First of all: let’s make something VERY clear – I’m no technician … I don’t know much about what’s going on inside my amps, pedals and stuff. I’m a pro guitar player who is really serious about how my set-up sounds. And even though I have many years experience with this, I still get surprised. Here are some experiences that might save you some problems with hum.
I’ve written about my pedals, boards and my power supplies. I’ve also written about my many learning experiences from setting everything up correctly, so it should be quite easy to make everything work.
I was ready to mount everything to my board. I will describe all my pedals as average or above. The power supply – the Ciokolate is awesome. I had the order of the pedals and had decided what outputs I should use on the Ciokolate. The pedals got the right voltage and the right current. I used the right cables so the polarity was ok and they all were on an isolated outputs. It should be working – and it did!!
But I noticed some seriously hum from my Plexi Drive deluxe.
The Cioks Ciokolate is a serious and professional power supply – strong as an elephant, available to adapt to different surroundings just as many human beings … and delicious (at least for us guitar players) as a candy bar.
Why should I buy a new power supply?
It makes sense to ask me that, since I’ve written several posts about how fond I am of the Pussy power supply (also made by Cioks). When I returned from the oversea trip, I did with my new smaller board, I wanted to use my bigger board for the final recordings for my coming album. Suddenly I remembered that I stole the Pussy Power from that board right before I left for Canada. Since I’m very happy about my new smaller board, and have no intentions of letting it go, I needed a new power supply for my old board. I was just about to order another Pussy Power, when I remembered something.
An additional experience with the Cioks Pussy power supply
This summer I was invited to come to Canada and play with the great saxophone player Walle Larsson and his band. Since I had to travel overseas I had to resize my pedalboard and make some serious decisions about what to bring and what to leave at home.
Overseas travels and power supplies
Since I’ve been into racks for years I haven’t traveled overseas with a pedalboard before. I’ve heard from several friends that the solution often is batteries to avoid troubles with hum, but since I wanted to bring pedals that needed more power than 9 volts I had to find the a good solution. The solution wasn’t that far away … I looked at my big board, flipped it upside down and looked at my Pussy power supply … it took about five seconds to find the switch that made it possible to work with 120 V main voltage as well. It had all I needed for my new board – isolated sections, 9-15 volts, some of the sections with 400mA and a weight about one kilo … all I needed. (Actually it can deliver up to 24v if you need that!). A few minutes after I started mounting the Pussy power at my new and smaller board. I put some extra power chords in my suitcase, since I would receive the last pedals at my hotel in Canada and headed for the airport … ok, I did this some days in advance of my flight … I like to be organized 🙂
When I decided to make myself a pedalboard, I spent hours … actually days or maybe even more correctly weeks researching effect pedals, but didn’t give the power supply much thought. My only concern in that direction was how much power the different models delivered, and if it would be enough power … I should be wiser.
I read about true bypass, I read about the latest releases of pedals and I saw tons of videos on youtube with dedicated people showing their boards. These enthusiastic pedal-lovers were playing the same pedals with different guitars thru different amps, sometimes even comparing different generations of the same pedal.
After some research on the internet, I knew what I wanted to check out myself and I started spending time in music stores with my guitars. After the first round of testing I brought a bounch of pedals to my studio and started trying them there. Normally only one at a time, but sometimes a few together. But not like “everything” together and I did all the testing on batteries … no power supply!!
I ended up with some very nice stuff I think – you can read more about my board here.
After some weeks I was ready – I had decided what board I wanted to mount everything at, and started doing that. I had bought some instrument cable that have been recommended by many people and a power supply that should be able to deliver all the power I needed.
When everything finally was connected and I turned the power on – I was disappointed. There was a hum … not very loud, but annoying.