extremely n00b question but also a recommendation thread (electricity)

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by vilk, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Apr 30, 2013
    One might ask themselves: vilk, how have you been playing guitar for 15 years and have never once owned or operated an FX pedal? The answer probably has something to do with being more concerned about playing well for most of those years without ever really paying too much attention to my own tone. The only band I was ever in was a black metal band, when I was 16, and iirc I did in fact crank the gain treb bass and scoop the mids. I'm certain that anyone who saw us could not even begin to hear what I was playing :lol: ... but even after that I never really delved into the world of good tones... it's easy not to care about your tone when you don't perform or record, but I've since begun to care quite a lot about tone the past several years, even though I'm just playing quietly by myself in my living room. Yesterday I got my first ever FX pedal, a digitech FreQout, as detailed in the "sustainer pedal" thread in this section. But enough about me!

    Is an FX pedal drawing electricity at all times when it's plugged in, or only when you switch it on? I bet it might depend on the pedal, so lets say for a pedal with 'true bypass'... doesn't that mean if it's not lit up then it's not "on" and not running up your com-ed bill?


    Separate but related: what do you recommend as far as power strips for music gear? I think some of this stuff draws a lot more electricity than your everyday lamp or cable modem. Also, the damned plug holes on my power strips are too close together, I can only fit 3 things in it even though it's supposed to fit 6.

    Any of you guys in love with a particular brand or model of power strip, maybe geared toward musicians who have bulky 9V adapters or high power monitors etc? One where you can fit all you shit on there and it's not unsafe? I tried a quick google search and nothing really jumped out at me, then there are lots of random radioshack/aliexpress strips that who knows if they are OK to plug all sorts of high power stuff into...

    Any sorta advice on this much appreciated! Thanks!
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Dec 7, 2005
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    99% + of effects pedals still draw current when they are plugged in and switched off. They should be designed such that disconnecting the 1/4" input and output of the pedal should prevent it from drawing any (notable) amount of current. True bypass should mean that a physical switch routes the signal straight through the pedal, though, but YMMV.

    If you look around at the hardware store, sometimes they sell power strips with the plugs rotated 90° and a little extra distance between sockets. That works better with "wall-wart" style adapters, but, ironically, some pedal manufacturers now include power supplies that have the transformer off to the side of the plug rather than directly behind it, which works great with the old fashioned power strips, but throws a wrench in your plan if you buy a special power strip... but...


    You can get stuff like that at Home Depot, and it's not super cheap, but it's not that expensive, either.
    vilk likes this.

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