Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by el34power, Mar 21, 2006.
You want to keep the upside, up.
Also the downside down.
Then everythings copasetic!
I don't have any experience with it, but when I went to buy one here in Oslo, my music store guy steered me to the Carl Martin "Big John" which was a lot cheaper and is excellent. I've written about it here before, and on HC User Reviews. It has some downside (really mainly, they only supply 5 leads on it, but it has 7 useable outputs)... but is really stable, self checking, etc. I think it is also marketed, still as "Big John" by Cioks or someone else.
It's just another one to consider.
Yup - freakin' expensive for what it is. It's simply a big splitter in a nifty box - so it looks like the Pedal Power 2+, but it's a lot different. Each output on the Pedal Power 2+ is isolated - which means none of the outputs interfere with other. Each output on the DC Brick is shared - if one 9V is bad, they're all bad. Or put another way, if one effect doesn't play nice and creates noise, they will all have noise.
Think of it this way: the Pedal Power 2+ is like having eight individual 9V batteries. So you can run almost any type of effect on each of the outputs (positive ground or negative ground). The DC Brick is like having one giant 18V battery, with some of the battery tapped off to make a 9V battery, and again, all the taps are coming off that single 9V battery. So if you have positive and negative ground effects, you'll have to buy TWO DC Bricks, one to power the negative ground FX, one to power the positive ground FX.
I say the DC Brick is a horrible value because the Onespot and Powerall perform almost exactly the same thing at 1/3 the price. Each is a big 9V splitter - they just don't have the same form factor, and don't have 18V capability. Well, if you need 18V, it's cheaper to buy a Onespot or Powerall and then get a separate 18V adapter!
The Pedal Power 2+ is twice the price, but has more than twice the capability (more like eight times) of the DC Brick. The Onespot and Powerall are 1/3 the price and have 90% the capability of the DC Brick. Unless you really really really like that brick shape and hate daisy chains (the "daisy chain" on the DC Brick is internalized) I'd go with something with more value.
I've used the brick for about a year, and it's worked perfectly. I tried a one-spot, and it was a little messy for me. The PP2 is too large for my tight pedalboard, so the brick works for me.
I'm sure someone else will chime in here, but off the top of my head, I don't know any other self contained, single box unit (from a major manufacturer) that does. The special thing about the PP2+ is its transformer. It has multiple secondaries, which means it's like having eight individual transformers in one. A toroidal transformer like that is fairly rare, and expensive to have custom made - although I do recall Weber VST made them at one point. Anything that is significantly cheaper (like the DC Brick) is going to have some sort of design compromise - either non-isolated, larger, no toroid, etc.
There are various off-brand and custom made units on eBay, but given Voodoo Labs' track record with the Pedal Power, I'd tend to go with the safe choice.
Been using Dunlop Brick for well over 4 years w/no problems powering 8 pedals (all 9V) on my pedalboard. Actually mine is the older bright orange Dunlop Juice which was renamed to Brick due to some sort of trademark issue. I like the small size and price. Call it a 9V splitter if you want but in the end that's all I need.
I used the DC Brick for about a year with no problems I can remember. Last summer I swapped it out to try the 1Spot and haven't gone back. I just like the single daisey chain better than all of the individual cords from the Brick. Now the Brick just sits in my pedal board case waiting for the day I get an 18V effect.
Ah, I didn't mention the 18V outputs, did I? The way the DC Brick works is something like this:
18V wall wart adapter output goes to the brick. The brick takes the 18V and converts it down to 9V, and the 9V is split to all of the 9V outputs. If one 9V goes "bad", and by "bad" I mean shorts out (which is what would happen if you run positive and negative ground FX together) or say only has 6V coming out of it, then chances are ALL of the 9V outputs will be shorted or will show 6V. You get the idea. If one 9V jack happens to come loose from the board and doesn't short out, then yeah, that output will stop working and the others will be OK.
The 18V outputs from the brick are simply split from the 18V wall wart. The 18V wall wart sends juice to the 18V outputs, and juice to the 9V conversion circuitry. Plug in a 9V adapter with the proper polarity and see what happens. You'll get 9V from the 18V outputs, and nothing from the 9V outputs (I'm pretty sure - could be 4.5V, but I don't have the datasheet for the chip used in the Brick in front of me.)
Anyway, if the Brick works for you, great. It's just not even remotely in the same league as the Pedal Power 2, but it is very similar to the Onesport or Powerall.
Woah! very interesting read. All i really wanted is to get rid of my 2 daisy chains. 1 for my 5 9v units and another for my 2 18v pedals.
Thanks for the info...
theelectic - thanks for the info and clarification. Damn - now you gotta me looking into a PP2!!!
I use 5 DC Bricks on my board and have never experienced any problem at all whatsoever. No noise, no hum, nothing.
I tried one of the Orange Juice versions years ago and what a POS. Unbelievable hum. The problem was the Power supply they supplied. I tried one of my own wallwarts and it was OK. I sent it back got another and same problem. I gave up on them and built my own.
I've noticed that my Orange Dunlop Stage Effects Juice is susceptible to RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). I'm not sure if it is the Brick part or the wall-wart power supply part. I will need to do some experimenting. (Though I do not have any other 18v wall warts handy at the moment.) The upside is that is does provide 3 18v outputs in addition to the 7 9v outputs Any else have RF problems with the Juice or DC Brick (which I think is the current name of the product)?
The BBE Supa Charger is only slightly more expensive ($149 vs. $119) than the Brick, and if you look around online you can get them for $79-99. It has isolated outs using a toroidal transformer. It's very similar to the PP2.
It has eight isolated, regulated and filtered outputs. Six outputs 1-4 & 7-8 can be individually switched between 9 or 12VDC 100mA and two outputs 5-6 can be switched between 9 or 16VDC 200mA.