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Old 23.02.2011, 20:30
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Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the UK?

I'm moving to Zurich on Saturday. I play guitar and I want to bring guitar equipment, but its expensive to get it there. I was thinking of bringing just my electric guitar and then buying an amp in Europe. Does anyone know if amps like Orange and Vox (British amps) are cheaper in the UK than in the US? Are there any issues with taxes bringing one of these back to Zurich if I were to take a short trip to the UK and buy something?

Also, unrelated, do vintage American made guitars sell for more money in Switzerland? I was going to try and sell something here, but thought I might make a little more if I brought it with me.
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Old 24.02.2011, 12:05
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

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I'm moving to Zurich on Saturday. I play guitar and I want to bring guitar equipment, but its expensive to get it there. I was thinking of bringing just my electric guitar and then buying an amp in Europe. Does anyone know if amps like Orange and Vox (British amps) are cheaper in the UK than in the US? Are there any issues with taxes bringing one of these back to Zurich if I were to take a short trip to the UK and buy something?

Also, unrelated, do vintage American made guitars sell for more money in Switzerland? I was going to try and sell something here, but thought I might make a little more if I brought it with me.

Vintage guitars are like gold here. Leave your amp in the U.S, especially if its a tube amp. Even with a converter it may be too much. I have a 72 Yamaha tube amp that is collecting dust here as I was warned by a guitar pro to NOT plug it in here. The newer ones will work out o.k with a converter but not the older ones.
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Old 24.02.2011, 12:41
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

I brought all my amps here, bought my lovely Ashdown five fifteen in Prague, same price as in the UK, it is fab and works like a charm here.





We got some 150 Bass Yamaha, but it was bought online, works fab too. You can get stuff here if you really really look hard, esp on Ricardo etc, but in the shops, forget it. You can end up paying 2x as much in a shop than online (used). I got this as a practice amp, bought cheap online here as well, but one has to look. So, all the amps we got were bought here, work very well, it was a pain to find them, but you can do it. Look online.
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Old 24.02.2011, 12:43
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

Can't comment about Vox or Orange amps being cheaper in the UK or US, but they are much more expensive here in Switzerland than the UK. All things valve and electric guitars in Switzerland are between 20%-30% more expensive than the UK.

I buy all my gear in Germany and have it shipped to Switzerland. Even with paying the customs tax and shipping you can save about 30% on the price you would pay in Switzerland.
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Old 25.02.2011, 02:29
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

Cool. Thanks guys. I want to buy an Orange Dual Terror. However, if I buy an amp in Europe, does that mean that I can't use it in the US when I move back there in 3 or 4 years? Please point me to a good link discussing this if you know of one.

Also, I have a 1981 Fender Bullet Deluxe guitar which is one of the last American made "budget" line guitars that Fender made before shipping those lines overseas. I like the guitar, but I have a Telecaster that I like more, so I'm thinking of selling it. I'll probably bring it to Switzerland in May and try to sell it over there.
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Old 26.02.2011, 04:23
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

Yeah, I'll confirm what's been said. US guitars will sell very well in CHF compared to USD. You won't be taxed on entry if they're your "old posessions".

Also, the US Amp should be left behind. UK is probably to best value place to buy in Europe, but don't know about vrs US really - expect US cheaper (was when I compared it for a Trace Elliot a few years ago). Of course, UK Amps run on 220-240V like all of Europe, so you just need a swiss kettle lead and away you go. You might find the northern parts of the UK have better prices on Amps btw & in theory you'll be able to reclaim UK sales tax (20%) and instead pay Swiss 8%.

So, all round you have a good plan.
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Old 26.02.2011, 05:24
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

Call Orange and see if they use a dual input transformer in that amp. I know they do on some, but not that one specifically. Lots of amp makers just put a dual voltage tranny in there rather than make two different amps for the various markets. Could be as simple as a switch either on the back panel or inside the amp, or you may have to desolder and switch around a couple of wires.

If it is dual voltage, and you are buying new, then ask them to send it already set for 240; then when you return you can switch it back or have them do it. In the event there's internal work needed for the switch you'll void the warranty if you do it yourself... by the time you go back you'll be out of warranty (or just sell it here and buy a new one and a couple of cases of beer with the proceeds when you get back ).

If a schematic like this gives you the heeby-jeebies then definitely have Orange or a competent tech do the work.



A friend of mine had a Fender Bullet bass- really liked that bass! But the pickup was a teeny tiny little spineless thing...
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Old 01.03.2011, 16:24
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

Hey thanks everyone for the tips. I'll double check to see if they have dual voltage versions and how the switching might be done if I bring it back to the US.

Mungo, shh don't tell everyone about the pickups. I really love playing that guitar, but I don't love the pickups. However, I think that the Bullet bass pickups were a lot worse than their guitar counterparts.
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Old 01.03.2011, 17:11
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Re: Bringing Electric Guitar Equipment from the US - Are British amps cheaper in the

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I have a 72 Yamaha tube amp that is collecting dust here as I was warned by a guitar pro to NOT plug it in here. The newer ones will work out o.k with a converter but not the older ones.
I have an amp that I built from the remains of a late '60s Plush amp, no problems running with a transformer, been doing so for 25 years.

Tom
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