Advice on PSU for my Boss pedals.

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#1
Hi guys, I've just watched a video by Bea about power supplies for FX pedals. Roberto pointed out to me that some of the irritating noise I was getting with my rig was due to me daisy chaining my pedals via a single adapter.

I recently got a really nice PSU as part of a deal on my latest additions to my Boss pedal collection. The problem is I now have 9 Boss pedals and I've got 2 more on the way later this month. My current PSU only has 8 outlets and I would like to get a unit that can power at least 15-16 Boss pedals.

Can any of you guys please recommend me a good PSU that will help reduce that horrible hum/hiss you get with cheap power supplies or when you daisy chain off a single adaptor? If you've actually used the PSU or the brand of the PSU you would advise me to buy, it would be more helpful to me. If you can provide me with links to such a PSU or if you've got one for sale, I would be happy to talk about business.

I normally avoid using cheap cables etc with my rig. I believe it's one area where using subpar parts will change the overall tone of the guitar in a negative way.

Thanks all,

Felix
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#4
Your most economical option will almost certainly be a pair of MXR M238 Iso-Brick power supplies.
I was going to Skype you but it was pretty early for you Roberto. I see most of these are designed for 8 different devices, is there anything that can at least do more than 12 in a single unit? If there isn't anything of a high quality in the size I need, I would just with using two 8's.

I really need to build some pedalboard now, as I've got at least 11 Boss pedals to hook up. It's getting a bit too messy with all of these pedals (some of which are now rare and worth a fair bit of money) and I don't want to get tangled up and hurt myself, or worse still knock my amp and cab over.

With that many pedals I think you're probably going to need 2 PSUs. I highly recommend these: https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_powerplant.htm

At £33.00 they're a fraction of the cost of the competition and are really well made. I've been using one for gigging over the last two year and it's done me proud.
Thank you for the link. I'm very warey of Harley Benton stuff as they just seem to be too cheap for what they offer. I've already got an PSU that is of a similar config, but with some features that allow me to adjust the output level on individual ports.
 

naetharu

Well-Known Member
#5
Thank you for the link. I'm very warey of Harley Benton stuff as they just seem to be too cheap for what they offer.
I have one of their Power Plant Jr. and a full blooded Power Plant. I've also got one of their Jazz Basses that I used for open mic nights/occasions where I'm not happy taking my expensive instrument with me. And to be honest the quality is very high on all three items.

They do look a bit more basic than some of the flashy branded stuff, but they work really well and are very reliable. I know quite a few folks that use HB gear and I've never heard anything but praise for it. Not trying to push you in that direction, but if quality is your only worry then rest assured they're pretty decent. They also offer a free postage payed returns service for anything you buy within the first 14 days (might even be 30 days, cant quite recall).
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#6
I have one of their Power Plant Jr. and a full blooded Power Plant. I've also got one of their Jazz Basses that I used for open mic nights/occasions where I'm not happy taking my expensive instrument with me. And to be honest the quality is very high on all three items.

They do look a bit more basic than some of the flashy branded stuff, but they work really well and are very reliable. I know quite a few folks that use HB gear and I've never heard anything but praise for it. Not trying to push you in that direction, but if quality is your only worry then rest assured they're pretty decent. They also offer a free postage payed returns service for anything you buy within the first 14 days (might even be 30 days, cant quite recall).
Their prices are so low, that I worry about if they have cut corners anywhere. I would be beyond pissed if there was a powersurge and I blew out some of my '80s and '90s Boss pedals. When my latest purchases arrive, I will have 6 Boss pedals that are worth over £120 each, which for a Boss pedal is crazy high compared to what they originally sold for.

Also I try to avoid items that use very cheap labour and poor working conditions like you see in China and other far East Asia countries.

I do feel better about looking into buying them now I understand you actually use one yourself. It's taken me a long time to build up my gear, as my health prevents me from working, so I only have my sickness/illness/disability support money to use. Most of what I get I try to give to my parents who are burdened with looking after me even though they have retired (well my old man still runs his business, which I do look after his IT needs from my bedroom when he needs it, which I do unpaid as it's the very least I can do for my Poppa).
 

naetharu

Well-Known Member
#7
Also I try to avoid items that use very cheap labour and poor working conditions like you see in China and other far East Asia countries.
I understand your point. Though most of the PSU units you'll find will be made in China/Indonesia. The difference in price is often more to do with the middle men. I work as a trainee accountant and so I get to see how corporate pricing works a bit.

Generally each new 'person' an item travels through to get to you doubles its cost (roughly). So if you're getting an item made in china, purchased by a brand, sent to a distributor, and then sold by a retailer you're adding a lot of extra price onto that unit. It makes sense since each person in that chain has to pay the bills. But the point being that the money in question is not actually going to pay higher wages to the people in China making the stuff. It's going to pay the various middle-men that are needed to get it from factory to store.

In Thommann's case they're cutting out the brand and distributor stages. If they were being sold by other stores you would expect to see them command a price that was perhaps two to three times more than they are there, simply because of this. Certainly that is how things work with the products that we do where I work. So I would not feel guilty about Thommann's HB range. I doubt very much that the cheapness of the items is indicative of poor working conditions or bad wages for the factory workers (at least any more than would be the case for all Chinese made products).
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#8
It's a shame there are not more items like this being produced here in the UK. I would happily buy something made here or Germany, as it gives the illusion of higher quality. It's ironic that my iPhone is made in China and I have the hangup about other items being produced there. I think even my Macbook Pro is also built there.

But quality and fairness to the workers is something that I hope I'm not alone in setting as a priority when buying goods. Thanks for explaining to me a bit more about the HB stuff. I guess when you have the buying power of Thomann, it allows them to get items that have both quality and morral working practices.

It amazes me that with Andertons massive buying power they are still one of the most expensive UK retailers. I would use my local PMT more often, but they have such limited stock in the store and it's physically very painful for me to get there and get items in person, which is a shame as the staff there are really brilliants and remember my name and always allow me to try out anything in the store and not bother me. They know when I do make the effort to go down there and ask to try something, will normally result in a sale. They even let me pay for items in installments, rather than taking out credit.
 

Baggy

Well-Known Member
#10
I have 2 of the harley benton jr power supplies on my board, and I trust them to power my BJFE emerald green which cost me more than £400. From what I gather from them is that they are basically an oem version of the trex fuel tank jr. All the outputs are isolated as well so no buzzing :) I've been using them for a year so not a real longevity test but they do get good reviews even on TGP :rolleyes:
 

Tetanus

Well-Known Member
#11
@Felix
have you considered daisy chaining some of your drive pedals?
@Felix , The above!
You can daisy chain a few pedals from an isolated PSU. That won't cause any hum issues (at least it should not on it's own).

When it comes to noise/hum issues you could start with a regulated/conditioned power source. It would be great if you could use clean, regulated, conditioned, monitored power source for your entire rig.
And then there is cable lengths as well. And not just for patch cables but for power cables, too. And when you are fiddling with cable lengths you should consider not to cross power cables with signal/audio cables... Like the power cable, the speaker cable and the input cable of the same amp...
For me the fight against hum/noise is an endless story.
But the most cheapest and easiest thing you can start with, is shield your instrument's cavities.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#12
@Felix

have you considered daisy chaining some of your drive pedals?
@Felix , The above!
You can daisy chain a few pedals from an isolated PSU. That won't cause any hum issues (at least it should not on it's own).

When it comes to noise/hum issues you could start with a regulated/conditioned power source. It would be great if you could use clean, regulated, conditioned, monitored power source for your entire rig.
And then there is cable lengths as well. And not just for patch cables but for power cables, too. And when you are fiddling with cable lengths you should consider not to cross power cables with signal/audio cables... Like the power cable, the speaker cable and the input cable of the same amp...
For me the fight against hum/noise is an endless story.
But the most cheapest and easiest thing you can start with, is shield your instrument's cavities.
Thanks Pete and Johnny. I don't know too much about this sort of thing tbh. Since my LP Custom is almost finished with getting it's gold hardware, I've been adding more and more Boss pedals to my signal chain.

Should I isolate the power from the pedals that are in front of my amp and the pedals that are used in the FX loop? If I daisy chained pedals from the PSU I got from you Pete, will this sound cleaner than me using the single Boss adapter and going through my Boss TU-3 tuner?

I have 2 of the harley benton jr power supplies on my board, and I trust them to power my BJFE emerald green which cost me more than £400. From what I gather from them is that they are basically an oem version of the trex fuel tank jr. All the outputs are isolated as well so no buzzing :) I've been using them for a year so not a real longevity test but they do get good reviews even on TGP :rolleyes:
Baggy, what's the "TGP" ? I'm just worried about something happening to the rarer Boss pedals I now own. They were an utter shite to find at the price I got them at and with me using having all of my pedals hooked up, I just dread losing my entire collection of Boss pedals. Stupid I know, but as sad as this sounds I'm proud of my gear. It's taken me 3 years to get to this point. After my DM-2 and CE-2 arrive at the end of this month, I only need to get a Boss looper ( RC-3 ) , Boss Blues Driver ( BD-1 ) and I have pretty much all of the main F/X's. Then I will slowly replace the newer models with earlier 80's or 90's versions or some Waza Craft versions so I have a complete set of Japanese built pedals.
 

Tetanus

Well-Known Member
#13
Should I isolate the power from the pedals that are in front of my amp and the pedals that are used in the FX loop? If I daisy chained pedals from the PSU I got from you Pete, will this sound cleaner than me using the single Boss adapter and going through my Boss TU-3 tuner?
it depends on many things, but generally the se are my opinions:
1. you don't need 2 PSUs for the Before-amp and in-fx-loop pedals. In certain cases it could be useful though.
2. you are better with using just one isolated power supply then run a single Boss PSU+daisy chain along with it. (ground loops, not isolated power etc.)

Try the following first: use the Isolated PSU only, and daisy chain just a few pedals (w/ low power consumption) and which you do not use in the same time (for example an OD and DIST pedals). For this setup you might could feed the BOSS tuner from the Iso PSU, and daisy chain the OD/Dist pedals from it. I used this same method with my Korg tuner and I haven't got any hum/noise issues.
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#14
@Felix @Tetanus

the key thing here is the current draw of the pedals - not the Voltage, the mA draw

eg : a DS1 is 9V , but has a draw of 10 mA

https://www.boss.info/us/products/ds-1/specifications/

i have the Fuel Tank Classic by TREX - according to their spec, i can run up to 500mA of pedals on one 9V output

http://www.t-rex-effects.com/fueltank-classic/

that would be crazy. but running few low draw drive pedals off one output? why not?

means i can keep some sockets for single use stuff like delays and reverbs, making most use of all 1500mA available

note - be really careful. if a pedal is 9V *ONLY* use 9V. more than that could fry the pedal
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#15
I was trying to use put more pedals on the power supply pack I bought of @Tetanus , but because of how I have my pedals spread out in a long line, I don't have long enough cables. Floor space by my chair/rig is tight so I can only single file the pedals in a semicircle. Also I only have power points on the left hand side of all my gear. My amp and cab are actually in my window bay in my bedroom and due to the stupid on Nazi Hag that was our houses first owner, she only got a few power points put in. I really need to get a custom board that I can at least put the PSU under the pedals as well as getting longer cables for the unit as well.

Johnny, oddly, one of my Boss pedals uses a different voltage compared to the rest of them, yet when I had the daisy chain from the TU-3 it worked fine! I actually think I need to get something to clean up the electricity to my amp as well. Even with no pedals plugged in, I'm getting more than I am happy with background noise. When I have the amp in 100W mode, the hissing seems to lessen than when it's in 50W mode. When I am playing you don't hear it and when I touch the strings it drops. This is with both my Les Paul's humbuckers and my Strat Pluses Lace Sensors.

Could it be possible I might need to get fresh tubes in my amp?
 

Robstafarian

The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”
#16
I was going to Skype you but it was pretty early for you Roberto. I see most of these are designed for 8 different devices, is there anything that can at least do more than 12 in a single unit? If there isn't anything of a high quality in the size I need, I would just with using two 8's.

I really need to build some pedalboard now, as I've got at least 11 Boss pedals to hook up. It's getting a bit too messy with all of these pedals (some of which are now rare and worth a fair bit of money) and I don't want to get tangled up and hurt myself, or worse still knock my amp and cab over.
As I said, the pair of MXR M238 Iso-Brick power supplies will almost certainly be your most economical option. For a single-mains-cable solution, two options come to mind:
  1. Link a Strymon Zuma to a Strymon Ojai.
  2. Give me a list of all of your pedals, and pay a small fee, such that I can design a power supply based on TheGigRig Generator—probably something like TheGigRig Generator Base Pack 4.
I tend to follow a “buy right; buy once” philosophy, and power supplies exemplify the greatest benefit of that philosophy; power is the foundation of your pedalboard: it sets the limit for your sound quality, and you have to tear down everything else to change it. There is no point in buying a power supply which will still need to be upgraded in the future.Watch the following episode of That Pedal Show to understand why I have such a strong opinion:


I understand that can be a lot to absorb in a sitting; watch it in segments, and take notes, if necessary.
 

Robstafarian

The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”
#17
Johnny, oddly, one of my Boss pedals uses a different voltage compared to the rest of them, yet when I had the daisy chain from the TU-3 it worked fine! I actually think I need to get something to clean up the electricity to my amp as well. Even with no pedals plugged in, I'm getting more than I am happy with background noise. When I have the amp in 100W mode, the hissing seems to lessen than when it's in 50W mode. When I am playing you don't hear it and when I touch the strings it drops. This is with both my Les Paul's humbuckers and my Strat Pluses Lace Sensors.

Could it be possible I might need to get fresh tubes in my amp?
That noise is being picked up by your guitars, and it goes away when you touch the strings due to the way your guitars are grounded—this is normal, and damn near every electric guitarist has asked this question at some point.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#18
As I said, the pair of MXR M238 Iso-Brick power supplies will almost certainly be your most economical option. For a single-mains-cable solution, two options come to mind:
  1. Link a Strymon Zuma to a Strymon Ojai.
  2. Give me a list of all of your pedals, and pay a small fee, such that I can design a power supply based on TheGigRig Generator—probably something like TheGigRig Generator Base Pack 4.
I tend to follow a “buy right; buy once” philosophy, and power supplies exemplify the greatest benefit of that philosophy; power is the foundation of your pedalboard: it sets the limit for your sound quality, and you have to tear down everything else to change it. There is no point in buying a power supply which will still need to be upgraded in the future.Watch the following episode of That Pedal Show to understand why I have such a strong opinion:


I understand that can be a lot to absorb in a sitting; watch it in segments, and take notes, if necessary.

On Skype now Roberto if you've got some free time please dude?


That noise is being picked up by your guitars, and it goes away when you touch the strings due to the way your guitars are grounded—this is normal, and damn near every electric guitarist has asked this question at some point.
I guess since I've now got a 4x12 cab and a much more powerful amp compared to what I use to own is one reason why I notice it much more? It's not like the 60mhz hum (for one reason power is at 50mhz in the UK) you get when you using a solo single coil pup on say a normal Strat, but there is another pitch of hum/buzz that makes me think there is something else causing this noise.

It's really been bugging me much more and since I've now got so many bloody cables in my signal chain now, I am worried that I've got a bad connection or ground with one of them.
 
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Robstafarian

The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”
#19
I guess since I've now got a 4x12 cab and a much more powerful amp compared to what I use to own is one reason why I notice it much more? It's not like the 60mhz hum (for one reason power is at 50mhz in the UK) you get when you using a solo single coil pup on say a normal Strat, but there is another pitch of hum/buzz that makes me think there is something else causing this noise.

It's really been bugging me much more and since I've now got so many bloody cables in my signal chain now, I am worried that I've got a bad connection or ground with one of them.
Your guess is correct, with a few caveats:
  1. You mean 60Hz and 50Hz, not 60MHz and 50MHz.
  2. There are more sources of noise than just mains power.
  3. You may need a power conditioner, or at least an isolation transformer, to isolate (not lift) your amp's ground from something else in your room. A good “buy right; buy once” solution would be the Furman AC-210A E (Thomann UK link). This is massive overkill for home use, unless your room's mains wiring is notably shitty, but it will serve you equally well for rehearsals and gigs.
 
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