External battery pack provides ample energy and clarity
FFO: Guitars, Pedals, Portable Chargers
While plug-ins and modeling amplifiers gain popularity and influence among contemporary guitar players, stomp boxes still occupy an important place in the creative arsenal of modern six-string enthusiasts. As for players at home – depending on location, availability and equipment – using a wall outlet to fire up guitar pedals may not always yield convenience or the cleanest sound. Meanwhile, nine-volt batteries have a defined shelf life and can be a nuisance. Enter the portable power bank.
An alternative source
For electric guitar pedal aficionados aiming to be autonomous and move a bit off the grid, an external power bank just may be the answer. While an amp head or combo typically requires plugging in, stomp boxes can be powered in different ways. With those respected rectangular nine-volt alkaline batteries typically selling for about five dollars each, playing a great deal can be costly, not to mention the annoyance factor when replacing. A sagging Fuzz Face from a depleted battery sounds wonderfully warm, but relatively short lived. Others stomp boxes with a depleted battery might not sound as great. But a power bank with 20000 milli amp hours is a different story.
In the rig
At home, a cell phone power bank, a USB cable and a daisy chain for pedals is the equipment needed to avoid using disposable batteries with most guitar pedals. In this case, a 20000 mAh 18v Ravpower charger, purchased on Amazon for $39.99, proved to be plenty for a rig containing an MXR Classic Comp compressor, Boss BD-2 Blues Driver, Electro-Harmonix Screaming Bird treble booster and a Fender Delay pedal, all at once. Plus, there is enough power left for adding other pedals. The entire chain worked well fed into a second generation 15-watt Fender Blues Junior amp.
As indicated, the set-up requires a DC 5V to DC 9 Volt USB power cable, which plugs into the power bank charger and the pedal daisy chain. From there, connecting is a cinch. Keeping in line with specifications of the USB power cable, maximum current is 800 mAh, presenting no problem with the pedals’ DC current. Though not strictly isolated, the 20000 mAh power bank provided a desirable noiseless quality.
All in all, using an external power bank to keep guitar pedals charged while playing serves its purpose well.
Paul Wolfle, the publisher of musicinterviewmagazine.com, is a web-based journalist who has written for several popular sites. Paul has a passion for connecting with a diversity of musicians who are looking to grow a positive presence on the World Wide Web.