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Importing HT receivers - and differences in AC Voltage...

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Daniel P

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:50 AM

I am from Australia, but am currently living in Japan. I have my eyes on the Denon AVC-3570-N, or the Onkyo TX-SR800. These receivers are both 100 Volts, but Australia requires 240 Volts. Are there any transformers on the market, which are good enough to suit me - with 100% conversion performance? I hear most transformers would not be suitable with receivers, due to their complexity.

I would like to know if anyone has done similar to what I wish to do, and if it is worth doing without any problems at all. I am talking zero problems.

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jonathan M

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Posted April 23 2003 - 09:25 AM

Hi Daniel,

First off, I'd try and get in contact with either Denon or Onkyo service guys. I mean the ones who actually fix units when they go wrong.

There IS the possibility that the transformers inside the receivers mentioned have dual primaries. That is, they are configured to run on 110V but can easily be converted by a few simple wire changes (Or even just a switch) to run on 240Hz.

If you can get hold of the service manuals that would be able to tell you. The service guys may be able to do the conversion for you if you're not comfortable at wiring it yourself.

Assuming the power transformer does not have dual primaries, then there is two possible solutions:

1. Replace the power transformer with another. This will likely have to be a true Onkyo or Denon part, as recievers have multiple secondaries for the various voltage levels they require.

2. Use an external power convertor. This will have to be rated very highly as the receiver will be drawing a fair amount of current. I would suggest 500VA at the very least.

Your best bet is to get in contact with the Denon and/or Onkyo service center and see if they can help. I believe that Audio Products are the Oz importers of Denon, so maybe they can hook you up with the knowledge. (Say you already own it!!)

One other thing. Make sure you understand the importing rules of Oz. You may have to pay duty (Here in NZ it's 7% on receivers) and you may also have to pay GST. Seeing as you are purchasing in Japan, however, you may be able to get away with saying that it is something you've had for ages, and you'll get through alright. Depends on whether you need to declare it or not.

Hope this helps.
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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Daniel P

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Posted April 26 2003 - 05:30 PM

Wow, thanks fot the helpful reply Jonathan. I'll be sure to look into it, and hopefully I can sort something out.

Do you know if running the 100V amp at 240V would affect any 240V DVD players, VCR's, Subwoofers etc...if I were to get a transformer?

Again, thanks for the response.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Jagan Seshadri

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Posted April 27 2003 - 12:43 AM


If you connect the 240-VAC wall outlet through an appropriate step-down transformer, then you can think of your receiver as being correctly powered. That is, you can hook any audio or video signals into it.

While power supplies are specific to different regions around the world (and you absolutely have to do that correctly or risk shock, fire, damaged electronics), the actual signals from CD players, DVD players, VCRs, etc., are standardized worldwide and carry microvolt-level information instead of hundred-volt-level brute force power.

Did I answer your question?


#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Daniel P

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Posted April 27 2003 - 05:19 PM

Yes Jagan, you answered it perfectly.

Great to know I can rely on the forum to find the exact answer I need.

Thanks very much to both of you...now I will investigate from here.


#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Till



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Posted April 28 2003 - 05:14 AM

Just one caveat.

I don't know for Australia and Japan, but USA and Europe have different cycles. USA is 60Hz. For amps that doesn't really matter I believe, since my 240 V amp is running alright thanks to a transformer. CDplayer is ok, too. But I tried to run a vinyl turntable and it was running 20% too fast due to the difference of 50 and 60 Hz in the two countries. A new pulley fixed the issue, though.

I did lose some dynamics from the amp. The amp had a huge power supply with almost a million microfarad and 1400W transformers. The converting transformer is a custom-built 3000 watt model, and still it's not quite as good. The loss is 5 to 10 % I'd guess. For HT there should be no problem.


#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Daniel P

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Posted April 28 2003 - 05:57 PM

Hey Till,

Can you please elaborate on your transformer, and your amp?

Is it a HT receiver?

Why do you think it would be ok on a receiver?

I'm so confused about what to do now...

I'm sure the Japanese models are 50/60hz, which will be ok in Australia.

It sounds as if your transformer would be fine for me. Can you give me some info on it...make, model, price, where you bought it.

Thanks for the input.


#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Till



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Posted May 01 2003 - 07:30 AM


I am also thinking of taking a 110 V receiver back to Europe where we have 220/240 V. My amp is actually an integrated amp and not an HT receiver. It is however very complex and micro-processor controlled. The micro-porcessor has no trouble with the conversion. I guess this is what some people are afraid of. The transformer I use on it is a 3 kilowatt custombuilt unit by the company that makes transformers for Burmester Audio, as you know one of the most prestigious brands in the world and the owner is the most quality control obsessed freak you can imagine. Cost was fairly low, around $200 I believe. This transformer goes one way only. When I go back to Europe I won't be able to use it directly to convert into the other direction and use my American gear. But probably I can have it changed at little cost. Except for shipping the thing weighs about 30 kilos.

There are transformers that work both ways (step up and down), those might be practical for you if you ever move again. I bought three of those at the following link:

I think for my lamps I use a Style C and for an integrated CD-Receiver I use a style D. The CD-Receiver (an Onkyo) has 2x80W so I chose a 300W transformer to be on the safe side. It has not given me the slightest problem, real plug and play.

In your position I'd get an overdimensioned Style D. That should do.

Hope that helped you a little bit.


#9 of 9 OFFLINE   PaulT


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Posted May 01 2003 - 08:53 AM

Daniel, you won't have as much problems converting your Aussie 220V to a receiver that is built for 110/100 as you will be stepping 'down' the voltage with your external transformer. It will generate heat as a result, rather than getting a power loss as Till is.

Till's problem (besides the 50/60 Hz difference) is he is converting 'up' from the 110V wall power through a transformer that needs to provide 220V to his gear.

Check some Aussie websites - you are looking for a good quality 'step down transformer' from 220V to 110/100V. Course you'll have to make sure the plugs match as well....

Till you beat me to the punch Posted Image
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