Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Visual Sound 1 Spot Combo Pack


I barely run any powered effects on my pedalboard, but I used to. That was when my Visual Sound 1 Spot Combo Pack came in handy.

If you run a large pedalboard with lots of effect pedals, you are looking at a major investment in power. Either you are maintaining a stock of 9-volt batteries (which suck the soul out of our Mother Earth), or you are buying AC adapters at 15 bucks a pop and have to lug around a power strip. Not to mention adding an arterial system of extra power cables going every which way.

I avoided both of these scenarios and bought the 1 Spot Combo Pack, which looks frickin’ amazing on paper.

The kit includes the power adapter (with a slim profile), an 8-pedal cable, two battery clip converters (for pedals that do not have power inputs, like vintage pedals), two 1/8-inch converters (again for vintage pedals) and an L6 converter for Line 6 modeling pedals. Who buys those Line 6 pedals, anyway?

The 1 Spot can power up to 8 effects with only 1 inverter/transformer, assuming your total draw is no more than 1700mA. Supposedly you can buy additional multi-plug cables to “power a virtually unlimited number of pedals!” Well, as long as you do not exceed 1700mA.

Supposedly this system will power Boss PSA, Morley, Danelectro, Dunlop, Ibanez, and Zoom pedals. I only used mine for Boss pedals and a Tech 21 VT (which is not even on this list). I never had a pedal this thing would not power.

Another of their claims is that you can use the 1 Spot “anywhere in the world without a voltage converter because it automatically converts voltage worldwide.” I have not tried the 1 Spot anywhere besides the good old USA. But, despite their assertions, I would rather trust a 9-volt battery than a wall outlet in a Moroccan pole dancing establishment.

Visual Sound’s last claim is that there is “No need to worry about AC hum coming through an adapter - the 1 SPOT is one of the quietest power sources you can buy.” I emit hi-ho hearty bullshit cough on this one. The one I got added of hum on every pedal I ever plugged into it. Every single one. My Boss adapters add no noise. Go figure.

That’s about all I have for you on this product. It did work on my pedals and I ended up with some extra noise. I never used 8 pedals, so I always had a bunch of extra plugs that had to be routed somewhere and tied off. If you look online, you will see plenty of reviews by musicians who say that their 1 Spot failed completely, and most reviewers complain of noise.

If you want to try out the Visual Sound 1 Spot Combo Pack, they are not expensive. The list price is $39.95, or you can find them online for $33.10. Or you can buy my barely used one for a little cheaper. Shoot me an e-mail if you are interested.


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