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Help powering my rig?

New Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  


I am very confused as to how to power my gear, Im wanting to switch to dedicated power, I assume I will need a voodoolabs Mondo or at least a 4x4 but I am clueless and don't want to start any fires/burn my pedals. My rig consists of:-

Boss TU3
Pigtronix Philosophers Tone
Cry baby 535q
Boss DS2
EHX Soul food
EHX Big muff pi
EHX Superego
EHX Memory Boy
Strymon Big Sky
Strymon Mobius
Boss RC3 loop pedal
Boss FS-7

When it comes to negative polarity, higher voltage etc I am stumped, i havetried and tried to get my head around it but now have to resort to asking. How the heck do I do this?

Thank you so much for any help, much appreciated

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 398

You have some cool pedals. You're getting on towards a Joe Bonamassa-grade board there.

Amperage (often expressed as milliamps) ratings on power supplies show the maximum output of the transformer, and the rating on a pedal is usually its minimum requirement. You can send too much voltage to a pedal, but not too much amperage. Voltage or amps too low will cause it to not work, or not work properly. Some effects like chorus pedals and digital delays need more amperage, and some use 18 volts.

To start with, you might want to check the labels or read the specs on all your pedals, and see what they require for voltage, amps, polarity, and whether any pedal requires AC rather than DC input. You can also check The Power List at the site I linked below. Most if not all of those are probably center-negative (sleeve-positive), because that's pretty much the standard, but a few brands use center-positive. I don't know which makes use that, but it's probably on a label by the input jack. (TrueTone and other power supply manufacturers also have adapters to reverse the polarity if needed.)
There's some good information about powering pedals on Andreas' site in Sweden. You can begin here: On another page, he explains how to measure a pedal's current draw if the info isn't on the pedal or in its instruction sheet.

You could make a list/chart of all your pedals' power requirements, and then add up the total power draw in amps or milliamps. For example, the Big Sky and the Mobius both need at least 300 milliamps (mA), so your power supply needs to be capable of at least 600 mA. (A Visual Sound [TrueTone] OneSpot will produce 1700 mA--1.7 amps--max.)

I have a few pedals that use 18 volts (Uni-Vibe and a couple of older Danelectro "bricks"), and those have dedicated power supplies. TC Helicon vocal effects are 12 volts, and those also have their own power. I usually mark the "wall-wart" (transformer) of every power supply except OneSpots so I know what the output voltage is, and I put a label (or at least a piece of red electrical tape) on the wire behind the plug so nothing over 9 volts gets plugged into any pedal that only uses 9V.

Hope this helps.