A proper guitar power supply is essential to ensure that your pedals give the right sound when plugged in and don’t embarrass you while playing live. But do guitar pedals come with the power supply?
Unfortunately, the guitar pedals don’t come with a power supply anymore. You have to purchase both the power adapter and power cable separately. Here I will tell you the following things:
- What is a guitar pedal power supply?
- Various ways to power your guitar pedal
- Things to consider before buying a pedal power supply
What is a guitar pedal power supply?
A guitar pedal power supply provides power to the pedals of the electric guitar from the main electricity. An external pedal power supply eliminates the need for a battery to use the pedal effectively. Using batteries as a power source can be costly and inefficient. With a pedal power supply outlet, your guitar will have constant voltage and always be available for use.
Forms of guitar pedal power supply
Power supply for guitar pedals can be in a number of forms. But the most common ways are:
- Mains to the pedal power cable
- Power brick with multiple power outlet cables (It is used for supplying power to multiple pedals).
The problem is guitar pedals won’t come with a power supply. So how can I know which power source should I buy. Which one will be perfect for my guitar pedal. According to my knowledge, most guitar pedals require 9V power to function properly. But there may be some variations, and you must also look at some other things before buying a power supply. Now the things to consider before buying a guitar pedal power supply.
Things to consider before purchasing a guitar pedal power supply
There are tons of companies in the market which are producing and supplying all sorts of pedals. This may cause a nuisance in finding a suitable power supply for them as they don’t give a power supply for guitar pedals. You must carefully choose the right voltage and current power supply to ensure the best sound from the pedal.
Some power bricks are versatile, with an option of alternating current and voltage output. Others have fixed voltage and current output. Some power supply cables have a ‘one size fits all approach. So with so much diversity in the market, you have to provide enough juice to pedal to get optimum sound. Here are some things to consider before making a decision.
- Most guitar pedals use a 9V power supply and same-size power adapter. So it’s easier to purchase the right power supply in most cases.
- If you have an old or vintage guitar pedal, then opt for a 12V or 18V power source.
- You can use power supplies with switching voltage if you are unsure about the voltage requirement of your vintage guitar pedal.
Current is another essential thing to consider while buying a guitar pedal power supply. A high amount of current can damage the guitar pedal. Similarly, a lesser current can’t help the pedal produce sound accurately.
- Most of the pedals need a set amount of current, which most of the power supplies can provide.
- Some robust pedals need more current than the standard amount.
- If you have a powerful pedal, then opt for high-end power supplies. High-end power supplies have multiple outputs with distinct current values on each output.
- Most guitar pedal power supplies use a negative polarity center.
- The power supply’s polarity should match the pedal’s polarity for it to function properly.
- The power supply will not power the pedal if the polarity is not right.
All modern guitar pedals have specific polarity mentioned on them or packages using an international negative center polarity symbol. Similarly, the negative center polarity symbol is also present in the power supply. If the symbol on the pedal and power supply match, it means that the polarity is right.
AC Powered vs. Battery Powered
There are two types of power supply, AC powered, or battery powered. The better and more common one is AC powered power supply.
- AC power supply is reliable, handy, and doesn’t need charging. You can use your guitar pedal as much as you want.
- Battery-powered power supplies are the perfect choice for busking. They are easily portable and can help buskers with their outdoor performances.
Isolated vs. Not Isolated
Isolated power supplies produce less noise and prevent electrical interference.
An isolated circuit doesn’t connect directly to the AC power circuit. That’s why it has less noise and less risk of electric shock. Most of the power supplies have isolated outputs. But some power supplies may not have isolated outputs, and you can run into unwanted electric noise. So make sure the power supply you are buying has isolated output.
Different ways you can power your guitar pedal
An external power supply isn’t the only option to power the guitar pedal. Maybe that’s why manufacturers no longer give power supply with guitar pedals.
If you don’t have a power cable and power adapter, then don’t worry; you still have other options that can also be used as a power supply for the guitar pedal. I will tell you all the options that can power your guitar pedal.
Use an external supply to power the guitar pedal.
Most guitar pedals use an external power supply. But one thing you don’t know is there are few types of external power supply. You should select the right power supply according to your budget and needs.
DC adaptor is perfect for simple pedals. If you use only one guitar pedal, this power source is an excellent option. With a DC adaptor, you can use your guitar pedal straight away.
Daisy chaining is the perfect fit if you use multiple pedals, preferably 2-5 pedals. With daisy chaining, you can connect multiple pedals to one power source.
A dedicated power supply or power brick can be used if you have a decent-sized pedalboard. With power brick, you can plug all pedals into the power supply.
Use Battery to power your guitar pedal
Although an external power supply has many advantages, you still can’t use it if you want to play guitar outside the home. You can use a battery power supply for this purpose. If you only use a small number of pedals or want to go busking, a battery power supply is a right choice.
Guitar pedals don’t have a power supply, so you must buy them separately. External and battery power supplies are the options you can have. But before buying any power supply, look out for these things: voltage, current, and polarity.