The wonderful world of stompboxes. What a magnificent thing it can be. For those of us who dabble in the art of noise nothing can be better. For me it is the hunt that attracts me to it all and keeps things exciting. The tweaking and experimenting of different sounds, the blending and pairing of certain pedals, and the extra push or color they can give our tone. But where there's a positive there is always a negative. In the effect pedal world that negative is the hassle of finding a player friendly way of powering our gear. This is where DC Voltage comes into play, and where the pedal power problem goes away. Imagine not having to deal with dead batteries, power adapters, power strips, extension chords, and the time they're all capable of eating up. This is now possible with DC Voltage's P3 Technology line of products. I recently had a chance to try this stuff and I must say I was absolutely floored with amazement. Let's take a closer look at this gear shall we?
P3 Custom Modified
* P3 Technology Available For Most Pedals
* No More Batteries or Adapters
* Can Still Function as Stock Pedals
* Can Be Used to Power Non-P3 Pedals
* Run Power Out to Active Guitars
* Keeps Your Setup Neat
* P3 TRS Cable (Switchcraft jack/high quality wire)
* Power Station Power Cable
* Pedal Jack Power Cables
So what exactly is P3 Technology and how does it work? Well, it's quite simple actually, and damn genius! With the DC Voltage P3 External Kit you can feed phantom power to almost any 9-volt style stompbox. This means there is no more need for batteries, wall warts/power adapters, extension chords, power strips, or plugging into walls. Your pedalboard and rig all together stays much neater, you save on setup time, and most important you have a steady flow of killer quality juice. There are a few different ways to work P3 Technology into your setup, all of them being user friendly and each option working in your favor. I got to try the P3 External Kit which I'll talk about in a sec and is only the tip of the iceberg of what is possible. For those of you who want to go all out there are P3 mods you can have done directly to your amps and pedals. This lets you power all your pedals directly from your amp's input jack, using a standard stereo cable or P3 TRS Cable to run the phantom power down to your boxes! If you don't want to have your amp modified and only want to mod your pedals there is the P3 Power Station. Simply set the Power Station on top of your amp, run a regular guitar cable from the Power Station to your amp, and run a stereo or P3 cable from Power Station on down to your pedals. P3 modded pedals are setup with two mini toggle switches that let phantom power into and out of the pedal's input & output jacks. If you want to use your P3 pedals in their stock form just switch off both toggle switches and you're back to the old school. Another cool thing about a P3 modded pedal is that when engaged it can send power out of it's DC jack to power non-P3 pedals. How cool is that! Please check out the DC Voltage videos to see more on these options, it will blow your mind.
Now let's take a looksy at the P3 External Kit, which I had a blast with and also used at a few gigs. With the kit you get a P3 Power Station (which we already dove into), a P3 TRS Cable, DC jack cables, a power chord for your Power Station, and last the Power Splitter. The kit is designed to be used for anyone that doesn't have any P3 equipped gear. I was still able to eliminate the need of power adapters, power strips, and extension chords. Setting up the P3 External Kit was cake. First I pulled out my pedalboard and removed all power adapters, batteries, and power strip. I set the Power Splitter behind my board, ran the little DC jack power cables to each pedal, and ran a short length cable from last pedal into right the Power Splitter. The Power Station I set on top of my amp and ran it's power chord into the same strip the amp was plugged to, keeping things nice and neat. Last I connected the Power Station into the amp, and Power Splitter out to the Power Station. I looked down at my feet and smiled. There were no power adapters going anywhere or plugged into anything, and no unnecessary cables to deal with. Every single one of my pedals worked and sounded perfectly. I didn't have to worry about any batteries going dead on me or any adapters getting unplugged. Along with the P3 External I also got to try out a few P3 modified guitar pedals. This kept things even neater, which is really making me think about having all my pedals converted to P3. With the P3 pedals I had no need for the Power Splitter. I just sent the P3 TRS Cable down to the last pedal on the floor, connected the pedals together by using short length P3 cables, and that was that. Now here is something that is going to blow you away, it did me. Usually you click the phantom power switch off from the jack that is going to your guitar, there is no need for the 9V power to go up there. Or is there? Now I don't play guitars with active electronics but I do know a couple friend's that do. I had my friend bring his crazy metal shredder guitar over to see if the P3 system would power the guitar's pickups. I had no more P3 cables but then remembered I could use regular stereo guitar cables. I switched the phantom power switch to feed up to the guitar, and what do you know? EUREKA!!! It worked beautifully. There are plenty more guitar gadgets that use 9V power that would work beautifully with this stuff. A few days after this I sat in and played some gigs with a couple friends' bands. I took the P3 External Kit on both gigs and it worked wonders. Setting up was never easier, in fact it was kind of strange not having to run any adapters to a power strip or outlets. I had velcro'd the Power Splitter to the back of my pedalboard and left everything plugged in. This way I just pulled it out of it's case, plugged a cable from the Splitter to the Power Station, and I was ready to fly. Everyone who saw the P3 setup was impressed, most of all me. Any cat with a major or simple stompbox setup should definitely look into checking out some of this gear. I am on the verge of having one of my amps and some of my pedals P3 modified. This is hands down the most user friendly tools I have seen in a loooong time.
For more info on DC Voltage and all P3 Technology products go to www.dcvoltage.net or click the direct link in our sidebar. Make sure to check out the P3 videos in our Youtube search engine at the bottom of our site. keep rockin'.