The Skinny on 9v Pedal Power Supplies Print
Monday, 30 March 2009 14:50
By Benjamin Fargen - GJD Contibutor
So you have you’re brand new snazzy pedal board all laid out and assembled with your favorite new and vintage pedals…but you think to yourself….”this is the third brick of 9Volt batteries I have gone through in 2 months?...not cool…I need a better way to power this battery buster!”

This time we will explore 3 different ways to get the precious power needed to a pedal board… whether it is an off the shelf solution or custom built DIY style, I’ve got you covered.

Single “Wall wart” style pedal power source:

There are several companies including “One Spot” and “Godlike” that make high current capacity single outlet transformers (some up to 1700ma) that can power multiple pedals (15-20!) via a daisy chain wire system. These units are affordable and work well for most players using standard 9V pedals. For custom boutique pedal users…please check with the company before using this type of power supply…I have had conversations with many pedal builders that frown upon these units because they are an unregulated power source. Certain pedal units can be damaged that do not have a self regulating power supply input…that being said… I have used this type of power supply with many different pedals and never personally had any problems or issues.

Balanced transformer multi output pedal power supply:

Voodoo labs, Dunlop, Pedal pad and others offer a more sophisticated solution for you’re pedal board power needs. This unit’s feature balanced transformer power supplies and regulated voltages with isolated individual feeds. These improved features provide a lower noise floor and elimination of potential ground loops. Balanced transformers designs also remove the large magnetic field that causes hum in any audio path near it which can happen when using multiple wall wart style power plugs. Some of these units even provide a way to adjust and control the individual output voltage. This could be used to simulate a weak or dying battery… which can be a cool sound for certain overdrive pedals that need the top end mellowed out.

DIY Balanced transformer multi output pedal power supply

So you’re saying to yourself…”the voodoo labs unit looks cool….but it won’t fit on my board” or “I don’t have the BREAD to spring for that right now Daddy O”... Well…good news for you handy DIY gear freaks out there. Several web sites such as and have super cool articles complete with Mouser parts list to build a home brew pedal board power supply. This gives you another pedal board power supply option that fits you’re needs and you’re budget!

Benjamin Fargen