Your cool pedals need power, and they need someplace to live. Well, unless you’re the type who loves buying storehouses of 9-volt batteries and scattering your stompboxes willy-nilly on stages. Those “tactics” aside, here are some cool options for putting your pedal armory in top-notch order.
Chemistry Design Werks Holeyboard Evolution Wide
$199 and up, direct
I’ve been using a Holeyboard M3 on stage with my band The Trouble with Monkeys for months, and its “cable-tie” system for securing pedals is genius. I can switch out pedals in two minutes and easily reconfigure the board for GP stompbox tests, as well as specific studio and stage needs. It’s also super portable (though the gig bag can fight you a bit when you slide in a loaded Holeyboard). The new Evolution Series is made in Minneapolis from aircraft-grade anodized aluminum, so it’s even lighter and more durable than the already-tough, Baltic birch M3. Pedal maniacs should really check this board out. chemistrydesignwerks.com
Isolated Power Supplies
A power supply that ensures each power source is separate and isolated produces a reduced capacitive load on a signal chain of your fave pedals, resulting in low noise and uncompromised tone. We like that, right? Some can’t-go-wrong options include MXR M238 Iso-Brick ($149 street; jimdunlop.com), Rocktron Power Tap ($189 street; rocktron.com), Strymon Zuma ($249 street; strymon.net), T-Rex Fuel Tank Classic ($179 street; t-rex-effects.com), Voodoo Lab Pedal Power ISO-5 ($119 street; voodoolab.com).
PedalSnake PedalSnake System
$95 and up, direct
This crafty all-in-one cable replaces annoying amp-to-pedals spaghetti with one multi-channel snake. Now, setting up your stage gear can be super fast, with zero cable clutter for your band mates to trip over. You can customize a PedalSnake system to your rig, so when (not if) your setup changes, PedalSnake can be easily modified. PedalSnake couples high-capacitance microphone cable with the low-impedance outputs of effects pedals to produce crystal clear tone and extremely low noise. Also, the company just teamed up with ideaBench (Fastback pedalbords) and Strymon (Zuma and Ojai power supplies) to further streamline and evolve the system. Check out the PedalSnake website for future announcements. pedalsnake.com
Truetone 1 Spot
$17 and up, street
For years, the ingenious 1 Spot has powered multiple pedals by taking “one spot” on a power strip or wall outlet and sending the juice to your pedalboard (or a platoon of pedals scattered on the floor). We’ve used the 1 Spot on and off at Guitar Player when evaluating 9-volt stompboxes, because it’s a breeze to simply grab its multi-plug cable and switch pedals in and out. There are also handy converters for older pedals that need 1/8" jacks and those powered solely by a 9-volt battery. There has been no audible noise during our tests, and globe trotters will be happy that the 1 Spot automatically converts voltage from 100v-240v. truetone.com