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Stay Grounded: Power Supplies Explained

Posted on March 03, 2015

Effects pedals are like snowflakes, every one is special. While this may be a gross oversimplification, when it comes to power and power supplies, It's a maxim well worth bearing in mind. Fortunately we at Rose Morris are here to walk you through it.

First off. What does it all mean? When referring to effects, power means Current and Voltage and both are important when choosing how to power your pedals.

Pedals are predominately powered by 9 Volts. However some can take 12v or 18v. This is important to bear in mind because if you use a power supply where the voltage is too high, it could easily turn your shiny new overdrive into a stylish but expensive paperweight. 

Current draw is also important. The amount of current a pedal draws is measured in milliamps (ma) and this is usually displayed on the pedal itself. A power supply will have a maximum ma output it can provide. If your pedal's draw exceeds it, it wont work. 

The last thing you need to consider is the polarity. Most pedals take a center negative polarity adapter. However, if it's different, you wont be able to daisy chain (power multiple units with one power supply) with other pedals. 

With all this in mind. What's the best way to power your effects? The Diago Micropower is a simple and flexible way of powering multiple pedals at once. However some people like the way a 9v battery sounds, particularly with drive and fuzz pedals. The important thing is you know the power requirements of your board.

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Talk Boxes - EQ and Filters

Posted on January 23, 2015

This week in the stomp box spotlight is a category of much misunderstood and under-utilised pedals. Rather than going into great lengths over how they work (that's what Wikipedia is for), lets take a look at a few ways you can use them to breath life into you're rig.

EQ pedals give you total tonal control by boosting or cutting certain frequencies. However, they can also be used as an effect. During his time with Guns and Roses, Slash used a Boss GE-7 during his solos. Boosting the high mids is an excellent way to cut through in a live mix for lead work without altering your amps tone. Another cool way to use EQ pedals is to cut all the bass and high frequencies to achieve and AM Radio tone that can be heard in the intro to 'American Idiot' by Green Day, or 'If Only' by Queens Of The Stone Age.

Everyone knows the classic sound of a Wah pedal but one of the more interesting ways to use a Wah is as a Filter. Instead of rocking back and forth, set it in a fixed position and leave it be! Mick Ronson was a a genius when it came to utilising the Wah's unique properties and this technique can be heard all over his work with David Bowie. Another classic example of this is the throaty guitar tone in Dire Straits 'Money for Nothing'.

Envelope filters are one of the more distinctive sounding effects. They're most commonly used in funk, particularly for rhythm work. However these can be a great tool for some sonic mayhem! Jack White uses an Electro Harmonix Bass Balls, an envelope filter designed for bass (clues in the name!) to add frenetic energy into riffs and solo's. When paired up with fuzz and octave effects, You can create some nasty squelching tones that will set you apart from the average player. 

When it comes to effects, the only rule is there are none. There's plenty of options out there and plenty to experiment with. You're best bet is to come see us in store and discover for yourself. However, be warned. Pedals are like Pringles, you can't just have one!

Matt Wilkinson

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