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Analog vs Digital FX - Power Consumption?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Brown Shark, Mar 14, 2005.


  1. Couldnt find anything relating to this in the search function - Im interested to find out if anyone has any experience with the different power consumption between an analog effect stompbox and a digital one?

    Let me explain why I am asking - I have a great pedalboard at the moment with about half a dozen great effects powered by my onboard power supply. But some gigs I dont need to bring all these effects to, and I want to have a micro effects rig, comprising of a chorus and a tuner pedal, to use on smaller shows.

    Because I will be using batteries for the micro rig, I wasnt sure if an analog chorus (such as the Boss CE-2) would be less thirsty on the power than say, the Boss Bass Chorus or Chorus Ensemble (digital boxes).

    Im not sure if the "analog effects have a longer battery life" is an urban myth or not - can anyone confirm or deny this, or recommend anything for my situation?

    Cheers
     
  2. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    As a rule, BOSS and BOSS-style pedals (Digitech, DOD, Ibanez, etc.) are notorious for eating 9-volts. When I started with bass, I ran a CEB-3Bass chorus, and TU-2 Tuner, and I was replacing 9-volts at least once every 2 weeks. If you use 9-volts, you MUST unplug the inputs of all your pedals... stupid non-true bypass...

    Anyway, for even a "micro rig", I'd look into something like a One-spot, or a Godlyke PS-9. I run all of my effects (using a couple of daisy chains) off of a Godlyke PS-9. It outputs up to 1700 mA (compared to 200-400 for most other wal-wart adapters) and is deathly silent. With that type of current capacity you won't need to worry about the individual pedals. At one point, I ran 10 pedals, including the BOSS RC-20 loop station off of one adapter. I had to get extra daisy chains, but that was a small matter!

    A PS-9 will set you backabout $40 and includes connectors to power up to 5 pedals. It also contains the converters from 5mm tip positve barrel to 9-volt clip (for older pedals that didn't have AC, or used funny voltage adapters, like "vintage" DOD), 5mm negative tip (Line 6) 5mm positive tip with a larger gauge tip (no brands come to mind), and a 1/8" (EH).

    For an exact answer to your question, look in the manuals for the pedals you have. In the specs, they will list the current draw (if you use AC) or the expected Battery life. Most Analog pedals run int he neighborhood of 20-50 mA, and some digital pedals do run considerably more, especially if you are running one of those Zoom or Digitech "all in one" deals.

    Hope this helps!