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  • Power Supply

    Simple Question: How can I power a pedal board for less than $50, and is it advisable to do so? (Criterion: no added hissing, oscillating, noise, etc. from the power supply.)

    For instance, if you go to amazon and search for "pedal board power supply," five out of the first six results are under $50, and they're all rated 4.5/5 stars (though a couple of them don't have as many reviews) - are any of those actually any good? Keeping in mind that I'm on a tight budget and a relatively small pedal board, will they at least suffice?

    Now, I like this idea a whole lot less (I think I'd prefer an actual power brick), but it might still be worth something: Right now, I only have 4-5 pedals to power - is a daisy chain OK, or am I more than likely to end up with one made in China, with cheap parts, that adds a lot of noise and doesn't adequately/efficently power all five pedals?

    If everybody says I need to spend more money on a power supply, I'll grit my teeth and do it, but if so many as one of you supports my penny-pinching, I'm going that route. Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Re: Power Supply

    Most of those cheapies are just a daisy chain inside an enclosure. However a few may have come up with a clever way to semi-isolate the outputs. What pedals are you using?

    I'd start with the industry standard One-Spot and Daisy Chain. If you have issues, determine which pedal is causing the issue then try a separate adapter for that pedal. (Have batteries in all of them and pull the power from each until you find the offending pedal)

    I'll be the first to admit I really like my Voodoo Lab and T-Rex power supplies, but they are a bit of a luxury. If the One-Spot works, go for it!
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    • #3
      Re: Power Supply

      youre probably looking at something like this http://truetone.com/1-spot/

      id recommend spending some $ on an iso supply. i have a voodoo iso 5 which is great. quiet, reliable.
      Axeman16
      Senior Member
      Last edited by Axeman16; 02-24-2016, 12:46 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Power Supply

        Thanks for your interest, Darkness - I've got a looper that I only use when practicing solos, a wah that I don't like, a compressor on the way, and two fuzz machines, at least one of which is ALWAYS on. For more details, check out my profile.

        As to both your tips on the One-Spot, are you talking about this? http://store.truetone.com/usa-1-spot...ly-combo-pack/
        Click image for larger version

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        If so, are you sure about the daisy chain? I thought those weren't a good idea because of not being isolated - what's the difference in the outcome?

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        • #5
          Re: Power Supply

          Yep, the 1 Spot is great. The thing to look for on those cheap bricks is that they all use a wall wart adapter (which is basically a 1-Spot) to power them, so they don't have truly isolated outputs, they have a shared ground, so, if you have noise from ground loops, say from some pedals in front of the amp and some in the fx loop, the cheap ones won't get rid of that noise.

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          • #6
            Re: Power Supply

            Originally posted by theAeronought View Post
            If so, are you sure about the daisy chain? I thought those weren't a good idea because of not being isolated - what's the difference in the outcome?
            Which fuzzes? This is actually kind of critical, a positive ground fuzz Daisy Chained in with a bunch of negative ground pedals will be a major issue.

            Assuming they are standard style power (silicon fuzz face, big muff, etc) the fuzzes, wah and compressor will probably be ok on a daisy chain. The looper being digital is the only potential hiccup.

            Isolated power supplies are preferable to daisy chain, but like the others have mentioned as well, a cheap one is probably just a daisy chain in an enclosure. The good ones are above the $50 maximum.
            Oh no.....


            Oh Yeah!

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            • #7
              Re: Power Supply

              Has anyone tried the Donner power supply? Says it's isolated, and only $40. I've been thinking about picking one up to replace the old daisy chain.

              Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Re: Power Supply

                Originally posted by shayne.parrish View Post
                Has anyone tried the Donner power supply? Says it's isolated, and only $40. I've been thinking about picking one up to replace the old daisy chain.

                Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
                I have one. got all set up, but havent played the board much. So far, my only beef is that the power cord is about 9 inches long
                BloodRose
                Professional Scapegoat
                Last edited by BloodRose; 02-24-2016, 10:39 PM.
                Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

                Jol Dantzig

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                • #9
                  Re: Power Supply

                  Thanks! I think I'll probably check one of those out. Looking to ditch the daisy chain, but I have to make my gear budget stretch these days, so the Voodoo Labs model isn't happening right now.

                  Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Re: Power Supply

                    The TrueTone CS7 is a lot less expensive than a Voodoo Labs equivalent. Might be worth looking into.
                    Go Packers!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Power Supply

                      The Diago Micropower is decent, I have one and used it for a while til the connector part near the block started fraying due to wear and poor construction. Have bought a Fuel Tank Junior since and its much better. The Diago is cheaper, but for lesser quality in build and construction. So if you're on a budget you're going to be a bit limited. With the micropower you can daisy chain and there's no noise so its alright for what its worth I guess.

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                      • #12
                        Power Supply

                        On my big board, I have a TRex Fuel Tank, and on my small board, a Dunlop iso-brick. Previously, I used one-spots on both. At one stage I was using an SKB powered board. Any problems I've come across in powering pedals, daisy-chained or otherwise, came down to individual pedals and/or wall supply, not the method by which I was powering the board (e.g. for a while, I had a Line6 Echo Park that clicked whether on or off - needed its own isolated supply). Frankly, seeing as how you're running cheap, I'd just get a one-spot and daisy chain your board.


                        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          Re: Power Supply

                          Originally posted by shayne.parrish View Post
                          Has anyone tried the Donner power supply? Says it's isolated, and only $40. I've been thinking about picking one up to replace the old daisy chain.

                          Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
                          Be careful with the term "isolated". The cheap ones aren't usually talking about isolated in the sense that the grounds are isolated. Rather, they have made each outlet "isolated" in that if one dies, the rest keep working. With the pricier bricks, they are talking about isolated outputs with isolated grounds. There are ways to provide true isolation without using multiple transformers or secondary taps, but I don't think the $50 bricks with wall wart supplies are implementing them. That said, I have seen videos where some of those cheaper bricks are quieter than others, with the same pedal board. So, there must be some differences ... either inside the box or in the quality of the supplies that feed them.

                          I think it's at least safe to say that if the brick isn't capable of allowing use of a reverse polarity cable to hook-up a positive tip/negative barrel pedal along with all the standard pedals, the outputs aren't truly isolated.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Power Supply

                            Thanks for all of the recommendations, everyone. Much appreciated. FWIW, here's the Donner model I was referring to. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00WHLLDWO Specs look good enough, but who knows.

                            Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Re: Power Supply

                              Originally posted by shayne.parrish View Post
                              Thanks! I think I'll probably check one of those out. Looking to ditch the daisy chain, but I have to make my gear budget stretch these days, so the Voodoo Labs model isn't happening right now.

                              Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
                              Yeah, I had a wiring mess. And def couldnt swing the Voodoo or equivalent. Truetone hadnt released theirs at that time or I may have gotten that one. (prolly not tho cuz Im broke...) Even tho the cord peeves me, it seems to work fine, and as long as it doesnt damage my pedals and holds up awhile, Im fine with it. Has a cool blue light. and weighs about as much as air. all the weight in the box are the cables. The unit itself weighs nothing. and its VERY compact..
                              Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

                              Jol Dantzig

                              Comment

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