Advice for a Step Up/Down transformer for travel?

Discussion in 'General Audio Gear Discussion' started by kirayamato, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. kirayamato

    kirayamato Friend

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    Hi so Didn't see any good thread about it so since I travel between the US and my home country alot where I need a 110 too 220 Volts step up transformer to make my audio gear work like my amplifier so was wondering of any good one you guys can recommend if anyone knows anything that would be great


    going to be using a jotunheim so just need to power that I saw alot of them but am afraid of noise floor being too high so if any one has tried anything that would be great thanks
     

  2. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    Unfortunately the vast majority of step transformers out there are shoddily put together crap from China that cost pennies to assemble yet go for like $40. You'll see the same couple of cases used 400 different times for 400 different "companies." They'll arrive dented, humming, and fall apart easily. If you're lucky they won't damage your components in the process.

    The only good transformers I have experience with are those sold in Japan, like Churi brand. Unfortunately that won't do you much good since those are step down transformers.

    Just be careful. 99% of the stuff out there is complete garbage. I wish I had a good US -> EU recommendation for you, but alas. Maybe someone else can chime in here.
     
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  3. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    As long as its big, made of metal, look like a transformer and heavy.

    You're covered.

    Edit: saw you asked for travel. Cant help you there.
     
  4. Delayeed

    Delayeed Almost "Made"

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    Is there any decently priced step down transformer you would recommend? I live in EU but got a good deal on a 115V Mjolnir 2 which the seller said to include a 10$ transformer but after reading your message I'm now thinking it probably won't be that great.
     
  5. LauSing2

    LauSing2 Almost "Made"

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    These US made transformers might be worth considering: www.acupwr.com.
     
  6. %20 Oddity

    %20 Oddity Friend

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    [​IMG]

    Saxton Hale is really branching out these days, huh
     
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  7. Delayeed

    Delayeed Almost "Made"

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    Would a low quality china one affect sound quality at all?
     
  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    Which version of the Jotunheim do you have? The 110v or the 220v?

    I don't know how high quality the transformer needs to be since Schiit tends to use regulated power which does a pretty good job taking care of a lot of power supply issues.
     
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  9. MuppetFace

    MuppetFace Sultana of Seafoam Green - Moderator

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    When I was looking for a step up transformer to use a Moth amp that had been wired for EU voltage, I ended up ordering three different metal boxes from three different companies, each one claiming to be manufactured in a different country.

    All of them used the same OEM parts from China, same exact type of cases and everything. Even the more expensive one I spent $100 USD on: it was just a slightly larger version of the same type of case. One arrived with a massive dent in it and hummed very loudly. Another had screws that were tightened in crookedly, and when I tried to straighten them, the whole thing just fell apart. It was basically held together with tape.

    The most expensive one seemed to be in one piece, but it developed a hum like the one with the bent case only after two hours of use. When I started smelling smoke, I immediately unplugged the thing.

    Only one of the three companies responded to my emails, the other two simply ignored me.

    Just recently my friend @%20 Oddity tried ordering a smaller sized step down transformer that advertised it converted EU to Japanese voltage (100V). The one she got only converted to US voltage (110V) and fell apart on her as well. The pics she sent of the inside was the same story. This stuff would make an electrical engineer faint.


    Lessons learned:

    1. A big metal case and higher price doesn't mean you're buying quality. Most of this stuff is made with the cheapest parts imaginable and put together *very* poorly.

    2. A lot of websites lie about specs and country of origin. They also don't answer their email once you buy their crap.

    3. Shoddy transformers have been known to catch fire.

    4. Your gear is valuable, and hooking it up to a POS power supply could potentially damage it.

    5. The only good transformers I have used personally are ones sold on Japanese import sites such as Churi. These aren't big metal boxes, but rather heavy plastic bricks and much more sturdy when you actually feel it in person. I have also had luck with Kashimura (which might actually be Chinese despite the name lol, but their build quality tends to be a lot better).

    6. If you're going to be staying overseas for a long time, it might be better in the long run to send your amp in to be rewired (or if you know someone with DIY skills and don't mind voiding the warranty, have them rewire it for the different voltage --- it's generally not a hard modification *if you know what you're doing*).

    7. Alternatively, if you're going to be traveling back and forth often, you may just want to get a smaller amp or dongle or something to use for travel and leave the bigger rig behind. I could have easily done this with the money I wasted on shoddy transformers.


    Anyway, there may very well be other reliable companies making transformers out there. Problem is, there are literally hundreds of options out there that all look quite similar, so if others have actual experience buying and using products from one of these vendors, please let us know.
     
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  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Hauling around a step up/down transformer for travel is just silly. I understand that you'd like to carry your favourite amp around, but wouldn't it make more sense to find an amp that can handle both internally?
     
  11. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    It's basically why I went with a Magni 2U. I have a different wallwart for each country.

    Reading the specs it comes 25w but uses a 48VA transformer. So I would get some that does 50w minimum. There's a ton of stuff out there that convert 100w for not a lot of money.
     
  12. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Hey, its very very easy to rewire the mjolnir 2 to 230v, all you need to do is rewire some jumpers and change the fuse. No need to bother with a transformer.
     
  13. kirayamato

    kirayamato Friend

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    hi just wanted to let you guys know I got a up down tranformer from here in my home country I use it with the schiit jotunheim I got it for 15$ lol and
    it works perfectly completely inaudible background but I also think schiit's power supply in there amps are really good which helps if anyone in america wants one

    I can get it for them if they want it for travel its not that big can easily support a 8 inch speaker system from what My electrician was saying
     
  14. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    I hesitate to say this.. but if the signature isn't too warm, maybe that sort of thing might be a use case for a reasonably-priced Liquid Carbon? A good and fully-working one might fit the bill here.

    (I did used to have a couple of hefty step-up transformers that ran a mixer and a power amp without issue for years, but they came from a meatspace shop in central London, and it's probably a Starbucks or something by now..)
     

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