Sanyo just recently dropped a pretty interesting product called the Pedal Juice. I’ve never seen anything like it before. The Pedal Juice is a rechargeable 9V power supply for effects pedals, multi-effects units, and even portable recording devices. I just recently received a Pedal Juice to review, and here’s what I think.
Upon opening up the box, everything is crammed in there leaving no room for space. The actual Pedal Juice power supply only takes up about a third of the box, with the rest of the box containing cables, power adapter, and a carrying case.
For a 9V rechargeable power supply, you might expect it to be pretty sizable and hefty. Surprisingly, it’s no bigger than my Boss TU-2 sizing in at 4.7″ x 2.56″ x 1.65″, and in my hand, it feels like it weighs less than all my other pedals. It’s nice to know that this won’t weigh down your pedal board anymore than it already is.
Charging the Pedal Juice Up
The Pedal Juice has a front-lit LED that indicates the power level of the battery. A red light means battery power is less than 30%, an orange light means battery power is between 30% – 60%, and a green light means battery power is above 60%. When I turned it on right out of the box, the battery was below 30%.
Sanyo claims the Pedal Juice only takes 3.5 hours of charging time. Based on how much the pedal was charged out of the box, I was able to charge it the rest of the way in less than 2 hours. As it charged, the LED light would blink once every two seconds and cycle through red and orange indicators. When it was all charged, the LED light went completely out.
Plugging the Pedal Juice In
The Pedal Juice only has two DC 9V outputs with a maximum output of 2,000mA and a negative polarity. You can hook up more than two pedals, but you will need to daisy chain them with some extra cables like these not included with the Pedal Juice. The user guide stresses very clearly how important it is to make sure you are not plugging in pedals with an opposite polarity to the Pedal Juice device. If you do have a pedal or device with an opposite polarity, the Pedal Juice does come with one small polarization conversion cable.
I quickly noticed how short the cables are for the Pedal Juice. I didn’t have any severe problems with the length, but you will want to make sure the device is centrally located between your pedals, or at least very close by. Once, everything was plugged in, I fired up the Pedal Juice and all my pedals (Boss DD-20, Full Drive 2, Boss TU-2) turned on with no problem.
Testing It Out
The awesome thing about the Pedal Juice is that since it’s not connected to a power source in the wall, you don’t have to worry about nasty noises or hums. When I played through it, my pedals were powered exactly as I expected and my tone was nice and clear. I wouldn’t say my tone was clearer necessarily. The Pedal Juice isn’t suppose to enhance your tone, but by default, it eliminates the power issues that come from powering from the wall.
How much power is consumed will depend on the device you have connected to the Pedal Juice. Here is a list of Sanyo’s estimated usage times:
- Analog effects unit (Distortion / Overdrive, etc.: Current used about 10mA): 50 hours
- Digital effects unit (Digital Delay / Digital Reverb, etc.: Current used about 50mA): 27 hours
- Digital multi effects unit, mini amp, or graphic equalizer (Currend used about 100mA): 17 hours
- Multi-track recorder or synthesizer (Current used about 300mA): 7 hours
- Electronic drums or percussion (Current used about 1,000mA): 2 hours
- Example: 3 effects units (Overdrive + Chorus + Digital Delay: Current used about 80mA): 20 hours
Like I mentioned above, in order to connect more than two pedals, I had to daisy chain the additional pedals with an extra daisy-chained DC cable I had (pictured below). The Pedal Juice can handle the additional pedals, but obviously, you’ll just consume more power.
When I was done, I simply held the power button on the Pedal Juice to turn it off and the pedals connected to it. When it is turned off, the battery is not used even if there are other pedals plugged in.
At first, I felt a bit deceived when I found out that the Pedal Juice only had two DC outs. When I saw the promotional picture from Sanyo of the Pedal Juice sitting on a board with a few pedals, I made the assumption it was equipped to connect to more than two pedals. However, like I mentioned above, you can buy some extra 9V DC cables for about $30 to expand the amount of pedals powered. For those who have larger setups and higher demands, you might find the Pedal Juice a bit limited.
However, I could see this working really well for my acoustic setups where I simply need to power my tuner and my delay pedal. It’s not uncommon for me to find myself in situations where I don’t have a power strip or an outlet within 10 feet.
The Pedal Juice not only powers effects pedals but other multi-effects processors and other portable recording devices. You could probably plug anything into this that took a DC in and had the right voltage and polarity. You can get creative with it.
Overall, this is a very innovative, but reliable product. If you’re in situations where you could use the extreme portability of the pedal juice to power a few pedals or other units, this would be great for you. The fact you can power more than two pedals is a good plus despite having to buy the extra cables. At $150, it might be a little bit pricey, but if you think about it, other power supplies like the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus cost as much as $170.
With all this being said, I’m quite impressed! I would not hesitate to recommend the Sanyo Pedal Juice.
What do you think about the Pedal Juice? Would you buy it? Those who own it, what do you think?