5 Best Pedal Power Supplies
By Equipboard Staff. Published on May 03, 2016.
In this guide, we’re focusing on the best power supply to power your guitar and bass pedals. For a topic that seems relatively simple on the surface, choosing how to power your effects pedals actually has quite a bit of depth, and examining your pedal power situation as well as understanding your options can make all the difference between a very high quality “clean” signal, and a signal riddled with unwanted noise and hum. In this guide we’ll do some teaching, then make our recommendations for the best pedal power supplies. Don’t worry, we don’t go into details that take a PhD in electrical engineering to understand. We’ll keep everything in practical terms so you walk away with a basic understanding, and can keep up next time your musician buddies start talking about powering pedals!
If you’re on short on time and want to jump right to the recommendations, we’ve summarized them here. However, we urge you to read our guide and the full reviews to gain a deeper understanding of the subject of pedal power.
- Bottom Line:With rugged reliability, eight isolated outputs, and the versatility to satisfy just about any pedal's power requirement it's hard to recommend a better pedal power supply. If it's not within you budget or your pedal collection is very small it might not be the one for you, but otherwise it's the best. Best of the Best
- Bottom Line:This budget friendly solution lets you daisy-chain your pedals together while only taking up a single power outlet. With its very budget-friendly price tag, this is an ideal solution for "bedroom guitarist" on a budget or if some hum and noise in your signal chain doesn't bother you. Best Bang for your Buck
- Bottom Line:Provided your pedal power needs are uncomplicated, this well-built and compact unit by T-Rex has plenty of power for a maximum of 5 pedals. The Fuel Tank Junior is rock solid and dead quiet. If you want the cleanest power for your pedals but don’t quite have enough saved up for the Voodoo Lab, this is the one to get.
- Bottom Line:With 15 outputs the Walrus Phoenix will power even the largest pedal collections. It's pricey and probably overkill for small pedal setups. With some very nice artwork, tour-worthy build quality, and versatility for all sorts of pedal power requirements, for a large pedal power supply it has no rival.
- Bottom Line:A worthy competitor to the Voodoo Lab, with 12 outputs and the ability to handle the most power-hungry pedals. The Voodoo Lab has been around longer and is on more touring pros' pedalboards, yet the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 is slightly more versatile. Price-wise they're about the same. A solid choice for large pedal setups.
- Why You Need a Power Supply for your Guitar Pedals
- Pedal Power, Explained
- Your Options
- Top 5 Pedal Power Supplies
The Basics: Why You Need a Power Supply for your Guitar Pedals
Chances are if you’re reading this guide, you have an idea of why you need a pedal power supply, and are simply looking for recommendations. Or perhaps you’re curious and want to know if and how that fancy Voodoo Lab power supply your buddy is going on and on about can benefit you. Let’s go through the main benefits for an effects pedal power supply:
- You’re sick of using batteries to power your pedals. Your pedals suck them dry before you’ve had time to buy new ones, and you don’t want to chance a dead battery at an inopportune time (like a live performance).
- Your current pedal power setup is a mess. You have two or three times as many cables as you have pedals, your pedal board is a spaghetti mess, and you’ve long run out of power outlets.
- There are unwanted noise issues in your signal chain. An unruly pedal in your setup is causing a hum, and your daisy chain of power is making it worse.
- Your different pedals have differing power requirements. You want a rig that just works and don’t want to constantly keep track of which pedals need what voltage.
As you can see, things can get complicated in a hurry. The right solution can ensure your pedal chain has adequate power and can accommodate any future pedals, your tone is clean and free of noise and hum, and your setup is nice and tidy regardless of if you’re a touring musician, or play at home for fun.
Pedal Power, Explained
Alright so this is the more technical part of your lesson today, but we’ll do our best to keep it practical and simple. Trust us, it helps to at least have read through this so you can decipher the lingo of these pedal power supplies when they list their features.
It’s safe to say that the majority of guitar pedals require 9 volts DC (Direct Current) to power them. That’s exactly the voltage supplied by… yep, you guessed it, a 9-volt battery (also known as a PP3-size battery). Of course there are some pedals that require more, such as 12V, 18V, or 24V. The Fulltone OCD Overdrive pedal is a good example of a pedal that can be used at 9 OR 18 volts, each affecting the pedal’s sound differently. Since 9vDC is very standard, whenever a pedal you buy requires something different like 12 or 24 volts, they’ll typically include an appropriate power adapter for you.
We just mentioned batteries, so let’s talk about those 9 volt power adapters. Most homes and businesses are wired for AC, or Alternating Current. But since most electronics run on DC (including most guitar pedals), you need the “wall wart” you’re quite familiar with, also called an AC adapter since it converts Alternating Current to Direct Current.
If you look on your guitar pedals where the barrel connector power supply input goes, you should be able to see a label with the voltage needed to optimally power the pedal (it’ll say something like 9V DC). You’ll also want to pay attention to if your pedals require more current, which is measured in milliamps (mA). Chances are your 9 volt pedals have a current draw of less than 100mA, but some may require more. Your adapter has a certain capacity, and however many pedals you’re powering with it, add up their current draw and make sure that number doesn’t exceed the adapter’s capacity. Another special case to be aware of are pedals that requires AC voltage and not DC - don’t mix those up, as you can end up frying a power supply, or worse, frying your pedal!
Confused? Here’s the TL;DR:
- 90% of pedals require 9vDC, for which you can use a 9vDC “wall wart” power adapter or a 9 volt battery. Some special pedals require more voltage like 12, 18, or 24 volts.
- If you daisy chain a bunch of pedals powered by a single adapter, make sure the sum of their current draw doesn’t exceed what the power adapter can provide.
- If near the power jack of your pedal it says 9vAC then it requires AC voltage, not DC. Don’t mix these up, it’s like that “don’t cross the streams” scene from Ghostbusters.
So, What are your Options?
First of all you should know that there is no one perfect, best, or perfect one-size-fits-all solution. Each solution has pros and cons, and the one you choose will depend on your personal needs, what your current setup looks like, and of course your budget. In this guide we hope to arm you with the knowledge to properly diagnose whatever it is you have going on, and make the best buying decision possible for your hard earned money.
Option 1: Battery Power
Before you say, “But I’m here because I don’t want to power my pedals with batteries…” it’s important to understand that in terms of delivering clean power and minimizing noise and hum, the battery is best!
A chemical reaction inside the battery generates Direct Current, and the flow of current is as smooth and steady as it gets, having not gone through any conversion. That, and the battery is all by itself - it has a one-to-one relationship with your pedal, and is not being sent through any kind of chain.
So, on the plus side, batteries are the best kind of power for your pedals. The con is that, well, it’s a battery. You always need to buy news ones and carry around spares, and some pedals (like looper pedals) will deplete batteries extremely quickly. You also have to crack open your pedals each time you need to change the battery. Of all the guitarists and bassists we’ve ever met, about zero of them opt for a battery-only solution. It’s simply too impractical for most scenarios.
Option 2: The Daisy Chain
Daisy chaining is convenient, since you plug in a single power adapter into your power strip (thus only taking up one spot), and then you daisy chain as needed, with the same power cable providing power to all your pedals. This means no more dealing with dead batteries, no need for a long power strip, no need to carry around a wall wart for each pedal, and clean and tidy cable management, all at a fairly low cost.
Convenient? Yes. Problematic? Maybe. To understand why this could cause problems, let’s quickly talk about ground loops. The website Guitar Nine has one of the better explanations of ground loops we’ve come across:
Ground loops occur because most modern equipment is fitted with three-prong AC plugs. The third prong on the plug connects the chassis of your gear to AC ground, which ensures that your body cannot become the ground path for AC current. However when two pieces of equipment both have three-prong plugs and are connected together with cable, the shielding on the cable is also responsible for grounding, and a ground loop is possible. This is because if a piece of gear has two paths to ground (one, through it’s own AC cable; two, through the audio cable connected to another unit, and through that unit’s AC cable) a loop of current is formed that can act like an antenna, through which hum can be induced. You can even pick up radio interference this way.
When using a daisy chain to power multiple pedals, problematic noise due to ground loops is a common side effect. So, if powering all your pedals with batteries is on one end of the spectrum, using daisy chained power is on the other. If you compare the cost of a daisy chain setup to that of replacing batteries, the daisy chain solution will pay for itself many times over. It’s a great solution for small pedalboard setups, and pedals with uniform voltage requirements and relatively low current draws. It’s also a great budget option, but you might have to tolerate a noisy setup until you can save up for a better solution, which brings us to the next option.
Option 3: Isolated Power
We can all agree that the best of both worlds would be the clean isolation of battery power, but the convenience of a daisy chain solution. This is where an isolated power supply comes in. The barrier to entry here is price, since these power supplies can cost a pretty penny. This is without a doubt the most sought after solution by touring pro guitarists and bassists.
MusicRadar offers a nice description of what an isolated power supply does:
An isolated power supply uses a transformer to keep each of its outlets completely electrically isolated, offering a separate clean power path to each pedal rather than a daisy-chain set-up, where the power flows from one pedal to the next.
Keeping each pedal’s power isolated from other pedals mitigates the noise and hum issues of a daisy chained setup. Isolated power supplies have numerous other advantages. They often include ways to power a variety of pedals, accommodating various voltages, AC and DC requirements, and even special features like voltage “sag” to emulate dying batteries (which some vintage wah, overdrive, and fuzz pedals respond well to).
Isolated power supplies also offer the advantage of portability, since they can oftentimes be tucked neatly underneath pedalboards. The majority of professional guitarists opt for an isolated power supply solution, since it’s really the best when it comes to portability, reliability, and convenience. An isolated power supply is decidedly the priciest of all the options, but in our research the majority of people advise saving up for one if possible.
The 5 Best Pedal Power Supplies
In typical Equipboard fashion, we scour every corner of the web where musicians hang out and gather opinions and recommendations, to find out which pedal power supply solutions are worth your time and hard earned money, and which aren’t. We also look at user reviews on popular online stores and read through everything - the good, bad, and ugly. After we’ve gathered all the user opinions and recommendations, we tally them all up and come up with a master list. From that list, we’re left with the top 5, which we go out and try for ourselves.
To be honest, with pedal power supplies, there’s not really that much to try. It’s not the most fun purchase to demo, like a distortion, delay, or loop pedal would be. In our case, demoing consisted of seeing the power supplies for ourselves, examining the build quality, hooking up a few pedals and firing them up to make sure everything works accordingly. By and large our reviews take into account the experiences of hundreds of users that we read through on various forums and communities.
We sincerely hope this is helpful and helps you not only learn about pedal power, but also make an informed buying decision (and maybe snag a good deal in the process). Without further ado, the 5 top pedal power supply solutions!
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+
The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ Power Supply has become a bit of the industry standard workhorse when it comes to powering pedals. This is a true isolated power supply, meaning its eight outputs are completely electrically isolated from each other, thus eliminating the noise and hum that would ordinarily be brought about by ground loops or interaction between pedals. Aside from getting the highest number of recommendations by guitarists and bassists across all the online musician communities and forums we dug through, this is also the pedal power supply used most by touring and pro guitarists.
The U.S.A.-made Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ has a very rugged look and feel to it. It weighs roughly 2 lbs. and measures about 6 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep, with a height of 1.8 inches. The fact that this power supply is used and trusted on stages all over the world and remains this highly rated speaks to its reliability.
So, as we mentioned what you’re essentially getting here is power supply with eight outputs that are completely isolated, meaning that for “basic” use you can use it to power eight of your battery-operated effects pedals. Another reason the Pedal Power 2+ is so highly acclaimed is its versatility, meaning it will handle most of your pedals with special voltage and current requirements. Each of the eight inputs can be modified via a dip switch at the bottom of the unit, which allows the outputs to accommodate nearly any voltage/current combo. The outputs are laid out as follows:
- All eight inputs can handle your straightforward 9V Boss PSA style pedal.
- Inputs 1, 2, 3, and 4 can be switched to handle 12V Boss ACA pedals, and deliver 100mA current.
- Outputs 5 and 6 can handle pedals with higher current requirement (250mA), and the DIP switch lets you pick between powering Boss Twin pedals, or Line 6 Modeling pedals.
- Outputs 7 and 8 handle standard 9V pedals, and available controls let you “Sag” the voltage from 9V down to about 4V, emulating a dying battery for those vintage wah, overdrive, and fuzz pedals that work well with that.
- There is a courtesy AC outlet, which is convenient if you have any effects that require AC power.
The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ can actually handle even more pedal types. If you have a pedal that requires 18V (such as the MXR M117R Flanger), by purchasing this Voodoo Lab PPY 18V Y cable you can combine two 9V outputs to create an 18V supply. You can even join together two 12V outputs to power a 24V pedal. If you have a pedal like the Eventide TimeFactor which requires more current, you can purchase a current doubler cable, use it on outputs 5 and 6 which gives you 12V at 400mA.
We won’t go through every single voltage and current combination the Pedal Power 2+ can handle in this review, but if you want specifics, make sure to check the very easy-to-follow manual. You can also give Voodoo Lab a call, like we did, and you’ll be pleased to find out their customer service is excellent. You can tell them about every single one of your pedals and they’ll tell you if the Pedal Power 2+ can handle them.
The versatility the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ offers is only part of the reason for its popularity. The other, arguably more important part is that by providing isolated outputs, you’re assured of a clean, hiss-free signal. Check out these excerpts we took from various reviews of the Pedal Power 2+:
...clean power, helps cut down hiss, reliable...
All of my effects sounded much more clear than ever before. No noise, no hum, only clean isolated power for 8 effects, absolutely worth the money.
If you have not tried the Voodoo Labs isolated supplies then you have no idea how quiet your pedals can be. You might just think all that noise is supposed to be there and you'll never know how quiet your rig can be unless you give this power supply a try.
Bottom Line: Every now and then, a piece of gear comes along that becomes the industry standard choice in a certain category. In the case of pedal power supplies, the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ take the well-deserved crown. Line any gear, it’s not completely without flaw. The price tag is admittedly quite high, costing about as much as a nice boutique guitar pedal. Also, eight outputs can be limiting to those with massive pedalboards, and despite its versatility there are probably some pedals out there the Pedal Power 2+ cannot easily power (if in doubt, get in contact with the company). All in all it’s very difficult not to recommend the Pedal Power 2+. Perhaps if you only have a two or three pedals, aren’t concerned with noise and hum, or simply cannot afford it right now, those might be reasons to skip out on it. Otherwise, it might be one of the best purchases you could make for your sound, serving as the solid backbone and delivering clean power to your coveted pedal collection. Best of the Best.
Truetone 1 SPOT
As we covered above, an isolated power supply is the most ideal solution to power your pedals, but even the entry-level price keeps it just out of reach for many musicians. Luckily, a very economical solution exists that will allow you to power all of your pedals, and not have to carry around a bag full of batteries, or multiple adapters and a power strip. This solution (which we talked about above) is a daisy chain, and the most popular one is the Truetone 1 SPOT (for those of you that may have heard it by a different name, the company used to be called Visual Sound). The Truetone 1 SPOT comes in two primary configurations: one is the Truetone 1 SPOT 9V DC Adapter by itself by itself. The other is the combo pack, which is the one we’ll refer to more since it’s an all-in-one solution that comes with everything you need.
The 1 SPOT is very straightforward. You have a 9 volt power supply, which is the only thing you have to plug into an outlet. It only takes up this one spot, hence the name of the product. From there, you have a multi-plug cable with eight barrel connectors chained to each other, each of which can be used to power a pedal (you have about 10 ft. to play with which should be plenty). For convenience, an L6 converter is included to power Line 6 modeling pedals, as well as 3.5mm and Battery Clip Converters to power vintage style pedals.
Earlier, we talked about how the sum of the current your pedals draw cannot exceed that of the power adapter. This is definitely true with the 1 SPOT. Luckily, it can handle an ample 1700 mA, which is enough for a medium-sized pedalboard (provided you’re not using a bunch of current-hungry digital delay pedals).
While we love the ease of use of the Truetone 1 SPOT, at this low price you are making some compromises. For one, it’s not as versatile as some other power supplies. You can power the most common pedals with it, provided they are 9vDC. The 1 SPOT won’t be able to handle 12V, 18V, or 24V pedals, as well as any pedals that require AC instead of DC.
Because you aren’t isolating the power going to each of your pedals, the 1 SPOT is prone to noise and ground loop hum. It’s hit and miss, however, with roughly 50-60% of 1 SPOT users complaining about noise issues. Some users deem the noise unacceptable, while many accept this is the price to pay for… well, paying such a low price for this power supply!
Bottom Line: While it’s certainly not perfect, it’s great that a solution like this exists and is very accessible. It’s certainly good enough, and will solve power issues for 80% of pedals out there (the vast majority of pedals are 9vDC). As far as experiencing annoying noise issues, it will be hit or miss, and largely depend on the pedals you are powering with it and how they interact with each other. If we generalize, we can definitely recommend the 1 SPOT as a nice solution to any “bedroom guitarist” on a budget, or for a backup pedalboard. If you have a more serious setup, perform live, or for any reason cannot tolerate noise/hum and want to feed your pedals the cleanest power, we would recommend looking at an entry level isolated pedal power supply instead. Still, the 1 SPOT is reliable, and it’s hard not to give it the award for Best Bang for your Buck.
T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior
The T-Rex Engineering Fuel Tank Junior is a very nice and compact isolated power supply solution, and received the next-highest amount of recommendations after the Voodoo Lab and the 1 SPOT. It can power five effects pedals via its five outputs, so it falls just short of the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus’ eight outputs. But here’s the thing - it’s just as solid and reliable as the Voodoo Lab unit, it’s lighter and more compact, and best of all, it costs quite a bit less!
Alright, so let’s dig into what it can do, and if it’s a good pedal power option for you. First of all the unit itself feels solid as a rock. T-Rex Engineering is a great company, and they manufacture several boutique guitar effects pedals people know and love, so you know any product you’re getting from them will be quality. The Fuel Tank Junior weighs in at about 1 lb. and measures around 4 inches wide x 3 inches deep x 1.4 inches tall. The footprint is rather small, and it’s definitely smaller and lighter than the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+. This typically means any pedalboard the Voodoo Lab can be mounted on, the T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior can be mounted on as well. And in fact, the Fuel Tank Junior is better for more compact pedalboards, so take that into consideration.
Getting down to what matters the most - what kinds of pedals can the T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior handle? We’ll come right out and say this unit is not nearly as versatile as the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power, and is best suited for those with relatively uncomplicated pedal power needs, and powering a smaller pedal collection. The Fuel Tank Junior has 5 isolated 9 Volt DC outputs, each delivering 120mA. What this basically means is that if you want to take advantage of the isolation, you can power one pedal per each output, which means the Fuel Tank Junior can handle a maximum of five pedals. That is, provided each of those five pedals accepts 9V, and draws no more than 120 mA of current. As we’ve covered before, 80-90% of pedals on the market fall into this camp.
If you have a pedal that needs 18 volts (and consumes no more than 120 mA), you can buy the T-Rex voltage doubler cable which lets you use two of the Fuel Tank Junior’s outputs and combine them for 18 volts (9+9=18). It’s a bummer that you have to sacrifice two outputs to power a single pedal, but hey at least you can do that! But, again, make sure your 18V pedal does not consume more than 120 mA, otherwise you cannot use the Fuel Tank Junior for it. Also, you unfortunately cannot power pedals that need 12 volts with this unit.
If you love the idea of the T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior but need to power more than five pedals, you can of course daisy chain off of a single output (so long as all the pedals you’re plugging into this daisy chain are 9V, and the TOTAL current draw is less than 120 mA). The problem with this, as with any other daisy chain, is that you lose the benefits of isolation, since you’re sharing power amongst multiple pedals.
The vast majority of users that own the Fuel Tank Junior report absolutely rock solid, dead quiet operation with their pedals. Meaning, this thing delivers exactly what a high-quality isolated power supply should. In our many hours of research, we couldn’t really find any negative remarks about the Fuel Tank causing any sort of noise or hum.
Bottom Line: Whether to power your pedals with the T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior really depends on your setup, and how much you think you’ll be expanding in the future. We love this power supply as a very reasonably priced way to deliver clean isolated power to your pedals. These pros and cons should help you decide.
- Isolated power for up to five pedals
- Reliable, high quality, quiet, and compact enough to fit on most pedalboards
- Using the T-Rex voltage doubler cable you can power 18V pedals
- You can daisy-chain several pedals to one single output
- Dual voltage switch, switchable between 115 and 230V, so you can use it worldwide
- Pro-quality isolated power supply for significantly less than the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+
- Five outputs is limiting for a large pedal collection
- Does not support 12 volt pedals
- Does not support pedals that draw more current than 120 mA
If you absolutely love T-Rex Engineering but those cons are a deal breaker for you, you need either the Fuel Tank Classic or FuelTank Chameleon (but now you’re looking at significantly higher price tags). If only the best clean & isolated power will do for your coveted guitar and bass pedals, but you don’t quite have enough saved up for the Voodoo Lab, we strongly recommend this compact unit from T-Rex Engineering.
Walrus Audio Phoenix
The Walrus Audio Phoenix Power Supply makes our best pedal power supply list solely because it has some of the coolest artwork we’ve ever seen on a pedal. We hope you found this review helpful.
OK, we’re joking… but only partially. Walrus Audio does indeed have some of the finest pedal artwork around. But since beauty is only skin deep, let’s explore the features of this power supply, what it can power, our impressions from using it, and if it’s the right power supply for you. To recap what we’ve covered thus far, we have the outstanding Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ which is the all-purpose workhorse (good for medium-to-large setups), the budget-friendly Truetone 1 SPOT, and the T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior which is a great isolated power supply for smaller pedalboard setups. The Walrus Audio Phoenix Clean Power Supply is the biggest of them all, with 15 isolated outputs which is great for even the biggest pedal collections.
As a reminder, an isolated power supply like this one makes sure power is not shared in a chain between all your pedals. Sharing power can be a recipe for ground loops and nasty hum in your signal, which is downright unacceptable in many situations. With the Walrus Phoenix, the 15 outputs mean you can power up to 15 guitar effects pedals, with guaranteed isolation and clean power going to each one. To do this, it uses two internal custom wound toroidal transformers. To say this power supply is versatile is an understatement. No matter your voltage and current requirements, it can handle it. Here’s the breakdown of the outputs:
- Eight outputs will power 9V pedals, and provide 100mA each.
- Four of the outputs provide 300mA current, which means you can run power-hungry Strymon and Eventide pedals.
- Two of the outputs have a toggle to run them at 9V or 12V, 100mA (12V pedal owners, rejoice).
- One output includes a toggle switch option for 9V or 18V, again at 100mA (18V pedal owners, rejoice).
- On the other side of the unit, it even has a courtesy AC out (just like the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+).
As you can see, the outputs on the Walrus Audio Phoenix are very well thought out, and can accommodate any pedal setup - from the more simplistic one consisting of the more standard 9VDC pedals, to the more complicated one consisting of power-hungry digital delay pedals and odd power requirements.
From a build quality standpoint, the Phoenix is awesome. It just feels so nice and polished, but also very tour-worthy. As we mentioned, the artwork is fantastic, and while artwork doesn’t affect tone, there’s just something intangible and cool about a very well designed pedal or power supply. In terms of size, it’s on the larger side: 9.75” long, 2.6” wide, 2” high. While we were unable to test how it fits on a variety of pedalboards, Walrus Audio maintains that “the Phoenix fits under most pedal boards such as the PedalTrain PT-2 and up.” We’ll take them at their word, and haven’t heard otherwise when reading through user reviews.
On the downside, one of the chief complaints of the Phoenix is that the outputs are placed very close together, which makes them difficult to use because of how crowded wires get. Furthermore, the clearance between the outputs and the bottom of the unit make it so that it doesn’t quite sit completely flat on a surface. After testing it for ourselves, we found these are minor complaints. You might have to mess with it a bit to make sure your cables are situated at the best angles, but we were able to quickly figure it out. We almost get the feeling that this power supply is so superior, that people had to nitpick to find flaws. It’s handy that the 15 cables included with the Phoenix are of varying lengths, which helps with keeping your pedalboard nice and tidy.
Bottom Line: The Walrus Audio Phoenix carries the price tag of a premium product. It’s by no means budget minded, and is the priciest power supply we recommend in this guide. Having said that, for a large pedal power supply, it has no equal. The quality is premium, it will handle most voltage/current combos you throw at it, it delivers isolated clean power to each of your pedals, and it looks great. If you have a small pedal collection, buying this one might be a bit overkill. If you have a medium sized pedal collection and want room to grow beyond the eight outputs of the Voodoo Lab unit, you might want to look at this one if you can swallow the price. If you have a large (8+) guitar/bass pedal collection, and demand one of the highest quality power supplies on the market, this is the one to get.
Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS12
Look out, Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus, you’ve got competition, and its name is Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS12. Truetone is the company behind the very popular 1 SPOT daisy chain solution (which is also in our top 5 list), and the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 is their premium offering. This power brick offers twelve isolated outputs for clean, noise-free operation of your pedals.
Both in physical dimension and the number of pedals it can power, the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 sits between the Voodoo Lab and Walrus units in this guide. It weighs a hefty 2.35 lbs. and measures 8.12” wide, 3.37” deep, and 2” tall. This power supply feels very rugged; the housing is all steel, and it truly feels like it could stand up to the rigors of touring. Let’s talk about the twelve outputs, and what kinds of pedals the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 can power:
- Two outputs are 18 volt DC (100mA)**
- Four of the outputs are 9 volt DC (two at 250mA, and two at a hefty 500mA)
- Four of the outputs are switchable between 9 volt DC and 12 volt DC (100mA)
- One output is variable between 4 volt DC and 9 volt DC (100mA)
- One output is 9 volt AC
**If you don’t need the two 18 volt DC outputs, you can use Truetone’s 18V To 9V converter cable to convert them, thus gaining those two spots.
As you can see, it’s extremely versatile. It will handle power-hungry pedals like the Strymon blueSky, Eventide TimeFactor, and Digtech Whammy with no issue. The inclusion of a 9 volt AC output is unique to this power supply. If you have a pedal that needs 9VAC (as opposed to DC), rather than use the pedal’s own power supply or the courtesy outlet like on the Voodoo Lab unit, it can be powered by the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 just like any other pedal.
In terms of operation, the Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS12 does exactly what it needs to. It provides clean, isolated power to up to twelve pedals. We had zero noise issues with it, and neither did anyone in the reviews we read through. In terms of hooking up your pedals to the 1 SPOT, one thing in particular that Truetone does very well is include 12 power cables of varying lengths that are color coded. This allows you to keep your pedalboard wiring nice and neat. You also get some adapters to accommodate pedals with different power inputs.
Another nice feature is the inclusion of two mounting brackets and and self threading screws, although we wish the brackets were more universal instead of being purpose-made for Pedaltrain pedalboards. For what it’s worth, several of the reviews we read of the 1 SPOT Pro mentioned that mounting it to their Pedaltrain board was easy and straightforward.
Bottom Line: The Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS12 is truly a worthy competitor to the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus. At the time of writing, we’re seeing about a $10 difference between the two, so neither of them really has the edge in the price department. The 1 SPOT Pro is built like a tank, and handles almost anything you can throw at it. If you have questions about compatibility with your specific pedals, just get in touch with Truetone; we’ve heard nothing but good things about their support. If you have between 9 and 12 pedals, the 1 SPOT Pro seems like a much better investment than buying a pair of Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2s. The Voodoo Lab power supply has been around longer, and is much more ubiquitous on pro guitarist and bassist pedalboards. The 1 SPOT Pro can handle more pedals and is a tad more versatile. For our money, you can’t really go wrong with either.