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Bluebox on the way, question about powering and ground noise

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  • Bluebox on the way, question about powering and ground noise

    Hi folks, I'm excited to have a bluebox on the way. Before it's even here I do have a question though. What seem to be the best arrangement to prevent ground noise issues when using other USB powered gear? I know everything should be plugged into the same wall outlet, and I have a surge protector I plan on using. I also know that I shouldn't plug the bluebox into the same USB power supply as anything that produces sound. But can I power multiple instruments using a common USB power source like a powered hub, or will every single instrument used require its own separate power supply as well?

    Any tips on how you successfully organize your power would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    it’s ok to have it plugged on the same wall output with the provided power supply.

    what you should avoid is going through the same power supply (multi-usb hubs, power adapters or power banks).

    never had any issue using a separate power adapter for each of my synths, be them USB or proprietary/barrel type of ports.

    as it’s compact many try to power all their setup with one or a couple of power supply adapters and run into under powering or grounding noise issues.

    that’s the reason why many synths come with barrel power supplies so that to avoid misuse of the end user.


    • #3
      In general, try to use seperate power adaptors plugged into the same power strip. Do not connect weird stuff like a fridg, an Air Conditioner or a vacuum cleaner to the power strip you use for your instruments.

      My Blackbox hummed when plugged directly into the USB-charger port of my power strip, while the enclosed power supply did fine. I also had tons of problems with stuff connected to a (powered) USB-hub once that was in turn plugged into my computer, even when powering the hub from a iFi Defender noise filter. Without the computer, things are way better even though I still wouldn't use a USB-hub to power multiple instruments, just don't do it. So now I try to
      1. take USB power for instruments from separate power supplies - I like the "Meanwell GSM12E05-USB" power supply that is cheap and has been approved for medical applications (meaning it's less noisy as it may not interfere with hardware in a clinic), but the included adaptor from 1010 has been doing just fine and my Blackbox is even powering a Polyend SEQ from the extra USB-slot with it.
      2. I have plugged the 1010 power supply into a Furman PL-8C-E power conditioner that I also use to power my PC, display and some power hungry synths.
      3. For all effect pedals and even my Nord Drum 3P, I use a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 3
      2+3 are just extra precautions since I was hunting down ground noise for FOUR months, but the Pedal Power 3 also cleaned up my wall wart mess by a LOT and I've screwed it to the bottom of my desk, I love it. It doesn't provide 5V USB power, but it's great for your 9V or 12V needs.


      • #4
        Wow. Do you know if there's a way that I can use my 9v strymon zuma to pose the bluebox?


        • #5
          Someone correct me if I’m wrong but a pedal power supply that outputs 9v at 500mA is 4.5W of output, less than the 5v 2A (10W) needed by the Bluebox?


          • Steve
            Steve commented
            Editing a comment
            yes. And I can't stress enough how important it is to not cut corners on power. You've been on this forum and (I'm sure) have read the posts!! In addition to the USB cable supplied, we also recommend the Chroma Cable as it performs at least as well as ours.

            I mostly keep my blue and black boxes powered from separate sources. Try not to use the same power strip or a multi-plug adapter for convenience. You will hear the noise.

        • #6
          I use the Bluebox to mix all my guitar synth and pedalboard outputs. I use a Zuma to power everything except the Bluebox which I power off of a rechargeable USB battery. No noise.