It’s an incredible time to be alive if you’re a guitarist. The realm of guitar pedals that currently exists is a never-ending rabbit hole of discovery, littered with thousands upon thousands of different effects to choose from. However, one crucial component is often overlooked when finalising your setup: the power supply unit.
If you’re mainly a bedroom guitarist or only have one or two pedals, you may be able to get away with powering your stompboxes through a wall wart, disseminated through a daisy chain. But if you’re constantly gigging across several different venues with more than three pedals, you’re more than likely going to run into some noise-related issues. Depending on how ‘dirty’ the available power is, you might encounter unwanted artifacts including high-pitched whining, buzzing, or white noise. The same applies to naturally noisy pedals, or some devices that simply don’t play well with others – including your guitar, pickups, amplifiers, and other paraphernalia.
Voodoo Lab’s Pedal Power X4 offers an extremely compact solution to these potential headaches. Both the Pedal Power X4 and its expander kit consist of the same core unit; the only difference being the inclusion of a power adapter with the main X4 package. Both bundles include four strips of low-profile 3M dual lock tape, manuals, and four link cables. The expander kit assumes you already have an existing power source for the unit, but surprisingly doesn’t include a fifth link cable to power itself. Apart from the adapter, note that the X4 requires a 12V/400mA power source, which means you can’t piggyback it off another X4 unit.
The power supply itself features four isolated 9V outputs capable of delivering a maximum of 500mA per output, if powered by the included AC adapter. It can easily power standard battery-operated pedals to delicate vintage circuits, ensuring no additional noise is generated in your signal chain. Its adorably small chassis is constructed solely from aluminum and weighs almost next to nothing. As per Voodoo Lab’s established aesthetic across their products, the X4’s looks are all business. Simple white font demarcates the four outputs and the single power input, with a red LED indicating operating status.
Thanks to its incredibly miniature frame, this little guy can easily mount under pedalboards that don’t feature much clearance above ground – these include the ever popular PedalTrain Nano and Metro series. The X4’s manageable size also offers superior flexibility over larger, bulkier power supplies. Detaching and reattaching the unit is a walk in the park, and really helps when you’re choosing between two differently sized boards for a gig. Want to power a simple four-pedal spread for a cozy bar gig? Done. Need something a little heftier for a larger crowd? Simply feed it from another power supply, and you’ve got an additional four isolated outputs ready to go. Furthermore, the X4 is designed to run at any input voltage, so you can say goodbye to pesky step-down transformers and adapters while you’re touring the globe.
All in all, the Voodoo Lab X4 power supply is an excellent choice for almost anyone. You can rest assured knowing all your precious pedals are operating off the cleanest power available to them.
Hits and Misses
Great build quality
International input voltage
No included link cable in the expander kit