My sketch calculation of money saving with the Sanyo Pedal Juice is very conservative. I mostly doubt the number of times it can be recharged, Sanyo claim 'up to 500 times', so I estimate 200 times. Any more than 200 will simply add phenomenal value to the products use.
Why then, after two years on the US market and very positive reviews by musician users, does Sanyo refrain from setting up distribution in the UK? I have found one supplier in the US who offer international delivery (to UK), but the cost of postage is around £24.00, for a light unit (about the size and weight of a couple of iPhones) and import duty is a similar amount. How wonderful is globalisation?I play electric guitar with a number of effects pedals. I also use a battery powered combo amplifier. The cost of replacement batteries over one year, assuming I use this set up twice weekly, is around £180.00. This consists of six AA batteries in the amplifier, a Roland Mobile Cube. And four effects pedals - Boss DD6 digital delay; Boss RC-2 loop station; Behringer RV600 reverb; Behringer PO300 power overdrive. I also use a Realistic four channel stereo microphone mixer which runs on battery power. The pedals and mixer use 9volt PP3 batteries and a single digital effects pedal will drain an alkaline PP3 in about four hours.
Most guitarists use a power block to supply the effects pedals from a single source, but these are mains electricity powered. I busk on the street so the Sanyo Pedal Juice offers a phenomenal advantage especially as it will power the Roland Mobile Cube too.
The Sanyo Pedal Juice is very expensive at £145.00 delivered (from the US; not yet stocked in the UK despite being out since 2010). However, if it is rechargeable up to 500 times I reckon it would last me up to four years and the cost of replacement alkaline batteries over that time would be £720.00, quite frighteningly expensive, but the rich palette of sounds effects pedals offer is worth the cost. I can see a huge benefit in spending £145.00 on a Sanyo Pedal Juice and saving £765.00 over the next four years, even with the cost of recharging the Pedal Juice about once a week, say 20pence a week over 200 weeks - £40.00.
I looked long and hard at using rechargeable batteries. The Roland Mobile Cube is described on Roland's website as not suitable for use with rechargeable cells because the voltage is less (a 1.5 volt AA rechargeable battery has around 1.2 volts ). However the Sanyo Pedal Juice contains a lithium ion cell which gives a true 9volts almost up to the point where it becomes fully discharged. The main problem is effect pedals would be running out of rechargeable nimh cells (PP3) at various times, this would mean the loss of an overdub/loop mid-performance, the inconvenience of changing batteries and maintaining the replacement set in fully charged condition. Rechargeable Nimh PP3s also have around half the current (capacity) of non-rechargeable alkaline PP3 batteries. This last factor killed the whole idea of using rechargeable cells because each pedal would flatten it's battery in less than two and a half hours which is my usual performance period.
This is my pedal board set up with current draw. (each device is 9volt)
Roland Mobile Cube - 175mA.
Boss DD6 digital delay - 55mA.
Behringer RV600 reverb - 30mA.
Behringer PO300 power overdrive - 30mA.
Realistic mixer - 9mA.
TOTAL CURRENT DRAW- 350mA.
I estimate around five hours use with the Sanyo Pedal Juice. I think I have rationalised myself into yet another 'must have' purchase, another £150.00 to find and spend. That's life!