Audio and the "jet set" - please help

Hi all,

It's looking like my life will be global for the foreseeable future, with 2-3 year stints in countries all over the world (including the U.S.). This poses some challenges for my audio obsession. Constantly changing voltage requirements and shifting room sizes mean that long-term planning is difficult. Are there others in this situation? How do you cope?

I've tried a few things. Shifting away from speakers to great headphones is what I'm doing now, especially because space is very limited, but in the end, I'm a speaker guy. I've also tried to focus on components with switchable voltage, but in the end this is just really limiting. I've thought about relying on step-down transformers, but this scares me a little (should it?).

Anyway, I'd love to hear from any of you in similar positions who have found ways to make it work.

I would go a bit more mobile if your moving that much.

If limited on space, how about a great set of speakers (B&O Beo 4) with a macintosh computer.
If I were going to be constantly on the move, I'd want a pair of AKG K1000s and an amp to drive them with to which I could apply a stepup or stepdown transformer. I'd feed it with a DAC with my music on a Mac Mini.

If I was going to be in place for 2-3yrs, I'd probably want some speakers. If you use bookshelf speakers, you need an amp big enough to drive them which means voltage change is a problem. As to small speakers which would work in a small room, I'd look at the small Maggies introduced last year or the year before.
Phones are certainly one route. My career may put me in a similar position one day soon. I am not sure I can give up my vinyl collection though. It'd have to come with me.

One reason I purchased a Nagra pre and phono is exactly this reason, international voltage ability. I know their VPA amp has a selector for various voltage settings.

I am sure other mfg have this ability to, so you maybe able to make some prudent buys that can follow you...just another option to consider. Good luck !
Thanks all. One thing working in my favor is that I tend to go for high sensitivity speakers with low-powered amps, which means I can use amps that don't have huge current draw.

One thing I'm pondering, for instance, is basing my system around an amp. Check out the Luxman SQ-N100: 12W EL84 integrated with supposedly excellent headphone jack and MM phono stage built in. This would give me great flexibility to rely on headphones when necessary and hook it up to high-sensitivity speakers when possible. It draws 95W at full throttle, which seems reasonably easy to deal with on a step-down transformer. A similar option is the Leben CS300x. Thoughts?

Thanks again!
Well that is a good direction if you going to bring components along.

Sweet amp the SQ but you can tuck the Leben under your arm making it the logical choice for flexibility.

Plus love the retro look of the Leben with the wood sides and brass interface. Classic.

Now what speakers are you considering since space is going to be limited?
What traveling audiophiles often do is to bring along DAC (like Benchmark DAC1 or DAC1 USB) and connect it to laptop. Benchmark has volume control and headphone amp. It operates 115V or 230V, 50/60Hz. Small class D amp (like Rowland 102 I use) can be added to drive speakers. This amp has switching power supply (SMPS) and works on any line voltage 85-265V without changing anything. As for the speakers - suggestion of new, very small Maggies is interesting.
Since you'll be stationary for 2-3 years at a time, I would suggest you bring your stereo along. You'll be glad you did.

Here's what I do. I bought some bookshelf speakers and integrated amp in NYC. The amp is 120V as is the player.

I lived in Cyprus for a few years and now live in Dubai. First thing is to get a transfomer. I use a balanced, isolated, step-down transformer.

Recently, I picked up a used ps audio p-500. I rewired it, with the help of PS Audio, to accept 230V and output 120V.

With this set-up I can pretty much move anywhere in the world and still be able to use my american equipment.