MDV3 Fulltone Vibe 18 volt or 9 volt?

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
Hi Guys, I have a Fulltone MDV3 that I bought on 5/5/14,.. it comes with a 9v adapter.
I was reading today at Fulltones website and it said,..
All MDV-1 & MDV-3 pedals sold after 2/10/2015 operate exclusively on an 18 volt DC power supply
Does this mean I should run mine at 18 volts or is this an updated version designed to run at 18 volts?
Thanks
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,067
Where did you buy it? If it wasn't directly from Fulltone, it's likely enough that they had it for 3 months before you bought it. What does it say on the pedal, itself? That's what to go by.
 

DewieCox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,533
Am I missing something? Seems pretty obvious that you have the 9v version. I could see if you bought yours after the change over to 18v, but yours is from a year earlier.
 

S. S. Bender

Member
Messages
2,474
Hi Guys, I have a Fulltone MDV3 that I bought on 5/5/14,.. it comes with a 9v adapter.
I was reading today at Fulltones website and it said,..
All MDV-1 & MDV-3 pedals sold after 2/10/2015 operate exclusively on an 18 volt DC power supply
Does this mean I should run mine at 18 volts or is this an updated version designed to run at 18 volts?
Thanks
According to the dates and information you provided, I think the answer is cut and dried. You have the earlier 9V model that doubles the voltage internally to 18 volts. Keep powering yours with 9 volts DC at a minimum of 100 mA. Don't run it with an external 18 volt DC power supply, or you will likely damage it.
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,067
Am I missing something? Seems pretty obvious that you have the 9v version. I could see if you bought yours after the change over to 18v, but yours is from a year earlier.
I was missing something. The "14" in the first date.:facepalm

Disregard my earlier post. It's definitely the 9v version. Mine says "9VDC" right on the pedal, and the 18v version is clearly marked, too, afaik. I'm even more confused by this thread, than I already was, now.
 

S. S. Bender

Member
Messages
2,474
I was missing something. The "14" in the first date.:facepalm

Disregard my earlier post. It's definitely the 9v version. Mine says "9VDC" right on the pedal, and the 18v version is clearly marked, too, afaik. I'm even more confused by this thread, than I already was, now.
Don't sweat it man. I want to help out if I'm able. I used to own the predecessor model MDV-2 that was also powered externally by 9 volts. It had an internal circuit that doubled the incoming 9 volts to 18 volts DC just like your early model MDV-3.

Keep using a 9 volt DC power supply that provides a 100 milliamps of current or more. The current draw on my MDV-2 was right around 102 to 104 mA, and the pedal sounded best when it was getting that steadily from the power supply.

It's likely that only Fulltone can answer why they changed the power supply design in the later MDV-3 models. They used the voltage doubling circuit successfully for many years, in many of their Univibe-type pedal models. It could have been a cost-reducing move, loss of ability to get a needed component part from suppliers, or just one of those "Whim of the day circuit changes" that Mike Fuller is well-known for... (I think he's up to Rev 7 on his OCD pedal)
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,067
Don't sweat it man. I want to help out if I'm able. I used to own the predecessor model MDV-2 that was also powered externally by 9 volts. It had an internal circuit that doubled the incoming 9 volts to 18 volts DC just like your early model MDV-3.
I'm not the OP. Mine is the MDV-2 (cream colored), and is definitely 9v.
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
Mine says 9 volt right on the pedal and comes w/ a 9v power supply. I am wondering if Fuller changed something or just decided the same pedal sounded better running it at 18 volts.
I did send Fulltone a email.
 

S. S. Bender

Member
Messages
2,474
I just looked at a .pdf file of the manual for the revised MDV-3. I found no real insight as to the reason for the change to 18vdc in that document. I'm curious as to what they'll say, or if they'll even respond to your email. Please come back and let us know either way BudLite. Thanks.
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
I am really surprised that there is no info out there about this. When I first posted, I thought I better search the topic first
in case it was already asked too many times.
 

misa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,612
I can't recall where exactly, but I remember hearing it was a cost-saving measure and to avoid some of the problems people experience with charge pumps on their boards. The revision to 18V came at the same time as a price reduction on the pedal, so its not like Fulltone was pocketing the savings.
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
I am not saying anything about the price drop, just wondering what the deal is w/ those of us who own the 9volt version?
Is there a difference and if so what? No mention on Fullers site.
 

Kid Casseroli

Member
Messages
802
Is there a difference and if so what? No mention on Fullers site.
I would interpret that to mean that there is no audible improvement in the 18 volt version, considering that normally, Fuller takes every opportunity to promote the features of his products.

The change to 18 volts is likely due to a savings in cost of production and maintanence.

I8 volt switching power supplies are common and their cost is problably less than installing a voltage doubler in the vibe.

If the 18 volt supply fails, it can be discarded and replaced without added costs of labor as in the case of the doubler. Shipping cost to replace the supply would be reduced also. (In case of failure, small wall warts are cheaper to purchase new than to repair.)

If a voltage doubler isn't properly protected, it will fail when supplied with more than 10 volts. In the event Fultone was processing a high number of warranty repairs due to failure of the doubler, eliminating the doubler from the circuit would save time and money for the company and the customer.
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
Thanks Kid C. for your response, that makes sense. I wonder if there is any difference between the 9v model and the 18v tone wise.
Fuller has not answered yet, I kind of doubt he will. Maybe I'll sell it and have a fulltone free board-)
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
I have read those threads and have owned at least 5 of them-) I may have to revisit the list.
 

BudLite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,024
Good news , Mike Fuller replied, here is what he said :

Hi,
If you hooked up an 18 volt adapter to the older ones that clearly say "9 volts"
on them...you would double 18 to 36 and quickly have a fire on your hands.
Not recommended.
The reason for changing to 18 volt adapter is that the FCC has deemed that those
voltage doubler chips emit a frequency that is in a "crowded" range, and you're
required to prove that your product doesn't...which involves $20,000 worth of
testing. Not an issue for low-profile companies, but we're shipping all over the
world.
No thanks Obama!
Another negative to using the doubler is that it doubles your current
consumption, putting the older units right up around 100ma, which is max
available on most power supplies.
It's all around better with the 18volt adapter, soundwise, I can't hear a
difference.


Michael Fuller
President
Fulltone Musical Products Inc.
11018 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
www.fulltone.com
 




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