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Anatomy of Guitar Tone: 9V vs 18V Power Supply for Overdrive Pedals

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9 Volt vs 18 Volt Power Supply for Overdrive Pedals [Anatomy of Guitar Tone]
Learn More Take your guitar tone, productions and recordings to the next level with the debut course from Mark Marshall: Producing & Recording Electric Guitar Includes 9+ hours of in-depth training on all aspects of guitar. There are many variables that can impact the tone and quality of a guita
Transcript
Some over drive pedals allow you to use either a 9 volt or an 18 volt power supply.

It’s said that with using an 18 volt power supply, it’s supposed to give you more headroom and a little bit more open sound and clarity. I want to try this to see if it is actually in fact true.

In this example, I’m going to use the Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret, which is kind of like a Marshall JMP style overdrive, and I’m going to use a Fulltone OCD.

What’s interesting is that in both examples, I definitely heard a difference. The most obvious difference was with the Dirty Little Secret. When I plugged in the 18 volt, it seemed like it was almost double the juice coming out of the pedal, so there was a lot more power, but it also really changed the EQ on it.

It was definitely a little bit more open. It felt less like it had a blanket on it. A little bit more presence.

A similar thing with the OCD, although I didn’t feel like there was a power fluctuation, there was a little bit more clarity and presence to it. It wasn’t so much treble as it was bitey. Just there was a little bit more clarity and presence.

[DLS 9 volt]

[DLS 18 volt]

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[OCD 9 volt]

[OCD 18 volt]

Well, I don’t know about you, but I definitely heard a difference. The most obvious difference was with the Dirty Little Secret. I noticed that when I plugged in the 18 volt power supply, it almost doubled the output of the pedal.

So that was a pretty big give away. But once I settled it down and kind of put it back to a similar level that it was with the 9 volt, I did definitely notice that it felt a little more open and there was a little more clarity to the sound.

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Learn More

Take your guitar tone, productions and recordings to the next level with the debut course from Mark Marshall: Producing & Recording Electric Guitar

Includes 9+ hours of in-depth training on all aspects of guitar. There are many variables that can impact the tone and quality of a guitar recording — from setup, string gauge, amps and pickups, to processing, effects and miking. Mark breaks it all down so you can confidently create awesome guitar tone and take your mixes, productions, performances and recordings to the next level.

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New Course: Producing & Recording Electric Guitar

Learn More Take your guitar tone, productions and recordings to the next level with the debut course from Mark Marshall: Producing & Recording Electric Guitar Includes 9+ hours of in-depth training on all aspects of guitar. There are many variables that can impact the tone and quality of a guita

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC. More at guitaristmarkmarshall.com

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