Give your guitar pedals the volts they need!
As we’ve said before, the world of guitar is a unique place where an almost limitless number of sounds can be created. As if there weren’t enough guitars, pickups, and amps to give you option paralysis; the guitar soundscape is made exponentially more vast as soon as some guitar pedals get added into the mix. And we’re sure you understand; as soon as you buy one pedal, more are sure to follow.
Guitar is one of those instruments that allows for quick and easy “tone add-ons.” While drummers have to buy expensive cymbals and drums to add more tones, and synth/piano players are stuck buying additional keyboards; guitar players can quickly and cheaply add a pedal to their rig and instantly have a world of new sounds to work with. A pedal (despite its size and price) can really do a lot for the tone palette. For not much money & space on the floor/board, a new stompbox is usually a great way to cure an acute case of GAS without totally breaking the bank, while adding some amazing new sounds.
Even the most ‘meat & potatoes’ players have at least a few pedals lying around somewhere, even if they are not a part of their main rig. It’s safe to say that most of you stringed brethren reading this have felt the urge to pick up a pedal at some point, many times early on in your guitar journey. Maybe that practice amp just needs something extra, or maybe you're craving some more ambient tones? Pedals can quickly teach your old rig new tricks.
So, let’s play out how most of these stompbox scenarios go: you pick up a pedal, power it with a 9v battery, crank the knobs and enjoy the chaos. But then you notice some room on the floor, or maybe need some more sounds. So, you pick up another pedal, and another battery. Then you get tired of seeing 2 pedals strewn about, so you buy or build your first small board. All that empty space on your new board simply won’t do however, so clearly the only solution is to pick up a few more pedals to fill those voids.
Before you know it, your once-lone pedal is now existing amidst a spider web of cables, wires, batteries and more. Thankfully for those of us building boards and adding to our pedal inventory, there are some great touring-grade power supplies out there that can free up our 9V battery fund for more useful endeavors- you know, like buying more pedals! These power supplies (commonly referred to as bricks because of their robust nature, size, and shape) are great when it comes to powering our hungry stompboxes and providing clean, quiet, and consistent power; but many times they are not so great when it comes to “pedalboard real estate.”
Sure, you can always mount these bricks to the bottom side of your pedalboard, but that may do more harm than good as it can create hard-to-diagnose wiring headaches, as well as adding more weight and bulk to your board. If only there were something that was powerful enough to do the job, yet small and light enough to keep our rigs streamlined and easy to work with.
It’s Ernie Ball to the rescue! These legendary string makers and guitar builders have been bringing some fantastic new concepts to the world of guitar accessories lately. They have taken the concept of portable pedal power to entirely new levels, using some sort of magical shrink-ray to downsize those glorious power bricks into something smaller than a deck of cards! Seriously, and you thought pedals were getting smaller with age...
This small-yet-mighty power supply delivers quite a punch for its small stature. While only weighing and measuring only ~9x6x2cm, the Volt can send clean, isolated power to to 5 pedals via its 5 ports. All 5 ports are regulated 9/18V outputs, rated at 300mA apiece. Each port also features LED indicators, with short circuit and thermal protection, and are individually isolated from each other to assist in noise reduction.
The rugged housing ensures that this power supply will survive the rigors of the road, and the included AC/DC adapter comes with interchangeable plugs for the US, UK, EU, and China so you can stay powered up no matter where the road takes you. If you’re looking to power more than 5 pedals, you can get creative with daisy chaining the included DC power cables, however this may introduce more noise. The Volt can power just about all of the industry standard pedals out there (center pin-negative), so if you’re looking to ditch the batteries and go for a tidy, streamlined pedalboard; the Volt may be just the ticket!