Also, be sure to see Bob’s interview on Truetone Lounge marking 25 years in business.
Yes! All the way back in 2000-2001. Unlike 1 SPOT knock-offs, we designed our power supply from scratch and we’ve been continuously improving the 1 SPOT circuit whenever possible over the years.
“CarbonFree” is a trademark of Carbonfund.org, which is a non-profit that collects annual membership dues from individuals and businesses who want to “offset” their carbon footprint. The dues are used in part to do some good work, planting trees and even helping communities in developing countries with energy efficiency. However, we looked at their financials and decided to not participate in their programs due to what we believe is an inefficient use of funds. You can look at them here: https://carbonfund.org/about/financials/
For a business our size, it would only cost $780 per year to use their “CarbonFree” logo in our marketing, as some other companies have done.
We also considered partnering with The Nature Conservancy, but unfortunately, their use of funds is even less efficient.
Bob Weil, the founder of Truetone, is a lifelong, self-professed nature geek. He grew up volunteering at his local Nature Center, going on trash pickup hikes, helping to create new hiking trails for The Nature Conservancy, as well as traveling for birding and other naturalist interests. Some of his original motives for inventing the first compact pedalboard power supply, the 1 SPOT, were to reduce the vast number of batteries going into the waste stream, as well as to greatly reduce the wasted energy from musicians using many 9V linear adapters, one per pedal, which used to be commonplace. The 1 SPOT changed all that for musicians around the world.
So, while Truetone is not partnering with a non-profit (some of which are quite profitable), energy conservation is at the heart of who we are and why we make the power supplies we make.
I designed the switches to be close enough together so you can hit them both with your foot at the same time if you want to. That means you can turn them both On or Off, or if one channel is already On, hit both switches at the same time to turn the one Off and the other On. Simple, isn’t it?
Yes, I think we’ve seen them all by now. For the record, it’s JEKYLL .
The Ross and Dyna Comp circuits are almost identical to each other (except for maybe one resistor and one capacitor). However, the Route 66 takes those designs and combines them with our Pure Tone buffer, an original tone circuit, a pre-amp circuit and a Clean Mix circuit, giving it far more flexibility and clean headroom (clean gain potential)… and that’s just the compressor! You also get a killer overdrive thrown in for no extra charge… not a bad deal!
The foot-switches on your pedals make a pop sound through my amp when I first plug them in, but then it goes away. Why does that happen?
For the first 45 seconds after applying power to the pedal, the sound of foot-switch pop is normal, due to the time it takes for power supply filter capacitors to charge fully. After that, unlike ordinary true-bypass switches, switch pop goes away.
The 1 SPOT cannot be used to power multiple LINE 6 ToneCore Pedals, possibly due to inadequate power supply filtering in the pedals. A 1 SPOT can be used with one Tone Core Pedal with only a minimal amount of noise. More than one Tone Core pedal on a daisy chain causes too much noise for practical use. We are currently checking into this matter further to see if we can come up with a solution, maybe even with the help of Line 6. The 1 SPOT will work noiselessly with almost any other effects pedals, even the larger Line 6 Modeling pedals.
Old-style fuzz pedals use PNP germanium transistors which are electrically opposite polarity to every other pedal you have, so they must be run on a separate power supply. Most people who have a pedal(s) like that, run them off a second 1 SPOT. That way, you’re still not using up valuable pedalboard space or power strip space… and it’s still a lot less expensive than one of those brick-sized power supplies.
Note : You will also need the Reverse Polarity Converter if your pedal has a barrel type of power jack (like Boss pedals) and indicates that the power jack is wired center positive. If your pedal has a mini-headphone type of power jack, you will need the 3.5mm Converter.
I plugged a 9VAC adapter (Line 6, Digitech, etc.) into my pedal and it smelled like smoke and won’t work anymore… what happened?
There are very few pedals that are designed to take AC voltage (vs. DC voltage). If you feed your 9VDC (battery voltage) pedal AC, it usually will destroy much of the electronics. Once in a while, the pedal will survive, needing only minor repairs. However, most of the time the entire circuit board needs to be replaced. If you have an AC powered pedal on your pedalboard (Line 6 DL4 for example), be very careful to not plug the AC adapter into any of your other pedals… not even for a few seconds. Always look at the adapter label for the Output Voltage and make sure it’s 9VDC, not AC, before you plug it in…or just get a 1 SPOT and put your other adapters away!
The V2 and V3 Series pedals from Truetone include an AC blocking component that will prevent AC voltage from damaging your pedal.
What is “Made in USA”?
The Federal Trade Commission of the United States requires that “all or virtually all” parts and labor cost of a product be of USA origin in order to carry a “Made in USA” marking or claim. The FTC says: “All or virtually all” means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.”
Under those strict guidelines, it’s impossible to have an FTC approved “Made in USA”, “Built in USA”, “Hand-crafted in USA”, etc. label on a guitar pedal or power supply.
Let’s look at what goes into guitar pedals:
Resistors – 0% are made in USA
Capacitors – 0% are made in USA
Diodes – 0% are made in USA
IC Chips (including op-amps) – 0% are made in USA
Transistors – 0% are made in USA
Switches – 0% are made in USA
Hammond: made in Canada
Others: made in China (some sheet metal housings are still made in America, but not die-cast aluminum.)
Circuit Boards (unpopulated) – some are made in USA; most made in Canada or China
As you can see, it is impossible for a manufacturer to claim Made in USA when building anything electronic.
At Truetone, we’ve known this since our beginning in 1995. That’s why, starting in 1997, we’ve gone directly to the source for buying the highest quality parts we can find and for assembly. Although we could get all the parts shipped to our office and assemble them here, we still would not even qualify for an “Assembled in USA” claim. Here’s why, according to the FTC:
“…a “screwdriver” assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the “Assembled in USA” claim.”
Therefore, it is impossible for an electronic product (including guitar pedals and power supplies), to be Made in USA nor even (in most cases) Assembled in USA, according to the law.
We have used the 1 SPOT (as have thousands of other people) with just about all the Boss pedals and they normally work fine together. The Boss PSA adapter puts out about 9.6VDC and so does the 1 SPOT. The 1 SPOT also has circuit protection built into it so that it really can’t pass AC voltage or overly high DC voltage to pedals hooked up to it.
Having said that, we had a few customers in 2008/09 call us about a digital Boss unit getting burned out while using a 1 SPOT. Boss will not cover them on their warranty as soon as they find out that a non-Boss power supply was being used. While investigating one of these problems, a customer sent us his Boss Micro BR recorder, along with his still-working 1 SPOT. We got the schematic from Boss, opened the unit and found that an internal voltage regulator (voltage step-down device) had burned up and caused a cascade failure of other components in the BR. This voltage regulator is made by Seiko and is specified as being “without overload protection circuit”, even though Seiko also makes the same regulator “with overload protection circuit”… it probably saved Boss a few pennies by using the former regulator rather than the latter. The regulator also comes in “A” and “B” versions. “A” has a maximum input voltage of 10V. “B” has a maximum input voltage of 16V. The “B” version is specified on the Boss parts list. However, if an “A” version slipped into production by mistake, feeding it 9.6V could easily cause it to wear down over time and eventually burn up.
When we looked at the schematic, it became obvious that the 1 SPOT could not have caused this component failure. In addition, the 1 SPOT the customer sent back to us with his BR was still working perfectly. Although it’s impossible to confirm it, it seems that the burned voltage regulator was probably either defective, or an incorrect regulator was used (one that had the wrong input voltage specs but got mixed in with the batch of correct regulators during production).
Unfortunately, Boss has an easy out with warranty repairs since most people do not use a Boss PSA adapter anymore, but use a 1 SPOT or other pedalboard power supply. That cuts their warranty repair expense down considerably since most guitar players are honest when asked by Boss tech support what power supply they were using.
The only thing we can conclude thus far is that Boss was having quality control problems on some of their digital products. They all have surface mount components and run internally off of 3.3VDC typically, stepped-down from 9.6VDC input. If their surface mount step-down regulators fail, the product is ruined. The only recourse a Boss customer has is to be dishonest when talking to tech support and say that they were using a Boss PSA adapter even when they were not… and most people prefer to be honest.
UPDATE: It’s now been several years since we’ve heard from anyone about a Boss product being “damaged by a 1 SPOT”. It seems that Boss solved whatever issues may have existed in their component specifications to make them more reliable.
In general, if your 1 SPOT is still working and can still power other pedals, then it was definitely NOT the 1 SPOT that caused the problem.
They do now! The V3 Series pedals include true bypass as an option that you can use with or without our Pure Tone buffer. However, we’ve done true bypass our way, which is reliable and quiet. We designed our own “Forever Footswitch” which has a Lifetime Warranty along with the rest of the pedal… it will never wear out. The footswitch is connected to relays with gold-plated contacts. The switching system also contains a proprietary circuit for silencing switch pop. No other pedal company spends nearly as much on switching as Truetone.
In case you’re wondering, here’s why we didn’t use “true bypass” for so many years:
The switches required for “true-bypass” are much less reliable in the long run, typically rated at around 5000 stomps, but often lasting less than that because the rating is based on 240V, not 1/10th of a volt as comes out of guitar pickups. They also cause audible switch pop through your amp. The V2 and V3 Series pedals have a proprietary switching system rated at 10,000,000 stomps and are virtually silent. The V2 and V3 switches actually cost us a lot more than 3PDT “true-bypass” switches, but they’re well worth it.
Secondly, the buffering system in Truetone pedals was taken from our Pure Tone pedal. This pedal was built originally for guitarist Neil Zaza back in the 1996, because he needed something to clean up his bypass tone for all the pedals he used (VOX wah included). Pure Tone, when placed first in the chain, made it sound like you were plugged straight into the amp even when going through notorious tone killer pedals. We ended up selling about 200 of these to very happy tone conscious guitar players before we put it into Jekyll & Hyde as an added feature. So, if J&H or Rt. 66 is first in your chain, it will buffer everything that follows it as well as itself.
For warranty registration, click here.