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Rob008

Vintage receivers/amps from USA conversion

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Hey guys,

Have a question. I'm after some old vintage receivers from the 70s but it seems all the models I want are near impossible to find here in Australia. I have found a few in the USA but want to know if anyone has converted overseas units to australian power supply? If so, has it affected the sound quality, what should I be aware of, and is it expensive to get converted?

Ideally I would rather not have a step down transformer either.

I have done some research and have learned that USA receivers have a different tuner in them, I think they run at 10khz frequency and we in australian run at 9khz or something like that. So is this something that could be replaced?

New to all this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Rob

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Hey guys,

Have a question. I'm after some old vintage receivers from the 70s but it seems all the models I want are near impossible to find here in Australia. I have found a few in the USA but want to know if anyone has converted overseas units to australian power supply? If so, has it affected the sound quality, what should I be aware of, and is it expensive to get converted?

Ideally I would rather not have a step down transformer either.

I have done some research and have learned that USA receivers have a different tuner in them, I think they run at 10khz frequency and we in australian run at 9khz or something like that. So is this something that could be replaced?

New to all this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Rob

The US market is/was a very large one. Back when I worked for Marantz, Australia represented 0.5% of total Marantz production. For that reason, all Marantz products were sourced from products destined for Europe. Often, those products were converted from 220VAC to 240VAC in Australia, as quantities were too small to justify specific productions for Australia. I would expect that products from other brands (Sansui, Yamaha, Pioneer, et al) would be very similar, WRT production quantities.

Since the US market is so large, manufacturers could save several Dollars on each amplifier, by building transformers that were dedicated to 117VAC/60Hz. For this reason, it is extremely unlikely that any 70s Japanese or US built product will have the ability to be easily converted to 240VAC/50Hz.

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Briefly and adding to Z.Bs advise,you will need to change the mains transformer,in addition; the cabling, sockets and grounding will need to be altered to local standards.Since you are also considering receivers,the de-emphasis cct.in the FM tuner will require conversion.

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Agree largely with ZB and VanArn, most of the US gear sold in the US was dedicated 110/120VAC input. There are exceptions to this, there was a reasonable amount of gear sold in European US military PX stores, and a lot of this was multivoltage input - the gear sold was "European market" multivoltage versions. A lot of this gear was brought back to the US, and pops up now and then on US EBay.

One exception to this seems to be Sansui gear, there is a lot of multivoltage amps and receivers on Ebay in the US and it seems that Sansui made multivoltage versions of a lot of their gear and that what was sold in the US. They did do some "UL" certified 110/117/120 product, and these versions were also sold in Canada under the "CSA" certification scheme.

Any multivoltage receiver will have selectable de-emphasis.

Cheers

John

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Aren't I glad I joined this website......would have had no idea.

 

OK:

 

ZB:

Glad to hear you worked for Marantz. Im actually after 2 Marantz models. First choice would be the 2325 and second would be 2250b.

0.5% of production for Australia seems quite low. Were there many units made or would I be waiting forever and a day to find these units here in Oz, or is it a better idea to go through the whole process of getting a unit converted? Are the European models ie:220VAC common to find or will I be old and grey before I find one?

 

VanArn:

Doing those conversions, is that a common practice or would the technician or whoever I take it to, look at me like im stupid? Are those parts easy to source for Australian compliance?

 

Skippy:

How can you tell if the unit is a multi-voltage version from photos? Obviously im looking at the usual suspects, ie: ebay and gumtree - to be honest don't know where else to look???

 

So Gentlemen,

What's the general consensus about this, in particular the Marantz models mentioned above?

There's a shop I found in Sydney that have 2275, but think they're after the 2K mark, even though im new, seems a little high or is this the real world????

 

By me purchasing a unit from USA and converting all necessary components (tuner/mains transformer/cabling/sockets and earth - and I guess while im there might as well get the caps and globes done too) is this going to cost me a liver?

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nearly all of the 70's Sansui Amps, Receivers I've bought from the US have been Multi voltage selectable.

If the listing has a good photo of the rear you can zoom in and see the voltages printed. About a 5 minute job and easy to switch them to 240 V

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Be careful though of Canadian delivered Sansui as many are 120V not selecable

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Aren't I glad I joined this website......would have had no idea.

 

OK:

 

ZB:

Glad to hear you worked for Marantz. Im actually after 2 Marantz models. First choice would be the 2325 and second would be 2250b.

0.5% of production for Australia seems quite low. Were there many units made or would I be waiting forever and a day to find these units here in Oz, or is it a better idea to go through the whole process of getting a unit converted? Are the European models ie:220VAC common to find or will I be old and grey before I find one?

I've worked on many 2325 amps over the years. That says one or two things:

* That they were quite popular (which they were)

* That they weren't too reliable (which is partially true).

The 2325 suffered with unreliable varistors. That said, after all this time, I'd expect that most would have been replaced with more reliable alternatives and the amp should provide many years of trouble-free life. Additionally, the front panel lamps dissipated quite a bit of heat and the backing cover will have buckled as a result. I doubt the backing covers would be available any longer. Far and away the best move is to replace all the lamps with LEDs. The result looks spectacular. IMO, the 2330 and 2330b were superior amps, sonically and otherwise, but they lacked the styling cues of the older 2325.

FWIW: I sold a very nice 2325 2 years ago for $600.00. I realise that I should have held out for more. $2k for a 2275 is stupid, IMO. Far too much.

Converting the Voltage of old Marantz amps (like the 2325) is not difficult, but it should ONLY be performed by a tech. Later models (2330 and 2330b had a Voltage selector on the rear and are easy to do. You can easily see the Voltage selector (a big - 40mm dia, black, round thing) on the rear panel for those models so fitted.

The 2250b is VERY rare in Australia. AFAIK, none were officially imported. As I recall, the models imported were (in the 'blackout dial range):

2015

2215

2215b

2230

2230b

2240

2270 (Very rare, but I think a few were imported to gauge the market)

2275 (A nice compromise amp, IMO. Model 140 output stages, using Motorola output devices - very unusual design)

2325 (This was the largest of the blackout dial receivers and it is a bit of a brute). The 2275 or the 2325 would be your best options in this range.

Replacing a power transformer (for a 117VAC unit) is pretty much not going to fly, since it would require either a donor amp or a specially built transformer. Either will be expensive.

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Re-iterating the  prior comments of others;if the amplifier/receiver has the  multi-voltage(50/60Hz) labelling on the rear panel,then it is a worthwhile proposition if it is value for money,given the added  cost of transport.Otherwise,for a fixed 110V/60Hz unit it would be a waste of time and money.

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Poo and wee is all I have to say...

 

Maybe im jumping the gun here. Ill give you a bit of background research I have done, what im after and as to why im after those models.

 

Research I have done:

Ive hit multiple forums in regards to the vintage Marantz receivers and what I have gauged is that the 2325 was the beast and the best. Ive watched endless youtube clips for styling of different models and (sad and stupid, I know) tested the different sound via the You-tube clips from the different models. Once again, lets not get into how stupid I feel for saying this in this forum.

 

What Im After:

 

Im after a Marantz Vintage receiver. Has to be the black screen/glass model with the green backlight. Don't mind the blue but green is all class. Silver faced units are nice and classy, but come in 3rd place for me.

Prefer the 2 Metered units (think one is the signal strength and the other is FM Tuning????) - love gauges, UV meters and all that jazz.

 

Sound

Probably the most important  reason to buy an amp or receiver -

The unit needs to have a full sound, warm, tight and punchy. Solid in the lower frequencies without being sloppy, a clear strong mid range that does not have that "tinny" sound. And clear high's that aren't piercing.

The unit needs to have some guts behind it too (watts), doesn't have to blow the house down, but would be nice to have that as well, if and when needed. After all you want to showcase it too to whoever gives you a minute.

 

Why (I think) im after those models:

 

On You-Tube, ive been watching this guy from the Netherlands (username - "Vintage Stereo") and he's pretty on the ball with things from a less technical point of view. More of a fan of vintage gear with a general run of the mill persons insight and approach to vintage gear.

Definitely worth a watch, has entertained me for weeks. Love his approach simple but very detailed.

 

Few favourites have been:

"Marantz 2250b and 5020 review"

"Marantz 2325 review"

and many others.....

 

So I guess im a sucker because im kinda going off what he likes, but think we have similar tastes.

 

At the moment, i have found a 2230B for sale in Australia for $200 + $30 postage and a 2215B for the same price but completely serviced (not sure if it has been recapped though) - but mint condition.

 

Im almost tempted to buy all different units and test them 1 by 1 to get a real understanding and feel for the units, but a costly and timely procedure.

 

Im right at the start and don't really know where to go. So im all ears...

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ALL the Marantz models you specify use a BLUE backlit dial. Marantz never used green.

The 2230b is a significantly better product to the 2215b. It can easily be brought up to spec. The 2215b was a wimpy thing.

As for your other comments, IMO, the 2330 and 2330b were significantly superior to the 2325. They lacked the vintage looks you're after though. See if you can locate a 2275. A significant jump up from the 2230b.

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So does this mean that if a receiver has a multi voltage selector on the back, I can use it in Australia and won't need to do anything to the unit? And it should also have the de-emphasis for the tuner? Think I just found one.

You boys know you're stuff don't you. Glad to be here

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So does this mean that if a receiver has a multi voltage selector on the back, I can use it in Australia and won't need to do anything to the unit? And it should also have the de-emphasis for the tuner? Think I just found one.

You boys know you're stuff don't you. Glad to be here

 

You should change the fuse to the nominated value for 240V operation, but otherwise you're good to go!

 

Some units won't have a selector on the rear panel, but will have configurable wiring inside, or a plug and socket arrangement which can be switched around to suit the local voltage. It all depends upon the brand/model.

Edited by pete_mac

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The only time you would see 'green' in the Marantz receivers would be due to a worn down and fading diffuser paper that sits behind the faceplate. This changes the blue to green over time and would come over many years of usage and heat from the OEM bulbs. 

 

 I'm a fan of the silver face Marantz receivers! each to their own I guess.

Good luck with your search 

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 I'm a fan of the silver face Marantz receivers! each to their own I guess.

 

 

I like 'em both! I have swung around a little to the more retro looking black face though.........

 

P1020286_zps0d3d0905.jpg?t=1387849373

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Speaking of black faces, the European black-faced Marantz receivers float my boat:

 

YSSy1.jpg

 

marantz2385cxqz3.jpg

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You should change the fuse to the nominated value for 240V operation, but otherwise you're good to go!

 

Some units won't have a selector on the rear panel, but will have configurable wiring inside, or a plug and socket arrangement which can be switched around to suit the local voltage. It all depends upon the brand/model.

so besides the fuse and as long as it has the selector on the back im pretty safe. Good to know....

 

 

The only time you would see 'green' in the Marantz receivers would be due to a worn down and fading diffuser paper that sits behind the faceplate. This changes the blue to green over time and would come over many years of usage and heat from the OEM bulbs. 

 

 I'm a fan of the silver face Marantz receivers! each to their own I guess.

Good luck with your search 

Silver is nice and classy, but back screens have me at hello....there goes my paycheck for the next year....Thought some looked green to me, either that or im going colourblind.....even though theyre fading they still look sexy.

 

 Nadstar: Nice setup - is that the 2275? how do they sound? punchy??? do they lack anywhere?

 

 

Pete_mac: never seen one of those before - black face is actually kinda cool....seriously. Although it does make it look like a "new" receiver

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Speaking of black faces, the European black-faced Marantz receivers float my boat:

 

YSSy1.jpg

 

marantz2385cxqz3.jpg

 

Very nice pete, is that one of yours? Euro version faceplates are ultra rare but super sexy. I like. 

 

 

 

 Nadstar: Nice setup - is that the 2275? how do they sound? punchy??? do they lack anywhere?

 

I think you may be referring to tygersmoke, they are his setup i think 

 

I haven't heard of the 2275 yet, however my brother is getting one soon. One thing I can say about them is that if you're wanting to drive some modern speakers, you may find that they may lack power to efficiently drive the 100watt+ speakers. especially if they are < 8 ohm.

 

My setup consists of a Marantz 33 Preamp + 250M Power Amp which I was very lucky to source from two collectors here in Australia. More then enough headroom to drive my Elacs.

 

I have my eye on a big Marantz receiver (130wpc) in the near future! 

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Nah, I don't have any Marantz gear in my collection.

I do have a Marantz 2500 at home which is awaiting servicing. That thing is enormous and quite powerful indeed! 250wpc.

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Nah, I don't have any Marantz gear in my collection.

I do have a Marantz 2500 at home which is awaiting servicing. That thing is enormous and quite powerful indeed! 250wpc.

And horrible sounding, along with being a nightmare to fix. Good luck. You'll need it and a lot of spare time. Construction is not representative of the older Marantz products. The 2500 (and 2600) were products of a dark time in Japanese receiver history (the so-called 'power race', which, I think Marantz won). They were loaded with every possible function (though the oscilloscope tuning was a brilliant idea and worked very well), very little thought was given to the sound quality of those models. One listen to the older, US built power amps puts paid to any notion that they were audiophile products.

I owned a 2500 for several years. It never engaged me, though I was using extremely easy to drive speakers. I dumped it for a highly modified Dyanaco PAS3 and Marantz Model 500 power amp. Vastly superior sounding.

Oh yeah, keep your dummy loads cool. That 2500 will easily top 300 Watts/channel. 320 Watts, as I recall.

Edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox

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So guys,

 

what does all this mean in the "AC Outlet" section in regards to ease of converting to Australian AC standards 240V/50Hz?

 

AC 120V 50/60Hz

Un-switched 200W max total

 

Switched 100W Max Total

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If the AC outlets on the rear are marked as you have described then it's odd's on that it is a dedicated 120ac unit and not easily converted to 240V AC input

Edited by skippy124

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Thanks skippy,

So in summary, too much hassle for the above mentioned stats, and only worth looking for units that have the 40mm diameter 240v switchable circle thing?

Are they the only 2 power options available?

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On 12/22/2013 at 5:46 AM, Rob008 said:

Hey guys,

Have a question. I'm after some old vintage receivers from the 70s but it seems all the models I want are near impossible to find here in Australia. I have found a few in the USA but want to know if anyone has converted overseas units to australian power supply? If so, has it affected the sound quality, what should I be aware of, and is it expensive to get converted?

Ideally I would rather not have a step down transformer either.

I have done some research and have learned that USA receivers have a different tuner in them, I think they run at 10khz frequency and we in australian run at 9khz or something like that. So is this something that could be replaced?

New to all this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Rob

i have a PX USA 2325 incredibly rare it is marked 2325 (P) it will work anywhere power supply says 100v, 120v,200v,220v,240v 50htz,60htz, they were not made in Japan these were made in WA USA and this one is the only on i have ever seen.  I even have the origonal wood case, even that is completly differant than the Japan version.

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Just now, brando1 said:

i have a PX USA 2325 incredibly rare it is marked 2325 (P) it will work anywhere power supply says 100v, 120v,200v,220v,240v 50htz,60htz, they were not made in Japan these were made in WA USA and this one is the only on i have ever seen.  I even have the origonal wood case, even that is completly differant than the Japan version.

It currently is being fully restored.

 

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