It would be difficult for me go assemble and count all the pedals, mixers, and assorted recorders and other equipment I’ve accumulated over time. A number of them are in a junk pile somewhere because of one annoying feature.

They are not compatible with each other for one reason and one reason only. The power cords from the transformer rectifiers, also known as A/C adaptors only fit that one piece of equipment.

I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 computer that has a proprietary connector. The quality of this connector is so bad that the noise levels are intolerable unless I operate on battery power only. Noise from a power supply that is used with music or any other audio function is unacceptable.

This is the worst example I personally have but not the only one.

DC Voltage is relatively easy to filter to the point that noise is not a problem. I don’t know the reason for the poor performance but I suspect that quality doesn’t permit the profit levels desired.

When my poorly made Dell A/C adapter wore out I had to buy another at a ridiculous price.

Needless to say, I’ve bought my last Dell product.

I have a DOD Flanger that require a male 1/8 inch jack All of my other floor mounted effects processors require a standard female 9 volt negative center positive ring A/C adaptor.

I went to a pawn shop and found a Digidesign floor mount multi effects processor for a good price. I looked for the power supply and could not find it. I checked the rear of the unit and realized that it had some unusual configuration for a supply and so I passed.

I have a XENYX mixer for recording at home that works quite well. It has a proprietary power supply and when it breaks I’ll look for another brand.

Now when I buy anything for my studio, the first thing I do is look at the rear and check out the power supply.

There is no reason for this. I’m sure the manufactures have some explanation of why they do this but my smoke detector goes off after about two words into this explanation. Everyone else can design power supplies buy them and start the blowing smoke as an explanation.

I am an electronic technician with an FCC Radio Telephone License to prove it so it’s not easy to fool me.

The lesson here is buyer beware. If you can’t replace a power supply at you local electronics store should it fail you are probably being had.

Generally, all you want is regulated DC voltage completely filtered to straight line DC as seen on a scope. There a many internal products that should be in your unit to provide any A/C voltage required.

How would you like it if every time you brought home a radio or TV or even a blender only to find that each one had a different plug. You wouldn’t and that is why most reputable manufacturers don’t do this.

If you enjoyed this article and find it interesting, Guitar Players Center encourages you, our loyal viewers to Share It allowing the guitar community to pick up on this vibe, and please leave a Comment containing your thoughts about this unusual piece of guitar equipment. By Steve Dewey. Edited by Daniel Lehrman

Guitar Power Supply Outlet Sources

Messy and a big waste and a Big Joke!

4 Responses to Beware of Proprietary Connections When Buying Guitar Gear and Equipment

  1. This is an excellent point.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Thanks for making a great point (or two), Danny. This is the stuff I just wouldn’t know about otherwise!

  3. Roscoe Lehrman

    Thanks for the words of caution and advice. You always keep us up to speed. Stay cool!

  4. Pingback: How to Run Guitar Effects Gear Through an Amplifier | Touched Music

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