One of the ways to reduce noise in pedalboard setups is to keep AC line voltage out of the system, and Mission Engineering’s new 529 USB power supply makes it possible to power up to five stompboxes via a USB plug-in power supply (included), a smartphone/tablet power adapter, a computer’s USB port, or a rechargeable battery pack. The 529’s anodized-aluminum enclosure is very compact at 4.5"x 1.75" x 1", and, at just four ounces, it’s perfect for compact flyrig boards. The 529 has four 2.1mm outputs rated at 150mA, one at 500mA for higher-current devices, and USB In and Out ports. The package also included USB cables and 2.1mm power cables for connecting five pedals.
Mission offers the 529 in two versions: Standard ($149 direct) and Pro ($199), which includes an APC li-on battery rated at 10,000mAH that’s about the size of a smartphone (5.7" x 3.5" x 0.5"), and is equipped with an on/off switch, a USB charging jack, and dual USB outs.
The Pro system I received worked as expected, powering a selection of analog distortion, delay, and modulation boxes via the adapter, while I waited to bring the APC battery (which is available separately for $53) up to full charge. This can take five hours if the battery is low (a multibar LED indicates charge status), and you can expect eight or more hours of run time with a typical pedal rig.
I used the APC battery, as well as USB batteries of my own, almost exclusively during the review process, and got quite hooked on not having to connect my board to a wall outlet. Between the quiet operation, compact size, and convenience of not having to run an extension cord to reach the board, the 529 USB Power Converter is a great alternative to traditional stompbox power supplies.
KUDOS The first USB-to-effects-pedal power converter. Fits easily on very small pedalboards.