I recently moved to France from the United States. I am in the market for a voltage converter for my markbass amplifier:

markbass specs

From the little research I have done, there seems to be a general consensus that I have to take several steps up as far as the wattage goes.

As far as step-up/down power/wattage/voltage converter/transformer/stabilizer (I really don't know a lot about it,) should I be buying in the 1000W, 3000W, or 5000W range?


Based on the advice below from @bobflux I popped open the amp and discovered this:

amp switch switch wire

Is this what I am looking for? If i replace the little switch wire into the 220V slot, then I should be good?

(Confirming that the slot that the wire is currently in says "120V&240V," yet when I tried to plug directly into a european outlet, thinking the amp could handle either load, the fuse immediately blew.)

Thanks for your help.

New contributor
Tim Burnett - Bassist is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • \$\begingroup\$ have you thought about the powerline frequency difference? \$\endgroup\$ – jsotola May 4 at 15:23

You have to check what kind of power supply the amplifier uses.

If the amp uses a switching supply then it could be a universal 90-250V supply, in that case you just need to change the power cord.

If the amp has a voltage selection "110/220" switch then maybe you can use that and just change the power cord.

If the amp has a transformer power supply then you need to check if the transformer has a single primary or dual primaries. In the latter case, even if there is no 110/220 switch, you can rewire the primaries in series instead of parallel, and your amp will take 230V instead of 110V.

Failing that, to feed a transformer that only wants 110V, you will need a full sinewave converter, or an oldskool chunky 230V to 110V transformer.

I've dug up the manual for your amp, it says:

enter image description here

So basically this means "there is a switch inside that will solve your problem, but you're very naughty if you touch it". Yeah, right.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nice touch in writing. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk May 4 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a million for your advice. Can you check my question above again for the edits? I just want to be sure I'm on the right track... \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Burnett - Bassist 2 days ago
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see you've been naughty! lol. Can you check the voltage on the big HV capacitors? There are two possibilities: either 400V (or more) caps, or two 180V-200V caps, in the latter case check they're in series, there's probably a diode voltage doubler somewhere. If the caps can take the peak voltage of 230VAC, which is around 320V, then it should be safe to use the jumper in "230V" position... \$\endgroup\$ – bobflux 2 days ago

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.