That Pedal Show

How Does DC Voltage Affect Pedal Sound? That Pedal Show

May 25, 2019

This is the audio from our video here:

In this episode we dig into the world of DC voltage and what it means for pedal operation and sound. Let’s begin with a warning and please forgive the upper case.


This is because most pedals are designed to run on a specific voltage: usually 9V DC for most stompboxes. However, some pedals are designed to work on varying voltages, usually between 9 and 18 volts and sometimes up to 24. It will say so in the pedal manual or on the manufacturer website. If i doesn’t, don’t do it. Dead pedals are often smelly and always useless for everything except throwing at bandmates for playing the wrong parts. (DUCK!)
Moving on, it is also possible to starve a pedal of voltage until it gets to the point where it simply won’t work. This is a key characteristic of certain fuzz sounds. So we get into all that in the video and some of the side issues and discussions.
Please enjoy the show…

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini
UK & Europe:

• Massive Secret
No info yet. Maybe ever.

• JAM Pedals Fuzz Phrase

• Fulltone Full-Drive1
UK & Europe:

• Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
UK & Europe:

• Fulltone OCD (C1.7 - links for V2)
UK & Europe:

• Analogman Bi-Chorus

• Wampler Ethereal Delay & Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- Science fiction tripod: 1:10
- What are we doing today? 1:50
- Disclaimer WATCH THIS: 2:50
- The design of the pedal is what really matters: 3:48
- Rails, headroom, and voltage: 4:36
- What 9V, 18V and 24V actually sounds like in the Massive Secret Pedal: 8:00 (9:38)
- Conclusions so far: 14:35
- Now let’s starve below 9 volts:15:45
- What about the Fulltone OCD and Full-Drive1? 17:30
- Full-Drive1: 18:30 (19:35)
- …Comp Cut mode: 21:28
- Clean headroom? 22:55
- …and higher gain again: 24:16
- Fulltone OCD 27:00
- …and with less gain: 28:35
- Compressors? Origin Cali76 Compact Deluxe: 34:47
- …lots of compression: 37:17
- …varied voltage: 42:00
- …and with overdrive: 45:25
- Analogman Bi-Chorus: 46:35 (47:30)
- Fuzz and starving voltage: 56:20 (57:25)
- …and volume control on guitar? 58:30
- Conclusions? 59:50

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – watch Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 - no video yet

Amps in this episode
Victory V40 The Duchess with V212VC/ Celestion G12M-65 Creamback speakers
Vox AC30 (1961) with Celestion Alnico Blue speakers

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UK & Europe: Andertons Music
USA: Riff City Guitar & Music Company
Australia: Pedal Empire

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