17 Best Guitar Pedal Power Supplies in 2021 (All Price Ranges)

Powering your pedals correctly is essential to achieving the best possible performance out of your equipment. The most efficient way to provide your pedals with a good clean power source is by using a dedicated power supply. These devices come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and with differing qualities.

Best Guitar Pedal Power Supplies (Featured Image)

Identifying the ideal power supply for your rig can be a tricky endeavor. There are many variables depending on your setup, such as the number of pedals you use, their power requirements, and the size of your pedalboard.

We’ll begin this article by discussing the best guitar pedal power supply at each price point. Regardless of your guitar rig, you’ll find the perfect power supply to meet your needs. If you’d prefer to read more about pedalboard power supplies before diving straight into product reviews, you can start by reading my comprehensive buying guide at the bottom of the page.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo (Best Overall)Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo

Voltage: 9V, 12V
Number of outputs: 6

$280Read Full Review Below
2. Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS6 (Best Value)Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 4
$130Read Full Review Below
3. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Digital (Best Under $150)Voodoo Lab Pedal Power DigitalVoltage: 9V, 12V
Number of outputs: 4
$150Read Full Review Below
4. MXR M237 DC Brick (Best Under $100)MXR M237 DC BrickVoltage: 9V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10
$80Read Full Review Below
5. Donner DP-1Donner DP-1Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8
$40Read Full Review Below
6. Caline CP-04Caline CP-04Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10
$40Read Full Review Below
7. Mission Engineering 529iMission Engineering 529i Power SupplyVoltage: 9V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8
$170Read Full Review Below
8. Ammoon Compact Isolated Power Supply Ammoon Compact Isolated Power SupplyVoltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8
$55Read Full Review Below
9. Strymon ZumaStrymon ZumaVoltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 9
$250Read Full Review Below
10. OTraki Power SupplyOTraki Power SupplyVoltage: 9V, 12V, 15V
Number of outputs: 7
$30Read Full Review Below
11. SanJune Power Brick ISP12SanJune Power Brick ISP12Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 12
$80Read Full Review Below
12. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4Voltage: 9V
Number of outputs: 4
$100Read Full Review Below
13. Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 12
$180Read Full Review Below
14. MIMIDI MP-05MIMIDI MP-05Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10
$30Read Full Review Below
15. Mooer Macro Power S8 Mooer Macro Power S8Voltage: 9V, 12V, 15V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8
$100Read Full Review Below
16. JOYO JP-05 JOYO JP-05Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8
$70Read Full Review Below
17. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 PlusVoodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 PlusVoltage: 9V, 12V, 18V, USB
Number of outputs: 8
$70Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Pedal Power Supplies

1. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo (Best Overall)

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo

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Estimated Price: $280

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V
Number of outputs: 12

My Review: Voodoo Lab is amongst the leading producers of power supplies for guitar pedals. Their range of high-quality supplies is tailored to suit particular musician’s needs. The Pedal Power Mondo is their most extensive offering, with a total of 12 isolated outputs catering for large pedal selections.

Each of the outputs is compatible with pedals that require 9v power. Additionally, six of the outputs produce high-current and are therefore capable of powering modern, larger digital pedals. The complete isolation of the outputs eliminates the risk of ground loops and minimizes any electrical hum from marring your guitar’s tone.

Who is this best suited for: The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo is ideal for guitarists or bassists who have a wide selection of pedals on their board. It is capable of powering all types of pedals, from your average 9-volt stompbox to modern digital units with large onboard processors.

Bottom Line: With a total of 12 isolated outputs, voltage variations suited to all pedal types, and high-quality, handmade engineering, the Pedal Power Mondo is an outstanding power supply. It keeps noise to a minimum and ensures that your pedals benefit from clean and efficient powering. The use of high-quality Toroidal transformers ensures the best sound quality possible, even if your pedalboard is especially crowded!

2. Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS6 (Best Value)

Truetone 1 Spot Pro

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Estimated Price: $130

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 6

My Review: Improving on the impressive success of the 1 Spot Pro CS7, Truetone has designed one of the most powerful power supplies in a slimline housing. The CS6 uses the same energy-efficient approach that its predecessors boasted, but it also has some newly improved qualities.

This low-profile power block is the first of its kind to offer up to 1600mA of completely silent operation. It caters to a variety of DC voltages and therefore is capable of powering everything from the most basic pedal to a sophisticated digital processing unit. Its compact design also makes the CS6 easy to place on your pedalboard and doesn’t compete for space with your effects.

Who is this best suited for: I’d strongly recommend the Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS6 to musicians who have a fairly small selection of effects pedals, but want to power them as reliably and efficiently as possible. The multiple DC output ratings can be used with pedals of all shapes and sizes, and the rugged steel housing makes this power supply a great choice for the touring musician.

Bottom Line: The Truetone 1 Spot Pro C6 is an excellent 6-output power supply, which offers pure isolation and numerous voltages. Perhaps its best quality is the compact sizing, coupled with the premium quality power it supplies. The housing is durable and solidly built, and it is easy to mount the CS6 onto your pedalboard. Overall, I would say that this is the best pedal power supply for the money.

3. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Digital (Best Under $150)

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Digital

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Estimated Price: $150

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V
Number of outputs: 4

My Review: Another high-quality offering from Voodoo Lab is the Digital model in their Pedal Power line. With digital effects pedals becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to produce multiple effects and processing options, this power supply is built for the modern musician.

It offers a total of four power outputs, which are complete, isolated so that each of them guarantees up to 400mA and are immune from the negative impacts of ground loops caused by other pedals. Two of the outputs are capable of providing 12v of power and therefore are perfectly suited to digital pedals with power-hungry processors.

Who is this best suited for: The Pedal Power Digital may not offer the extensive number of isolated outputs that its competitors do, but it makes up for the lack of quantity with quality. The inner circuitry is specifically designed to get the best out of your digital pedals, so if you enjoy using multi-effects or other modern devices, this power supply is a worthy acquisition.

Bottom Line: Offering four high-quality power outputs with complete isolation, the Pedal Power Digital eliminates the risk of unwanted noise creeping into your instrument’s output. Two of the four outputs can be used to power 12v pedals. The lineal regulation combined with a toroidal transformer allows this power supply to operate silently.

4. MXR M237 DC Brick (Best Under $100)

MXR M237 DC Brick

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Estimated Price: $80

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10

My Review: The smartly-designed MXR DC Brick offers a range of voltage power options, and this newly improved version has more outputs to power your pedalboard. There is a generous total of eight 9v outputs and two 18v outputs.

With its sleek appearance and compact size, the DC Brick won’t take up any unnecessary room on your pedalboard. Despite this, it can power a large selection of pedals. Each output is fitted with an LED that illuminates if a short occurs so that you can quickly troubleshoot and rectify the problem.

Who is this best suited for: The MXR DC Brick is a great choice for musicians who have a fairly large selection of pedals, but need to save space on their pedalboard. Despite its compact housing, this power supply offers a total of 10 outputs with a variety of voltages.

Bottom Line: Built using high-quality components, the MXR DC Brick is a wonderful little power supply. Not only does it provide power to up to 10 pedals, but it also signifies the status of each output via a red status indicating LED. For the money, this is easily one of the best pedalboard power supplies on the market right now.

5. Donner DP-1

Donner DP-1

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Estimated Price: $40

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: The DP-1 by Donner is an affordable power supply that has a total of 8 isolated outputs. It protects from short circuits with dedicated LED indicators for each output, allowing you to quickly see any faults that may have occurred.

The individual power supplies of the Donner DP-1 use completely independent power interfaces. It houses an 18b power supply, and this is protected by the voltage regulator circuit. The durable aluminum alloy housing is strong enough to withstand the rigors of heavy usage.

Who is this best suited for: The DP-1 is well suited to those who are shopping on a tight budget, but still require high quality isolated power for their pedals. With 8 outputs, it caters to large pedal selections, and the 18v supply is ideal for modern digital offerings with power-sapping processors.

Bottom Line: Donner’s DP-1 is a reliable power supply that is easy to operate. Each of the 8 power outputs is completely isolated, and feature an LED indicator so that you can see if the connection becomes faulty. It’s a great alternative to more expensive options.

6. Caline CP-04

Caline CP-04

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Estimated Price: $40

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10

My Review: Caline’s CP-04 is another reasonably-priced power supply that functions at a level you’d expect from a more expensive option. It comes with 10 power adapter cables, and 2 polarity reversal cables so you can put it to use right away.

The LED light switch allows you to instantly see the status of each output, and the power options range from the standard 9v DC to 18v DC. There’s also the useful inclusion of an inbuilt USB port for charging other devices. The housing is made from a high-quality aluminum alloy which is durable and lightweight.

Who is this best suited for: If you’re looking for an extensive power supply for your pedals without having to spend too much, the Caline CP-04 is a worthy consideration. Powering up to 10 pedals with varying voltages, it is a great option for the price.

Bottom Line: With the Caline CP-04, you get all of the necessary cables to power a total of 10 pedals. There are dedicated outputs for 9v, 12v, and 18v pedals, so regardless of their requirements, the CP-04 will suffice. The LED indicators are useful for troubleshooting any shorts within the circuit.

7. Mission Engineering 529i

Mission Engineering 529i Power Supply

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Estimated Price: $170

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: With its intuitive design and streamlined functionality, the 529i by Mission Engineering is a power supply for the modern musician. It provides eight isolated 9v power outputs and a USB charging port which is powered by an internal rechargeable battery.

The 529i consists of a pair of 500mA and six 300mA isolated outputs. At a load of 1A, the 529i is capable of powering your pedalboard for two hours straight on a single charge. This innovative and energy-efficient operation is unique and impressive. There’s also an isolated 5v USB output which can be used to power audio equipment that uses that connector.

Who is this best suited for: Guitarists who use a variety of modern, digital pedals will find the Mission 529i to be a very useful acquisition. It combines a sleek, intuitive design with high-quality powering capabilities and versatile operation.

Bottom Line: The Mission 529i is a unique power supply, in that it is capable of powering pedals without being plugged into the mains. It does this using a powerful inbuilt battery, which operates for 2 hours off a full charge. This power supply is both efficient in terms of its energy usage, and in the way, it distributes its power to the respective outputs.

Popular Related Artile: A List of Pedals Every Guitarist Should Have

8. Ammoon Compact Isolated Power Supply

Ammoon Compact Isolated Power Supply

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Estimated Price: $55

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: The Compact Isolated Power Supply by Ammoon is a straightforward device that gets to work as soon as you plug it in. It has an understated, classy appearance that means it won’t detract attention from your pedals onstage.

The compact and convenient dimensions of this power supply make it easy to attach to your pedalboard. LED lights indicate the current state of each output. When they turn red, that means a fault has occurred. You can use this power supply for pedals ranging from 9v, 12v, and 18v.

Who is this best suited for: If you value simplicity, and require power to no more than 8 effects pedals, the Ammoon Compact Isolated Power Supply might be a perfect choice. It’s easy to operate and provides reliable, isolated power.

Bottom Line: The Ammoon Compact Isolated Power Supply features several commendable functions. Firstly, it protects from short-circuits with completely isolated inputs, and also supports self-protection mode. The foldback limiting the current circuit minimizes the risk of power shortages or overloads. It can power up to 8 pedals with varying voltages.

9. Strymon Zuma

Strymon Zuma

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Estimated Price: $250

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 9

My Review: Zuma by Strymon is a guitar pedal power supply that’s very impressive. It’s classy appearance instantly grabs your attention and is coupled with high-performance and functionality that is hard to beat.

With 9 isolated outputs, the Zuma is a highly versatile device. Strymon has built a reputation as one of the leading producers of technologically-advanced pedals, so it’s no surprise that their flagship power supply is filled with innovations that make it incredibly reliable.

Who is this best suited for: For guitarists, bassists, or keyboard players who want the best possible performance from their pedals, Zuma is a great choice. It can power up to 9 pedals, and the settings can be adjusted to suit different locations around the world, so if you’re a musician who travels a lot, the Zuma is highly recommendable.

Bottom Line: When designing the Zuma, Strymon tapped into their wealth of pedal-manufacturing knowledge to create one of the very best pedal power supplies on the market today. It comes with numerous power-generating options and a plethora of protective mechanisms that ensure the best quality operation possible. This is easily one of the pedal power supplies out there.

10. OTraki Power Supply

OTraki Power Supply

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Estimated Price: $30

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 15V
Number of outputs: 7

My Review: Offering 7 isolated power outputs with varying voltages, and several measures that protect your effects pedals, the OTraki Power Supply is great value for money. The outputs consist of three 9v offerings, a pair of the 9v 300 mA variety, and single 12v and 15v ports.

Lightweight and compact, this power supply can be mounted onto your pedalboard using the pre-made screw holes. It dissipates heat effectively using upgraded IC chips and stay cooler even when all of the outputs are engaged.

Who is this best suited for: The OTraki Power Supply is a great choice for guitarists who have a fairly limited selection of pedals, which require different voltages to run. It’s very fairly priced, so if you’re looking to build up your pedal collection, this power supply might save you some money that can go towards more effects.

Bottom Line: Granted, the OTraki Power Supply doesn’t include the sophisticated features that you’ll find in a more expensive model. However, it functions perfectly well, providing you with low-noise power for up to 7 pedals simultaneously. On top of that, it is durably built and cools down much faster than most power supplies.

Popular Related Article: Our Favorite Guitar Pedals (All Types)

11. SanJune Power Brick ISP12

SanJune Power Brick ISP12

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Estimated Price: $80

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 12

My Review: SanJune’s Power Brick offers extensive pedal-powering options, in a compact and smartly designed housing. It focuses on minimizing ground loops, by completely isolating each output for your effects pedals.

The ISP12 offers twelve outputs. These consist of standard 9v outputs, 12v outputs, and 15v outputs for more powerful, digital pedals. Each of the outputs has a green LED indicator so that you can assess their status and deal with any shorts or other electrical issues quickly.

Who is this best suited for: The SanJune ISP12 offers a generous 12 outputs for powering your effects pedals. If you’ve amassed an extensive collection of pedals over the years, this power supply is a great choice. It ensures that noise issues don’t occur when you use a vast amount of effects at once.

Bottom Line: With several high-quality features that improve performance and functionality, the SanJune ISP12 is a worthy competitor to more expensive power supplies. It features a switchable voltage setting and therefore caters to all types of effects pedals regardless of their power requirements. It also operates noise-free and protects your signal integrity. If you’re looking for the best pedalboard power supply this should be a top contender, especially in the under $100 category.

12. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4

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Estimated Price: $100

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V
Number of outputs: 4

My Review: The compact Pedal Power X4 can be used either as an expander for your existing power supply or as a standalone for up to four pedals. It is housed in a solid and rugged aluminum chassis and is surprisingly lightweight.

This power supply includes a unique DC transformer topology, which results in optimal power usage and low-noise operation. There’s also the addition of state-of-the-art multi-pole filtering, which further combats any unwanted electrical noise.

Who is this best suited for: Perhaps you’ve used all of the existing output on your power supply, and require an additional unit to cater for new additions to your pedalboard. If this is the case, there are few better options on the market than the Pedal Power X4.

Bottom Line: Designed to add four 9V isolated power outputs to your rig, this compact power supply features several high-quality inner components to ensure a streamlined and efficient operation.

Popular Related Article: Distortion Pedals You Should Know About

13. Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12

Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12

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Estimated Price: $180

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 12

My Review: The Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12 is the most extensive offering in the revered 1 Spot line. It offers an impressive 12 isolated outputs, and an abundance of voltage options to support any type of effects pedal.

Like all of the power supplies in the 1 Spot range, the CS12 is built like a tank. Its large metal casing ensures its longevity and protects the inner components. The single variable 4c-9v output is useful for powering pedals with rare requirements.

Who is this best suited for: Musicians who use a multitude of effects pedals require a power supply that offers an extensive number of outputs. The CS12 can power up to 12 pedals simultaneously while maintaining an energy-efficient approach and guarding the signal against undesirable noise.

Bottom Line: Truetone is renowned for designing their power supplies using only the best quality components. The CS12 is built to last and to power your pedals in the most efficient way possible. It does all of this without being overly bulky or heavy.

14. MIMIDI MP-05

MIMIDI MP-05

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Estimated Price: $30

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 10

My Review: MIMIDI’s MP-05 is a reliable, functional power supply that operates smoothly with no unnecessary complexities. It houses 10 individually-isolated outputs, with voltage ratings that cater to all of the most common effects pedals.

There’s a LED indicator positioned above every power output, which signifies the status of the channel and whether or not a short has occurred. The rugged aluminum chassis ensures that the important inner components are protected from damage.

Who is this best suited for: The MP-05 is a great choice for musicians who are shopping on a strict budget. Despite its relatively low price-tag, this power supply functions at a very high standard and is built very solidly.

Bottom Line: The MIMIDI MP-05 is of great value. It offers 10 outputs, all with individual isolation and their own LED status indicator. Additionally, this power supply is conveniently sized, and its durable housing improves its lifespan.

15. Mooer Macro Power S8

Mooer Macro Power S8

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Estimated Price: $100

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 15V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: With a total of eight isolated power outputs, the Macro Power S8 is a conveniently-sized power supply that features various voltage options. The input voltage switch allows for versatile usage, while the over-current protection mechanism shields your pedals from electrical issues.

The input switch allows you to choose between 9v, 12v, 15v, and 18v. This allows the power supply to be compatible with almost all types of digital and analog effects pedals. It’s also very conveniently sized and therefore won’t take up excess space on your pedalboard.

Who is this best suited for: The Mooer Macro Power S8, with its easy operation and high-quality power supplying abilities, is a good match for electric guitarists or bassists who need to power 8 or fewer pedals.

Bottom Line: Providing a happy medium between the low-end and high-priced power supplies on the market, the Mooer Macro Power S8 offers eight isolated outputs and several features designed to protect your signal clarity. If you’re looking for the best pedal power supply under $100 this is a good option.

16. JOYO JP-05

JOYO JP-05

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Estimated Price: $70

Connector: Power Cord
Output voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: JOYO has coined a reputation for being one of the leading manufacturers of affordable guitar pedals in recent years. With the JP-05, they attempt to instill that same ethos into a pedal power supply.

The JP-05 offers an extensive 8 DC outputs, four of the 9v variety, 3 with 500mA, and one adjustable output which can be toggled between 9v, 12v, or 18v. There’s the inclusion of a bright LED for status monitoring, and the power supply comes with an inbuilt rechargeable lithium battery pack that can operate for up to 10 hours on a single full charge.

Who is this best suited for: If you’re looking for a great power supply at a fair price, the JP-05 by Joyo is an option that is worth considering.

Bottom Line: The JOYO JP-05 comes equipped with all the necessary cables so that you can start powering your pedals straight away. It also houses a lithium battery pack, which allows you to use the power supply with no need for external plugs for up to 2 hours on a single full charge.

17. Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus

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Estimated Price: $70

Connector: Power Cord
Output Voltage: 9V, 12V, 18V, USB
Number of outputs: 8

My Review: The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus is a highly functional power supply that includes eight 9v outputs. It is capable of powering any battery-operated effects pedal, and each of the outputs is isolated.

Additionally, Voodoo Lab has ensured that each output is protected from the potential issue of short-circuiting. They are also regulated, and highly filtered to promote the cleanest power transfer possible and ensure that electronic hum doesn’t make its way into the output.

Who is this best suited for: The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus is well-suited to almost all musicians. Unless you have a super-extensive collection of pedals, the eight 9v outputs offered by this power supply should suffice.

Bottom Line: With high-quality inner components, the classic Voodoo Lab design, and an ultra-robust metal chassis, the Pedal Power 2 Plus is a reliable option. Handmade by Voodoo Lab, it goes above and beyond to provide the best possible power to your pedals.

Choosing the Right Pedalboard Power Supply (Buying Guide)

There comes a point for every guitarist when their pedalboard begins to look a little crowded, and using singular power cables or batteries is no longer a viable option. Thankfully, pedal power supplies are specifically designed to solve that problem.

Noise issues are common when using multiple pedals, so it’s important to choose a power supply that minimizes their occurrence. In the remainder of this guide, we’ll cover all of the concepts that are relevant to pedal power supplies so that you can make an informed choice.

Why You Need a Power Supply

Guitar pedal power supplies are essential pieces of equipment if you want to use various pedals in your signal chain. These devices provide your pedals will power from a mains electricity source. Although there is a wide variety of and styles and types, power supplies all perform the same basic function of providing the correct voltage to your effects.

Why is it necessary to get a good quality power supply? The main reason is that due to the diversity of pedal manufacturers today, pedals vary in terms of their power requirements. Granted, the majority use standard 9v DC, but there are many modern, digital pedals that require additional voltage, such as 12v or even 18v.

To get the best out of your pedals, and avoid any power issues from occurring, it’s important to supply each pedal with the correct voltage. Although some may work using an inferior power supply with the wrong voltage, this will likely hinder their ability to produced their intended tonal-adjustments or effect.

Power supplies are sometimes referred to as “power bricks”. The majority of them are highly versatile devices that are compatible with almost all pedals, but if your signal chain is made up of a mixture of different varieties of effects, it’s a good idea to determine what you need from a power supply to successfully provide the voltage to all of your pedals.

If you only own one pedal, you can power it using a singular plug power supply. However, once you start to increase your selection, it will become more and more of an inconvenience having to plug each pedal in individually. That’s when it’s time to consider a power supply. They streamline the process, save you time when setting up your pedalboard, and perform much more consistently than using several singular plugs or batteries.

It’s a good idea to err on the side of caution when using a power supply with your pedals for the first time. Sending too much voltage through a pedal can potentially damage it, so it’s worth double-checking before you make the connection.

Output Voltages

The vast majority of modern pedals require 9v DC for power. With that being said, larger pedals like multi-effects devices often demand a greater voltage of 12v, 18v, or 24v in some rare cases. You can find the recommended voltage of any pedal by reading the number situated next to the power input.

The amount of current that a power supply can provide is measured in Amps. Each pedal will need a specific amount of amps to ensure that it works to its full capacity. Analog pedals are renowned for using a minimal electrical current.

In comparison, their digital counterparts are notorious for requiring large currents to properly function. This varies from pedal to pedal, and, in many cases, the effect in question will impact how much current is required. For example, space-based effects like reverbs are likely to require the largest amount of current.

When the full current output of the power supply is being used, this is likely to cause problems. For that reason, it’s important to choose a power supply that is capable of producing an adequate current output to cater to all of your pedals. The supplies featured in this article all provide adequate current for large pedal setups.

Number of Power Outputs

One important factor to consider before you decide on a pedal power supply is how many outputs you require. Some power supplies offer extensive outputs, while others are designed from smaller signal chains. If it’s likely that you will be adding to your pedal collection sometime soon, it’s probably a good idea to get a power supply that leaves some space for new additions.

The next thing you need to consider once you’ve determined how many outputs are needed is what voltage those outputs need to be. Many power supplies have switches that allow you to adjust the voltage of certain outputs. Others simply have a set number of 9v outputs, and potentially a smaller number of 8v, 12v, 18v, and 24v outputs for you to choose from.

Choosing the right power supply requires some foresight. If you have a specific pedal on your wishlist, it is a good idea to do some prior research, and find out what output voltage it requires. That way, you can make sure that the power supply you choose has an adequate number of outputs to facilitate any future purchases you might make.

Positioning a Power Supply

A power supply needs to be positioned close enough to your pedals so that the cables can easily reach them. Ideally, the power supply should be fixed onto your pedalboard, as this will save you time and effort every time you use it.

Some power supplies come with attachments, and some have pre-made holes for screwing them onto your board. The advantage of this is that you can leave all of your pedals connected to the supply ready to use whenever you need them.

Another popular method of attaching power supplies to pedalboards is by using Velcro. You can purchase stick-on adhesive Velcro strips for little cost, attach them to your power supply and then mount it onto your pedalboard. This is less secure than using screws, but also less invasive and pretty reliable nonetheless.

If you don’t own a pedalboard, it’s going to be difficult to use your power supply effectively. It’s not advised to have your power supply loose on the floor when performing as the connections could easily be broken if you accidentally make contact with it. For this reason, purchasing a pedalboard to mount your power supply securely to, is by far the most effective and safe option.

Signal Chain Positioning

One thing that is likely to massively impact the effectiveness of your power supply is how you choose to position your pedals. This needs to be predetermined before you connect your pedals to the power supply, because the cables from the outputs need to be ordered in a way that doesn’t put a strain on the connectors, and doesn’t leave cables loosely stretched across your pedalboard.

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all method to positioning effects in your signal chain, there are some generally accepted guidelines, that when followed, produce reliable results and allow the individual effects pedals to work in the way that they are intended to.

I’d encourage you to experiment with the order of your pedals, purely for the reason that it’s a great way to learn about how different combination produces various results. Some of the most innovative guitar tones have come about as a result of accidental pedal positioning. After all, the tone is a subjective matter which comes down to personal preference.

With that being said, the common order for a signal chain is as follows: firstly you have dynamic based pedals like compressors and EQ, then come any filter-based effects like a wah pedal, next are pitch shifters and volume pedals, followed by overdrive, fuzz, or distortion.

After gain-based pedals are modulation effects like chorus, flangers, and phasers. They are then followed by reverb and delay pedals. This order is conventionally used to produce the classic effect of each pedal, but as I mentioned before, you can conjure up some very interesting sounds by tweaking the positions of certain effects.

A good thing to remember is that whichever effects come first will influence the sound of those that follow it. That’s why compressors and EQ are usually placed at the start of the signal path – because generally, it’s desirable to have consistent dynamics throughout your pedalboard.

Depending on where you choose to position your pedal power supply, you may need to use longer cables to reach the desired pedal. Power supplies that offer 12v or 18v outputs in addition to the standard 9v, may have the specific outputs for these voltages positioned at one end of the unit. This may mean that the cable has to stretch across other pedals to reach the correct one. This is why signal chain positioning and your power supply location needs to be considered.

Types of Effects Pedals You are Likely to Use with a Power Supply

To fully understand the importance of a good power supply, it’s necessary for us to briefly look at the different varieties of effects pedals. There is a multitude of different pedal types and effects categories that you will potentially use with your pedal power supply. Although the power supply won’t directly impact the tones produced by certain pedals, it’s still important to understand the different types and what they do, to set up your rig in the best way possible.

The main types of effects that you are likely to use with your pedal power supply are:

  • Gain-based effects
  • Modulation effects
  • Space-based effects
  • Dynamic effects
  • Loopers

Let’s briefly overview each of these effects to get a basic understanding of which would be best for you to combine with your power supply.

Gain-based effects

Gain-based effects pedals include distortion, overdrive, and fuzz. These effects are often used for guitar solos and are common in multiple genres. They cause the signal of a guitar or bass to be saturated so that clipping occurs.

Overdrive is more subtle than fuzz, and it causes slight break-ups in the signal which results in a warm, authentic-sounding tone. It is produced by many vintage amplifiers when the tubes inside the amp heat up and are forced into overdrive.

Fuzz pedals produce high-gain and completely transform the sound of a guitar. They are great for boosting the signal above the rest of a band, for a section within a song when the guitar needs to stand out. Fuzz is popularly used by blues and rock musicians, and many great pedals offer this effect.

Modulation Effects

Modulation effects include a wide range of popular pedals. They work by altering the character of your tone and can be used to produce a multitude of sounds. Chorus, phasers and, flangers are three of the most popular modulation effects. They all work similarly, by duplicating the original signal and outputting with different timing. These effects are common in psychedelic genres of music.

Tremolo and vibrato are another pair of well-known modulation effects. These two cause subtle alterations to the output, adding color and motion. Vibrato is commonly included on vintage tube amplifiers.

There are other varieties of modulation effects, including rotary, auto-panning, and filtering. Each of these affects the way that the sound is outputted, making it feel as though the motion of the signal is fluctuating.

Wah is another popular modulation-based effect, popularized by Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s. This pedal is unique, as it is operated by foot. The guitarist or bassist uses a rocker plate to open and close a filter, which changes the frequency output in response to their motions.

Octave and pitch-shifting pedals are another two modulation effects that you could potentially use with your power supply. These work by duplicating the original signal, and altering its pitch to create the illusion that multiple sound sources are being expressed simultaneously.

Space-based effects

The two main space-based effects that you are likely to use with your pedal power supply are reverb and delay. These are two of the most commonly used pedals, and both are based on natural sounds that occur as a result of particular acoustic environments.

If you choose to use reverb pedals with your power supply, you will have at your disposal, the ability to create ambient tones that decay much longer than the original sound source. There are many variations of reverb, which are characterized by the length of time that they occur, and the coloration they cause to the tone.

Spring reverb, hall reverb, and plate reverb are three of the most common types. Spring reverb, like tremolo, was built into vintage tube amplifiers of decades gone by. It allows a guitarist to soften their tone, and add warmth to it.

If you decide to use your power supply to provide the necessary voltage to a delay pedal, you will gain access to a plethora of sonic options. Delay, as its name suggests, causes the signal to be played back after the original. This creates feedback, which can then be altered using the various controls on the pedal.

Delay is intrinsically linked with tempo, and many pedals come with tap tempo functions that allow you to synchronize the effect with the speed of a particular song. You can edit the length of the delays, ranging from tight and rhythmic to long and chaotic.

Dynamic effects

Dynamic effects have arguably the least impact on tone, but they are essential nonetheless. They form the foundation for the other, more prominent effects to do their jobs. Some of the main types of dynamic effects are compressors, EQ, volume boosters, and limiters.

Compression is the unsung hero of any guitarist’s pedalboard. In my opinion, it’s a wise choice to use a compression pedal with your power supply, for the simple reason that it gives you complete control over the volume and dynamic range of your instrument.

Compressor pedals work by creating a limit within which the sounds are dynamically altered. By setting the threshold and ratio parameters, you control which volumes of sounds are raised to the optimal level, and pull any overly loud sounds back down for consistency.

EQ is another pedal that you should consider using with your power supply. This provides you with the means to adjust each frequency band, and in the process, alter the output based on the settings that you choose.

The great thing about EQ pedals is that it allows you to quickly sort out any problems caused by obtrusive or weak frequencies. If, for example, you are using an amplifier that you’re not familiar with, the EQ pedal allows you to adjust the frequency output to regain your preferred tone.

Volume boosters, as you can probably guess, provide you with an instant increase in volume. This is useful when you’re playing a solo or during a section in a song where your instrument needs to stand out. You simply stomp on the volume pedal, and the signal is instantaneously amplified.

Limiters work similarly to compressors. They prevent your output from passing a certain volume. This can be a useful pedal to pair with your power supply, especially if you are playing in a setting where it is undesirable for there to be sudden spikes in the volume level.

Loopers

Loopers are another type of pedal that you might want to consider using with your power supply. These devices allow you to record audio loops in real-time and create layers of sounds. Loopers are great solutions for solo musicians who feel that their live shows would benefit from the accompaniment.

These pedals are usually operated using a foot pedal, which when pressed, begins the looping process. You then record the loop, and when the pedal is pressed again, it repeats at that point. Some of the more extensive looper pedals are likely to require larger voltages from your power supply.

There are many looper pedals out there that you could use with a power supply; some have onboard effects units while others are more primitively designed. It’s worth considering adding one to your pedalboard because they offer great benefits for practicing and jamming in your own company.

True Bypass 

No matter how capable a power supply is, if it is being used with pedals that don’t combat electronic noise, the overall output will be significantly compromised. You’ve probably come across pedals that are described as “true bypass” before. This innovation is largely responsible for the clean and efficient output of the majority of modern effects pedals.

When effects pedals were first manufactured, there were many issues regarding signal integrity and electronic noise. Regardless of how effective the power supply that was used with these pedals was, they were still prone to producing hum, buzz, and hiss. True bypass switching was invented as a practical way to alleviate these issues.

To do this, the pedals are fitted with a particular type of switching, which causes a separate signal to be routed through the pedal’s inner circuitry. Occasionally, it is routed directly from the input to the output. This requires a mechanism known as a double-pole throw switch, which enables the pedal to move through the main circuit while bypassing it when it is not in use.

The signal is then sent straight to the amp and doesn’t adversely affect the clarity of any other pedals. This is reflected in the output, which lacks interference or undesirable noise and stays true to the original signal produced by the combination of the power supply, instrument, and pedal.

Buffering

Buffering is another popular technique that is used to minimize the issues surrounding electrical currents and signal integrity. This method allows the electricity to pass from the power supply, through the effects pedal signal path, and out of the amplifier without being tarnished by unwanted noises.

Buffers achieve a similar result to true-bypass pedals, but they do so using a contrasting process. Buffered inputs place a minimal loading on a guitar or other instrument. This preserves the tone and prevents it from being colored by outside influences.

Many effects pedals have buffers built into their inner circuitry. However, if you own a pedal that doesn’t and is causing issues with your signal integrity, you can purchase a standalone buffer pedal, which is placed within your signal chain and performs the function on all of the pedals that follow it.

The more effects pedals you use, the more likely there are to be noise issues present in your output. This is also true when using pedal power supplies unless each output is completely isolated and therefore will be unaffected by the power supply to other pedals in the signal chain.

Cables

One of the most important components of any guitar or bass rig is the cables, although they are often overlooked. Many power supplies come with the necessary cables for connecting your pedals to the outputs.

The cables that are used to link your pedals in a signal chain are called patch cables. These feature the standard 6.35mm jack connector. Good quality patch cables ensure that unwanted electrical noise is kept to a minimum.

It’s especially important to choose high-quality cables if you are running longer signal chains, with many effects pedals. Generally speaking, longer signal chains are more prone to noise issues, so you need to ensure that the cables can handle this sufficiently.

Another factor to consider is the length of the power cables you use. When assembling your pedalboard, each effects pedal needs to reach the dedicated output of the power supply. For this to be possible, you’ll likely need various lengths of cable. Some also come with right-angle connectors, so that you can position them without putting a strain on the connection and therefore prevent wear and tear from occurring.

Signal Splitting

Once you’ve successfully hooked up each pedal to a suitable output on your power supply, you can consider other options regarding your effects loop. Many pedals offer two outputs, which are accommodated for signal splitting.

Signal splitting, as the term suggests, is a technique used to separate the output of a pedal, and redirect the signal into an amplifier. The technique is commonly used by guitarists and bassists who require a thicker tone, as it allows them to send their dry signal into one amplifier, and their wet signal into another.

When you use dual outputs for this purpose, you can keep your clean tone playing through one amplifier while the effects only play out of a separate one. This creates the illusion that two instruments are playing simultaneously, so when you stomp on your chosen effects pedal, it layers your dry signal instead of blending with it.

In bands that have one guitarist, this technique can be a very useful way to ensure that the output remains strong. When the time comes for a guitar solo or single-note melody, having the clean channel playing at the same time adds substance to the output.

Not all pedals offer dual outputs, and it’s important to position them so that the ones that do can still reach the power supply. It’s a good idea to experiment with your setup until you find the perfect combination of effects to send through the additional amplifier.

Battery-Powered Pedals

Although using a power supply with your pedals is undoubtedly the most effective method, some pedals are capable of being powered by a 9-volt battery. This allows them to be used when there is no external power available.

It’s recommendable to combine the use of a power supply with a battery whenever possible. The power supply is the predominant source, but if for some reason a fault occurs and the power cuts out, the installed battery is there to carry the burden.

The problem with relying solely on batteries to power your pedals is that you never know when they might run out. This can be disastrous onstage during a live performance, as it can potentially result in it your single cutting out completely, or in the best-case scenario, one of your pedals being rendered useless for the rest of the gig.

Summary:

Although they may not be regarded as being exciting like tone-bending effects pedals, power supplies are vital nonetheless. If the source of power that your pedals receive is of a high standard and consistent, they are likely to function at a much higher level.

All of the power supplies featured in this article are well suited to certain requirements. It’s a case of doing your research and choosing one that will accommodate all of your effects pedals. Then you can enjoy the convenience of always having your pedals ready to go.

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