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Is it possible that the socket orientation (in Europe: one pin 230V, the other ground) can have an effect (albeit very small) on the amplifier behavior of a very old stereo sound system? What is, if any, the underlying reason ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Europe switched eons ago from 220V~ to 230V~, but I often hear people talk about 220 still. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Dec 7 '10 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenh "240V" is common here. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas O Dec 7 '10 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh 220 V is still used in some countries. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Dec 8 '10 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Thomas @Andreja, I would be impressed if the power company could keep a +/-5% tolerance on line voltage. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Dec 8 '10 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick T Mine can't. :( Anyway the whole point is that there are just two popular voltage ranges. The one around 230 V @ 50 Hz and the one around 115 V @ 60 Hz, so it's irrelevant if the voltage is actually 220 V or 230 V or 240 V. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Dec 8 '10 at 15:15
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I can think in one effect but only for a very specific hardware. If You're using a capacitive supply with a half-wave rectifier - In this case the circuit ground is connected directly at one of the socket pins. If this pin is the ground its ok. If this is the 220 AC, although the circuit still operates, you may have some noise coupled on the circuit via ground, as your new ground is oscilating at 60Hz with a amplitude of 220 volts .

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Noise and loss of sound quality was indeed one factor I spotted in a blind experiment. My friend made a pattern of positions, while I listened to the produced sound with speakers in another room. I felt a difference, although really small. \$\endgroup\$ – Stefano Borini Dec 7 '10 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your amp doesn't use a capacitive supply. That's kind of a hack for low-power electronics. Also, this noise wouldn't be very audible while playing music, just would introduce some hum during silence. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Dec 7 '10 at 15:16
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I would imagine this could introduce some unexpected ground loops and so increase both hum and noise levels. - especially if the amp is connected to other kit with hot (live) and neutral (connected to ground/earth) wired the other way round.

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