Sanyo Pedal Juice – review

A really clever idea, why didn't anyone think of it earlier?

One of the frustrating things with using standard wall-wart power supplies with your pedal board is the associated AC ground loop noise that may arise. Another issue is having to worry about finding a place to plug in your pedal board at gigs. With the Sanyo Pedal Juice these issues are no longer a problem.

The Pedal Juice is a 9V Lithium-Ion battery featuring SANYO eneloop technology. It provides up to 50 hours of continuous, quiet, clean, stable power depending on the pedals on your board. It will only take about 3.5 hours at most to recharge it to capacity.

Sanyo have provided a multi-colour LED on the Pedal Juice which indicates the percentage of battery life left in the unit. When the LED is green you have approximately over %60 of battery life left, when orange there is approximately 30-60% left, and red indicates less than 30%. This is extremely useful because you will be able to judge after recharging the unit a few times whether or not you need to charge up the Pedal Juice before a gig or rehearsal. The Pedal Juice also comes with a power button so you don’t need to worry about unplugging your cables to stop power drain.

With 2,000mA of available juice on tap the Pedal Juice should be capable of running a reasonable amount of pedals from its two outputs without any issues. I currently have 5 pedals connected to it (2 distortion, 1 compressor, 1 digital delay, and 1 flanger to give you a reference point), and I have had no issues powering them.

The only issue you may have out of the box is that the Pedal Juice only comes with two single patch cables. This is easily remedied though by purchasing a daisy chain cable, but it is a shame that the Pedal Juice did not come with one out of the box.

You will need to be careful if you have a pedal that needs a positive polarity power source as the Pedal Juice is wired for negative polarity. But don’t fret as Sanyo saw fit to provide one polarisation conversion patch cable. Just take care to make sure you don’t mix your cables up.

You may be concerned about the Pedal Juice weighing down your pedal board and taking up a lot of valuable real estate, but don’t worry. The Pedal Juice is about the same size as a standard Boss pedal, and is exceptionally light. You could probably velcro it to the bottom of your pedal board if it’s design could accommodate it.

Another handy thing about the Pedal Juice is that it is water and shock resistant, so it should be able to withstand the rigours of playing on stage, where it might have liquids (water, beer, etc) accidentally spilled on it, or get kicked around during the heat of the set.

What really matters though is how the Pedal Juice allows you to operate your effects pedals. The wonderful thing to report is that there is nothing to report. Power up your amp, plug in your guitar, turn on the Pedal Juice and you will be greeted with no additional noise, other than what your signal chain may typically generate. The Pedal Juice wont make your noisy distortion pedals any quieter, but it wont introduce any more noise like a power supply connected to a “noisy” power outlet, or a close to being overloaded power supply.

The only thing that may put people off the Sanyo Pedal Juice is it’s price, and that it’s only capable of powering 9V devices. There are AC powered “clean” power solutions on the market that are a similar price to the Pedal Juice that also offer the ability to power devices that may need 12 or 18V. But if you are only needing to power 9V devices, and like the idea of not having to worry about plugging in your pedal board to power your effects the Pedal Juice is probably perfect for you.

Overall the Sanyo Pedal Juice is a an extremely innovative idea, and I am surprised that no one had come up with a similar product earlier. If you are only looking to power 9V devices, and want to get your pedal board off troublesome AC power this device is probably perfect for you.

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