Why didn't the ISO-5 12v fry my pedals?

General discussion and tech talk about the industry standard Pedal Power line of power supplies.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:00 pm

Why didn't the ISO-5 12v fry my pedals?

Post by Unchained81 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:54 pm

I've been using the 12v slot to power 9v pedals but they've never been fried. They work fine. Why is that? I've used this slot to power one 9v high current draw pedal or to daisy chain two 9v pedals that need more than 100 mA each.

Should I stop using the 12v slot?

Posts: 7261
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Why didn't the ISO-5 12v fry my pedals?

Post by JohnClark » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:57 am

Many battery operated 9V pedals will work just fine at 12V. Much like the trick of using a dying battery in fuzz or a wah, instead bumping the voltage upward can also slightly change the sound of a pedal. Of course a lower voltage is always safe but a higher voltage can potentially be risky. If you know the circuit of a pedal, it is quite easy to tell which ones will be OK and which ones should probably be left alone. For a simple circuit, typically the main limiting factor would be the voltage rating on any capacitors used.
Back in my version of the "old days", I used to specifically run a Metal Zone :shock: (yea, I just admitted that publicly!) at 12V since I was convinced it sounded better that way... Today I'm not so sure it really did anything that couldn't have been done by twisting the knobs ;) .

I suppose I should blanket statement that this would apply to analog pedals only! Never "goose" a digital pedal unless you know it is OK and are still willing to accept the possible consequences! Also, pedals that have internal Voltage Multiplier type circuits should only ever receive the stated input voltage.

In the end, I wouldn't pop just anything on the 12V output without at least trying to find out if it would be OK first.

Oh, what pedals did you have on the 12V output anyway?

Post Reply