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A little rant about the 1spot

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by niftydog, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. I last logged in here 2.5 years ago, and last posted over 4 years ago, but today I was so incensed by a product that I have broken that incredible dry spell to let you all know what I think! :mad:

    I recently needed to get my pedal board back in action for an upcoming gig. I had one pedal more than my old power daisy chain could handle, so I headed to my local music shop and came home with a Visual Sound 1 Spot. I wasn't happy forking out AUD$55 for a lowly power supply and daisy chain cable, but I was in a hurry to get my rig in order and my first impressions were good. It's compact, has a high current rating, the daisy chain cable is decent quality with right angle plugs etc etc.

    All that changed the minute I plugged the power supply in. The noise in my system went up considerably. I did all the usual checks, looking for dodgy patch cables, dirty jack sockets etc. Then I started to suspect a faulty pedal, or perhaps the supply was being loaded down, so I started pulling them out one by one. I stripped down the signal path until it was a single pedal, two cables and the 1spot - the noise had not changed at all. Finally I started to suspect my amp, so I swapped the 1spot for an old "DaiChi" brand (linear) power supply and... ZERO NOISE!

    Testing showed that this was not an issue of voltage ripple caused by overloading the supply. So, why is it so noisy? All I can suspect is that there is some issue with the 1spot ground - either it's coupled to the mains supply somehow, or the common mode rejection of the switch-mode regulator is poor, or something about the design is particularly adept at circulating ground currents... I don't really know. In the end, all that matters is that it's no good for it's intended purpose.

    There is one other possibility - I got a dud - there are a lot of good reviews about these things after all. However, part of me can't help but suspect that people who have a 1spot they think is noise-free either aren't listening as critically as others do or the noise is being masked by other, louder sources of noise in their system.

    So I returned the 1spot today. I had a heck of a time explaining the situation to the staff :)spit:), but that's a subject for a whole different rant which my wife will be lucky enough to hear later tonight!


    PS: Visual Sound claim their daisy chain is "The ONLY daisy-chain available with right-angle plugs!" which is absolutely not true. The Power-All (Godlyke) daisy chain cable has high quality right angle DC plugs. All connections are the "spring-loaded contact" type, not just the input socket, and it has ELEVEN output plugs and heavier duty cable. I can't speak for the Powerall power supply, but if I get the opportunity in the future to test one out I will jump at the chance!
  2. Crappy. I have the Godlyke powerall and I have no problems with noise other than my noisy, poopy house wiring.
  3. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    My brother and I have each had a 1 Spot stop working within months of owning them. I've had my current Godlyke for well over a year and haven't had a single problem with it.
  4. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Is the noise a mains type of hum or a sizzling, hissy type of noise?

  5. It sounds like rectified mains (100Hz over here) but there's no sign of ripple on the DC. This usually makes me think of ground loops.
  6. I've had a 1Spot for 2 years problem free. Even tested my rig pedal-free and using all pedals on the 1Spot. No Noise difference here. I'd say you have a dud, but do what you must, it's not like the 1Spot is top end, high dollar gear.
  7. Sure, but for AUD$55 I'd expect it to be better than it was.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    If every 1Spot were noisy I think we'd hear about it here ... you got a dud, happens with every product built by man. Get it replaced, or if you have no confidence in it, try something else. Just be prepared you may get a dud of that something else too. Sucks, but that's life.

    My 1Spot is silent, but that doesn't help you much ... ;)
  9. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    No problems with my 1spot either, powering up 8 pedals.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Welcome back nifty! Sorry it's because of a faulty product.
  11. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I have been using the same 1spot for the last 4 years, currently in my pedal board: Korg tunner, V3K, VT Bass and MXR M82, not noise at all.
  12. Levin S

    Levin S Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Charlotte N.C.
    My 1Spot seemed much more sensitive to the sometimes sketchy power in some of the venues I play at. I think it was the best option when I originally bought it, but has since been technologically surpassed.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I've used the same four One Spots for a couple of years now, nary an issue. Wonderful product. You either got a bad one, or you have a weird pedal that does not like it.
  14. Your noiseless experience with a linear power supply leads me to believe that the noise that you are experiencing is coming from the fact that the 1Spot is switch-mode. Every single switch-mode PSU I've tried with pedals makes noise, a hell of a lot of it too, and sometimes it'll even stay quiet for a little but after having the pedal on for a few minutes it'll start to get noisy. Given the choice I'd go linear regulated all day, it's not worth it.

    Or get one of those Sanyo battery-pack things, I've been considering that too. No AC means no noise regardless of what or where you're powering.
  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California

    Good to see you post again, even if it's just to rant on a bad design.
  16. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I've sort of recently, the last 7 months, have been using 1spots and I'm very happy with them. My board has 17 pedals on it powers by three 1spots. I do hear a tad but of noise from straight to amp rather than with my board in between my bass and amp but IMO it's really nothing that causes me issues. They are a great value to me. I initially went with a pedal power II and when I got it home and started booking it up I thought, I just spent $160 on this power supply when I could've just spent $65 USD on two 1spots. I quickly took it back and got the 1spots. I haven't looked back. They function and sound great to me. And they don't take up a big gob of room under my board.
  17. I like the 1spots, but for my big board I felt like the regulated voodoo labs helped with the tone of my dirt. Maybe just confirmation bias. I still use a 1spot for gigs with few pedals and for PT Nano board and I have not had any noise issues. I think there are pedals it doesn't play well with though. Did you try using it on different pedals in your rig to see if you could just put the pedal with an issue on the regulated source? A nice thing about the 1spots is the very high current they deliver, so they are good for digital effects.
  18. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    My One Spot has been flawless for a couple of years. I should probably grab a backup, though.
  19. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    I've had a one spot for a few years never had any issues with it. I'm cheap and 19.99 bucks isn't bad for a power supply
  20. G'day bongomania & Jared! Been a while! Dammit, just visited bongo's compressor reviews and I can feel the G.A.S. building up already! Sigh...

    I have been suspect of SMPS too, Silver Blues. But they are in everything now including ridiculously high-end electronic test equipment and super sensitive scientific apparatus. It's a very, very mature technology - it's just a shame there still seems to be so many half-baked designs out there.

    The noise was identical with every pedal I own (about 25).