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Guitar effects pedals have completely changed the way we see and use electric guitars today. These devices add a whole new dimension of sound to an already versatile instrument.
Not only can you change the way your guitar sounds with an effects pedal, but you can also influence the nature of the signals and achieve some pretty interesting results. That’s why almost every serious guitar player today has a bunch of pedals installed on a pedal board.
However, all these pedals need external power in order to work. This leads to a very obvious problem. Every pedal needs power, but you can’t use a dedicated power supply for each one. You would need multiple power sockets at the place where you play.
To make things more practical and efficient, people have created specialized pedalboard power supplies that can power multiple pedals at the same time.
Today we are going to try to find the best power supply for pedalboards, and see what kind of options there are.
What Options Are Out There?
Voodoo Lab has made one of the most rugged and most solid power supplies for pedalboards currently available on the market. This thing is just built like a tank.What you get is limited flexibility but constant power supply to your effects pedals.
At the moment, Pedal Power 4×4 is probably one of the best, if not the best pedal board power supply on the market.
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4×4 comes in a tough and rugged metal housing. The sheet metal they used is pretty thick and can definitely take what ever abuse you can put it through. This power supply has 8 power outputs in total. You have four high-current ports that can deliver up to 400mA per output for your more power-hungry pedals.
Pedal Power 4×4 is quiet during use. The power supply delivers constant current with no dips or anything similar that could disrupt the effects pedals. Each output is isolated, so you don’t have to worry about your pedals having that annoying buzz.
Overall, this is a compact and powerful pedalboard power supply that won’t break your bank, and will allow you to use pedals that have more demanding power requirements.
Walrus Audio offers a more streamlined solution for pedalboard power supply. Their Aetos model is pretty light and compact. It was designed in a way that allows it to be installed underneath most commercial pedalboards, so it’s out of the way.
In terms of price to value ratio, this one is pretty great as it can power a large number of pedals for not a lot of money.
Unlike the Voodoo Lab model we mentioned earlier, this power supply can’t be used to power 12V pedals as it doesn’t have outputs rated for that kind of power. What it does have are 8 9V outputs, two of which are semi-high current.
We would have liked to have these two high-current ports support at least 400mAh units, but the best they could do is 250mAh. For the most part, that’s just fine. The other 6 outputs are your standard 9V, 100mAh lines.
Very stable power supply that delivers flat power to as many pedals as you connect to it. It’s quiet, doesn’t get hot at all, and eliminates pedal background hum. If you want a power supply that you can tuck in under the pedal board, this is it.
The only drawback to this unit is the fact that it can’t power those special snowflake effects pedals. So if you have any that require 12V or higher, you should look somewhere else.
On the other hand, all of your effects pedals require standard 9V, 100mAh, this power supply is one of your best options at this moment.
We have covered two heavy duty power supplies that are meant to be used with serious setups. What we have next is a more affordable solution that does a similar job.
JOYO Power Supply 2 JP-02 comes with a price tag that is several times lower than our two previous power supplies. However, it still offers decent performance, and brings some flexibility to the table.
JOYO Power Supply 2 JP-02 comes in a very rugged still case that is designed in a way that allows you to install it under most commercial pedalboards. There are 10 outputs on this thing, seven of them are your standard 9V, 100mAh.
One is 9V, 500mA, then you have a single 12V, 100mA, and finally there is 18V, 100 mA. At this point you are probably wondering how come this unit costs so little and offers so much, but the other two we mentioned are so expensive?
Well, the truth is that this power supply offers limited isolation. They claim it’s fully isolated but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
JOYO Power Supply 2 JP-02 offers pretty decent performance for the money. The power supply to all 10 channels is pretty stable, however the isolation is not what you’d expect it to be. There is still some hum. Then again, you get what you pay for, and in this case you get a bit extra in some departments, and not so much in other.
Finding the best power supply for pedalboards is not an easy task. Which one you’ll get depends on what kind of effects pedals you use. These three models we showed you are some of the best on the market at the moment.
They are all somewhat affordable, and offer a pretty decent performance all things considered.