Moving to Paris Need: Equipment & 230V @ 50Hz Advice from experts

Hi all,

I will be moving to Paris, France, from Canada later this summer. After spending years to build a system that has just about qualified for exit level audio, to the point where, I, an audiophile, can actually say I am content (can you imagine that?) can not be taken with me. I have decided not to ditch all my gear at fire-sale prices and most likely I will give it to my father who is also an audiophile, until I return in a couple of years (I know he will enjoy having 2 systems for a while). I am not comfortable chancing a step down transformer on my VPI turntable, my 300B single ended amp, tube pre, etc. Sadly I will not have the space, appetite for risking my gear on step down transformers, or spending thousands of dollars right now on power control devices so it is what it is I guess. Now onto my questions:

1. I have a couple of old technics 1200 decks and I have heard that they can be switched internally for 220 or for 50HZ. Is this true? What do I need to do to take it with me and use it without risk.

2. If the technics is not an option is there something I can do with my VPI HW19 deck? Perhaps order another Motor assembly that is good on 230V 50HZ ? Can I mod it some how?

3. I am looking for a quick fix for the front end electronics, most likely a solid state integrated with phono section for a "mainly vinyl" reduced budget system. Something cost effective, vintage, decent sounding so I can enjoy my favorite records that I WILL be taking with me. I have been thinking NAD 3020, Sansui AUXX (many models), Linn Majik. Now, can those units be switched to 230v 50hz ? Is there an international version of them? Do they require a step down transformer ? Are they safe on a step down trafo? What do I need to look for in a step down trafo for a model such as those? In terms of a possible tube (el84 or other) integrated solution: Are the old H.H. Scott, Leak, Heathkit, Dynaco 35 tube integrated amps easily usable with EU electricity, switchable on the unit ? Are those model safe on a step down trafo. I ask because I can get any of the aforementioned units at great prices in Canada to take with me and if they are switchable or work safely with a not-so-expensive step down trafo I would buy one to take with me.

4. Sadly 15" drivers and Horns that sit in 2 foot by 4 foot wood enclosures are a pipe dream for the shoe box sized apartment I will be staying in, in Paris. So I have to think quickly and get an efficient small speaker, I know those 2 things do not really go together but this is what I have to deal with to ensure a tiny bit of audio bliss whilst away from my home country. I have been thinking Klipsch Heresy. Do you guys know of anything with a similar footprint in terms of size that has comparable efficiency? I have heard the Dynaco A 25s and had a pair of JBL 4012s but I am not certain that a little integrated amp will be able to drive them well. Maybe I am off on the Dynacos not sure, but please suggest some speakers that are not too big, not too expensive, preferably vintage and efficient ( I know I know, but please try).

I suppose that is it for now. Please help me out as I am kind of scrambling to find a solution, with just under 2 months or so until I have to hop on a plane to Paris I can certainly use some advice. THanks a million guys, looking forward to hearing your your take on my questions above. 

I had the same issue when I moved from the USA to France; see my previous post on this subject. The solution was relatively simple for me. My B&W N801 speakers went into storage and I took the N805 speakers with me. Ran them from a Pioneer Elite M91 power amp and step down conditioner/transformer. Same withe the rest of the system. Eventually upgraded to a Krell KSA-250 power amp (changed the transformer taps to run on 220V, simple DIY task), sounded very good to my ears in a high ceiling Parisian apartment. However; remember some high end equipment (newer Krell, Martin Logan, Mark Levinson etc.) will not work on a step down transformer.
I would wait until you get over there.  There is a massive amount of gear that never gets exported to the US.  You will find all kinds of great gear.

Maybe visit and become a regular at a local hifi shop and see what they have.  Also, start reading a few magazines from there.

I was really surprised at the quality and quantity of equipment over there that I had never heard of, but it's very well known and popular to the people there.
I agree with mofimadness.
I would take the move to Paris as an opportunity to build an all-French system. The French make some really superb gear & like mofimadness wrote very few brands get exported to the USA. Here is a huge list of Made in France audio gear:

you lucky dog - have fun scouting for audio gear there.....
The French make some really superb gear
Not only French gear, but Italian, German, etc.  I guarantee you that you will be in high-end heaven over there.
+1.  I think you will end up regretting taking any thing.  Plus you'll get to go to the real High End show in Munich!!! 

Get yourself a nice portable unit like a Fiio F7 and K5 headphone amp to tide you over until you can do some shopping.  You won't be dissapointed. 

My advice: Travel light and don't complicate unnecessarily your future return with more gear you will have to eventually unload.  As MoFi has write, once you settle in you can have a new adventure finding and visiting hi end shops over there.  I completely agree with Erik and had intended to write pretty much the same - unless you absolutely hate headphones - burn a bunch of music to hard drive, get some good cans, and an amp w/dac.  You'll certainly have addressed any space concerns with this option.  Have fun over there.  A enviable experience.