Choosing and Using P-Lines

The best part about PedalSnake is the ability to achieve "only one cable". Not only is this a thing of beauty, but it is the fastest and quietest setup you can have. PedalSnake's P-Lines are the key, as they allow you to get rid of the nasty AC power cord you run to your pedalboard.

P-Line Basics

The "one cable only" solution, aka the Low Voltage Method, is the fastest, cleanest, and quietest guitar cabling system on Planet Earth.

The Magic of P-Lines

PedalSnake P-Lines (PowerLines) that allow you to eliminate the AC power cord that runs out to your pedal area, by moving power supplies back and plugging them in with the amp. Their low voltage (9V, 18V, etc.) is run thru PedalSnake P-Lines, and you have the ultimate application of the PedalSnake System.


Using the power supplies that you already employ, the basics of P-Lines are simple:

One P-Line for Each Power Supply

Most folks require only 9V for powering their pedals. 9V pedals can often be power chained from one 9V power supply, saving power supplies and P-Lines. If you have pedals that require other voltages, you need P-Lines for those power supplies too. See Pedal Voltages.

Use Dual P-Lines

When you can, use these to save BaseSnake channels and cost. Dual P-Line Pigtails available are MF2, MF2-I, and MM2-I.

White 5wire Channel for Higher Current Loads

Larger Hi Current Pedals should use the MF1-H Single P-Line on the white 5wire channel. This will make a Hi Current P-Line.

See our helpful videos at the PedalSnake Channel on YouTube. Start with BaseSnake and Pigtails, then watch P-Lines and Power.
After reading this page, if you still need help deciding how to choose your P-Lines, you can fill out and return Your Rig Questionnaire, or Contact Us.

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Work Out Your Power First

It is best to work out your power scheme before you purchase a PedalSnake System.
The goal when designing a power scheme for you pedals is to use as few power supplies as possible to achieve quiet, reliable power. Not only can this save money on power supplies, but each power supply uses a P-Line, so you seek to minimize the number of P-Lines you need too.

Efficient power can be had by following a few simple guidelines:

Power Chain 9V Pedals

Power several (or all) of your 9V pedals with one standard power supply. We are referring to the 9V pedals that draw very little current (the ones with a 9V battery option). Use a power chain cable. Contrary to popular belief, this is easy to do properly, and quietly. See Power Chaining is Fine .


Don't Overload Your Power Supplies

There is a maximum "mA" current rating printed on a power supply. If you have many 9V pedals, you may need more than on power supply and P-Line. See our article Don't Overload.


Use the Power Supplies That Come With Pedals

While not all do, pedals without the 9V battery option should come with a power supply. With few exceptions, power those alone with their supply on a separate P-Line, or with a proper isolated output of a larger supply.

Using Power Supplies with Isolated Outputs

In order to eliminate the AC power cord you run to your pedalboard, you can move board-mounted supplies to the backline, and preserve any isolation you need by running their outputs thru P-Lines.

The number of P-Lines needed with your PedalSnake can be minimized by efficient use power outputs. A good example is shown below that preserves all the important isolations. Note that, contraryt to popular myth, 9V "battery" pedals can be chained because they draw so little current.

Strymon supplies are particularly well-suited for PedalSnake, because all of their outputs are capable of a hefty 500mA, so you can power chain pedals on any output w/o overload:


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Other Helpful References

About Powering Pedals

Guitar Noise Manual

Isolation and Grounding

Power Plug Adapters List

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NOTE: AC powered board-mounted power supplies do not allow PedalSnake's "one cable only" solution (see Low Voltage Method). A separate AC power cord must run out to the pedal area. Many folks do this, and only Replace Amp-Pedal Cabling. In this case, P-Lines are not required.

However, we do highly recommend using P-Lines to achieve "one cable only". Most folks eventually switch to this, because the Low Voltage Method is the fastest, cleanest, and quietest cabling method you will ever experience. We have a 30 Day Return Policy (minus shipping). So you can try it for yourself without risk.

Board-mounted supplies can be moved to the backline too, to achieve "one cable only". We we recommend those with outputs that are all isolated from each other. (Not all board mounted supplies have this...only the more expensive ones.) We like the Stymon power supplies, because all of their outputs are a beefy 500mA. So you can load more 9V pedals onto a single output, and since you need a P-Line for each output, you can use fewer P-Lines with the Strymons.

But we think the best approach to powering pedals is proper distribution of discrete isolated Class 2 Transformers (wall warts). We like these because they are the most cost effective, and are totally quiet when used properly. Most rigs require only one, and it rarely takes more than 2 to properly isolate a rig to be hum-free.

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PedalSnake® is the trademark name for Stage Magic's All-in-One Pedal Cabling Solution. Copyright © 2012 Stage Magic, Inc.