In the growing market of effects pedal power supplies, there haven’t been too many changes or innovations to really shake things up. It may seem like a pretty straight-forward area, but what goes into making a really good power supply is actually a bit more complicated. Manufacturers have to consider the wide-ranging power requirements of an endless assortment of pedals with a lot of emphasis on the requirements of some of the most popular pedals on the market at any given time. And considerations must be made for popular pedals with more demanding power requirements. While a few power supplies have gained popularity over the years, some of these units have glaring shortcomings. Decibel Eleven sought to address these issues with their flagship power supply, the Hot Stone Deluxe. Is the Hot Stone Deluxe the best effects pedal power supply out there? We’ll find out in our Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe review.
Do I need a power supply?
A quality guitar effects pedal power supply is a must for any guitarist who uses more than a handful of pedals. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out with a band or are a stadium-touring pro, you need a good power supply. Popping batteries in your pedals every few weeks adds up, so the sooner you get a power supply the better. If you have one or two pedals in your gig bag, you can probably do without. But if you have about 4 or more pedals and need a reliable way to give them some juice, a decent power supply is a must.
The Hot Stone Deluxe is capable of powering up to 8-10 guitar pedals. That’s plenty of power for most medium to large sized pedalboards. Even if you have a few less pedals, the Hot Stone Deluxe is still worth considering as you never know when you’re going to find more pedals that you can’t live without. The Hot Stone Deluxe will ensure that your pedal power requirements will be met even as your pedalboard grows in size. We’ll dig deeper into the Hot Stone Deluxe’s capabilities and performance, but first let’s run down the features it has to offer.
10 total power outlets for powering up to 8-10 pedals.
Outlets 1-2: 9V and/or 12V, 400mA
Outlets 3-4: 9V and/or 12V, 400mA
Outlets 5-6: 9V, 100mA each
Outlets 7-8: 9V or 12V, 200mA each
Outlets 9-10: 5V-9V (continuously variable via voltage sag control knobs), 100mA each
Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.10” x 3.46” x 1.73” – same as some other common power supplies.
Includes 8 BLACK power cables with Boss-style 5.5×2.1mm end jacks.
Includes 2 BLUE 5.5×2.5mm cables (compatible with Eventide, Line 6, etc.).
Includes 1 power cable with 1/8” plug tip.
Also featured in the video: Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette
For this review I hooked up an assortment of pedals to the Hot Stone Deluxe and left the power supply on at length. I played various combinations of pedals to check for noise and to see how the Hot Stone Deluxe fares under extended use. I also evaluated the various powering options to see just how versatile this power supply really is. Here’s my detailed review.
First off, it’s very important to power your pedals with an isolated and regulated power supply as this helps to ensure and maintain a quiet rig. The Hot Stone Deluxe provides 8 isolated power sections and 10 total outputs which may all be used at once. The Hot Stone Deluxe produces no detectable noise or hum even when cables are in close proximity to the unit. Throughout my testing, the power supply remained remarkably quiet. If you’re still using a daisy chain to power your pedals and are experiencing noise issues, upgrading to the Hot Stone Deluxe is a solution worth considering.
One of the most important factors when choosing a power supply and ensuring that it functions properly is to be aware of the mA ratings of the power supply and your pedals. Many power supplies fall short in not having enough outputs with the required milliamp rating to power your pedals effectively. Decibel Eleven have taken this into careful consideration. 4 outputs are rated at 100mA, 2 are rated at 200mA, and the 2 left sections (9 and/or 12 volt) are each rated at 400mA. The Hot Stone Deluxe provides more than enough power for most needs to ensure that you won’t have to sacrifice one of your favorite pedals when building your pedalboard.
The Hot Stone Deluxe has a few noteworthy special features. The last two inputs are variable from 5 to 9 volts with conveniently located voltage sag controls beneath the power outputs. This is an option worth exploring with various fuzz and distortion pedals to simulate that dying-battery sound by reducing the power to the pedal. Some interesting and usable results can often be found. Also, the 200mA outputs are variable between 9 and 12 volts via 2 tiny switches located on the backside of the pedal (not underneath like on some power supplies from other companies). I actually used one of these outputs to power the Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette. These extra couple 200mA outputs really give the Hot Stone Deluxe an edge over other powering solutions. while most standard compact pedals require less than 100mA, you don’t want to be caught realizing one of your pedals needs 120-140mA or more power and not have the available output to power it. It’s extremely convenient to have so much available power on tap as this makes the Hot Stone Deluxe an indispensable necessity for powering everything on your pedalboard.
The two left power sections will let you run a pedal at 9 and 12 volts at up to 400mA. I was able to use this section to power the Moog MF-108M Cluster Flux, Eventide H9 Harmonizer, and Strymon BigSky with no problems. And let’s say you have 2 pedals, one requiring 9 volts and one requiring 12 volts that use less than 400mA combined. You can power both pedals from one of these power sections. This allows you to use up to 10 pedals total which is more than sufficient for most medium to large size pedalboards.
The weight of the product is comparable to other units of similar proportions. It’s also very convenient that the Hot Stone Deluxe is compatible with pedalboard solutions from PedalTrain and other manufacturers. Decibel Eleven really put in the effort with the Hot Stone Deluxe to ensure that it’s real contender for being the best effects pedal power supply on the market.
One more thing to note, for a product called the “Hot Stone”, the unit remains reasonably cool under extended use. I left it powered on for quite a while with a full assortment of various pedals connected, and it never gave me any problems. The Hot Stone Deluxe really has a lot going for it. Let’s see the final result.
UPDATE: The Hot Stone Deluxe blew a fuse about 15 minutes before a gig. I left it on after soundcheck for nearly 2 hours. It was under the second tier of a Holeyboard. I have since replaced the fuse, and it works fine; however, be advised when mounting it in a tight space or leaving it on for extended periods of time. Our final score has been revised to reflect possible reliability issues.
The Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe is certainly one of the best effects pedal power supplies on the market today. Decibel Eleven did their homework to ensure that the Hot Stone Deluxe has more than enough power to satisfy just about any combination of pedals you could possibly cram onto a medium or large size pedalboard. The Hot Stone Deluxe maintains what has become an industry-standard size while being able to power up to 10 pedals, including high-end pedals like the Eventide H9, Strymon TimeLine, and pedals from Moog, Line 6, TC Electronic, and more. If you’re looking for a serious professional grade power supply, the Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe deserves your consideration.
That concludes our Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe review. Thanks for reading.
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