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Best Guitar Pedal Power Supply and Information Guide

Guitar Pedal Power Supply

With as many guitar pedals and effects on the market today, the need for high quality guitar pedal power supplies is at an all time high.

Manufacturers today are producing very high quality effects that have some of the best sounds ever created. Because the competition is so high, the need for more advanced circuits has become the only way to compete as a pedal maker.

With the need for more advanced circuits, a proper power supply is now of great importance for optimal results. You don’t want to spend good money on incredible pedals only to be limited on their performance because of a cheap guitar pedal power supply.

Yet we see it all the time, players asking questions about why their new pedals are so noisy.

Some of the more common complaints are:

  • Buzz
  • Humm
  • Bad Sounds
  • Poor Performance

And in most cases the user will blame the pedal for being junk or noisy. When all along it is being powered with an ultra cheap guitar pedal power supply creating all kinds of noise.

Discovering Your Guitar Pedal Power Supply Needs

Already know what you need? Check out our reviews by clicking here!

In most cases a lot of the reasons a user ends up with a poor performing guitar pedal power supply is because they just don’t know any better. I mean let’s face it, we are guitar players and while some of us are electronic engineers, the majority are not.

So let’s consider your needs. This is really the only way to get the right guitar pedal power supply for your pedals. Once we find out what you need, our list of the best guitar pedal power supplies below will be easier to navigate.

Here are some of the things to consider when selecting a power supply:

  • Number of pedals you want to power (Both currently and future pedals)
  • Voltage requirements of each pedal
  • Current requirements of each pedal
  • Will it mount to a pedal board?

Lets touch on these points quickly:

Number of Pedals

This is one of the more important things to consider. The more pedals you run, the more you want to make sure your pedals have their own isolated power source.

You may have heard this term before “isolated”. This means each pedal will have its own power source and is not being daisy chained or shares a power source with another pedal. The advantage of this could mean no humm or buzz from your pedals.

4 Cable Method

Voltage Requirements

While most pedals run on 9 volts DC, there are also some that have other requirements. Sometimes you might find pedals that require 12 or even 18 volts DC. And sometimes you may find some that need 12V AC!

You will want to make sure you know what your voltage requirements are from your pedals in order to get what you need. Do not just assume it will run on 9 volts DC.

Current Requirements

Another important consideration is the current consumption each pedal will require. While most high quality power supplies are designed to provide enough current for each pedal, you will want to verify this before shopping. 

If a pedal does not get the current it requires to work during normal use, it will not perform optimally.

1 Spot makes a meter that can help you realize what your pedal current needs might be. It is also a cable tester as well which really makes this one handy tool to have around! Check it out at Amazon here.

Power Supply Mounting

Size matters in this regard. If you are going to run a smaller pedal board and buy an extra large supply, it may not mount to your pedal board the way you might have hoped.

While buying a big power supply just in case is not a bad idea, you do want to make sure it fits onto your board.

Best Guitar Pedal Power Supplies

Once you have discovered your needs, you can then select the correct guitar pedal power supply for your rig.

If you need more information and are not quite sure what you need, please continue reading or click here to go right to the guide. We have created a guide to help you right after our recommended power supply reviews.

Our guide will cover much more and so we encourage you to read up if you want to learn more about guitar pedal power supplies!

If you’re ready to check out the power supplies we recommend, lets go!

8 - 12 Output Power Supplies

Need something less than 8 outputs? Click here!

Truetone 1 SPOT PRO CS12 Review

1 Spot Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power Supply
  • 12 outputs
  • Variable voltage control
  • Switchable voltage options
  • Includes cables
  • Includes mount brackets

Outputs: 2 x 9V 250mA, 2 x 9V 500mA, 2 x 18V 100mA, 1 x 9V AC 800mA, 4 x 9V/12V 100mA, 1 x 4V-9V 100mA

Additional

  • Size: 8.12″ x 3.37″ x 2″
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Company: Truetone

Instruction Manual

Price Check

The Truetone 1 spot CS12 is one heavy duty guitar pedal power supply!

This unit is capable of 3000mA maximum current, 12 isolated outputs that provide multiple voltage options and comes with pedal train mounting brackets and cables.

There is also a 9V AC output to truly cover all voltages that you might find on commercial guitar pedals.

There are a few switchable outputs that can be set to either 9 or 12 volts from a toggle on the bottom of the unit as well as a variable output that can be set to 4 volts if desired.

The supplied cables will aid in getting pedal polarities correct as well as a battery adapter.

This is one serious supply for optimal performance!

MXR ISO-Brick Review

MXR Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power Supply
  • 10 outputs
  • Variable voltage control
  • Switchable voltage options
  • Includes cables
  • Includes adapters

Outputs: 2 x 9V @ 100mA, 2 x 9V @ 300mA, 2 x 9V @ 450mA, 2 x 18V @ 250mA, 2 x Variable 6V to 15V @ 250mA

Additional

  • Size: 4.7″ x 2.9″ x 1.8″
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Company: MXR

Instruction Manual

Price Check

The MXR Iso-Brick power supply is another high quality unit for noise free operation.

The Iso Brick is capable of 2000mA maximum current, 10 isolated outputs provide a range of DC voltage outputs with variable options from 6 to 15V DC. This is another unit that will provide all DC voltage requirements you might find in today’s commercial and power hungry pedals.

This unit is very sleek and easy to mount to pedal boards.

Friedman Power Grid 10 Review

Friedman Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power Supply
  • 10 outputs
  • Includes cables
  • Ultra quiet operation

Outputs: 10 x 9V @ 350mA

Additional

  • Size: 4.5″ x 6.75″ x 1.75″
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Company: Friedman

 

Instruction Manual- N/A

Price Check

While the Friedman power grid 10 is a very simple power supply, we chose it because of its dead quiet operation.

This unit offers a simple 10 outputs at 9V DC and is designed to be very simple. It will power most pedals on the market but unlike other isolated power supplies, this unit is very quiet.

So if you have very sensitive pedals that seem to be noisy even with an isolated power supply. This will be the unit for you!

Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus Review

VL Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power supply
  • 8 outputs
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Variable ouputs
  • Switchable Outputs
  • Cables included

Outputs: 4 x 9V/12V 100mA, 2 x 9V 250mA, 2 x 9V 100mA

Additional

  • Size: 3.4″ x 6″ x 1.75″
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Company: Voodoo labs

Instruction Manual

Price Check

The Voodoo Labs pedal power 2 plus is a very dependable and quiet power supply.

It is capable of many voltages even variable which is called “sag” on the unit. Switching voltages is done simply using the switches on the bottom side of the unit.

The unit is built with a toroidal transformer which according to Voodoo Labs is the secret to the quiet operation it offers.

It offers 8 outputs for a total of 1100 mA max output for the brick and for a lot of players will be plenty.

If there is any reason to ever need to replace this unit, it will simply be for more outputs.

5 Output Power Supplies

Strymon Ojai Review

Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power supply
  • 5 outputs
  • High current outputs
  • Daisy chain more Ojai’s
  • Dead Quiet
  • Cables included

Outputs: 5 x 9V @ 500mA

Additional

  • Size: 3.2″ x 2.3″ x 1.3″
  • Weight: 1 lbs
  • Company: Strymon

Instruction Manual

Price Check

The Strymon Ojai is one very neat little design. This unit, while very simple, can handle 500mA per output!

What is really cool about it, is that you can connect more Ojai units together to expand to more outputs. So if a player starts with a small board and eventually upgrades, you can simply buy another Ojai and connect the two together expanding the outputs!

Strymon has also built this unit to be very easy to mount due to its size, but it is also super light! And somehow it can supply current by the boat load.

The only limitation is that you will only get 9 volts from each output, but for a lot of players, this is no big deal.

Pedal Power ISO 5 Review

Guitar Pedal Power Supply

Features

  • Isolated power supply
  • 5 outputs
  • High current output
  • Multiple voltages
  • Very Quiet
  • Cables included

Outputs: 3 x 9V (100mA), 1 x 9/12V (400mA), 1 x 18V (100mA)

Additional

  • Size: 4.9″ x 3.4″ x 1.8″
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Company: Voodoo labs

Instruction Manual

Price Check

The Voodoo Labs ISO 5 is a great offering for those players who don’t have a lot of pedals and just need a simple supply.

This unit is very quiet and gets the job done perfectly while still offering a high current output and some common voltage options.

The unit is small, light simple and easy to mount. Need a simple quiet power supply?

You found it!

4 Output Power Supplies

Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4 Review

Features

  • Isolated power supply
  • 4 outputs
  • Very Quiet
  • Cables included

Outputs: 4 x 9V DC

Additional

  • Size: 3.37″ x 2.75″ x 1.6″
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Company: Voodoo labs

Instruction Manual

Price Check

Another Voodoo Labs master piece! This unit is for those who have minimal pedals and power needs but still want optimal performance.

Being an isolated power supply, the dead quiet performance is top notch.

And being as small as it is, the unit is easy to mount and very portable!

Single Output Guitar Pedal Power Supplies

While some people might just be getting started with guitar pedals,or just have simple needs, then a single power supply might be what you are looking for. In this case we recommend the 1 spot slim 9 volt adapter.

This adapter is capable of high current to allow you to expand to a daisy chain to power a couple of pedals before moving up to a brick. These are very handy adapters and are configured to have a plug polarity for most pedals today.

 

Features

High Current

9 Volts

Slim Unit

Expandable Via Daisy Chain

Dependable

Guitar Pedal Power Supply Guide

When it comes to selecting a guitar pedal power supply, there are a few things to consider. If you are new to this, now is a great time to learn about how this works and why its important to know!

Selecting the right power supply to work with your new pedal is crucial for optimal performance but also for polarity of the pedal.

Purchasing a pedal with a plug that is wired in reverse polarity could do damage to your new pedal. And most manufacturers will not repair it under warranty if you damage it this way.

So it is very important to know these things to make sure you do not cost yourself more when you could have just spent some time reading this guide!

Why You Need A Power Supply For Your Pedals

There are a number of reasons why a guitar pedal power supply is needed. But we are going to touch on the more commonly talked about reasons.

Power Supply vs Batteries

The question comes up on forums all the time: So why have a power supply at all? Don’t most pedals use batteries?

And yes, there are many pedals that use batteries or can use batteries. In some cases this can be handy, but is not economical.

With the great power supplies available today, batteries are really no longer needed. There are more and more manufacturers making pedals without battery compartments.

Lets face it, batteries are expensive! Not only that, they get thrown away and end up in landfills.

Today with the technology we have available, power supplies can be used to do the same thing as a dying battery to get that brown sound.

Simply get a supply with a variable output and you basically have the same thing without the expense and hassle of batteries.

Unwanted Noise

Another reason and probably the most important reason to have a good isolated power supply is to prevent unwanted noise.

Daisy chaining pedals together and powering them with one adapter is simply a bad idea.

Can it work? Oh yea, there are some pedals that are not as sensitive and can share a supply all day long.

But if they don’t, do you know how to troubleshoot that? Do you know if the pedals are performing optimally daisy chained together? Most players do not.

Most players blame their amps or pedals for the buzz or humm they hear when really its the power supply.

By using a high quality isolated guitar pedal power supply, you will get a far better experience overall.

Guitar Pedal Power Supply Ratings

When selecting a power supply, there are some things you need to consider. All of this information is obtainable from your pedals and their manufacturers.

Voltage

Every guitar pedal will require a certain voltage rating. The more common voltages for guitar pedals are 9, 12, 15 and 18 volts DC.

90% of all pedals will use 9 Volts DC however, and so this is a more common voltage rating found from guitar pedal wall warts as well as isolated power supplies.

When you are looking at power supplies, you will always want to match the voltage that your pedal requires with the voltage the power supply will provide.

If you are not very experienced with power supplies then just simply match the voltages.No more and no less otherwise this could result in damage to the pedal.

If you are more experienced with pedal voltages and know that you have a distortion pedal that sounds better when its supplied voltage is lower than recommended, then get a power supply with variable control or a “Sag” feature.

Also be aware that some pedals might require an AC voltage instead of a DC voltage. In this case, you will need to be able to supply the correct voltage type.

Current (mA)

Current or amperage requirements of pedals differs greatly. Some analog pedals require very little current to operate while some digital pedals need a lot!
 
And because there are different requirements, it is recommended that when sourcing a power supply that you find out what your pedals will need for current.
 
A current starved pedal will not operate correctly leading to poor results. Another issue with using an underrated power supply is that you could do damage to the power supply itself.
 
Overheating will result when using an underrated power supply causing it to burn out and fail. So you want to make sure that your power supply can supply what the pedal needs or more.
 
If you have a power supply rated for 800mA and your pedal requires 50mA to run normally, this is great!
 
You will not do damage to your pedal if the power supply is capable of more current. You want your power supply to either match what the pedal needs or more. Much more is ok too.
 
The pedal will simply take what it needs and the power supply will run cool and happy.
 
Not sure how to find out what current the pedals use? 1 Spot makes a great meter that you can use to test this. It also doubles as a cable tester too. Its a super handy tool to have around and is suggested if you own pedals:

Polarity

Polarity is very important with guitar pedals. There are a number of people who do not realize this is something to watch out for. There are 2 connections that are made when you plug your barrel jack into a pedal.

These are a positive (+) connection and a negative (-) connection. Your barrel jack on a power supply could be wired differently depending on the power supply and so you have to verify if the polarity matches that of your pedal.

If you connect an opposite polarity power supply into a pedal, damage will likely be the result.

These are the symbols you want to look for when trying to find polarity. Most power supplies will have these diagrams on the unit itself or in the instruction manual.

Most pedals will also have these symbols on the pedal itself or can be found from the manufacturer. You will need to verify that the pedal and power supply have the same symbol.

This will verify that the polarity is the same and correct. if your power supply has the opposite symbol, the polarity will be wrong. Do not use it in this case. They have to be the same!

The most common polarity used with guitar pedals is the negative polarity where the pin is negative and the sleeve of the barrel jack is positive.

If you find you have a power supply that is the wrong polarity for your pedal, a lot of the power supplies we have recommended come with cables that will change the polarity. This can be very helpful.

If not, this cable below will change the polarity and help make them work together.

Pedal Connection Methods

As we mentioned throughout this guide, there are two main types of connection methods used to power pedals. Daisy Chains and isolated connections. They are both used and there are products on the market to provide both options.

But is one better than the other? Which one should you use?

Isolated Connections

An isolated connection provides a pedal with its own power source which is electrically isolated from any other. Types of isolated outputs would be a wallwart that powers ONE pedal. The power supplies we recommended above provide isolated outputs from each output all in one unit. Up to 12 isolated outputs are possible!

When an output is isolated, it has the advantage of powering one pedal which keeps current and voltage supply consistent. But most importantly it prevents unwanted noise.

When dealing with an audio product, you do not want noise! Noise can consist of buzz, humm, interference and more. Some pedals are more sensitive than others and so noise can travel down stream into other pedals.

When isolating a pedal to its own supply, as long as the power supply itself is designed to be dead quiet, you will get great results.

Daisy Chaining

Daisy chaining is the method of connecting pedals together at their power input and supplying them all with power from one wallwart (adapter) or one power supply output.

This method can work and could be a source of clean quiet power. But if a noisy pedal is used in the chain, this can potentially inject noise into the rest of the pedals as well.

Another disadvantage is that as you connect pedals together in a chain, the overall current requirements increase. This means the total sum of all pedals current requirements adds up and in some cases may surpass what the output can supply.

This can damage the power supply or provide poor results to the entire chain of pedals if the user is not aware of this.

Our recommendation is to use isolated outputs for each pedal for the very best results.

Guitar Pedal Power Supply FAQ

Do Guitar Pedals Come With Power Supplies?

In some cases you will find that an effects UNIT will come with a power supply. But this is only normally the case when a pedal or effects unit uses a voltage or polarity that is different than the universally used ratings.

In most cases, if a pedal is designed using the common power supply requirements, it will not come with a power supply. The reason manufacturers do not supply them is because most players use more than one pedal and don’t want tons of cords to deal with.

If every manufacturer supplied a single power supply, the cables and cords would be messy and hard to deal with. If a player uses more than one pedal, they will normally opt for a power supply brick for the ease of use and the need for only one plug socket.

How do I stop my guitar pedals from humming?

If you have many pedals and one power supply daisy chaining pedals, first thing you want to do is remove pedals from the chain until you stop the humming.

If this doesn’t reveal the issue, you can also use batteries in each of the pedals to see if the power supply is the issue. This is also a great way of tracking down noisy pedals. Do one at a time to see if it is only one pedals.

Ultimately if you can afford to, buy yourself a high quality power supply right from the start and isolate each pedal. This will help you eliminate the power supply as the issue with humm.

Just remember, there are more issue with humm than just the power supply, but you may as well start with your power supply first.

Can I use a 12v power supply on a 9v guitar pedal?

Unless the manufacturer states that it is ok to do so, you should NEVER power a pedal with a voltage higher than its rating. Components inside the pedal may be rated for a max voltage that works fine at normal operating voltages.

But if you increase the voltage at the input, this could cause damage and overheating to the components inside.

Is it OK to use a power supply with higher amps?

Yes using a power supply with a higher current rating is completely fine and suggested. If your pedal is rated at needing 50 mA of current, then you will want to supply 50mA or more. If this means that you use a power supply rated at supplying 2 amps, that is fine!

The pedal will simply take what it needs for current and leave the rest.

The issue with current only applies if you are not giving the pedal what it needs.For example, if your pedal needs 500mA and you only provide a supply with a rating of 250mA, your power supply will eventually overheat and fail. it will try and provide the 500mA the pedal needs but fail doing so.

So always makes sure to provide your pedals exactly what they need or more.

if you are daisy chaining from one power supply, make sure to add up each pedals current requirements and supply a power unit that can provide it all.