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Wanting To Import A Fostex HP-A8C From Japan; Voltage Concerns

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I got a Fostex HP-A3 for work, and I really like the sound a lot.  Liking Fostex's equipment, I'm looking to purchase an HP-A8C in the future.  This DAC and headphone amp requires 100 volts AC.  I'm in the USA, and my AC voltage is 126.  I asked my electric company to adjust the voltage, but they will not lower it from 126.  126 is the upper allowable limit (they allow 5% to and from 120 volts).

 

To prepare for the new equipment, I ordered a step down transformer.  I found one that accepts a three-prong grounded cable, but it steps down from 117 volts to 100 volts.  When I plugged it into my AC outlet, my multimeter shows 107 volts AC.  Is this a safe voltage for the HP-A8C?  If the voltage is too high, my only other option is to order a variable transformer where I can adjust the step down.

 

TIA.

post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

From searching, it looks like the voltage tolerance in Japan is also 5% (I don't know for sure though).  This means that a device must tolerate voltages from 95 to 105.  107 volts is outside of this range (not by much, but I'd like to protect my investment).  I ordered a variable transformer that I should have in the next few days.  I will connect the transformer to my Monster Power Pro 3500 that corrects ground loop issues with the HP-A8C connected to the transformer that outputs 100 volts.


I also ordered the Fostex HP-A8C and should also have it next week some time.  I ordered from Amazon that had one listed for $1,389.59 USD (not including shipping).

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

I got the headphone amp and DAC and connected it to my transformer that I measured outputting 100 volts.  One thing I did not realize is that it does not require a three-prong grounded AC outlet.  Its socket supports a three pin grounded connection, but the plug is not grounded at all.  It only has two plugs.  It also does not include a USB cable, so I have to purchase one separately.


I am burning the unit in right now.  It has a very stylish look to it and appears to be of a very high quality.  It had the latest available firmware already installed out of the box (1.31).

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm currently at 48 hours of burn-in.  Last night I listened to the headphone amp with my existing music and some newly purchased 24bit tracks.  The amp defaults to 1x upsampling, which means it will not upsample by default.  There is a greatly improved SQ by enabling upsampling on all of the music I listened to so far.  1x is like a 2D sound stage. 2x and 4x are like 3D.  It is a drastic improvement in sound quality that I will test some more later.

 

Some of the music I listened to so far:

 

Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debbie (the 24-bit 96K version):  this is neat being a live recording.  I hear the audiences conversations...

Lianne La Havas -  Is Your Love Big Enough (24-bit 44kHz):  a nice analog sound to the tracks I've heard so far

 

I'm really impressed with this DAC so far.  I plan to order Beyerdynamic headphones to pair with it (possibly the DT 990 600ohm).

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

I did decide to pair the DT990 600ohm with the Fostex HP-A8, and I just received my headphones today.  After unboxing them, I took a quick listen with the Fostex driving them.  I was able to increase the volume to 0 db with its default gain setting of 0 db (the music was still at a decent sound level), so I increased the gain to 20 db.  After doing this, I ran my system burn-in CD with my CD player connected to the Fostex via AES.  It had been running for seven hours since getting the new headphones.

 

I am liking these DT 990s very much.  The music sounds so detailed, and the bass sounds marvelous.  In contrast to my Sony MDR-7520 that I had used with the Fostex, I do not have the feeling of getting hit on the sides of the head with deep bass.  The bass is strong and deep yet smooth with the music.

 

Oh, I don't EQ.  My music is WASAPI direct from lossless audio to the DAC.

 

The settings I am using with my Fostex HP-A8 are:

 

AMP Gain:  20.0db

Up Sampling:  X4

Digital Filter:  Minimum Delay

post #6 of 27
I have a question for you I like to buy one of those Amp fostex HP A8C from Japan how is it working out for you can you tell
Thank
Avi
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the late response.  I did not get email notification of your reply.

 

Everything is working fine with the HP-A8.  Nothing has changed from my previous posts above with my settings.

 

I did move two months ago, and my AC voltage is now lower than it was in my previous home.  The variable transformer came in handy as I can fine tune it to exactly 100 volts.  In my new home, I have not had the circuit breaker trip due to the transformer.  In my previous home, the circuit breaker tripped about three times due to the high current draw of the transformer.

post #8 of 27
Hi
thank you for the response in the mean time I got my DAC the HP A8C in the USA the price droped to $1499 all is working fine but I have another question how do you get Music on the SD card I don't know how do you set a. DSF file on the card no one knows can you help with that
Think you have a good day.
Avi.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

You will need a USB SD card reader to copy DSF files from your computer to an SD card.

 

I only made use of this feature one time to see how it works.  I have no need of playing DSF files, since I do not use this format.  To test it, I converted one of my APE or FLAC files to DSF using JRiver Media Center.

post #10 of 27
Thank you I will try that what do you use to connect the computer I also only want to see how it works i use Pure digital to hook up my iPod to the DAC do you have any other suggestions how to hook up I will appreciate.
post #11 of 27

Hi, Jamil, I'm also going to import a HP-A8 from Japan Amazon, the case (voltage) is even worse for me, i.e. 220V in China :-)

 

Thus, I'm going to buy a voltage transformer but still have some questions to you:

(1) Does it have a 2-pin power plug or 3-pin?

(2) Which transformer do you use with it? Does it work well with HP-A8 (I mean no occasional failure or sound quality issue)?
 

Thanks a lot!

post #12 of 27

my unit was bought in Japan and was switched from 100 to 230v easily. the only problem is to open the case because the screw head is not common and you have to find corresponding screwdriver. external transformer spoils the sound very badly

switch view:

http://i.piccy.info/i7/a3342b7d9b5b7f953737ee83dac1a867/4-75-70/40753919/1.jpg

http://i.piccy.info/i7/f9b4c54b3d03759b2133f6896739cd78/4-75-70/54267821/2.jpg


and with latest firmware DAC can play WAV-files from SD-card as good as DSF-files


Edited by sazzz - 8/12/13 at 1:32am
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazzz View Post

my unit was bought in Japan and was switched from 100 to 230v easily. the only problem is to open the case because the screw head is not common and you have to find corresponding screwdriver. transformer spoils the sound very badly

switch view:

http://i.piccy.info/i7/a3342b7d9b5b7f953737ee83dac1a867/4-75-70/40753919/1.jpg

http://i.piccy.info/i7/f9b4c54b3d03759b2133f6896739cd78/4-75-70/54267821/2.jpg


and with latest firmware DAC can play WAV-files from SD-card as good as DSF-files


Sazzz, cool job!

 

So it means that HP-A8 actually support 230V internally and some mod work is needed. One more question is that: I saw two lines (black & white) is inserted into 230V plugs, where do they come from? Are they originally connected with 100V place? Thanks a lot!


Edited by netmask254 - 8/12/13 at 12:51am
post #14 of 27

This bracket with two lines (black & white) come from internal transformer and yes - originally it was connected with 100v plug. all you need - unplug it from 100v and plug in 230v

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazzz View Post

This bracket with two lines (black & white) come from internal transformer and yes - originally it was connected with 100v plug. all you need - unplug it from 100v and plug in 230v

Sazzz, thank you so much!

 

I almost give up this device for its voltage issue before seeing your post.

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