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The 1 SPOT Pro Story
For many years, Truetone has made musicians’ lives easier with the 1 SPOT, the original compact pedalboard power supply. It works so well that a lot of musicians never felt the need to get one of those brick-style power supplies, and we here at Truetone didn’t see the need for those either, even though they were quite popular. Bob Weil, founder of Truetone, explains:
“A lot of people over the years had told us that we should make a power brick. Even some of my own staff urged me to do it, but I didn’t want to for two reasons. First, I knew the 1 SPOT could power just about every pedal out there, so I didn’t see the need. Second, I didn’t want to make just another knock-off of someone else’s power brick. If we were going to make one, we were going to do it our way and have features that nobody else could offer. As pedal designs changed and it became more common for digital pedals to require isolation and for others to need something other than 9Vdc, I finally saw a reason for us to design a power brick.”
“It took 3 years and lots of experimentation, but we were finally able to design a 1 SPOT Pro, using our own proprietary technology to give musicians all the features they need for today’s pedalboards. The original 1 SPOT still works great for most musicians, but for those who need more power and versatility, the 1 SPOT Pro fills the need perfectly.”
1 SPOT Technology… what does that mean and why should I care? Technically, it’s switching power supply technology, which is very different than what anyone has ever put inside a power brick. Normally, you would find just a big transformer and a handful of small electronic components inside a power brick… old tech that hasn’t changed in decades and has a lot of limitations. We took the same switching power supply technology found in our famous 1 SPOT and scaled it up to make the 1 SPOT Pro models. With much more space to work with, we were able to completely eliminate noise, provide total electrical isolation between outputs, create multiple voltages, and still give you the ability to use it anywhere in the world.
A major benefit of using a switching power supply is that it can handle far more current (power being pulled out of it) than any transformer-based power supply. Although we had to put power rating labels on each output to satisfy certification agencies (yes, we actually certified these, unlike most companies), the outputs can generally handle far more than the label shows. For example, you can connect a 300mA pedal to a 200mA output, without causing any problems. With a transformer-based power supply, you can’t get away with that. The important thing is to not exceed the total of all the labels. With a CS7, the output labels add up to 1900mA total. That means the total current draw of all your pedals should be less than 1900mA. That total current rating is roughly double the current load of the most common power brick, for a lot less money.
8.12” x 3.37” x 2” (206 x 86 x 50mm); 2.35 lbs. (1.06 Kg.) - weight and dimensions of power supply only, not including cables or packaging.
The back panel of the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 has a 2-position 115/230V~ switch that allows the 1 SPOT Pro CS12 to be used in most countries. Warning: Using the unit at the wrong setting will cause damage to both the 1 SPOT Pro CS12, and any effect plugged into output 12. Make sure the switch setting matches the voltage coming out of the wall outlet (+/- 10V~ is OK). This switch only effects the 9VAC output, but it’s important to set it correctly whether you use that output or not… you might want to use it someday.
CS12 – Outputs 3-6 (9VDC or 12VDC); Output 7 (9VDC or variable 4-9VDC)
See DIP switch on bottom of power supply for clearly marked labels.
(1) CL6 – (5.5x2.1mm barrel input, 5.5x2.5 barrel output; reverse polarity)
Green – for Line 6 DL4/M9/etc. and some Eventide pedals.
(1) CYR – (5.5x2.1mm barrel input, 5.5x2.1 barrel output; reverse polarity)
Red – reverse polarity converter
(2) C35 – (5.5x2.1mm barrel input, 3.5mm male output; tip positive)
Black – 3.5mm (1/8”) plug converter
(1) CBAT – (5.5x2.1mm barrel input, Black battery clip output) Connects to battery clip wires inside pedals that do not have DC jacks. Do NOT connect to a battery!
That question can best be answered by looking at the following questions and notes…
Which output and settings do I use for my pedals?
It is important for you to know the power requirements for your pedal. For every pedal that you are going to power via the 1 SPOT Pro CS12, you need to know the following:
What is the voltage required by the pedal?
Does the pedal require AC or DC voltage?
What is the polarity of the pedal? (Center pin positive or negative.)
These questions can usually be answered by:
Notes on using certain pedals with the 1 SPOT Pro CS12:
Another 1 SPOT Pro first. In the past, if you had a Line 6 or Digitech pedal that required 9VAC (not DC), you had to use their power supply and an extension cord or maybe a courtesy outlet on your power brick, if you could get to it. We put a 9VAC output right on the front panel of the CS12, so you can ditch the big wall-wart and keep things neat and simple. We did have to use a small toroidal transformer for this, as it’s not really feasible to create AC voltage with a switching power supply, but that small toroid is dedicated to just that one output… completely isolated.
While most pedals still run off 9VDC, not all of them do. That’s one of the main reasons why we finally decided to design the 1 SPOT Pro. With the CS7, you get one output for 18VDC and six at 9VDC, with four of those switchable to 12VDC. Need another 18VDC output? No problem… just get a Multi-Plug 2 cable (MC2) and run both pedals off that one outlet… most boosts and drive pedals don’t mind sharing an output anyway. Don’t need the 18VDC output at all? No problem… just get Truetone’s 18V to 9V Converter cable (V189).
With the CS12, you get the same voltage options that the CS7 has, plus a variable 4-9VDC output, and the 9VAC output.
Since pioneering the first switching power supply for musicians, the original 1 SPOT, we’ve gained many years of experience in creating very low noise power for pedals. When we started designing the 1 SPOT Pro, the first multiple output switching power supply, we worried a lot about how to eliminate noise completely. Isolation is part of the solution to noise elimination, but not all of it. Each output is galvanically isolated from the other to help give you pure, clean, noise-free operation of your pedals. However, we also provided an additional layer of pure analog regulation, taking advantage of the greater ability of analog circuits to provide the highest possible suppression of in-band audio noise. There is an artistry involved in these designs, and it’s come at the price of decades of hard work. But all of this put together is what we call Pure Isolation.
The only power brick to include easy-to-install mounting brackets for Pedaltrain pedalboards. We even duplicated the output labels under the unit, so you can easily see which output is which, when working on your board. Yes, we thought of that too!
Prior to the 1 SPOT, musicians either used one linear power supply (a.k.a. wall wart) per pedal, or used batteries. Both solutions for powering pedals were very inefficient with energy, with batteries also contributing greatly to the toxic waste stream.
In 2000, we pioneered the use of switching power supply technology to alleviate this condition in an economically-, energy- and environmentally-conservative way. The 1 SPOT power supply was designed to replace many such external power supplies and/or batteries simultaneously. It provided plenty of power with a very low noise level to successfully meet the needs of musicians.
By offering musicians a solution that was more cost effective and energy efficient, and moving the market away from linear transformer-based power supplies to switching power supplies, Truetone has caused the saving of thousands of watt-hours per musician per year.
Utilizing a more comprehensive switching power supply solution, the 1 SPOT Pro sets a new level of efficiency for power bricks, while still meeting the needs of musicians for low noise operation, even in severe conditions where the pedals themselves may generate interfering noise.