The power supply is the backbone of any pedalboard, and if you want the best possible playing experience, you need a power supply that fits your specific needs as a player. The good news is that MXR has you covered, no matter what your setup is, from the classic and super affordable DC Brick Power Supply to the more advanced and incredibly versatile Iso-Brick Power Supply to the punch-packing space-saver that is the Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply. Each is built like a tank with plenty of power on tap. Which MXR power supply is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at each.
MXR® DC BRICK™
The MXR DC Brick Power Supply is super affordable, supplies a ton of power, and is built like a tank. It’s the perfect perfect option for a beginner’s home-based pedalboard. Originally under the broader Dunlop Electronics brand, the DC Brick Power Supply entered the MXR fold with a few upgrades. On top of the the short-circuit and overload protection of the original, the MXR version handles twice the power to accommodate a wider variety of pedals and voltage requirements. Additionally, each 9-volt output has a red LED that illuminates if there is a short so that you can quickly identify and troubleshoot any power issues—a massive boon when you’re dealing with more than a few pedals. Speaking of outputs, the DC Brick Power Supply has ten in total: eight 9-volt outputs and two 18-volt outputs.
If you’re setting up a pedalboard for the first time, the DC Brick Power Supply is beginner-friendly while more than meeting the requirements of most pedals on the market, allowing for a great variety of experimentation with tons of the most popular effects—from the Super Badass® Distortion to the Carbon Copy® Delay and the Cry Baby® Wah.
The introduction of the DC Brick Power Supply presaged the arrival of the next power box on our list. The MXR Iso-Brick Power Supply is all about smooth live performances and more sophisticated tonal and technical tastes. Unwanted noise plagues many a player when they step on stage, whether it’s caused by a venue’s bad wiring or running multiple high-gain pedals in your chain. To protect your signal from such interference, the MXR team isolated each of the Iso-Brick Power Supply’s ten outputs so that none of them share an electrical connection. This also prevents a problem with one pedal from affecting the rest in your chain, reducing a potential disaster to a minor inconvenience. Running your pedals from isolated outputs is essentially like separately powering all of your pedals with super high-quality batteries.
Next, the Iso-Brick Power Supply is equipped with even more power, and that means it’ll run just about any pedal, digital or analog, positive or negative barrel—including the super advanced units favored by today’s tonal technicians. Six 9-volt outputs range from 100mA to 450mA, two 18-volt outputs provide 250mA, and two outputs adjustable from 6 volts to 15 volts provide 250mA. With these options, you can run the high-powered MXR Reverb just as easily as you can the much less demanding Phase 90.
MXR® MINI ISO-BRICK™
The last entry on our list in an interesting little guy. The Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply—as the name suggests—is much more compact than the DC Brick Power Supply and the Iso-Brick Power Supply, and with its five fully isolated outputs, this candy-bar-sized box is absolutely perfect for your downsized run-and-gun travel board. Awesome enough, right?
Well, the Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply has even more potential than that. With four 9-volt outputs at 300mA and one output adjustable between 9 and 18 volts at 800mA, this little box has all the power and versatility of the larger Iso-Brick Power Supply. Again, a more demanding pedal such as the Echoplex® Delay will sit nicely alongside the Timmy® Overdrive. Here’s where the Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply can take your pedalboard game to the next level, though: Combining two of minis on a regular or larger board gives you just as many outputs as the standard, but you’ll open up a whole new range of layout options so that you can get creative with pedal placements. And lest we forget: the Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply comes with a 2-way splitter cable to run two pedals of matching voltage from a single output provided their combined current requirements don’t exceed the output’s rating.
Like its brethren, the Mini Iso-Brick Power Supply is lightweight and built like a tank, so it’ll take a beating on the road and still keep you going from gig to gig. Whether you need to power a small, carefully curated selection of favorites or double up for a creative command center, this little box will get the job done and then some.
So now that you know which MXR power supply meets your needs, get out there and build that pedalboard. Your music is waiting.