Gear Guide: Using the Right Power Supply For Your Strymon Pedal

Posted by Hugo

In this installment of Gear Guide, let’s talk about power! A common question that we receive is what kind of power supply can be used with Strymon pedals.  There are many different options out there.  We know that some users like to use third party power supplies. Using the right power supply is important to ensure that your pedal will power up reliably, and you don’t damage your pedal.

Power Requirements

First, it is important to be aware of the power requirements for each of our pedals to ensure that your power supply will power up the pedal reliably.  There are three different power requirements for our pedals:

Flint Mobius OB.1
Our smaller pedals (blueSky, Brigadier, El Capistan, Flint, Lex, Ola, and Orbit) require a maximum of 9V DC and a minimum of 250mA current.   Our larger pedals (BigSky, Mobius, and TimeLine) require a maximum of 9V DC and a minimum of 300mA current. Our OB.1 compressor/boost pedal is all analog, so it has a much lower power requirement of 9V DC, and <20mA current. OB.1 can be powered by a 9V battery.

Strymon Power Adapter

We ship all of our pedals (except for OB.1) with a 9V DC power supply that provides 660mA of current with a 2.1mm center-negative barrel connector.  OB.1 ships with a 9V battery. We always recommend using our included power supply, as they should always power up your Strymon pedals without issue.

If you are using a third party power supply, please make sure that it provides a maximum of 9V, provides more than the minimum required current (mA), and has a 2.1mm center-negative connection.

Non-Strymon Power Supplies

We do realize that many players build boards that warrant the use of centralized power. In those cases, we recommend power supplies such as the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power Digital, 4×4, and Mondo which can all power at least 4 of our pedals with 9V isolated outlets providing sufficient current.

The Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2+ can be used to power 2 of our smaller pedals (from outputs 5 and 6 only), but you would need to get their current doubler cable to power our larger pedals like the TimeLine, Mobius, and BigSky.

Pedal Power DigitalImportant note: Many third party power supplies have settings that can send more than 9V to your Strymon pedal. Ensure that you are familiar with the settings on your power supply to avoid damaging any pedals. For instance, the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ has series of dip switches on the back. Always ensure they are set to the NORMAL position when used with any Strymon pedal.

There are other power supply options available from manufacturers such as CIOKS, Dunlop, T-REX, Eventide, TheGigRig and many others.  Just make sure that whichever power supply you choose is providing isolated 9V DC and at least 250mA (small pedals) or 300mA (big pedals) from a 2.1mm center-negative pin.

Isolated Power

We do not recommend using daisy chained power supplies as our digital pedals require isolated power.  Using a daisy chained power supply can yield additional noise and hum in your audio signal, so make sure to use an isolated power supply.

The same can be said about multi-outlet power supplies that can provide power to several pedals at once.  If the outlets of this type of power supply are not isolated, you may get additional noise and hum in your audio signal.

Troubleshooting

Here is some troubleshooting you can try that applies to pedals of any manufacturer.  If you’re using a third-party power source (such as those sold by Voodoo Lab, Ciocks, Dunlop, etc.) but are having trouble powering your pedal, try running through these steps:

  • Double-check the current and voltage requirements recommended by the pedal manufacturer.
  • If your pedal shipped with a wall adapter from the factory, try powering with that. If it powers up, it’s probably a setup issue with your third-party supply.
  • Check the current. Make sure the supply is capable of providing more current than the pedal requires. For example, if your pedal requires 200 mA, it’s probably best to provide it at least 250 mA to ensure it works properly under all circumstances.
  • Check the voltage. Some pedals are very specific about their voltage requirements. If the pedal requires 9V, be sure not to send it more than 9V, because excessive voltage can irreparably damage a device. On the other hand, some pedals, such as fuzz boxes, are perfectly happy running at anywhere from 9V to 18V. Just be sure you know what the manufacturer recommends.
  • Finally, check the polarity. Most pedals have center-negative power jacks, though there are a few with center-positive ones. Polarity is often indicated by a diagram on the pedal, but you may need to check with the manufacturer.

A happy pedal is one that is powered with the correct current and voltage. Go forth and keep all of your pedals happy!

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29 Responses to “Gear Guide: Using the Right Power Supply For Your Strymon Pedal”

  1. Michael Eber says:

    After going through all the pedals on my board for rewiring and searching for every individual spec sheet, it is really nice to see a vendor publish how to hook their pedals to a Power Plus 2.

  2. Mark Oliver says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to clear this up. Here: http://www.strymon.net/support/faqs/can-i-power-a-timeline-with-a-voodoo-labs-pedal-power-2-power-supply/ you say that you shouldn’t power a Timeline with a pp2+, but in this article you say that you can?

    Could you clarify please?

    Thanks

  3. Ethan says:

    Hi Mark, we just updated the FAQ. You can use a PP2+ if you use a current doubler cable and connect to both outlets 5 and 6. Thanks!

    Updated FAQ: http://www.strymon.net/support/faqs/can-i-power-a-timeline-with-a-voodoo-labs-pedal-power-2-power-supply/

  4. Steve M says:

    Hey Hugo,
    Thanks for the tips about power. Curious if Strymon has any plans to build its own power source capable of handling multiple pedals. I’d buy one!

    Thanks a mil!
    Steve

  5. James V says:

    I’d like a Strymon power source as well!

  6. JB says:

    Hi, I bought this great unit a couple of years ago on 4/14/2012. I was rearranging my pedal board order, unplugged the El Cap and then plugged it back in. The lights flashed on, then immediately off now it will not power up when plugged in to the AC adapter it was using. It is dead, I think. Is there anything Strymon can do for me or a place to send it for repair? I love this pedal – there’s nothing out there remotely as unique as this unit – but it certainly should function longer than 2 years and 2 months. I have my original order E-statements. What are my options? Please help!!!

  7. Hugo says:

    @JB – Sorry to hear that you are having trouble with powering the El Capistan. Please write us at support@strymon.net with details on the problem including how you were powering the pedal so that we can help you get this resolved.

  8. Jan says:

    Just want to add to this discussion that I can power both the Mobius and the El Capistan from the original Voodoolab Pedal Power 2 (not the PLUS) at the same time, by using two current doubler cables. One is connected to outputs 4 & 5 (100+250mA) and the other one to 6 & 7 (250+100mA). Very handy and they sound like they should. The Mobius even worked perfectly when I power it from two outputs that only provide 100mA (1-4), which means that it actually only needs 200mA. I could, in this configuration, however, not start up the pedal. It would only work of these outputs if I switched the power cables from 4&5 to those low current outputs one by one after having powering up the pedal. So it needs more power at its start-up than for its actual use. I thought this was interesting. Keep up the good work!

  9. Tom DS says:

    Thanks!
    This article made me realize that my Fueltank is causing a high frequency noise, used with the Flynt.
    Unpacked the original power source and all is well now!
    Thanks again!

  10. Kendall says:

    Hey, I was just wondering. If I buy a strymon big sky reverb, will I get the correct adapter I need to use. And can I use it will a pedaltrain volto?

  11. Hugo says:

    @Kendall – Yes, the BigSky comes with its own power supply to use with the pedal. Also, you can use the Pedaltrain Volto as long as you only power the BigSky by itself with no other pedals being powered by the Volto. This is because the Volto does not have isolated outputs and powering other pedals with the BigSky will yield undesirable noise in your audio.

  12. Kendall says:

    So I should just plug it up by itself, and power the remaining pedals with the volto?

  13. Hugo says:

    @Kendall – Yes, it would be best to power the BigSky on its own if you do not have a multi-outlet power supply with isolated outputs.

  14. Diego says:

    Hello! I’m going To hook up te timeline To a SKB Stagefive!
    Can I plug ir in on the 9V 1.2A outlet without ruining the pedal?
    Thanks Again!

  15. Hugo says:

    @Diego – Looking at the specs of the SKB StageFive, the 9V 1.3A output is 9V AC and will fry the pedal if connected. Please make sure not to connect to this outlet. All of the 9V DC outputs on that pedal board only provide 100mA of current which is not enough to power up the TimeLine. You would need to use the factory power supply as this pedalboard does NOT have an outlet to power the TimeLine.

  16. Diego says:

    Thank you Hugo for talking the time to helpe me!
    Have a great day!

  17. Josh says:

    Hello I just recently purchased the bigsky and I’m using voodoo lab pedal power 2+ and just wanted to make sure it would work on the 5 or 6 positions?? And also can the bigsky work with just the 1spot visual sound connection by itself?

  18. Hugo says:

    @Josh – The BigSky pedal requires a minimum of 300mA of current to operate reliably. Outputs 5 and 6 on the Pedal Power 2+ only provide 250mA of current each. We recommend using a current doubler cable (available from Voodoo Lab’s website) to sum the current of 2 outputs such as 4+5 or 6+7 to provide 350mA of current which is enough to power the BigSky. You can also power the BigSky with a 1 Spot by itself without chaining to other pedals, but you can also use the factory power supply that comes with the pedal as well.

  19. Josh says:

    Thanks Hugo appreciate the help!

  20. Jon says:

    Getting ready to order a Mobius (literally in a few minutes). I power all my pedals from a PP2+ mainly for the isolated power. I am out of PP outlets so I have two choices, either us the power adapter that comes with the Mobius or get a PP digital. I want to keep all my pedals “isolated” and I am wondering if using the Mobius with it’s adapter will introduce ground hum. Long question made short (too late); is the adapter for the Mobius isolated or will I have to get the PP digital?

  21. Hugo says:

    @Jon – You can use the factory power supply that comes with the Mobius and connect it to the courtesy outlet that is on the back of the Voodoo Labs PP2+ to power the Mobius.

  22. Eric says:

    I have been having an issue where the Strymon power supply keeps falling out of the power outlet. It won’t stay in a lot of power strips or other outlets unless I tape it down. I would love to keep using the Strymon power, but it is unpredictable and unfortunate when it falls out. Is this a common issue? Is there a work-around? Thanks.

  23. Hugo says:

    @Eric – Sorry to hear that you are having trouble with the Strymon power supply. Which Strymon pedal are you having trouble with connecting the power supply to? If you plug in the Strymon power supply to another non-Strymon pedal with a 2.1mm power plug, does it also slip right off? The plug should feel secure when properly plugged in all the way with none of the metal from the barrel connector showing when plugged into our smaller pedals and very little exposed when plugged into our larger pedals. If you continue to have trouble, please email me at support@strymon.net.

  24. Pascal says:

    Hi! When I power up my Flint the lights flash on and then immediatly off… It seems to work fine but I just wanted to make sure that this is normal… Thanks!

  25. Bryan says:

    Hi, my gigrig generator, distributor and isolator will be plenty good enough to power a timeline with no issues, right? Just wanted to make 100% sure before I buy one next week. Thanks in advance for your reply!

  26. Leroy Jellicoe says:

    Hey guys, I am currently powering my Strymon pedals off ‘The Source power supply units” as seen below in the link

    Source pedal website Below

    http://www.guitarbits.com.au/

    Current rig setup below

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1617466305168578&set=pcb.1617485521833323&type=1&theater

    Ok my issue is that when I charge up the Source power units and when they have been fully charged I cannot not switch the Timeline, Bigsky or Lex on instantly. Rather I have to wait for a period of time lets say about 2-3 hours until the pedals some what cool down and allow the Strymons to energize. Note all the other pedals turn on instantly after full charging is complete… The Strymon’s are not daisy chained rather they have individual power.

    My question is have you guys at Strymon ever seen anything like this and is there anyway I can prevent it from happening and rather have the pedals switch on instantly????

    Cheers for your help

  27. Hugo says:

    @Leroy Jellicoe – That is a unique power source that we have never tested before, but if the pedals are not powering up right away when connected, there must be something about how that power supply provides power after a charge. Each of the Strymon pedals require regulated 9V DC and 300mA of current to power up reliably. If this is not happening, the pedals must not be receiving what they need from that power source after charge. You should probably check with the manufacturer of The Source to see if they have any information on what is happening or if they have ever tested the power supply with Strymon pedals.

  28. Paul McShane says:

    Hi,

    I bought a Strymon Big Sky about 9 months ago. Tremendous pedal. I bought it from a reputable store in Europe – one of the largest retailers online. I live in the UK. I was supplied with the standard power supply, which came boxed, plus a 3 pin adapter. The power supply or the adapter, or a combination of both, is very temperamental. Sometimes it works fine and other times you have to give an slight adjustment to ensure that there is contact between the adapter and 2 pin plug. This can happen during playing and can cut the signal chain and can be a big problem, especially in live gig situations.

    I was wondering whether there is anything you could do? Is there a more suitable plug that I can exchange my current one for or alternatively is there one that is fitter for purpose – a replacement.

    Many thanks.

    Paul.

  29. Hugo says:

    @Paul – Sorry for the trouble with the power adapter you received with the pedal. We are not too familiar with the adapter that is supplied in the UK, but we provide the same power supply with our pedals as are available in the US, which is why a prong adapter is necessary. Please send me an email to support@strymon.net with any pictures you can provide of the power supply and the adapter from different angles so we can help you with this.

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