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Power supply - Educate me


Gold Supporting Member
What are the benefits of having a high end power supply for your pedals? Is it like the cable debate where half the people say use cheap cables you can't tell between a monster cable and a coat hanger and the other half say you're an idiot if you have nice gear running with a cheapo cable? I've been using a $20 power supply that I got off amazon for the last few years and while I will say nothing's broke that needs fixing I have always wondered. I have been using my FM3 a lot lately so the pedal board hasn't been an issue but it got me thinking...is that something that's worth investing in? I only use a handful of pedals (delay, reverb, and eq in loop and a drive in front of the amp).


Odds are, the $20 PSU is just a daisy chain in a box. If you've got no noise now, and plan on sticking with your existing pedals, it's fine. If you do notice some noise, or if you start getting GAS for digital pedals (or certain analog pedals that don't like daisy chains) then it might be time to get a good isolated PSU.


Silver Supporting Member
For me, the ability to neatly and quietly power anything I can fit on the board at any voltage from 9-18v. I think mine cost about what a pedal costs. Well worth it for the amount of use it gets.


Man, I had a CIOKS but started putting more pedals on my board.

I got this Hiree power supply (search Amazon Hiree guitar power supply, it's like $30 or at least it was, comes with 10 cables too)

and honestly it's been absolutely fine and noiseless. Powers my 7 9V pedals and I have the AC outlets on it that power my EHX tube pedals, zip tied them on, had to order right angle power plugs http://smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/power-cable-25-2-1mm-plugs/ so it would fit under my pedaltrain 2 though.

I really recommend this, especially for the price. Is it a daisy chain? Yes. So if you have noise issues maybe it's no good, but I don't have noise issues and this thing is so feature packed for chump change. And it's tiny.

Just wanted to pump this things tires because it really surprised me. I've had it for a year now and no issues at all (so far)


Sometimes pedals need fully-isolated power, sometimes they don't. There is little objective experimental evidence to guide us. Every signal chain has noise - it's often very difficult to tell where most of it comes from. There is a tendency to just assume expensive supplies are "better". But people rarely do direct A/B tests. And fully isolated supplies can now be found inexpensively, but it takes some homework. I have one, but I can't tell you if it is as quiet as a supply that costs 10 times as much; equally so, it could actually be quieter. Your $20 supply is more than a daisy-chain in a box though. It probably has channel voltage regulation and channel short-circuit protection, which daisy chains don't.


Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
A good isolated, multi-tapped supply can reduce the following:

- stereotypical noise on power/ground
- conducted noise from one pedal to another
- digital noise showing up in analog pedals, esp high-gain, fuzz and octave pedals.
- a heavy current draw from one pedal affecting the voltage available for another.
- some ground-loop situations can be corrected.

- a toroidal power transformer in a better quality PUS can decrease the radiated noise picked up by a nearby wah.
higher quality, low-ESR capacitors can reduce the noise caused by high-current-demand digital pedals (tho still not as good as putting them ON the pedal itself, imo)
- there is a much better chance of finding 1 OZ copper on the PCBs, aswell as a standard (or thibncker) PCB (e.g. the old 0.062 inch boards. A great many cheap devices will have PCBs that are 1/2 the thickness or less, and when dealing with 'heavy' transformers and multiple-plug-cycle connectors, you want something that is robust... or at least I do.
- there is a much better chance that the more expensive PSU was actually submitted to UL/CSA/TUV for a safety evaluation... there are a great number of devices that sport those badges, but did not actually go through the testing.


Gold Supporting Member
If you can afford one, it can't hurt.

If you can't afford one, don't sweat it.

If you're somewhere in between, though? You *could* hypothetically afford one, but it hurts to pay for it? Well, it's probably much like replacing power tubes in an amp; if you need one, you'll know. There will be an obvious problem. Clicking, popping or other clock noise, or extraneous hiss or hum.

If you're not bothered by any noise issues with your set up, you likely won't benefit from an expensive power supply. If you are experiencing a lot of noise and it's driving you crazy- a nice PSU can be balm for your soul.

That's my two cents, anyways!


I have one of each, one is a standard circuit used by most of the low end units, was about £20, the other is a Thomann own brand I think, was about £50. I must fall into camp of ‘does not have a need’ as noise from both seems pretty much the same. I do use the fully isolated one with my more expensive pedals, which was bought mainly for the three out outs that can supply 18v. Not used one of the £200 plus units though so cannot comment on those.

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