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9 volt or 12 volt for pedals?

Mad John

Member
Messages
724
HAPPY NEW YEAR first of all! :)

I have had a Voodoo Labs Power2 since 2001 and it has worked with no problems. I completely forgot about the voltage selector that is located under the unit. I had the Line 6 DL4 Delay set at #5 power slot for years and had forgotten that it was set at 12 volts. I had heard that certain 9 volt pedals sounded better (improved head room and clarity) in the 12 volt mode, so I tried it on several effects. First was my Fulltone Choralflange (I never cared for this one too much) and it sounded much more open and full. Then an older Fulldrive2...same thing! RC Booster...yes! Tesse RMC3...oh my gosh...what have I been doing in 9 volt all of these years loosing all my tone along the effect path?!:jo

Hearing my RAT(Keeley MOD) was not as much difference strangely, since the Fulldrive was an enourmous tonal change for the better! However listening to the chorus/fulldrive/RAT/DL4/RC Boost together at a fairly low volume, I could not believe the wonderful tonal clarity that I was hearing...WOW!

My question and reason for posting this topic, is to ask if this may be dangerous or harmful to any of the pedals! Can I hurt a 9 volt pedal by running 12 volts into them?

Is anyone else doing this?

Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this cool little trick?

Cheers,
 

jchan

Member
Messages
1,710
It all depends on the pedal. Some can be damaged by the higher voltage. You should find out from the manufacturer what the max supply voltage is.
 

Unadan

Member
Messages
3,841
How would you know if it was damaged (other than it doesn't power on, etc.)? Would the "magic smoke" emanate from the unit or would a component on the board perhaps flame out.
 

jchan

Member
Messages
1,710
How would you know if it was damaged (other than it doesn't power on, etc.)? Would the "magic smoke" emanate from the unit or would a component on the board perhaps flame out.
It probably just would not work any longer. I don't suggest you try it. Usually someone has info on the pedals and would know what the max voltage is. First, try to ask the manufacturer and then search the forums.

The other thing you may be able to try is to find the internal chips in the pedal and check online to see what their max voltage is. That will usually be the determining factor.
 

alvagoldbook

Member
Messages
1,380
A good rule of thumb is if your pedal is digital DO NOT increase the voltage.

If it's analog, then you can play with it quite a bit. Most of the components used in pedals are rated for 12 volts or more, so usually you can be safe with increasing the voltage, even up to 16 volts.

One odd thing is that Fuzz pedals tends to sound bad at 9 volts or higher. That's why most of them bias down the voltage to 6.5 to 7.5 volts. I'm thinking of modding my Fuzz to have an external bias adjustment so I can find that sweet spot. This is helpful because as batteries drain, they will produce a lower voltage.

Of course, if you have any doubts about this, especially if you're not quite sure if your pedals is analog or digital, then don't try this at home.
 

Unadan

Member
Messages
3,841
So are you saying the components in a digital pedal are NOT rated for 12 volts or more? For example - a Boss DD-7? I once plugged this into my VL Pedal Power Plus 2 into an ACA (1-4) outlet with the switch away from normal. I realized it after a few minutes and unplugged it. Pedal seems fine - should that short amount of time cause any issues?
 

Mad John

Member
Messages
724
I thought more people would chime in on this one...kind of important for all of us that use a pedal board!
 

jnepo1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,403
i have an old TC Electronic BLD pedal that runs on 9 volts. But after carefully reading the manual and the checking the TCE website, they actually recommend running the particular TCE pedal between 18 and 24 volts. After messing around w/ different voltage levels, the BLD runs great anywhere between 18-22 volts for my taste.
 






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