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Will changing voltage of amp from 110 to 220 change the tone of the amp?


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3 minutes ago, daddymack said:

Solid state or tube?

It depends how you 'convert' the voltage, and how 'clean' the power is, but, as long as the tubes are seeing correct plate voltages, then there should not be a discernible change.

It's the tube. It's sounds very good without the effects loop and reverb engaged. when I turn on the loop with a delay in it, it sounds less tone-y.

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Its shouldn't make any difference at all. 

The Amplifier components run on DC, not AC.  The power transformer steps the voltage Up/Down to fixed levels before its converted to DC. The only voltages that might stay AC is something like a piolet light or filament voltages to heat the tubes. Beyond that everything is converted to DC voltage. 

Most solid state amps will have voltage regulators to maintain strict DC voltage levels. Solid state components are fragile and current levels need to be maintained to prevent overheating.  Even if the AC does fluctuate it wont make a dam but of difference at component levels. 

Tubes use less regulation and rely more on their own tolerance levels. A tube can typically take higher or lower voltage levels easily.  The source would need to be off by a good 20% before you hear a tonal difference in most amps. 

There is one other item I should mention.

A 220V supply uses half the current or a 110V.  If the 110V system uses 3 amps, the 220V uses 1.5Amps.  A Transformer doesn't just change the voltage to components it "inversely" changes the current 

Current is what does the actual work, not the voltage. Voltage is the pressure behind the current. Current is the juice that actually flows through the hose. It doesn't matter if the transformer primary is wound for 110 or 220V. It will have enough winds to handle the current safely without blowing.

The output on the secondary will be identical which is all that matters. The DC components in the amp will see the same voltages no matter what.    

Going beyond this is you get into the theory real deep there can conceivably be some subtle differences between a 60 and 50Hz systems.  Some 220V countries have 50Hz instead of 60Hz and the transformer efficiency and DC smoothing may change if all other components remain the same.  How much this may affect the tone is still well within the range or voodoo electronics. I can tell you right off, in solid state it wont make a dam bit of difference because DC uses Voltage regulators.  The Raw DC will always be higher then what the regulator feeds to the components.  

In a Tube amp?  Again 50Hz doesn't matter much so long as the DC levels wind up being the same.  Maybe in a crude amp, with weak components the difference could be noticed.  AC gets converted from 50 sine waves per second to 100 dc half waves that get smoothed by capacitors.  If the caps didn't smooth the DC or the values were low there may be more DC sag, but actually hearing it?  It wouldn't be something at the top of my list to worry about.  The sensitivity of peoples ears changes far more on any given day due to a number of human factors making the subtle changes in amp design look ridiculous in comparison.  Besides what would you do if there was any difference. There isn't anything you can do to change the amp and local competition you may have deals with the same issue so its a stupid thing to worry about it.  


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If changing from US to Europe, I've heard anecdotally from another guitar player who's toured that the 60 cycles in the US gives a different sound (described it as more rock'n'roll) than the 50 cycles in Europe. I've played guitar in the US a couple of times and never noticed a difference personally, but if that's the change then it could be what you hear.

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