60Hz to 50Hz converter for subwoofer

  1. Hello,

    I have bought an Energy Take classic 5.1 surround set from the US and I live in Belgium because this set is not for sale in Europe. When I orders it, I had taken into account that the powercord and Voltage were different. But I did not know that it was 60Hz instead of 50Hz. Are there any solutions for this problem?

    Thank you!

    Dave
     
    Bartsman likes this.
  2. jcsd
  3. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    We will probably need to see a schematic of the power supply for the subwoofer before we can be of much help.

    Or else you could contact the manufacturer to ask their technical support folks this question...
     
  4. sophiecentaur

    sophiecentaur 14,166
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    If you are lucky, you may find it just requires a single DC power feed, internally. If it does then you can replace the internal PSU with another, off the shelf, external one. I guess the low frequency regulation could be a problem but your SW should have some pretty large reservoir capacitors inside. It could depend on just how fussy you are about a bit of 'saggyness' for high level / low frequency components. At least, a separate SW will not affect your main amp outputs when someone puts their foot on a 32ft double diapason pedal.
     
  5. Hi Dave, I have exactly the same problem. May I ask if you found a solution? Will the Energy subwoofer tolerate 50 Hz? Your input would be much appreciated.
     
  6. Voltage difference between US and EU (120 vs 230 V) is much bigger problem than frequency difference (60 vs 50 Hz)
     
    billy_joule likes this.
  7. jim hardy

    jim hardy 5,358
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    Look it over carefully for a nameplate.

    Many switcher power supplies are "universal" and will run from 90 to 270 volt input.

    A quality subwoofer more likely has a transformer power supply not a switcher.
    You'll have to verify the transformer has taps for 230 volts and is rated for 50 hz.
    Sometimes quality gear has switches that'll allow you to select transformer taps for Euro input voltage. Dual primary windings would be paralleled for 120, series for 230.

    Look your unit over carefully.

    I see the owners manual here
    http://www.energy-speakers.com/docs/common/TK-CLASSI-5-1/TK-CLASSI-5-1_OM.pdf

    mentions a 120 volt US version
    and gives an address for inquiries
    http://www.energy-speakers.com/support/ which directs you to
    http://support.klipschgroupinc.com

    i'd think Klipsch name indicates quality... but one cant tell anymore.

    Lastly i'm confused by this review:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405955,00.asp
    and i find no mention of power in its specifications. And spec sheet says it connects via heavy binding posts, like old fashioned speakers sans amplifier.

    Just what the heck is this thing? Why does it have a power cord at all?
    Is the light only cosmetic?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  8. davenn

    davenn 3,981
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    The speaker shouldn't be seeing any 50 or 60 Hz from the power supply anyway if the supply is working correctly with its rectification, smoothing and regulation
    Any AC ripple is going to be very minimal

    you are worrying about nothing

    Agreed .... that is the major issue, getting the correct replacement transformer that will output the correct AC voltage(s) to be rectified and possibly also regulated

    Dave
     
  9. Thanks for your responses. The subwoofer is rated for 110V / 60 Hz only. Whether or not the subwoofer's transformer will overheat and fail at 50 Hz depends on its design, but the manufacturer won't provide further information (or offer any solutions) and taking it apart is not an option. Of course voltage is the main problem but this is also very easily resolved. Frequency conditioning on the other hand is rather expensive to solve. Hence, the original poster's findings would be most helpful.
     
  10. davenn

    davenn 3,981
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    as already commented, the power transformer inside the subwoofer box needs to be replaced with a transformer that is Mains voltage rated for whatever country you are in
     
  11. again, voltage is not the issue. an external transformer will easily rectify the voltage problem.
     
  12. davenn

    davenn 3,981
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    so what is your problem ?
     
  13. please read previous posts more carefully. the frequency difference may cause the subwoofer transformer to overheat and fail, or it may not. taking apart the subwoofer is not an option, nor is frying it as an experiment, nor does the manufacturer know. the question is very simple: can this specific Energy subwoofer handle 50 Hz as it is out of the box, or not.
     
  14. davenn

    davenn 3,981
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    Im assuming ... since trying to get all the info from you is a little difficult .....

    it seems you may want to use an external 220-240V to 110V transformer on the outside
    tho this is OK, its a bit of a cumbersome waste .... much more efficient to do as I said earlier and replace the transformer inside the woofer box

    for your audio system 50/60 Hz isn't going to make any difference ... its more of a worry for motor applications that are designed to run at a specific voltage and frequency

    is that clear enough ? :smile: :smile:

    Dave
     
  15. there is no guarantee that the frequency difference won't damage the subwoofer's transformer. it depends on the transformer design; therefore, without knowing about the specific design, or without having tried it as the OP already might have, one cannot confidently determine that "50/60 Hz isn't going to make any difference".
     
  16. jim hardy

    jim hardy 5,358
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    One protects a transformer by assuring it is operated within rated volts/hz.
    120V/60hz = 100V/50hz .
    So you'd buy a 240::100 volt external transformer thereby eliminating all worry.


    But if you guys are too timid to take it apart and see what's inside
    then you are suffering under a helplessness that's self imposed .
    I ran into this last night with a dead Panasonic microwave oven. The nice lady at Panasonic "Tech Support" offered me an owner's manual which i already have and it contains just useless consumer fluff, most technical thing in it is "How to heat Ramen Noodles".
    She absolutely refused to admit that a service manual for it exists, and insisted Panasonic has no engineering department...
    She was a polite and nice lady but clueless.
    I get really ticked at being considered a "helpless consumer" : translate "cash crop fit only to be harvested " .


    So... What are you guys gonna do with those subs? Do you even know for sure they have a transformer inside?
    What if you looked and found a transformer stamped "50/60 hz" with an unused 230 volt tap?
    Be aware if that happens you should put in a smaller fuse.
     
    Bartsman and davenn like this.
  17. Hello

    Can you tell me what you did with the sub?
    I'm from Belgium to, and I also want to buy this speakerset.
    Could you please tell me if the speakersystem works?
     
  18. Hi Bartsman,

    Sorry for the delayed reply, hopefully it can still help. I have been running the Energy Take Classic 5.1 subwoofer with an external 220 V / 110 V transformer, without altering the frequency. There has been no problem so far, although there's always a chance of increased wear and tear on the subwoofer components with prolonged exposure to a different (i.e., not designed for) frequency. (Therefore, I disconnect the subwoofer when not in use.) One thing to be aware of: owing to the different frequency, there is an extremely low hum from the subwoofer, however, I can't hear this unless I'm trying hard to find it. No one has noticed it, and it's an non-issue for me, but just so that you're aware.

    Overall, the speaker set is amazing and the subwoofer will work fine with an external transformer as far as I can tell (I've been running mine for 4 months now). I have no regrets getting this system. I run it with an Onkyo TX-NR636 receiver (which I bought from Europe so there are no voltage/frequency mismatch problems with the receiver at least).

    Hopefully that helps someone out there with the same dilemma.

     
  19. Look, a service center. (Or perhaps a "no service" center; one never knows.):wideeyed:
     
  20. Just for other people's info. I just hooked up the exact system in Australia via an external 240/110 volt transformer also at 50 hertz. Like marshmallow I can hear a low hum from the subs transformer even when no audio is connected to it. I gather this due to supplying 50 hertz to its 60 hertz internal transformer.

    Doesnt seem like a problem yet however realising the internal 60 hertz transformer is running a little warmer I'll keep an eye on it and turn the sub off when not using it. One day when I get a chance Ill do what Jim suggested by taking a look inside to check out the internal transformer and see if I can read any specs then maybe consider how hard it maybe to change the internal transformer to one with a primary voltage of 240volt. This would elimate the need for an external transformer.
     
    jim hardy likes this.
  21. jim hardy

    jim hardy 5,358
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    I am curious about the two reports of hum.
    How is your external transformer's output side "earthed" ?
    Is there a third prong on the subwoofer power cord ?
    The manual is unclear.
    http://www.energy-speakers.com/docs/common/TK-CLASSI-5-1/TK-CLASSI-5-1_OM.pdf

    I have an el-cheapo sub that also hums. It has a SMPS which i assume needs better filtering.

    I repaired a quality sub for a friend , it had a good heavy 50/60 hz transformer supply . I didn't notice whether it had 230 volt taps.
    It had developed slight hum over the years. It only needed filter caps, i replaced the 80 degC rated originals with 105 degC.

    http://www.illinoiscapacitor.com/pdf/Papers/reliability_of_capacitors_general.pdf
     
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