Help a luddite NOT blow up a Mu-tron

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Wood and Wire, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Beyond wiring a plug, or audio / MIDI / speaker cables, I'm basically a total ignoramus with regards to electronics / electricity.

    I literally know just about enough to be dangerous.

    So, I was thinking : I haven't been using my original Mu-tron III that much lately, because I run all my effects off mains power.

    If you're not familiar with the Mu-tron III, it requires 2 X 9 Volt batteries, or it's own unique power supply (that's rarer than the pedal itself) that I'm not even sure was ever available in the U.K.

    It just occurred to me that it might be possible to use a pair of these :


    connected to 2 outputs of my pedal power supply :


    However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that two of the battery terminals are connected via a crude jumper :



    Effectively, the negative terminal of Battery A, and the positive terminal of Battery B make the - and + of the circuit (the positive terminal of Battery A, and the negative terminal of Battery B are wired together making a ± whatever-it-is???).

    I'm now wondering if it will damage either my pedal power supply, or the Mu-tron, by attempting to power the pedal in this way?

    I've verified that all the individual 9 Volt outputs, on my power supply, are indeed isolated.

    However, I've not the confidence, nor the electronics education, to know if that takes care of the potential problem.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    * (If it has any bearing on this, when run on batteries, the Mu-tron always depletes Battery B {red lead} twice as fast as the other. Additionally, the original PSU had 3 pins + - ± but I've no idea what was going on inside the box, or if it effectively was just two 9v supplies, as I'm proposing here)
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    No idea but this reply will bump the thread. Good luck.

    If it were me, I'd call them.

    Speaking of Luddites, Yahoo?
    General questions: [email protected]

    (760) 237-8034
    BrentSimons likes this.
  3. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017


    I wasn't aware that the current incarnation of Mu-tron had anything to do with the original musitronics era.

    As far as I can tell, the modern ones have different power demands, but that's an interesting thought.
  4. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    BrentSimons and Wood and Wire like this.
  5. dalo

    dalo Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have a Roland Jet Phaser that also takes two 9v batteries. I tried powering it with two battery clip adapters from a single power supply and it does not work. But when using isolated power for each battery clip adapter, it works just fine.

    I cannot guarantee that this will also be the case for a mutron, but probably so.
    Wood and Wire likes this.
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Depending on how much a a luddite one is, blowing things up may be too new fangled.
  7. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    I don't own any sabots.
    zontar likes this.
  8. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
  9. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017

    I got a reply from RetroLinear :

    So, for anyone else wanting to power an original Mu-Tron III, this seems like the way to go.
    Bo0tsy and Bob_Ross like this.
  10. CAE sound also does an excellent dedicated three pin power supply for the Mu-Tron III. I bought a couple of these power supplies to power my two vintage Mu-Tron's. Not particularly cheap but they work a treat and they ship to the UK.

    Mutron III Power Supply
    Wood and Wire and Bob_Ross like this.
  11. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017

    Cheers! Yeah, I came across a couple of places that sell what is basically a universal switching transformer, with the Mu-Tron 3-pin plug, and you can just use the power cord that is standard in your part of the world.

    Given that I only use the Mu-Tron occasionally, and I'm disinclined to rely on a specialist power supply for any pedal (let alone have a fairly expensive, specialist PSU sitting around, largely unused) my plan is :

    1. Verify that the Mu-Tron works with those 9 Volt battery adapters, and my power supply.

    2. Using 3 metal pins, 2 pedal power leads, and a dollop of Sugru, mould a reproduction of the Mu-Tron PSU connector that can plug straight into the pedal, and 2 outputs of my power supply.
    Bo0tsy likes this.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Why I no longer use vintage pedals with weird requirements.
    Wood and Wire likes this.
  13. In the case of a vintage Mu-Tron III, I can live with quirks like an unusual power supply requirement when it sounds that good.
    Wood and Wire and JimmyM like this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I used to have a Maxon envelope that did an admirable job at the Mu-Tron thing. Ended up not digging it, though. Mu-trons are great but I could never get along with them, even back in the day. I'm weird, I guess.
    johnk_10 and Wood and Wire like this.
  15. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    1) I only use it for recording these days.

    2) I never really liked the fact that the Mu-Tron always effects the tone of the instrument (acts as a low pass filter, with a gentle roll off of the high frequencies), even when bypassed, which is why I initially removed it from my board.

    3) I don't like having anything irreplaceable on my board (and for convenience reasons, I don't even have a "board" for live work anymore, just an old Boss multi-fx).
    JimmyM likes this.
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