modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

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modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by noisepunk » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:27 am

hopefully this is a good section for this:

okay, so the short of it is that i'm moving to scotland in the next couple months and trying to weigh bringing my turntable with me (i still have to determine how much i'll be able to ship...so this idea might be killed from that angle too ), or selling it and trying to find something comparable.

it's a pioneer pl-518. nothing super special, but it's pretty solid direct-drive unit with a few cool features, that i think were somewhat unique when it came out. aside from being all i'd ever want or need, it's also the only turntable i've ever owned and i'm pretty attached to it, so selling it off might hurt a little. the other issue is that i'm concerned i won't be able to get anything comparable for what they sell for: anywhere from $250-500 (seems like i'd be able to get $350 for mine pretty easy, anything higher might be a bit of a stretch).

–––

that's the preamble, but all of it will be pretty much moot if i can't modify it for UK mains. i know it's possible– buying vintage US turntables seems to be a bit in vogue at the moment, probably because we have a surplus of good ones, and our local hipsters are generally more keen on something new– but i haven't seen much in the way of tutorials, etc.

as always, any kind help is appreciated.

thanks!

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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by zhivago » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:52 am

You could buy a step-down transformer and plug into that, instead of modifying the turntable.

I did that with vintage Fender amps I had in the past that were for 110V usage.

I had something like this in the past:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/240v-110v-Step ... B000NIYH94
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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by noisepunk » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:13 pm

oh, they're cheaper than i thought– i'm going to try and bring my princeton over too and was going to get one for that... i guess i could get more than one.

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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by 1452L » Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:24 am

I have a step down transformer for my 64 Fender Concert, you don't want to modify these things. :)

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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by sal paradise » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:15 am

Worth saying those turntables go for about £200 here. You can get a 90s amp super cheap, so I guess it depends whether your shipping costs go up or not to bring your gear over.

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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by noisepunk » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:19 pm

sal paradise wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:15 am
Worth saying those turntables go for about £200 here. You can get a 90s amp super cheap, so I guess it depends whether your shipping costs go up or not to bring your gear over.
that's what i was seeing on the ol' ebay– i guess if i got over my sentimental attachments i could sell mine, buy the same one, and maybe come out with a bit of extra money in the end.

knowing that an external transformer is so inexpensive, that probably makes the most sense assuming it isn't a pain to even bring it. honestly, it kind of sounded like a fun project– i've been meaning to either build a nicer plinth for it or refinish it pretty much since i got it, and i figured tearing into it to make it UK compliant (or, ideally, switchable voltage and a power socket i could plug different cables into) would just be another good reason to finally do that.

i'm kind of talking myself out of it, but still open to advice if anyone has actually done this.

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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:01 pm

I think they're a DC motor(?) equipped deck so should be 'fine' on a step-down transformer (AC motor would likely have speed issues as the power frequency changes too (230V@50Hz in Scotland vs 120V@60Hz in USA).

I'd be more worried about transporting it half way round the world. Do you have the relevant packing bits/boxes or some other method to stop the arm flailing around while it's 'delicately' handled by about 10 different pairs of hands through the international freight process?
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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:07 pm

Also, Rega turntables are made in the UK, I don't know what the pricing is like over there but they're incredible bang for buck, even over here where we no doubt pay a shitload more for them.
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Re: modifying a turntable for UK voltage (from US)?

Post by noisepunk » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:01 am

yeah, it has a DC motor, it's also rated for both frequencies, so that wouldn't be an issue. i've also thought about how many hands everything is going to have to pass through and am pretty confident in my packing abilities.

regas look nice–i know a lot of folks on here that live outside of the us have them; i forgot they were made in the uk, and while it doesn't look like the new ones are much more affordable there than they would be here (save postage i'm guessing), a used one wouldn't be bad. thanks for the tip, good to have a clear option in mind if i do sell.

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