The ACUPWR Papers

Get Your Audio Geek On with ACUPWR!

Audiophiles are music obsessives who drop big bucks on what most of us once called stereos, but to them it’s a different, more expensive game.

Most audiophiles are purists and (hopefully) passionate music lovers who prefer esoteric analog equipment such as vacuum tube amplifiers and turntables (i.e., record players) or high-resolution CD players and D/A converters over more convenient technology such as Bluetooth systems and MP3 players. It’s all an effort to get as close to the source material--the live music performance—as possible. Often this equipment is decades old, harking back to an era—the 1950s and ‘60s—when a thing called “high-fidelity” began to emerge alongside the introduction of the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing vinyl record, better known as the LP, in 1948. Along with the LP’s longer program ability, it also allowed for improved fidelity and thus begat the hi-fi craze.

Vintage hi-fi equipment was produced with meticulous care and quality that resulted in gorgeous warmth and musicality. Leading the charge were companies such as Fisher, Marantz, Scott, Altec-Lansing, Harmon Kardon, and McIntosh, all of whom were innovating equipment for the latest wave in music reproduction: two-channel hi-fi in a format called Stereophonic and delivered via the LP or FM radio.

True enough, it was the golden age of stereo. But leap ahead 50 years and following a few decades of digital dominance the vinyl LP and turntables have made a comeback. Nostalgists crave ‘70s-era stereo gear made in Japan by electronics giants such as Sansui, Kenwood, AKAI, and JVC to name a few, and newer high-end audio manufacturers are having a field day knowing there are, indeed, music lovers who care about hi-fi and the sonic lyricism found in vinyl LPs. Hence, those old ‘70s-era stereo receivers that nobody wanted are, ironically, being scooped up on eBay.

So what happens if you find a  great vintage (or newer) stereo gear that was made in Japan but was designed to be used in Japan—where the voltage is 100 volts—and you want to use it in the USA, where the voltage is 110-120? ACUPWR received an inquiry recently from a previous customer who wanted to use an older Japanese-built Marantz amp, designed for 100-volt operation, in the US. And we recommended our AJD-550 model. With a load capability of 550 watts, the AJD-550 would convert power from 110-120 volts down to 100 volts and safely power the Marantz’s 250-watt consumption and deliver AC to a turntable or CD player as well.

It’s the same thing with audio/hi-fi equipment from Europe and other 220-240-volt countries, as well as 127-130 volt countries. With an ACUPWR voltage transformer you can safely use these products in countries with different voltage standards. Nonetheless, for many audiophiles, the prospect of entrusting fragile and expensive hi-fi equipment with a voltage transformer is a scary one.

Voltage transformers have taken a bad rap thanks to the cheap, Chinese-made models that despite their reputation for unreliability and safety issues, somehow continue to sell. Often, their ubiquitous black-box design is the first thing that come to mind when somebody mentions “voltage transformer.” Often it’s what shows up on when you search “voltage transformers.”

ACUPWR is changing that. We make the safest, most reliable voltage transformers—here in the US—with premium components, and they’re guaranteed not to crash and burn. And because our transformers are good for wattage loads 120-percent beyond their stated capability (for a short period), you’ve got a great safety net for your beloved McIntosh amps, or your old Dynaco preamp, or your funky ‘70s Sansui receiver, or…you get the idea.

Get serious about your music with ACUPWR.
  • Francis says...

    Very helpful thanks

    On February 23, 2016

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