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Buying from USA..for use in UK..ok?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by the_gid, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. the_gid

    the_gid Guest

    will i have any problems using microphones bought from america...?

    I live in the UK, and it's substantially cheaper buying from USA over the internet
  2. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

    shouldn't have any problems at all as long as your XLR pins are all correct. Don't know what the difference with phantom power is considering UK power runs at 50hz. If someone could answer that, that'd be great.
  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I live in Ireland and I've imported from the USA on a few occasions, as well as the Middle East. If you buy a valve mic with its own power supply, chances are you'll be able to change to 230V at the flick of a switch. All you have to do is change the plug.

    Ordinary condensers and dynamics are identical to those found on this side of the pond. You might need a stand adapter, as the thread size on US stands is defferent from the standard in the UK, but you an get one of these adapters from Maplin for about £1.50.

    In this country, the duty rate is 2% on a mic as well as VAT at 22%. I know British VAT is a little lower (19%?), but I think duty is the same throughout the EU.

    If you ask the sender to declare a lower value than the price you paid, and the package is opened by customs, you will probably have to pay VAT and Duty on the price they estimate for the mic. That will most likely be the British RRP, which as you know, tends to be quite high.

    Be careful that the declared value is no more than the amount you paid, and not the replacement cost, which is usually the US RRP. This can cause problems if you buy something at a bargain price, as you will be charged on the basis of the higher price.

    In the real world, it's very easy to import, and most packages pass through customs without any problems. They're more interested in drugs than microphones.

    Good luck!

    John Stafford

    PS you can find some great bargains in Germany, although the big dealers in the US have a good reputation.
  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    We must have been typing at the same time!
    Phantom power is DC, so there should be no problem. The electronics of the mic won't be designed differently for the United States market.

  5. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

    Thanks for the info.
  6. the_gid

    the_gid Guest

    ok, great stuff..

    now what if i was to buy a firewire audio interface from the states..namely the PreSonus Firepod.

    would i need anything other than a standard 2 to 3 pin adaptor??
  7. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    beware custums!!!
    my cousin brought me from usa some mics but those are easy to hide...
    there is a cool store in uk!


    check it out!
  8. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    http://www.musik-service.de in Germany looks good. http://www.musicians-gear.com has great prices, but it can take a long time for your order to arrive as they don't keep anythig in stock.

    Digital Village (http://www.dv247.com) can be very expensive for some things, especially mics (AT4060 £1500!).

    http:// will price match any European seller, but the other seller must have the items in stock. Turnkey's own stock isn't particularly extensive.

    John Stafford
  9. tomtom

    tomtom Guest


    I live in Brussels, Belgium. I never buy equipment over the internet, though it is obviously cheaper, considering the exchange rate between the US$ and the Euro.
    Audio equipment fails from time to time, even the high end stuff.
    If you develop a good collaboration with a store, what you get for a higher price is service and stuff like free replacement or someone to yell at when things go wrong. :wink:
  10. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi Thomas,
    I have to agree with you completely, but where I live, some items are so expensive I could get one from Germany, and if it fails just buy another one, and still save money! Having said all that, I would like to buy from authorised dealers, as the warranty often applies only to those who buy from such a dealer. And yes, it's worth a little extra to have someone to shout at :twisted:

    Ideally I'd buy from a country that's in the EU, as it is not expensive to send stuff back when it fails. I've never had a problem with anything I bought from the United States, but customs and duty could be a pain when a unit is returned or replaced and then returned from a non EU country.

    John Stafford
  11. Antho

    Antho Guest


    I've bought approximately $4000 worth of microphones in the last two months for just on $950 AUD from US and UK, into Australia. It is a dream come true.

    Lets just try to keep it a bit quiet eh? They might make some law against it or something!!! I'm semi serious here :)

    >>"now what if i was to buy a firewire audio interface from the states..namely the PreSonus Firepod.

    would i need anything other than a standard 2 to 3 pin adaptor??"<<

    I recently was in contact with presonus about this exact thing...I was told to buy locally or in New Zealand, and eventually after persistence garnered info that it is a simple power adapter change that is necessary, only available from your local supplier. Try contacting your local supplier for such info, I've tried three times...no go.. I assume they would not want to sell the adapter as they are trying to keep business local, and also trying to sell firepods, which is 100% fair enuff!!!

    Anyway, Oceania audio in New Zealand are selling it for US price anyway..or close enuff. Great price! $860 AUD Same power supply as AUS and i believe UK. Tho check.

    I've noticed some companies like RME, MOTU and Mackie are building international power supplies into their units, which is great. People should be able to take their gear around the world on tours etc.

    All in all, I don't feel bad buying from US , UK and NZ when somehow gear over here is just so 'bumped up' in price. I can understand loyalty to your country and all that ...but I'm more 'loyal to the human race' if that works for you :)

    Happy ebaying...or whatever it is you use.
  12. dabhoys

    dabhoys Guest

    I've never had any problems with any of the microphones or gear I've brought back from the states and I live in Ireland. I was even able to bring back a 002r. The transformer is multi tap :)

    I tend to look elsewhere for most of my gear as this country is one of the most expensive the selection is terrible....

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