European AMP in US with step up transformer?

Hello, All!

I have a multi-layered question.

First part (maybe it makes sense to look at the 2nd part of my question first):

I have a 220V AMP from Europe that I would like to use in the US. However, this would require the use of a step up transformer and since I am not an electric expert, I am not sure what effect that will have on the sound quality. I am especially concerned that the European system works with 50hz VS. 60hz on the US system-- or does that no matter? Will any of this stepping up create a humm noise or some other unpleasant side effect? I am not looking to hear personal experiences, nor am I going to hold anyone liable-- just a few educated guesses/input would be appreciated.

Second dilemma:

The amplifier that I would like to use here in the US is a nice somewhat vintage Luxman L-530. This is obviously not in the same class as a McIntosh or some other top notch, high end equipment, but it is a class A/B amp that operates in class A under normal listening volume and has a pretty nice warm sound. In addition it is a very nice looking piece of equipment.

Now, the unit is probably worth 400-600 EURO if I sold it on eBay and I would have to probably spend $200 for a transformer-- in other words I could free up $600-$800 by selling the amp and not buying a transformer. Question, would $600-$800 by me anything decent here in the US in the used amp markets?

In short, is this amp worth it, or should I just sell it?

All input is greatly appreciated!


Check to see if the transformer of the amp is easily rewired for 110 volts. Most are. Sometimes it is as easy as moving a jumper plug.
With the current exchange rate, things are fairly competitive priced in the US, since many manufactures have not adjusted their prices.

An exchange might be more interesting as well: A chance to try new things...

The step-up will work here without problems. You will need a fairly big one, >1000W. If you are lucky you might find one for less than $100. Also, the additional transformer might work as additional isolation transformer and get rid of some AC noise. However, all the step-up transformers I used did have slight humming noise. Best to place the step-ups out of sight.

Also, it might be worth checking on whether your amp can be switched in voltage by a simple switch, resoldering, or a transformer change.

Good luck!

A fellow European with similar problems.
You can have an electrician instal a 220v dedicated outlet for your amp. It will have two 110V lines (hot) and a grounded neutral. This will give you the sonic benefit of a balanced power. This is how a PS Audio Power Plant works on 120V equipment, two 60V lines and a grounded neutral. All of my Linn gear is running that way (220V). Hope this will help. Hector
Thank you for for your good insights. I will probably just sell it over there, so that I don't have to bring it here (and might damage it during shipping).

Thanks again,