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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / US mains input to UK

saturn
Contributing Member
*

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jun 16th, 2016 05:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Is it possible to convert a USA amp to a UK/EU voltage input without swapping out the transformer? Generally speaking. Amp in question is a Super Champ Rivera.

Thanks!

(This message was last edited by saturn at 07:12 PM, Jun 16th, 2016)

carsten

on the rhine

Jun 16th, 2016 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi saturn!

Yes, absolutely!
You could outfit the amp with a new power-transformer, or use a step-down transformer so you would´t have to change anything on the amp. The 2nd option would likely be cheaper...

cheers - C.

saturn
Contributing Member
*

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jun 17th, 2016 06:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Been using step down transformers my whole life. Really want to convert the input to retain the portability. If I need to change out the transformer so be it, but was wondering if there is an alternative without doing so. Thanks.

carsten

on the rhine

Jun 17th, 2016 08:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi saturn!

I hear you ;-)

There´s two (more) possibilities I can think of...

First, you could mount the step-down transformer in the back of the amp.
Would still make it more heavy, but at least you would´t have to tote a 2nd item around.

Plus - it´s very well possible, that the original mains-transformer has a 240V-tap!
I had this happen on a ´79 Champ. I took it to my amp tech to have a different trannie installed, but he found that the mains-transformer allowed for 240-V operation.

Worth to have a look!

cheers - C.



Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

Jun 17th, 2016 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looking at the schematic for the Super Champ, they made a specific export version of the amp. The US version has only the 115 VAC mains in for the PT.

The step down transformer or replacement of the PT with an export version seem to be the only two options.

Personally I'd rather replace the PT and be done with it. The odd chance that the amp gets plugged in without its step down tranny would be reason enough for me.

saturn
Contributing Member
*

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jun 17th, 2016 02:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You would never plug it in without the step down if it is not a plug in power lead rather than hard wired. My last Rivera Super Champ was back in 93 so I can't remember.

I have run lots of US amps over the years, and have done the step down in the back of the cab in a Blues Deluxe, worked fine.

I am quite ignorant about how these transformers impinge on the sound, so thought I would ask.

Ideally I would shove a transformer with a switchable input in.

Once I get hold of the amp I will look into it.

If anyone can tell me if the sound is really coloured by the power transformer I would be greatful!



Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

Jun 17th, 2016 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Power transformers will not change the color, tone or sound of the amp. As long as the correct replacement with the correct voltages is chosen there will be no difference.

Around here there are many "helpful" people trying to get bands on and off of stages. Many times they are not informed or experienced. If someone like that were to plug in your amp to an adaptor and your step down was not hard wired....ouch. It happens.

I toured in the UK with a band very briefly in the mid 70s and watched a Hammond B2 actually burn down do to this very thing.

saturn
Contributing Member
*

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jun 17th, 2016 04:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I hear you. I can't remember if the Rivera SC is a kettle lead or hard wired.

Given your advice, I will have the transformer swapped.

Planning to keep this one, and mod it to hell!

Thanks.

carsten

on the rhine

Jun 18th, 2016 01:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi saturn!

I did the "PT-swap" on several vintage amps, and I´d do it again any time.
Of course, an a/b-comparison regarding the actual sound-differences (and if there are any) is close to impossible ;-)

cheers - C.

saturn
Contributing Member
*

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jun 21st, 2016 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well the amp arrived already, and I am going out to the store to search for a big step down transformer if I can't find the one I already have. Once the amp has had time to acclimatise I will put the valves in and try it out. I am pretty set on my guitars now so if there are any mods to be done it will be with them in mind. Back when I last had a Super Champ I never really put a Les Paul through it, I had a bunch of Marshalls for that.

Speaker upgrades seem to be the quickest way to 'improve' the sound from my research. I remember the last one I had being a little 'dull', compared to 60s Champs. It didn't chime as much, and didn't produce the harmonics I felt the old Champs did.

I guess I didn't really think then why it would be so different. The Mesa I used to own would have probably been a better comparison.

I don't normally tinker with my gear, but I decided this is going to be a keeper, in that I will tweak it until I am happy with it.

Pretty much play clean most of the time, and I remember that is a standout with this amp. Probably will run it out to a cabinet in some situations.

Thanks for the advice guys.

Will update this as I reunite with the amp I wish I never sold!

Stratopastor

Stockton-on-Tees

all your tone are belong to us
Jun 23rd, 2016 03:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If it helps, the Super Champ shares the PT with the Champ II, Princeton Reverb II and Deluxe Reverb II.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / US mains input to UK




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