN be converted will convert as easily as the 3PRO. SVT is an exception, you must re-connect BOTH power transformers, AND the fan. But it is done the same way.