Hands-on Review: Sanyo Pedal Juice power supply

(MattG | Posted 2010-09-27)

Hands-on Review: Sanyo Pedal Juice power supply

As a guitarist with a pedal board, how many times have you found yourself on stage desperately looking for that illusive power outlet at the front of the stage? By the time the extension cords are run and everything is plugged in, you donít dare step away from your board for risk of tripping over the gauntlet of power cords and patch cables. The other option: Buy enough 9-volt batteries to equal your car payment every month Ė and throw them away before they are truly dead, while also making you sure you have several spares and a screw driver to change the eminent dead battery.

Every guitarist has asked themselves why there isnít an easy to use, portable power supply to eliminate the hassle of extension cords and expensive disposable batteries. Sanyo has introduced a new product to answer this seemingly simple question, the Pedal Juice. It is a lithium-ion battery housed in a slick looking, effects pedal sized box. It can be recharged hundreds of times and is capable of powering a pedal board full of digital and analog effects for a very realistic amount of time.

The Pedal Juice provides stable, uninterrupted 9-volt power. It has two outputs if you use more than one power chain. It provides up to 50 hours of continuous power. You donít have to read the manual cover to cover to figure out how to use it either. A single on/off button and one 3-stage LED are the only components to the battery. The LED shows green, orange and red, each displaying a different percentage of remaining power. Green means 60% to 100% remaining, orange is 30% to 60% and red is 0% to 30%. Another benefit is you can say goodbye to obnoxious A.C. ground loops because all your power comes from a single dedicated lithium-ion battery. Its rugged design is both shock and water resistant and fits nicely on your pedal board. It only takes 3 Ĺ hours to fully charge and can be recharged hundreds of times without getting a memory. The charger and a power chain are included with the purchase of a Pedal Juice.

I tested it out in several real-world situations including powering a rather large pedal board. My board is made up of: Boss TU-3 Tuner, Morly Pro Series Volume/Wah, OCD drive, Ibanez TS-9 (Analog Man), Keeley Modded Blues Driver, MXR Phase 90, Boss Giga Delay, VOX Compressor, and BBE Boosta Grande. The Pedal Juice had no problem powering everything for at least four hours. It lasted about six hours on a full charge while never being turned off. Another nice feature is that if the power button is off, it doesnít pull any power. You donít have to unplug the pedals to save the battery.

If you are a serious gigging musician, it would be beneficial to have two Pedal Juices for gigs that exceed four hours. If you have fewer effects on your pedal board, the battery will last longer but having a back up for the convenience factor is probably a good idea. I also used it for several acoustic gigs to power my tuner and compressor and it lasted for 4 and almost five shows Ė roughly 16-20 hours.

The Pedal Juice isnít just for guitarists either; it can power pretty much anything that takes 9-volt power. There is a usage chart that can be found on their website, http://us.sanyo.com/Pedal-Juice that gives an idea of some other practical uses. Sanyo claims that the Pedal Juice can power an electronic drum set for up to two hours. The Pedal Juice is a brilliant new product from Sanyo and I imagine will become as common as an Ibanez tube screamer on pedal boards. It is convenient, portable power that can be reused time and time again in many real world situations. I highly recommend adding this to your collection of essential toys. The Pedal Juice has a retail price of $199 USD and a street price of $150 USD.

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