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Throbak sTone Bender power supply noise?!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by ellisvertellis, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    I got this sTone Bender a month ago and been fooling around with it, with mixed results. Once you get it going in the right setup, it's beautiful, massive, vicious and very old school a far as tone benders go! It's not a very gainy fuzz, unless you flick the pre gain switch (which I don't particularly like), but it delivers more than enough fuzz to get along with any slightly crunchy amp.
    I would love it, if it weren't for the noise level! I read that the tone bender circuit is a little noisy by design. They used to be only battery powered as well, but this one has a 9V power input, like modern pedals.
    Great! But it sucks!!! I use a Voodoo Labs pedal power or a T Rex Fuel Tank. The Noise is quite frankly unbearable with a power plug connected. If there's a battery in the unit at the same time, it's even worse! When you pull out the power plug, the noise drops to normal or reasonable levels. You're basically obliged to use a battery...
    I can not imagine a reputable company like Throbak would produce an anomaly like that, so I wonder if there's anything wrong with the pedal. It looks brand new, but I'm not the first owner.

    Any ideas??
     

  2. RustleFuzz

    RustleFuzz Tele-Meister

    299
    Dec 12, 2007
    Nashville TN
    Are you using the right adaptor, the center tip one (opposite of a Boss)? That might be it, and you can burn up your pedal. I have one and just use a battery. Also I noticed on mine if the switch on the side is towards me, it introduces a lot of noise. Flip it away, nice and quiet. The switch on top just adds dirt/fuzz, just a matter of taste but I haven’t noticed any exact noise in either position on that one. Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018

  3. RustleFuzz

    RustleFuzz Tele-Meister

    299
    Dec 12, 2007
    Nashville TN
    Needs center tip positive adapter, I guess that would be a better description.
     

  4. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    Wait what?! It does say "9V Neg. Center" on the bottom of the pedal… That's standard Boss, right?
     

  5. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    The side switch cuts some highs and with it a little hiss, but nothing unusual.

    Thanks for your input btw!
     

  6. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    There is a manual, i just Found out. On powering the pedal:

    "Any standard 9 volt negative center pedal power supply will also work with this pedal. However this is a
    positive ground effect and must have its own dedicated power supply. It cannot use a supply that also powers
    other pedals. Also when using an external power supply put a piece of tape around the battery clip terminals to
    avoid the rare possibility of internal shorting. An external power supply may also make the pedal slightly
    noisier due to power supply noise."

    So it is indeed "power supply noise". I was under the inpression that dedicated high end power supplies don't introduce any noise, but apparently that is not the case...

    Just to be sure: "... and must have its own dedicated power supply. It cannot use a supply that also powers
    other pedals"

    So the T-REX or voodoo lab are still game, right? It's about isolated power supply, right?
     

  7. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    Their basically telling you not to daisy chain or use a Y cable. Your PP and trex are dedicated power supplies, each tap is a isolated supply and they shouldn't add any noise.
     

  8. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    Ok, thank you for confirming that!
     

  9. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    Australia
    Warning ! Forget using wall power with vintage fuzz’s.
    Use a battery and run your fuzz first from the guitar.
    Yes, a lot of modern builds have the power supply input, but I’ve had results like you when using daisy chained or wall wart power.
     

  10. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    I'm slowly getting to that conclusion too. It sounds good with battery, so maybe I should just use it the old school way.
    Still, seems like a waist of time building a power jack input into the unit then...
     

  11. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    Australia
    ^^^^ true it’s a waste to have the 9v input built in if it don’t work so well, but some folks wouldn’t buy them if they didn’t have one. I have a main board with all my compatible powered pedals linked and drop in a battery powered fuzz at the front. They hardly draw much power so a battery lasts a long time.
     

  12. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    That's true, unless when you leave your jack connected, right? Something extra to keep an eye on, since my board has the guitar jacks always connected.
    Btw, if I put this fuzz in front of another unbuffered GE fuzz (Analogman NKT), will it affect the second one?
     

  13. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    Australia
    ^^^ yes, of course you gotta un plugto make the battery last.
    my fuzz pedals are free range so I have a lead dangling off my board and plug a fuzz in when I set up. Not sure about the fuzz’s side by side. Sometimes a buffered pedal helps. My fulltone soulbender sounded much better with a TS9 beside it. Without the TS9 it was too woolly. Experiment and let us know what works for you.
     
    ellisvertellis likes this.

  14. Iago

    Iago Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 18, 2006
    Brazil
    I have a few fuzzes, including a TB MKII clone and they're quieter than some OD's I've tried/built. All I'm using is one of those cheapest of cheap power supplies you can get at eBay for 10$ or even less. It may be the case that (just wondering here, ok?) the transistors Throbak uses just don't take power supplies well.

    Meanwhile, you could check and see if they use any type of power supply filtering inside the pedal, like an electrolytic capacitor from the 9V in to ground, which could help a bit with the noise.
     

  15. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    I'm going to try a standard 1spot tonight to see if there's any difference, but I'm guessing the reaction to all power supplies will be the same. And yes, it'll be the Thobak design then.

    I have no idea what a power supply filter would look like. I'm also not planning on doing any mods to the pedal. If it keeps bothering me, I will sell it and I'd rather sell it in the original status.
    I do have a hard time actually selling fuzzes though... :oops:
    Thnx for your input!
     
    Iago likes this.

  16. RustleFuzz

    RustleFuzz Tele-Meister

    299
    Dec 12, 2007
    Nashville TN
    Glad you got it figured out! I should have just waited until I got home and double checked mine...forgot it’s the Fulltone Soul Bender that has the other jack. I tried my sTone Bender on a pedalboard powered years ago, just remember it went crazy and when I switched it on other pedals immediately turned off, etc, so I just went to using a battery. Great sounding pedal though. You’d think for as expensive as they are Throbak’s website would be a little more detailed and thorough about specs.
     

  17. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    Michigan
    I don't know if the Throbak uses it or not, but it sounds like it has an inverter circuit inside that flips the polarity so you don't need positive ground and those a fairly well known to cause noise with other pedals. I think they mean to just use it on it's own power supply instead of with other pedals.

    Try the One Spot with only that pedal hooked to it and see if its quieter. If it is you could just continue with that one or find another cheap supply that doesn't have as many taps on it so you just have a single, short PS for the fuzz.
     

  18. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    But theoretically using a single tap on a PP2 supply for that pedal and using a one spot for it should be exactly the same. The PP has isolation transformers for each tap on the unit, the one spot, its isolation transformer is wall wart you plug into wall/strip. One spot is a switching type transformer, PP are linear toroidal transformers.

    One thing you might check for is proximity noise to the supplies, some fuzz are very sensitive to it. Try hooking up fuzz to supply with some longer cables, then pick up and move fuzz away from supply and see if noise changes as you move fuzz away from supply.

    Also being as this fuzz also inverts internally all it would take is a bad patch cable with with a janky connection to cause noise when plug in a power supply.

    Also check and make sure all the nuts on audio jacks of the pedal are firmly tightened, if pedal uses metal jack nuts/washers to ground to case one being loose can disrupt the grounding scheme. In fact check all your pedals jack nuts, especially one next in line. Sometimes you can even loosen jack nuts, go in and scrape paint away from case where those nuts/washers contact case and then re tighten them can improve ground contact substantially. If jacks use insulating nuts, which in this case it probably does, you can ignore this part.

    But yea I love using carbon zinc dollar store batteries in some fuzz and od. I love my danelectro battery billionaire box, it's awesome. Has a switch for killing batteries when your done and you can change batteries in about 10sec.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

  19. ellisvertellis

    ellisvertellis Tele-Holic

    925
    Nov 29, 2012
    belgium
    Thanks for all your replied guys, much appreciated!!

    I will try all the things that have been mentioned here. The jack nuts ground thing in particular seems interesting! Tonight i've been playing it with the battery in it. It's simply put a noisy pedal! The more you turn the gain knob, the more apparent it gets (duh). I had quite a few pedals over the years and I must say this is one of the noisiest ones so far. On par with an old school dallas arbiter style treble booster...
     

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