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18 volt pre's and effects

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tslicebass, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Any effects have problems with handling 18 volt preamps.
    EHX Stereo Electric Mistress and Micro Q Tron
    Boss OC3
    Digitech Synth Bass Wah
    MXR EVH phase 90
    I am thinking of buying these eventually... and I am getting a new bass with an 18 volt Audere pre and don't want to fry anything.
    I remember reading somewhere that some effects can't properly handle 18 volt basses. Anybody have experience with this???
  2. No direct experience, but I can say without doubt that some pedals can't handle 9V active basses! It follows that even more pedals won't handle 18V basses.
  3. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Depends on the bass really. I've had loud passive basses, and quiet actives, including an 18V one.

    The only time I've ever ran into problems was with my Sterling (9V active) and my Analog.man chorus, which it would distort from time to time. For a spell I powered the chorus with 18V to increase headroom, but eventually I lowered the pickup on the Sterling and things came up Milhouse.

    Unless we're talking about fuzz pedals of course, those are a whole different beast. :smug:
  4. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    I am mostly worried about the EHX pedals. I read a review on harmony central from a guy that said he plugged an 18 volt bass into his micro q tron and fried it??? :help:
  5. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Sometimes the reviews on Harmony Central are worth exactly what you paid for it.

    The voltage requirements of a pre has no bearing on its effect on effects.
  6. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    finally a straight answer... thanks bro
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    An 18V pre cannot, repeat cannot fry any effect. Also, the 18V a pre may use does not necessarily translate to a hotter signal; the voltage may be used to allow for greater headroom, lower noise, or other qualities that draw power but do not necessarily get any higher-output. Especially since you mention the Audere in particular, the Audere is known to be around unity gain, or maybe even slightly below unity.

    In short, active basses of any voltage may or may not work (better or worse) with any given effect. If your preamp is one that uses the 18V to create an even hotter (higher level) signal, then it is even more likely to be trouble for some effects; but that trouble would just be in the form of distortion, not any kind of damage.
  8. Hmm, well, the potential output voltage swing of an 18V pre could easily be far to large for a 9V circuit to reproduce. Sure, it's not gonna happen in every case, but the potential is certainly there.

    As for frying a circuit just with a strong input signal alone, that's horse-leavings.

    HC is one of those places where you have to be mindful of the fact that any schmuck with an internet connection can post anything they feel like about any piece of gear.
  9. gibsualdo


    Jun 19, 2006
    London, England
    You could always give one of these GLZ's a go, if your active is causing you problems with your effects - http://www.bargeconcepts.com/glzbv.html

    I haven't tried one my myself yet, so I cannot comment on it's effectiveness (excuse the pun). Anyone here who has, I'd love to hear what you think.

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