Power, noise and daisy chains

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by VerySlowHand, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    I'm putting together a pedalboard and need some advice / reassurance about power supply and potential noise. Home use only, into a Blackstar ID Stereo 40 amplifier. Desktop computer, new electrical wiring throughout house in 2019 and new LED ceiling and desk lights in practice room. (Sorry if this is too much information... :rolleyes:)

    The board has 1x 500mA and 7x <100mA pedals, as follows:

    TC Polytune 3
    TC Dark Matter distortion
    TC Honey Pot fuzz
    ZOOM G3n (for compression, modulations, noise gate... and for when I get the urge to go effects crazy)
    TC Echobrain delay
    TC Skysurfer reverb
    TC Flashback 2 delay
    BOSS RC-3 looper.

    Will a simple 1 Spot 'plug' with its x8 loop daisy chain be a good low noise choice, or should I look at something else? And if the latter, please explain why.

    I was looking at power bricks, but don't know anything about them, or what 'isolated outputs' is all about... I assume some sort of shielding, but that I don't need to go that far.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    Noisy LED and fluorescent lights will create noise no matter what you do. If there is a dimmer controlling any lights, that will only make things worse.
    Big screen TVs put out noise even when they're turned off.

    I don't have a fancy power supply or conditioner, but I got rid of, or turned off the noisy lights and everything is OK.
     
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  3. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    Daisy chains can be noisy depending on the pedals/pedal combinations, sometimes you can get a high pitched whine coming through your signal especially when mixing digital pedals with analogue ones. Isolated outputs are just that, isolated from each other which will stop the above happening, it's like having a separate power supply for each pedal.
     
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  4. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    I have a decent Prime Surge Protector. Not super expensive but gets the job done. I use it with a one spot and daisy chain power supply. Low to zero noise floor issues aside from the normal.....


    Always take it to places and use it to filter all the the plugs or whatever power supply I use

    Edit: @Switchy actually use a Prime Surge Protector to filter home or other noise problems at places. Not sure what it does but itnhelps alot and I think they are affordable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  5. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is it your objective to use only one if you can get away with it? The 1-Spot is spec'ed at 1700mA and you may be near 1200mA. Sounds good, but I think it's good practice to power digital stuff separately from a daisy chain of analog stuff. Did any of your pedals come with their own supply? You could give it a shot, and worse case maybe buy two and hedge your bet. (EDIT: bad idea, see post #17)

    You also have to watch where a 1-spot is plugged in. It has universal 120V/240V input and is a switching supply in a plastic case. That spells noise all by itself, and usually gets noisier with higher consumption. Keep it physically away from your audio and DC power cords if you can help it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  6. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    1 spot or anything similar is an awful choice for low noise
     
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  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As noted, digital pedals commonly do not play well with daisy chains. The clock noise from the processors in the pedals is what gets you, and it travels through a daisy chain to the other pedals on that same power source, which amplifies the noise.
     
  8. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    I survived with a One Spot daisy chain for about a year before things got noisy. It depends on the needs of the pedals and how many you run simultaneously. Delays and loopers tend to be power hungry. Some pedals like a clean source of juice. I bit the bullet and got a Pro power supply with isolated, regulated, filtered lines. There was definitely a difference in the sound. If you're a tone junky it's worth it.
     
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  9. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    @VerySlowHand

    This is what I use. Have been using it forever not really knowing why or how....but am picky about my noise floor and this helps alot everywhere and anywhere for me with my one spot and amps.

    If you get something similar just for pedals make sure theres a similar type surge protector. It just filters out the bad stuff.

    Also your better of getting a surge protector than a "power conditioner" as surge protectors are used more narrowly to protect your gear from unwanted volts and does a better job at filtering noise out and is used for computers and other electronics specifically for that.

    I didnt know any of this.....just used the fancy power strip my dad handed down to me and it was the only one that worked well vs the other conditioners and power strips :)

    But yeah its a Surge Protector. Get one

    http://www.digikey.ca/Web Export/Supplier Content/TrippLite_95/PDF/TrippLite_ChoosingSurgeSuppressor.pdf

    https://www.cnet.com/how-to/10-things-you-should-know-about-surge-protectors/


    Good luck man


    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006G69UT4/?tag=tdpri-20


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    I own the 1-spot x8 that you speak of and it works well for my needs (bedroom virtuoso) and I also use a Furman 15A power conditioner.

    If you're a gigging musician I would lean towards an isolated power supply as well as a power conditioner.

    Also, change out your old patch cables (something I recently did to great results) and get one of those cheap 3-prong outlet testors that are $2 in most hardware store's "value bin".
     
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  11. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    Think of a pie. Cut it into slices and serve on individual plates. The opposite (not isolated) would be handing out forks and everyone digs in.
     
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  12. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    Edit: also never ever ever cut the ground prong off whatever goes into the wall. You may break a ground loop problem with the trade-off being YOU are now the ground.
     
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  13. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    Power conditioner is just a bing word sort of....regular power strips have these and already do this

    A more affordable Surge Protector would do more and sound better for your gear.

    With you on Isolated Power supply but with a Surge Protector I find the Daisy chain one spot more than bearable and super bueno!

    Iso power would make it better but just using a simple Surge Protecto does wonders. Also more affordable.

    Do agree on getting rid of cheap cables.


    Just did a thread on cables OP. Check it out. Was going to go Mogami or Dimarzio......they had the top 10 worst capacitance out of 79 cables.....


    MXR, Mooer, Klotz and Rockboard made it on top. Go for either MXR or Rockboard as they are good builds and made in the West I believe. Germany makes Rockboard and MXR is made by America. Mooer is a good option too but went with MXR as its made in America and competes so well vs these top 4 and just trashes cables costing 5 or 10 times more as with the case with Mogami Platinum and Dimarzio



    Super cheap and super good quality.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  14. The-Kid

    The-Kid Tele-Meister

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    wow great analogy
     
  15. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a tuner that was smoked on a daisy chain supply, and an O.D. pedal that popped whenever engaged or disengaged. Never had a problem with brick supplies.
     
  16. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    I'm not totally sure, but I've been using a one spot and a daisy chain for the past 15 years and thats probably why I don't make any money.
     
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  17. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a Caline CP-4 that only costs a little more than a 1-spot.
     
  18. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Regardless of which power supply you purchase, I have found that plugging the amp into a separate power wall outlet - not the same outlet that you use for your pedal board power will reduce some potential hum; so I'd try that before going to more elaborate plans. I've used a One Spot for a weekly gig, almost ten years for a board with 5 pedals at a time, and the only noise I get is from the single coil pickups on my tele. Of course, this is in a decrepit old brewpub, so noise levels from the pickups are immaterial when we're playing.

    If you plan on doing some recording that might be a different kettle of fish.

    EDIT: I've used MXR "pancake head" patch cables all these years, and I think they are not contributing any noise to my signal chain, however, I don't have an independent lab study available to prove this :cool:
     
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  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    For home use you should be fine with a daisy chain. That's all I use for 7-8 pedals gigging for many years now. I'm using two medium size wall warts. For some reason I have found octave type of devices to be noisy though in general.
     
  20. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    Be aware too, that cheaper ‘isolated’ power supplies are playing pretty lose with the term. True isolated power supplies cost proper money. Think Voodoo Lab, MXR, Strymon, et al., rather than something a quarter the price.

    There are plenty of sites talking about this. You could *start* here.

    https://reverb.com/c/buying-guide-pedalboard-power-supply

    Edit: Sorry, forgot to add, if it were me in your situation, I’d just start with the One Spot and see how it went.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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