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I recently added an Xotic Effects EP Booster (true bypass) to my board. Everything works properly (in fact it sounds great!) except that when I turn it on or off, it makes a very noticeable popping sound. It seems to be only this specific pedal that does this.

Wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to address this, or at least be able to find the source of the problem?

I understand that this is potentially a power issue. The pedal itself runs on 9v-18v DC. It came with a battery inside, but I'm powering it with a 9v DC plug. Or maybe the pedal's just faulty in that way?

  • Is it a true bypass pedal? I’m betting it is. – Todd Wilcox Feb 16 '18 at 16:19
  • Yes it is. Specifically an Xotic Effects EP Booster – RogerWang Feb 16 '18 at 17:40
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True bypass pedals often pop when switched at first because of a buildup of static electricity that is discharged when the pedal is engaged. Usually turning the pedal on and off a few times with the footswitch clears out the static buildup and you're good after that.

If it keeps popping every time you switch it, then there is probably some voltage difference somewhere that is causing a discharge when the pedal is engaged. One possible cause is a difference in ground potential somewhere in your signal chain.

  • Use the highest quality power supply you can afford for your pedals. It does make a difference.
  • Run an extension cord and power strip from a single outlet and plug your entire rig (including all pedals and amp(s)) into that power strip. Again, quality of these items can make a slight difference - they shouldn't be cheap, but you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on crazy power conditioners or anything like that. If you live in a country where the power outlets have three contacts, use power cords and power strips that have all three contacts. Never cut off the third contact of any power cord or otherwise defeat the connection of the third pin/prong - it's there to save your life. It also can help deal with grounding issues.
  • If you're using any kind of DI box or speaker emulated output or recording output from your amp and connecting it to a mixer or recording interface, look for any and all ground lifts and lift all the grounds. Avoid running any 1/4" cables directly to a mixer or interface, instead use a passive DI with a ground lift.
  • Reach out to the pedal manufacturer about the pops. They will probably tell you some of the same stuff I've listed above, but they might have more ideas. Also they might decide there is something wrong with the pedal that they can fix.

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