There's always tinkering happening at the MI workshop and this is a fine example of the R&D that happens here.
Before our NAMM trip earlier this year, we were putting together our pedal boards and struggled to find an ultra-low noise, super compact COMPLETELY ISOLATED*** universal 9V power supply. There are some good options out there, but power supplies need not be the size of a lunch box with the right design.
We've been throwing around the idea of making a power supply for some time after making a few for the workshop. But it wasn't until recently that we successfully built a working prototype, shown in all of its naked glory above. With some hand-wound transformers and a very efficient switching transistor, we have come up with a 9V power supply with as many output taps as required, at any current required, and each individual tap is isolated from each other - all able to fit into a standard Crunch Box size pedal.
***ISOLATED GROUND!!! This term gets spouted in the marketing with every power supply on the market and is incorrectly used by a lot. Let's try and clear this up.***
The aim of your amp/guitar/pedal set-up is to have a single ground path between any two ‘points’ in your signal chain. If you’re using a power supply with a common ground between all the outputs, then you can have multiple paths between any two points. An isolated power supply does this by keeping every the ground of every output tap completely electrically isolated, and relies on the ground connection between your devices to maintain the same reference. This prevents your guitar signal ground from connecting to multiple pedals at the power supply. If there is no isolation, ground loops can occur and that's when you get that nasty hum and buzzing destroying that tone you've worked so hard to get. There's nothing worse than playing a gig with a noisy, "dirty" setup. This is more common in "daisy-chain setups" and non-isolated power supplies.
Most offenders of the misuse of the term "isolated ground" will say that the ground of the input is isolated from the ground of the OUTPUTS AS A WHOLE. However, the grounds of these multiple outputs are actually all connected together - you might as well use a daisy-chain/wall-wart set-up as the ideal power supply should have isolated grounds for EACH OF THE OUTPUTS.
The amount of current available at this stage is dependant on the current supplied at the input. For our proto, 2A is supplied across all THE SUM of all eight output taps. That means, if you have five drive pedals taking 10mA each, the remaining three output taps have 1.95A available. This allows a whole pedal board (of eight pedals) to be powered comfortably. This 2A can be increased to 20A if we wanted, but 2A is normally sufficient for most board uses.
We hooked up our prototype power supply with our drive pedals, including the PNP germanium Neo Fuzz with great, super-quiet success. No need for reverse polarity leads - the pedal power supply takes care of that for you.
Now, who wants one???
Due to the popularity of the MI DIY Dual Drive Kits, we will be offering 50 more until sold out at $129! We will be selling PCBs once these run out, but not complete kits with components. If you are interested in grabbing one of the last kits, send us a message from our CONTACT page and we will be in touch with a confirmation email.
We will be adding more information to the MI DIY section of our site and continue to add successful builds, hints/tips and modifications.
Probably our most asked question, what does the MI DIY Dual drive Kit sound like?
Well, we waited for an avid DIY-er to build one and post a video and we weren't disappointed! Peter, having never built a pedal kit before, succeeded in getting it right first time and here it is. Good job Peter!
This is a thorough walkthrough of both overdrive and distortion circuits and how the three-band EQ interacts with the drive. Also, a bit of a comparison to other MI Audio pedals in Peter's collection.
There is a build thread up on the Australian Guitar Gear Heads forum where forumites are helping each other through the process and a place where we can help provide some guidance. If anyone else has any images, audio or video, please get in touch via our Contact page and we'll share with other MI DIY-ers!
GIVEAWAY TIME! Would you like one of the first limited edition MI Audio Cross Over Drives? All you have to do is like and share this pic below to be eligible and one lucky MI fan will be announced on Wednesday 23rd October 12:00 AEST.
Want to double/triple/quadruple your chances? Share these pics below to your favourite social media!
Click here for more on the Cross Over Drive...
The production of the limited edition run of 250 Cross Over Drives have just finished and are going out this week to select dealers this week. RRP is US$199.
The MI Effects Cross Over Drive is a limited edition FET based Overdrive pedal that has a lifelike amp response to touch and some awesome verging on fuzz tones in extreme settings! You get rich, chunky overdrive that's very sensitive to playing dynamics and volume control movement.
The Cross Over Drive can be bought direct from the following retailers; Andertons Music (UK), Ikebe Music (JAP), Haar Guitars (NET), Guitar 77 (SIN), Effektpedaler (DEN), Guitars Addicts (FRA), These Go To 11 (SWE), The Amp Shop (NZ), Prymaxe Vintage (USA), Turramurra Music (AUS), Best Music Shop (AUS).
Here are some demos of the pedal in action: