Once you've got your pedals in the perfect order, the next big questions is how to best supply power to them. Choosing the best method of power is important and the decision you make will affect your tone at all levels. If a pedal is getting bad power it will become very noisy. The Noise will for exponentially as you add more and more pedals into your signal chain. If you are only using one or two pedals this may not be an issue for you, but as the number of pedals grows the noise will follow suit.
There are two important measurements you need to pay attention to when powering your pedals are voltage and current.
This is the first thing you should look for when powering a pedal. Most likely it will be marked near the power outlet on the pedal with a number followed by a V. The pedal will function best when given the exact voltage required. If you supply less voltage the pedal can still function, but it may cut out of lose sound quality. Some people find this effect desirable and can also be experience when a battery side a pedal is dying. Some power supplies also simulate this effect. The important thing when working with voltage is to never over supply voltage. This will fry the inside of your pedal and turn it into an expensive paperweight. The standard voltage for pedals is 9, but there are plenty others out there that use 12V, 18, or even 24V. If you aren't sure don't just guess. Google is your friend!
The first thing you should look for on a pedal is its voltage requirement. Most likely this will be noted with a V. The pedal must receive the exact voltage required. If you use a supply with too high of a voltage you can burn out the circuit board. If you go too low the pedal might start to cut out or lose some sound quality. Most likely your pedal will need 9V but there are some out there that differ. I have seen pedals that need 12V, 18V, and even 24V.
This is the second thing you will want to pay attention to when powering a pedal. This will be denoted with a mA. While it is usually easy to find the voltage requirement on a pedal makes don't always have the current published on the pedal housing. Make sure to do your research so you get the pedal what is needs. Current is a little more forgiving that voltage, because you don't have to be exact. A pedal only pulls as much current as it needs. As long as a pedal has the minimum amount of current available you can send over the minimum requirement.
Pedal Power Supply
Now that you know the voltage and current for all of your pedals, you can make an informed decision on which power supply to use. There are tons of options available to you at varying price ranges. The three main options include batteries, daisy chains, and isolated power supplies.
If you have just a few pedals, batteries may be the best choice for you. They are cheap easy and don't add any unwanted noise. The biggest draw back to batteries is the continued cost of replacing them. Of course it will take many years of replacing batteries before they cost you more than some of the power supplies out there. The second issue I have with using batteries for power is that there is no way to gauge how much life is left in them. Unless you are religious in changing batteries you'll never know just how much life is let tin each pedal. Plugging into power adds a nice peace of mind in knowing they will always have power.
A tempting low cost solution are daisy chains, like the 1 spot. These are the least favorable option because it introduces a lot of problems into your signal chain. The biggest problem being noise. Since the power in a diary chain flows from one pedal to the next it also brings any characteristics it picks up into the following pedals. This means if one pedal is noisy the daisy chain will bring that noise into each pedal in your chain. Combine this noise over several pedals and all of the sudden it becomes an overwhelming amount of noise. The other draw back is that you don't have any options when it comes to voltage.
In my opinion the best option for powering multiple pedals is using an isolated power supply. There are lot's of great options out there, but my two favorite are the Voodoo Labs PP2+ and the Walrus Audio Phoenix. These are both great power supplies the Phoenix just offers a few more power outputs. With Isolated power supplies like these each output acts like a single battery. These means each output is separated from the other. That way no characteristics or noise from a pedal is carried over to your other pedals. The power suppled is also much higher quality which will also reduce noise. One other thing that I really like about these units is that they provide multiple voltage and current options.
Hashtags: Guitar Pedals, Pedal Power Supply, Guitar pedal power supply, Walrus Audio Phoenix, Voodoo Labs, pedal power supply, voodoo labs pedal power, pedalboard power supply, Best pedal power supply, best guitar pedals
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