Who The Heck Is Bob Weil?
Good Question! Click here to find out!
How do I register the warranty for my Visual Sound product?
For warranty registration, click here .
What advantages does the 1 SPOT have over the PedalPower and other pedalboard power supplies?
1) It's way less expensive!
2) It doesn't take up any room on your pedalboard and only takes up 1 Spot on your power strip.
3) You can use it anywhere in the world... it transforms any incoming voltage automatically.
4) Despite its small size, it's both powerful and very quiet.
5) It can power an entire pedalboard, regardless of how many pedals you have.
6) The voltage output is fully regulated.
7) You need one... and you can afford to get 2 of them to have another as a backup.
Was Visual Sound the first company to make a 1 SPOT style pedalboard power supply?
Yes! All the way back in 2000-2001. Unlike 1 SPOT knock-offs, we designed our power supply from scratch and we've been continuously improving the 1 SPOT circuit whenever possible over the years.
How does the 1 SPOT work with Line 6 modeling pedals? Don't they require AC and use 1200mA of current?
Well, it does say "9VAC 1200mA" on the back of the Line 6 pedals, but they don't really use that. That is simply the output rating of the POD adapter which the modeling pedals also use. If you think about it, the Line 6 pedals take batteries, don't they? Batteries are DC, not AC, so the pedals must really run on DC voltage. So how do they work with a 9VAC POD adapter? The modeling pedals have a bridge rectifier at the power input jack which immediately converts AC to DC where the adapter plugs in. And regarding the 1200mA of current the pedals are supposedly using, it's really more in the range of 350mA. That's still more than an average adapter can handle, but the 1 SPOT can handle two Line 6 pedals and have plenty of juice left over for several ordinary stomp boxes. Why Line 6 didn't come out with a separate adapter for the modeling pedals, I don't know, but the 1 SPOT makes an excellent alternative to the bulky single-purpose POD adapter.
Can I "Y" connect 2 of the daisy chain power plugs on the 1 Spot to deliver 18V to a pedal?
There is no way to get 18V from a single 9V adapter... not even the Godlyke one or the 1 SPOT. Think of it this way... adapters are really like batteries in that they output DC voltage via a positive wire and a negative wire. With batteries, the voltage increases when you run them in series (i.e. When you line up 2 C size batteries in a flashlight, each battery is 1.5V, but when combined it's 3V). This is because you are running them end to end, negative to positive. You can't do that with an adapter. You would need two adapters, taking the negative wire from one and the positive wire from the other, tie them together, then take the other wires (positive and negative) and connect them to whatever you want to power.
The point of this is that you need *separate* 9V power sources to combine together to make 18V. Two separate plugs on a daisy-chain cable is not two separate power sources because they're both coming off the same wires. Now, you could get two 1 SPOT's and create a Y cable to join them together and make 18V, but that's a lot of trouble and expense to go through when you can just get an 18V wall-wart adapter from Dunlop (or others) to do the same job. Lastly, IMHO, overdrive pedals sound brittle (overly bright) when powered with 18V, *and* you're pushing the maximum voltage rating of the op-amps so the lifespan of your pedal may be very reduced.
How do you switch from one channel to the other quickly with Visual Sound dual pedals?
I designed the switches to be close enough together so you can hit them both with your foot at the same time if you want to. That means you can turn them both On or Off, or if one channel is already On, hit both switches at the same time to turn the one Off and the other On. Simple, isn't it?
How do you spell Jeckle... Jeckll... Jeckel... Jekill... Jekel...?
Yes, I think we've seen them all by now. For the record, it's JEKYLL .
What adapters work with Visual Sound pedals?
The 1 SPOT, Boss PSA-120, Ibanez AC-109, Morley, Dunlop ECB03, DOD PS200R, SKB pedalboard, Voodoo Labs PedalPower, and any other Regulated 9VDC adapter with a "barrel" plug and center negative polarity. Do not use any Radio Shack or multi-voltage "universal" adapters.
Do Visual Sound pedals have "true-bypass"?
They do now! The V3 Series pedals include true bypass as an option that you can use with or without our Pure Tone buffer. However, we've done true bypass our way, which is reliable and quiet. We designed our own "Forever Footswitch" which has a Lifetime Warranty along with the rest of the pedal... it will never wear out. The footswitch is connected to relays with gold-plated contacts. The switching system also contains a proprietary circuit for silencing switch pop. No other pedal company spends nearly as much on switching as Visual Sound.
In case you're wondering, here's why we didn't use "true bypass" for so many years:
The switches required for "true-bypass" are much less reliable in the long run, typically rated at around 5000 stomps, but often lasting less than that because the rating is based on 240V, not 1/10th of a volt as comes out of guitar pickups. They also cause audible switch pop through your amp. The V2 and V3 Series pedals have a proprietary switching system rated at 10,000,000 stomps and are virtually silent. The V2 and V3 switches actually cost us a lot more than 3PDT "true-bypass" switches, but they're well worth it.
Secondly, the buffering system in Visual Sound pedals was taken from our Pure Tone pedal. This pedal was built originally for guitarist Neil Zaza back in the 1996, because he needed something to clean up his bypass tone for all the pedals he used (VOX wah included). Pure Tone, when placed first in the chain, made it sound like you were plugged straight into the amp even when going through notorious tone killer pedals. We ended up selling about 200 of these to very happy tone conscious guitar players before we put it into Jekyll & Hyde as an added feature. So, if J&H or Rt. 66 is first in your chain, it will buffer everything that follows it as well as itself.
Is the compressor section of the Route 66 based on the Ross or Dyna Comp?
The Ross and Dyna Comp circuits are almost identical to each other (except for maybe one resistor and one capacitor). However, the Route 66 takes those designs and combines them with our Pure Tone buffer, an original tone circuit, a pre-amp circuit and a Clean Mix circuit, giving it far more flexibility and clean headroom (clean gain potential)... and that's just the compressor! You also get a killer overdrive thrown in for no extra charge... not a bad deal!
Can the 1 SPOT be used to power multiple LINE 6 Tone Core Pedals on a daisy chain?
The 1 SPOT cannot be used to power multiple LINE 6 ToneCore Pedals, possibly due to inadequate power supply filtering in the pedals. A 1 SPOT can be used with one Tone Core Pedal with only a minimal amount of noise. More than one Tone Core pedal on a daisy chain causes too much noise for practical use. We are currently checking into this matter further to see if we can come up with a solution, maybe even with the help of Line 6. The 1 SPOT will work noiselessly with almost any other effects pedals, even the larger Line 6 Modeling pedals.
Why can't I use my old-style fuzz pedal on the same daisy-chain as my other pedals?
Old-style fuzz pedals use PNP germanium transistors which are electrically opposite polarity to every other pedal you have, so they must be run on a separate power supply. Most people who have a pedal(s) like that, run them off a second 1 SPOT. That way, you're still not using up valuable pedalboard space or power strip space... and it's still a lot less expensive than one of those brick-sized power supplies.
Note : You will also need the Reverse Polarity Converter if your pedal has a barrel type of power jack (like Boss pedals) and indicates that the power jack is wired center positive. If your pedal has a mini-headphone type of power jack, you will need the 3.5mm Converter.
I plugged a 9VAC adapter (Line 6, Digitech, etc.) into my pedal and it smelled like smoke and won’t work anymore… what happened?
There are very few pedals that are designed to take AC voltage (vs. DC voltage). If you feed your 9VDC (battery voltage) pedal AC, it usually will destroy much of the electronics. Once in a while, the pedal will survive, needing only minor repairs. However, most of the time the entire circuit board needs to be replaced. If you have an AC powered pedal on your pedalboard (Line 6 DL4 for example), be very careful to not plug the AC adapter into any of your other pedals... not even for a few seconds. Always look at the adapter label for the Output Voltage and make sure it's 9VDC, not AC, before you plug it in...or just get a 1 SPOT and put your other adapters away!
The V2 and V3 Series pedals from Visual Sound include an AC blocking component that will prevent AC voltage from damaging your pedal.
I noticed that your products are made in China. Why don't you make them in the USA?
What is "Made in USA"?
The Federal Trade Commission of the United States requires that “all or virtually all” parts and labor cost of a product be of USA origin in order to carry a “Made in USA” marking or claim. The FTC says: "All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.”
Under those strict guidelines, all or virtually all boutique pedal builders are breaking the law.
Let’s look at what goes into guitar pedals:
Resistors – 0% are made in USA
Capacitors - 0% are made in USA
Diodes - 0% are made in USA
IC Chips (including op-amps) - 0% are made in USA
Transistors - 0% are made in USA
Switches - 0% are made in USA
Jacks: 0% are made in USA (not even Switchcraft)
- Hammond: made in Canada
- Others: made in China
Circuit Boards (unpopulated) – some are made in USA; most made in Canada or China
As you can see, it is impossible for a manufacturer to claim Made in USA when building anything electronic.
At Visual Sound, we’ve known this since our beginning in 1995. That’s why, starting in 1997, we’ve gone directly to the source for buying the highest quality parts we can find and for assembly. Although we could get all the parts shipped to our office and assemble them here, we still would not even qualify for an “Assembled in USA” claim. Here’s why, according to the FTC:
“…a "screwdriver" assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the "Assembled in USA" claim.”
Therefore, it is impossible for an electronic product (including guitar pedals and power supplies), to be Made in USA nor even (in most cases) Assembled in USA, according to the law.
My Boss digital pedal/recorder burned up when using the 1 SPOT and Boss won't cover it under warranty because I wasn't using a Boss PSA adapter... did the 1 SPOT burn up my Boss unit?
We have used the 1 SPOT (as have thousands of other people) with just about all the Boss pedals and they normally work fine together. The Boss PSA adapter puts out about 9.6VDC and so does the 1 SPOT. The 1 SPOT also has circuit protection built into it so that it really can't pass AC voltage or overly high DC voltage to pedals hooked up to it.
Having said that, we had a few customers in 2008/09 call us about a digital Boss unit getting burned out while using a 1 SPOT. Boss will not cover them on their warranty as soon as they find out that a non-Boss power supply was being used. While investigating one of these problems, a customer sent us his Boss Micro BR recorder, along with his still-working 1 SPOT. We got the schematic from Boss, opened the unit and found that an internal voltage regulator (voltage step-down device) had burned up and caused a cascade failure of other components in the BR. This voltage regulator is made by Seiko and is specified as being "without overload protection circuit", even though Seiko also makes the same regulator "with overload protection circuit"... it probably saved Boss a few pennies by using the former regulator rather than the latter. The regulator also comes in "A" and "B" versions. "A" has a maximum input voltage of 10V. "B" has a maximum input voltage of 16V. The "B" version is specified on the Boss parts list. However, if an "A" version slipped into production by mistake, feeding it 9.6V could easily cause it to wear down over time and eventually burn up.
When we looked at the schematic, it became obvious that the 1 SPOT could not have caused this component failure. In addition, the 1 SPOT the customer sent back to us with his BR was still working perfectly. Although it's impossible to confirm it, it seems that the burned voltage regulator was probably either defective, or an incorrect regulator was used (one that had the wrong input voltage specs but got mixed in with the batch of correct regulators during production).
Unfortunately, Boss has an easy out with warranty repairs since most people do not use a Boss PSA adapter anymore, but use a 1 SPOT or other pedalboard power supply. That cuts their warranty repair expense down considerably since most guitar players are honest when asked by Boss tech support what power supply they were using.
The only thing we can conclude thus far is that Boss was having quality control problems on some of their digital products. They all have surface mount components and run internally off of 3.3VDC typically, stepped-down from 9.6VDC input. If their surface mount step-down regulators fail, the product is ruined. The only recourse a Boss customer has is to be dishonest when talking to tech support and say that they were using a Boss PSA adapter even when they were not... and most people prefer to be honest.
UPDATE: It's now been several years since we've heard from anyone about a Boss product being "damaged by a 1 SPOT". It seems that Boss solved whatever issues may have existed in their component specifications to make them more reliable.
In general, if your 1 SPOT is still working and can still power other pedals, then it was definitely NOT the 1 SPOT that caused the problem.
What is the difference between the old Jekyll & Hyde and the new V2 Series version?
The Distortion channel of Jekyll & Hyde has changed with the new V2 Series version in a couple of ways. However, it can be made to sound exactly like the old flat-top version if you want it to.
Here are the changes:
1) The V2 Series version has noise reduction in the Distortion channel. This can be turned off inside the pedal with a mini-slide switch, although most people leave it on as it does not choke off the sound, but does eliminate white-noise.
2) We added a Bass trim pot inside the pedal where there used to be a fixed resistor for the Bass level on the Distortion channel. The Bass trim pot comes from the factory cranked all the way up, where the resistor in the old model would be equivalent to the Bass trim pot being turned down almost all the way. Since this is part of a passive tone stack, it changes the overall sound a bit in addition to the Bass level. However, since it's now a trim pot, you can adjust it to whatever you like.
3) The Mid knob has replaced the EQ knob. In reality, they are exactly the same, except that we reversed the taper on the pot so that it now goes from minimum mids to maximum mids. In the old pedal, it was rather counter-intuitive, going from max mids (at the minimum knob setting) to minimum mids.
Your gear is beyond killer! How can I get my hands on some?
There are a growing number of local dealers who do a great job of supporting our products.
If you have a favorite dealer, get them to order for you if they don't have our products in stock.
If you have any questions, please call us at (800) 686-3317 in the USA, or (931) 487-9001 outside USA.