Using a 110V Preamp In The UK


I am thinking of buying an Audio Research LS-15 (or 16) from the US. To use it in the UK I can either get the unit converted in the UK by the distributer or use a 240V to 110V converter.

I was quoted £350\$530 + whatever parts are required, by Absolute Sounds in the UK which is quite expensive. My other option is to use a 240V to 110V convertor which I am seriously considering as I am unlikely to want to sell this unit for many years.

I have sourced a Portable Stepdown Auto-Transformer rated at 100VA. "The auto-transformer uses highly efficient toroidal windings and each unit is encapsulated with potting compound (to UL94V) in a robust housing. All types are manufactured to BS7452:1991 and IEC.989:1991, and generate virtually no external magnetic field." (that was lifted from the website)

Will using a transformer degrade the sound ? Are there any possible issues with using a 110V preamp with a 240V power amp ? (I will be running a balanced configuration between pre and power) Does the LS-15 have a 240V tap ? Does the frequency have any effect ? Are there any important specs that the transformer should have ? Can anyone recommend a suitable unit ?

Any help appreciated

Paul Liddy

PS: A second hand LS-15 sells for around £2000\$3000 in the UK. A new LS-16 is £3700\$5600. You guys in the US don't know how lucky you are !
Hello Paul!

My name is Alex and I live in Israel, owning an a ARC-SP-9 Mk-2 FACTORY WIRED DIRECTLY FROM USA TO 220 VOLTS AC.

So the items that you will acquire CAN BE REWIRED FOR 240 V for UK.

Don't need any "Step-down" transformer!

Good Luck!


I also live in the UK and I'm using a 120v Audio Research LS2B MKII. Absolute Sounds quoted me £550+vat, ridiculous price, so I decided to go for the step down transformer. I've been using a 300va transformer for the past 2 years with great results. My power amp is a Krell KST100 and I don't find any compatibility problems. I think 100va is enough but on the safe side I bought the 300va.

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