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Pedalboard Day!

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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Wonks » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:40 pm

garrettendi wrote:How about this as a halfway house? https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton ... _2_pro.htm

Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. Not because it's got bad specs, but because you'll get a Europlug PSU with it plus a Euro to UK adapter plug. All physically very wobbly and very unstable.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:45 pm

garrettendi wrote:
Wonks wrote:Yes, though I suspect most of the electronics will be active in the tuner all the time, you just won't be lighting any LEDs in bypass.

Ah! So from the sounds of that all will be well. Once payday hits, I'll get the Thomann one and plug in and test them one at a time.

Some of the reviews talk of a nasty hum... Does anyone know how bad that is? I'm not hugely fussed, and I can always upgrade later.

As Wonky says it depends on the pedals used. I have :-

Cry Baby
Seymour Duncan Pickup Driver boost
TC Vintage Dual Distortion
Dr Tone 'Analogue'* Delay
Mooer Pitch Shifter
TC DittoJam Looper
TC Mini HoF reverb

So that's a fair mix of analogue and digital pedals and while, in theory, that lot should exceed the 500mA it all works fine, no noise, buzz or hum.

OTOH, I have a small board for acoustic gigs with :-

Tone Dexter
TC Flashback
TC DittoJam

I normally power it with Li-Ion power packs** and it needs a separate supply to the TD or it generates low level background 'digital hash'. This is not a problem as the TD is pretty power hungry and a single pack only lasts about 2 hours with everything on.

A agree that the wall wart would put me off though Thomann have been supplying proper UK PSUs of late so you may be ok. I'd still rather have a proper mains power box though.

* The Dr Tone 'Analogue' Delay is a £30 pedal from Dawsons and is actually digital. Sounds great though.

** Rockboard or PedalTrain.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Wonks » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:49 pm

The only multi-pedal PSU I can actually recommend is the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 plus, as I've got two of them for my board. IEC mains input, and linked with a short IEC to IEC lead so I only need one mains cable. Even then, they are not perfectly isolated and I did have to power two digital pedals from different units as they were unacceptably noisy when powered from on the same unit.

On principle I don't like PSUs with an external 12v or 18v wall-wart PSU with a thin power cable to the distribution PSU box, as that seems a very weak link. You can package them up if you have the right pedalboard (or build your own specifically) so you can run a mains cable to the pedalboard, but I still don't like bodges like that.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby garrettendi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:05 pm

Ok thanks everyone this has all been a lot to take in.

Sam I believe is correct that they should now be supplying UK kettle leads (I looked it up) and given his experience with the PowerPlant, I think that's what I'll go for, not the isolated one.

I just feel given my pedalboard is cheapo (all the "expensive" pedals were second hand except the wah), more money isn't justifiable as was suggested earlier.

Thanks to all for entertaining my anxiety and indecision!

EDIT: Also Thomann do returns if unhappy!
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:31 pm

I was going to add that Thomann's return policy is excellent. I have returned couple of things and the process is very easy.

The only issue I can foresee is that of polarity, check all your pedals use the same (usually centre -ve) polarity. The HB uses simple leads to reverse the polarity and that won't work in every case and is more likely to introduce hum even if it does.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:36 pm

Personally I would avoid any PSU that itself has a PSU. Better to just have a mains plug.

The SoundLab 450 I use goes for 10 or 20 quid on eBay and would do the job from what I can see.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:45 pm

I feel the need for a further explanation.

The cheapest way to make a guitar pedal power supply is to have one power supply, with a single mains transformer and a single DC regulator, converting from the incoming mains down to 9V DC (or whatever), and then make that power rail available at multiple sockets wired in parallel -- effectively daisy-chaining the one supply to every pedal.

The potential problem with that is that if there's a fault in a cable, or a pedal goes phut and shorts the supply, it could take out the whole power supply and stop everything working. And if any pedal dumps noise into the power rail, it gets shared with everything else... not cool!

So the next level up is where the main power supply converts from mains to some convenient intermediate voltage (via a single mains transformer again), and then that is further processed to provide the required individual 9V supplies (or whatever) via several independent regulating stages, one for each physical output.

This kind of PSU will usually claim to have 'independent outputs' -- but is basically just means that each output is electrically buffered, so a fault on one won't affect all the others, and hopefully noise from one wont get passed back through to the others....

However... all of the outputs share the same ground reference so plugging all your pedals into it can potentially result in ground-loops between them, with all the corresponding hums and buzzes... (particularly when the pedal line up includes digital effects).

So this is the kind of device you're currently considering. It can work perfectly well, and clearly some here have found that. But you should be aware of its limitations and the potential for problems.

The most expensive -- but proper engineering -- solution for a pedal power supply is either to have lots of separate mains transformers, or (more usually) a single mains transformer but with lots of separate secondary (output) windings.

Each of these separate secondary windings (or separate mains transformers) is connected to its own separate regulating circuitry to generate completely separate, isolated, independent power outputs. In this way, none of the power outlets share a common ground, so there can be no ground-loops between pedals. Guaranteed to be completely noise free, regardless of what pedals you're using.

But those transformers (or multi-secondary transformers) are expensive (and heavy). This is why the best pedal PSUs cost £250 rather than £50, but also why they are so much better, in a technical sense.

You can see all the separate secondary winding connections feeding separate independent DC regulator stages clearly in this pic of the inside of the Oktopus: Image
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:58 pm

One of my two supplies is a FuelTank Chameleon from T-Rex which has isolated outputs and supports a 12/18VC for the occasional odd pedal. Been gigging it heavily for seven or eight years now, always worked a charm.

Here it's fairly common to find units used and often they can be had at a bargain - if you find one, can't recommend it enough, it's buy once and forget.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:16 pm

Accepted that 'doing it properly' is always the best solution but if you have a non-isolated pedal power supply you could break a ground loop with a custom signal cable with the screen disconnected at one end. How effective that would be I don't know but worth a try?
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Luke W » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:41 pm

CS70 wrote:One of my two supplies is a FuelTank Chameleon from T-Rex which has isolated outputs and supports a 12/18VC for the occasional odd pedal. Been gigging it heavily for seven or eight years now, always worked a charm.

I've got a Chameleon on two of my boards as well, they've been great bits of kit. T-Rex also make a couple of smaller/cheaper supplies, the Junior comes to mind.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby ore_terra » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:01 pm

Garretendi, you don't need a super powerful PSU for those pedals as none of them is a real power sucker despite what the specs say.

also, the TU-3 itself can act as PSU for the other pedals getting one of theseImage

I'd give it a go if you cant spend much in a PSU. or maybe feeding all except the Nova Modulator from the TU-3 and this one with its own PSU.

regarding cheap-ish PSU, I've used an Artec one in the past that still works, and I own a JOYO that works very well (however the one I use live is a 250 quid Voodoo Labs :lol: :lol: )
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Stratman57 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:04 pm

I've got one of these.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B075ZT7B5F/ref=ppx_yo_mob_b_inactive_ship_o0_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It may be cheap, but it powers my pedal board noiselessly. It's a mix of analogue and digital pedals. (Cry Baby wah, tuner, compressor, Joyo overdrive, Marshall regenerator, Boss SY-1 or EH Mel9 and a Boss RE20 echo pedal).

Unfortunately it isn't powerful enough for the Mooer Baby Bomb micro amp.

The only problems I have with the pedal board are the velcro doesn't stick to some of the pedals so they tend to fall off the board, and the rubber feet on the board came off when I tried sliding it across the floor. :headbang:

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:28 pm

Re Velcro, I used to have the same problem, completely solved it by using Velcro branded Velcro from Toolstation. It's essential to clean the surface with Isopropol Alcohol or something similar to be sure it will stick, the rubber base/feet of pedals probably has some kind of release agent on the surface but anything slightly greasy will stop the velcro sticking securely.
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby ore_terra » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:46 pm

3M velcro is also great
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Re: Pedalboard Day!

Postby MOF » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:11 pm

You could sell all those pedals and get one mains powered multi-effects device. :D
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