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!

  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 13,392
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    Gold Member

    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)
  7. jim hardy

    jim hardy 4,507
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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

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

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

    Lastly i'm confused by this review:
    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 3,474
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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

  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 3,474
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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 3,474
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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 3,474
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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:

  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 4,507
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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.
    davenn likes this.
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