Need help with American voltage!

Master_Slater

New member
Hey guys! I’m proud to say that I am the new owner of, what I believe to be, a ‘95 blueface vh4S as the serial # is 006. The only problem is that it is hard-wired to 230v. After speaking to Peter and a few other people, I am under the impression that there is not a 120v tap from the main transformer. My only option would be a step down/up transformer! Do any of you have any experience using one of these? Any advice and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I do not want to destroy this amazing amp and piece of Diezel history! Thanks in advance!
 

greatzot

New member
Hey guys! I’m proud to say that I am the new owner of, what I believe to be, a ‘95 blueface vh4S as the serial # is 006. The only problem is that it is hard-wired to 230v. After speaking to Peter and a few other people, I am under the impression that there is not a 120v tap from the main transformer. My only option would be a step down/up transformer! Do any of you have any experience using one of these? Any advice and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I do not want to destroy this amazing amp and piece of Diezel history! Thanks in advance!
I haven't used one with a Diezel, but I have used one with a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister Deluxe 20. I bought it in Japan for somewhere around the equivalent of $30 to $50. You need to make sure the power rating is high enough to handle the amp's maximum possible power/current draw--usually that is printed somewhere near the power cord/plug, but you can probably ask Peter for more info on it. For perspective, the H&K 20 watt amp is rated at 101 watts, so roughly 1A of current at 100V in Japan, or a bit less at 120V in the USA.

Beyond that, because you're dealing with a very expensive piece of gear, I wouldn't skimp and just jump for whatever is cheapest. Many of the voltage converters/transformers available are intended for travel, and only for basic everyday goods, and the quality can vary greatly. Mine was made in China, but the brand is Japanese and the headquarters was right down the road from me when I bought it. My only beef with it is the voltage switch (for going from 120V to 100V or vice versa) was a bit unclear if your Japanese isn't native level--but I emailed them and they cleared it up, and then I labeled it myself for future reference. Otherwise it's a very basic device with maybe a 1 meter cord and only a single outlet, which is fine when you're intending to use it for an amp. Haven't noticed any issues like noise.

That said, a product made for only one-way (step down 230v to 120v) instead of two-way (step up/down) voltage conversion might save you some money and may be easier to find. Just make sure the plugs at each end are what you need--you don't want to have to throw in a plug converter as well, as that just adds more possibilities for something to go wrong.
 

Master_Slater

New member
28B6E6AE-D895-4C61-B454-0E2F3FA703C6.jpg
 

Master_Slater

New member
Thank you for your advice! So is 230v the max? I haven’t seen anything that indicates the total wattage. Would a 1000w step down converter be an overkill? Or would it just be an extra precaution? The last thing I want to do is mess something up on this amp as this is my absolute dream amp!
 

greatzot

New member
Thank you for your advice! So is 230v the max? I haven’t seen anything that indicates the total wattage. Would a 1000w step down converter be an overkill? Or would it just be an extra precaution? The last thing I want to do is mess something up on this amp as this is my absolute dream amp!
230 is the voltage. Current is measured in amperes or "amps" for short, and power is what you get with a certain amount of current at a certain voltage and is measured in "watts". I'm not at all knowledgeable on the subject, just another musician, but what you're looking for is a statement of maximum power consumption on the back--the 101 watts on my amp's rear label, for example. Divide that by the voltage it uses and you get the current required--so 101watts/100V=1.01 amps.

Btw, sorry to confuse you, in my comment I think I had the one-way transformer relationship backwards for your purposes: If your home circuit is 120V and the amp is 230V, you need a STEP-UP transformer--i.e., one that "steps up" the 120V voltage from the house to the 230V voltage the amp needs.

Anyway, the photo is too blurry for me to see anything on it. I suggest you contact Diezel again for more info on how much power the amp could consume and what to look for in transformer/converter specs to ensure nothing gets damaged.
 

xzyryabx

Well-known member
Does he also need to match the frequency (50 vs 60Hz)?
As greatzot said, don't skip on a transformer for an expensive piece of gear like a VH4...and be prepared, that's gonna be a big, heavy (and ugly) lump of iron. Not gonna break the bank, but not gonna be cheap either.
Congrats btw!!
 

Master_Slater

New member
Does he also need to match the frequency (50 vs 60Hz)?
As greatzot said, don't skip on a transformer for an expensive piece of gear like a VH4...and be prepared, that's gonna be a big, heavy (and ugly) lump of iron. Not gonna break the bank, but not gonna be cheap either.
Congrats btw!!
Thank you! I believe I have found a good transformer that has been used by another member on here to power his 230v Diezel in America. But I am also wondering about matching the frequency. Does anyone have any thoughts about this matter?
 

greatzot

New member
Usually devices without motors can use either frequency (motors may need a certain frequency for physical movement at the correct speed--usually not an issue if there's no moving parts). In any case, the frequency requirement is usually printed on the label along with the voltage requirement and power consumption. (See this stock photo of Tubemeister 20 as an example.) If it's not, asking the maker to be sure is the safest route. I doubt it is an issue, but like I said, I'm no expert.
 

Leo Diezel

Active member
Thank you! I believe I have found a good transformer that has been used by another member on here to power his 230v Diezel in America. But I am also wondering about matching the frequency. Does anyone have any thoughts about this matter?

No, there's no need to match frequency, but make sure to check voltage output as sometimes converter push it too much, a customer had 255V out for example and amp was going in protection.
 

WyvernClaw

Member
No, there's no need to match frequency, but make sure to check voltage output as sometimes converter push it too much, a customer had 255V out for example and amp was going in protection.
This may have been me. My converter was labeled as only a 220 step up converter, but was measuring closer to 250 when I took a multimeter to the outlet. Fluctuations with power are somewhat normal from what I hear, but over 30v is pretty excessive. So to the OP, no matter which one you wind up getting (and I realize you may already have one judging by the last reply date), I'd measure it with a multimeter to be sure it's actually putting out the correct voltage. I don't think my VHX was really going into any sort of protection mode, the mute function issue I was having seemed to be a separate thing that was sorted out even when I was still testing it with the converter, so be careful.
 

Master_Slater

New member
This may have been me. My converter was labeled as only a 220 step up converter, but was measuring closer to 250 when I took a multimeter to the outlet. Fluctuations with power are somewhat normal from what I hear, but over 30v is pretty excessive. So to the OP, no matter which one you wind up getting (and I realize you may already have one judging by the last reply date), I'd measure it with a multimeter to be sure it's actually putting out the correct voltage. I don't think my VHX was really going into any sort of protection mode, the mute function issue I was having seemed to be a separate thing that was sorted out even when I was still testing it with the converter, so be careful.
Thanks for the info and your help!
 
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