Educate me on Power Supplies

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#1
I've just ordered a bigger pedalboard and some more pedals. I'm doing some research on Power Supplies, but it's kind of difficult to find the info I need.

I currently have 10 pedals. I will most likely be adding a Delay pedal as well. If I add the one I have in mind now, it will be 11 pedals. If not, depending on the size of delay I may add something else, so the maximum is 12 pedals. I understand voltage and current draw etc. I do not understand if I need Isolated outputs. I currently use a One Control Micro Distro which is a glorified Daisy Chain with some filtering on the outputs, but not isolated. I don't seem to have noise issues with the 8 pedals I last ran it with.

The questions I have are:
  • Do I need a Power Supply with Isolated outputs?
  • Which pedals are safe to combine in one Isolated output without getting noise?
  • Can anybody suggest an reasonable priced Power Supply that can meet my needs?
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#2
Isolated outputs:
It's preferable but dependson the situation. Isolated outputs keep the current clean. If you have a hefty pedal that draws current in short bursts other pedals might suffer. isolated outputs prevent that. Some pedals cause noise, through a daisy chain that can effect other pedals.

Safe pedals:
Hard to say.. I'm no expert but it's both a quality and design thing. Some board designs are inherently noisy so will cause more trouble for you. Cheap pedals with shoddy isolation and parts will also be more likely to cause issues. Lastly, high power digital pedals can be noisy, when you're using a lot of power it's more noticable vs your signal level.

The iso brick is great. It's value for money and one of the best reviewed power supplies. If it's reasonable is up to you.
https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/m238-7-10137-08665-4.do

If you're in the market for a switcher too I'd consider
https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_stompcontrol_4_iso.htm
It doesn't have enought power for you, or enough loops for all individual pedals. But you could group them because you always use X and Y together anyway. Powerwise, this'll give you 5 isolated outputs for the potential problem childs, while just daisy chaining the rest of them.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#3
Isolated outputs:
It's preferable but dependson the situation. Isolated outputs keep the current clean. If you have a hefty pedal that draws current in short bursts other pedals might suffer. isolated outputs prevent that. Some pedals cause noise, through a daisy chain that can effect other pedals.

Safe pedals:
Hard to say.. I'm no expert but it's both a quality and design thing. Some board designs are inherently noisy so will cause more trouble for you. Cheap pedals with shoddy isolation and parts will also be more likely to cause issues. Lastly, high power digital pedals can be noisy, when you're using a lot of power it's more noticable vs your signal level.

The iso brick is great. It's value for money and one of the best reviewed power supplies. If it's reasonable is up to you.
https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/m238-7-10137-08665-4.do

If you're in the market for a switcher too I'd consider
https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_stompcontrol_4_iso.htm
It doesn't have enought power for you, or enough loops for all individual pedals. But you could group them because you always use X and Y together anyway. Powerwise, this'll give you 5 isolated outputs for the potential problem childs, while just daisy chaining the rest of them.
Thanks! The only high current pedal I have is the T-Rex Quint Machine which uses 145mA. This is my list of pedals and the current draw I could find online. The HOF Mini and TBD Delay 2 require 100mA adapters, but are probably less I would guess:

  • Crybaby Mini 0,90
  • Tuner 70,00
  • Quint 145,00
  • Phase 90 5,00
  • Uni-Vibe 5,00
  • PH3 40,00
  • Gonkulator 20,00
  • Spark 16,00
  • Catapulp 21,00
  • Carbon Copy 26,00
  • Delay 2 100,00
  • HOF Mini 100,00
Also, the Iso Brick is cool, but in the end only gives me 6x 9V. I don't know how much I trust the variable output's pot to stay on exactly 9V. Is it notched?
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#4
Regarding Switchers, I'm not in the market for one. I used the One Control Chamaeleo tail loop mkii for a while. I like those, but I feel they limit me in the same way the HX Effects did. If I make presets, I cannot just switch on another effect during a song that's not programmed. I prefer keeping all options open. I considered a switcher with no preset functions like the GigRig Quartermasters, but in the end I decided I just want to hit the pedals whenever I feel like it as is. Keep it simple!
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#5
@Tankman

the isobrick has varying MAH on its output

my one is running this - the 2 x 18V outputs are running the Pigtronix comp and the Dano chorus

you can daisy chain most fuzz/dist/overdrives from one output with no real noise issues

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-17 at 13.05.53.jpeg
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#7
Also, the Iso Brick is cool, but in the end only gives me 6x 9V. I don't know how much I trust the variable output's pot to stay on exactly 9V. Is it notched?
I don't remember. I did use it for one of my drive pedals and it never caused issues.
MXR and voodoo labs have bigger units but I have no personal experience with those.
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#8
@Tankman

18v is only for 18v pedals. worth having though if things change - some regular pedals like the Plimsoul can tak 9-18V. so if you get osmething new it might be handy

you should check which/ how many pedals you need isolated power for and how many can share. that will most likely drive your decision

i also have a TRex fuel tank, which is good - but its not isolated

mini iso brick by MXR is pretty good too, though probablt a little small for you. you could get 2

https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-...es/mxr-m239-iso-brick-mini-pedal-power-supply

other end of the scales is Cioks, which are expensive but good

or try onespot - thats wha Andertons use on their videos

https://www.thomann.de/gb/guitar_and_bass_power_supplies.html?oa=prd&pg=2
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#9
So how do you know which pedals need isolation and which don't. I don't plan on buying high current digital stuff like Strymon. I don't want anything programmable. Just basic pedals. I posted my list of pedals earlier.
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#10
  • Crybaby Mini 0,90
  • Tuner 70,00
  • Spark 16,00
  • Catapulp 21,00
i would suggest these don't need isolation

the HOF and Flashback probably need their own sockets due to their MAH draw

the rest would be suck it n see - i'd expect the Phase 90 and univibe would play nice together, but until you plug them in its all academic

also - the tuner has a through power socket (?) - if so that might share nicely
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#11
Thanks @johnniegoat . Does the fact that I don't stack some pedals also matter in this case?

From what I've learned so far, I think I should check if my current power supply will be sufficient. It's not isolated, but it has some sort of filtering on each output. I think I mentioned earlier. I played 8 pedals through it 2 weeks ago. Basically all the pedals I mentioned except for the Spark, PH3 and Uni-Vibe. I had no noise issues or anything strange. I can hook up to 2A's to it and I'm nowhere near that. Let's start with trying that as soon as all the bits for my new board are in, including the actual board. If it doesn't work the search will continue.

Reasonable pricing to me should be about a max of €150,-. I don't care for new or second hand which gives me some more options. Also, I don't care about cabling as I already have the cables I like for power, unless it's Cioks. They use different plugs.
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#12
you should also review your patch cables, etc - if you have good iones already, no drama. but upgrading less expensive ones can make a difference to noise for little outlay

with regards to the PSU - you are correct. if its not broke, don't try and fix it
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#13
you should also review your patch cables, etc - if you have good iones already, no drama. but upgrading less expensive ones can make a difference to noise for little outlay

with regards to the PSU - you are correct. if its not broke, don't try and fix it
I have a lot of experience with patch cables and upgrading them etc. There are less expensive patch cables that do the trick. There's a certain cheap Klotz patchcable that sounds great. I am currently using the Rockboard Flat Patch Cables. I bought some as an experiment, but to my surprise they are actually really good. Upgrading to something like Evidence Audio is something I would like to do in the future, but at the moment I don't feel like spending €200 on patch cables yet. The only reason I would is to tidy up the board. I have been using the Rockboard cables for two years now with no issues, no noise, no signal loss etc. I can highly recommend them.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#14
I now have 10 pedals connected to the One Control Micro Distro power unit. I put the Wah and Tuner on one output and the Carbon Copy and Flashback 2 together on another. For now, no noise at home. I will have to check tomorrow with the band what happens.
 
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