How Many Watts Do I Need? Step Up Transformer

Thread Starter

Wattz

Joined Feb 12, 2024
6
Hi all! First time poster so pls go easy on me ;-)
I own a pair of Mackie studio monitor speakers. They run on 120 Volts. I moved to Europe and would like to use them so I need a step up converter to 220 Volts.
I am unclear how many watts the converter would need to support?
I asked Mackie directly but they would not answer my question - all they wrote was I was not using the speakers as intended - which is super unhelpful obviously.
Looking at the manual it says:
Rated Power Output: 150 watts, 4ohm load
Burst Power Output: 350 watts
Power consumption with musical program: 135 watts - 18 watts idle.
Can anyone with good electrical working knowledge/experience confirm how many watts my transformer needs? I assume at least 270 watts - but the 'burst power output' makes me wonder if I need more?
Here is a link to the manual: https://www.zikinf.com/manuels/mackie-hr824-manuel-utilisateur-en-53899.pdf
Thank you to all who are able to help!
 

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Thread Starter

Wattz

Joined Feb 12, 2024
6
Hi Watz,
Welcome to AAC.
Do you mean a step down transformer from 220V to 120V.
E
Hi Eric! I need a voltage transformer to run 110V speakers in Europe which is 220. But I'm unclear how many watts the transformer should be rated to handle? Thank you!
 

Thread Starter

Wattz

Joined Feb 12, 2024
6
I think the manual said, each speaker will pull 135 watts from the power line with loud music. I like you thinking of 270 watts.
The "burst" thing is probably at high distortion.
Yeah - 270 watts would seem logical - I am just worried of nuking the speakers ;-/ Haha
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,225
So, the speakers have an internal power supply, and if the speakers are designed to run on 120 VAC @ 60 Hz, running them on 120V @ 50 Hz just might be a problem. If you do damage them, I'm pretty sure the manufacturer will likely be most unsympathetic. IMHO, it is just not worth the risk to run the experiment, especially if the manufacturer demurs the way they have. I think you should believe them.

Since you are taking all of the risks here, I think the decision is ultimately up to you and you alone.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,520
I would consider 300 watts. That allows some overhead.

Granted it's been quite a few years ago but when living in Italy we just went to the local hardware store and bought a 220 volt to 120 volt step down transformer. They came in all sizes and included taps to get the voltages right. I had a 20 cubic foot US refrigerator and even the compressor did fine on 50 Hz verse 60 Hz. Ran it that way for 3 years and when I left I just sold it.

Ron
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
8,989
I asked Mackie directly but they would not answer my question - all they wrote was I was not using the speakers as intended - which is super unhelpful obviously.
If you told them you

would like to use them so I need a step up converter to 220 Volts
Then I understand why they told you not to. What you want to do is “run them from a step down transformer to 110V.”
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,455
I had a 20 cubic foot US refrigerator and even the compressor did fine on 50 Hz verse 60 Hz. Ran it that way for 3 years and when I left I just sold it.
Just because you refrigerator ran okay, doesn't mean the speakers will, as there is a possibility that the speaker power transformer could saturate and draw high line currents.
Running on 120V, 50Hz, is equivalent to running at 60/50 * 120V = 144V as far as the transformer magnetizing current is concerned.

One way to minimize that problem would be to reduce the voltage proportional to the change in frequency (i.e. 50/60 * 120V = 100V) but it may be a problem to find a 220V to 100V step-down transformer.
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
1,284
Don’t forget transformers are rated in VA (not Watts), but at unity power factor the values are one and the same.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,225
I would consider 300 watts. That allows some overhead.

Granted it's been quite a few years ago but when living in Italy we just went to the local hardware store and bought a 220 volt to 120 volt step down transformer. They came in all sizes and included taps to get the voltages right. I had a 20 cubic foot US refrigerator and even the compressor did fine on 50 Hz verse 60 Hz. Ran it that way for 3 years and when I left I just sold it.

Ron
I would agree with respect to the refrigerator. I would also think that you should know the difference between a powered speaker and a motor, but then again maybe not.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,520
I would agree with respect to the refrigerator. I would also think that you should know the difference between a powered speaker and a motor, but then again maybe not.
Yes, I know the difference. What I don't know is what the power supply for the speakers actually are. Yes, I ran a fridge find as well as a few VCRs and other 120 VAC 60 Hz products. Between appliances and electronics everything I had ran fine on transformers. Me and about a dozen other Americans living in my neighborhood.

My suggestion remains a transformer. That's all I got.

Ron
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,819
Do you really plan on running 300W out of your amplifier? 100W amplifier output power is very loud.
Something like this should do the trick.

1707778296139.png

If you want to run both speakers from the same transformer get one that can handle 600W or more.
 

Thread Starter

Wattz

Joined Feb 12, 2024
6
Do you really plan on running 300W out of your amplifier? 100W amplifier output power is very loud.
Something like this should to the trick.

View attachment 315102

If you want to run both speakers from the same transformer get one that can handle 600W or more.
Thanks for your message - because I already own the linked transformer in my previous post I just want to know if 500 watts would cover normal levels - not cranked/ loud playback levels?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,819
Thanks for your message - because I already own the linked transformer in my previous post I just want to know if 500 watts would cover normal levels - not cranked/ loud playback levels?
Have you tried it on your amplifier?
I would hazard a guess that there is no harm in trying. If something goes wrong please don't put the blame on me.
 
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