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Please, do NOT cheap out on power supplies for Metasonix R/RK modules. You’re spending serious money on modules, so nickel-and-diming on the cabinet or power supply is a really bad idea.
R modules pull a LOT of current when powered up cold. You want tubes, this is part of it. Tubes briefly draw more current when they are cold, because the cathode heater in a tube has lower electrical resistance when cold than when hot. It’s not like most analog solid-state gear, which draws the same power all the time.

Modern lightweight “switching” power supplies don’t like this sort of “cold inrush” current, because they usually have no excess current capacity, and will only deliver exactly what they are rated to deliver (and sometimes less!) The tube heaters draw about 2 to 2.5 times more current when cold. In the “old days”, electronics were powered with primitive linear supplies (usually transformers) which had built-in cold surge capacity, so this was never a problem.

Yes, there are low-power directly-heated subminiature tubes, like the 1J24B tetrode used in the L-1 VCA module. They are quite limited in voltage gain and applications, because they were designed to save power in battery-operated equipment. We use the NOS tubes we use, and not the 1J24B or similar ones, for reasons of performance and availability. Most Metasonix designs can NOT be implemented with low-power tubes. Linear power supplies, with big fat power transformers and heatsinks, are generally better for running Metasonix modules. Yes, they are heavier, less efficient, and usually more expensive than switching supplies.

If you want to run more modules, especially if you are building your own cabinet, please use oversized power supplies. We strongly recommend Power One/International Power 3-amp linear supplies (or larger). This is an advanced modification, not for beginners. See below.

Or use a set of big fat industrial-grade Mean Well switching supplies, the kind used in Monorocket’s special cabinet for Metasonix-based systems. (It’s a special-order item from Monorocket.) Again, see below.

Linear supplies are generally preferred over switching types, although some switchers are quite high-quality and make good substitutes for linear supplies. If you use ANY kind of switching supplies, overrate them drastically. If you’re trying to run five or six R or RK modules, use switching supplies rated for at least 5 amps. Surplus switching supplies are usually okay IF they have ample current ratings, although you should check them for switching/RF noise. In a complex analog electronic system like a modular synthesizer, noisy supply rails can cause all kinds of strange and intermittent problems. 

We should also note: if in doubt, you can try running a tube module from a given switching supply. You won’t damage anything, because modern switchers have built-in overload protection. if the tube module overloads the supply it simply won’t power up properly; there will be no damage, and you can remove the tube module and use the supply with other modules with no harm done.

The R-55 needs a good deal of +5v power, as noted. Again, please don’t cheap out on this supply. We are so sorry if it bothers you, we are limited to using the 2D21 thyratron in it, which draws a lot of current. Or try our RKP supply system with the optional 5v supply adapter. It will run at least three R-55s plus three or four other R/RK types.

If you insist on using a supply from another company, please PLEASE take our advice:

  • Trogotronic’s m/15 supply is excellent and will power numerous Metasonix or Trogotronic tube modules. Trogotronic also makes great cabinets with massive power supplies built in. Recommended.
  • The MakeNoise 7U case is marginal, it should run one R or RK module, but just barely. Other MakeNoise supplies are doubtful; don’t try it.
  • Intellijel currently has a 30-watt and an 80-watt supply. The 80-watt unit should be able to handle at least three R/RK modules. Please don’t try the 30-watt model.
  • We use a Doepfer A-100PSU2 to burn in modules before packaging. Unfortunately it appears to be discontinued. Doepfer’s A-100DIY PSU is also okay for one or two Metasonix modules, as are their suitcase or “monster” cases that contain these supplies. Doepfer recently replaced the PSU2 with a PSU3 which is a switching type. It is conservatively rated and should be able to run at least three R or RK modules. It is the supply used in all of Doepfer’s large cabinets in current production.
  • Pittsburgh Modular’s older Cell 48 is not recommended. The older Cell 90 will probably run one R module adequately. Pittsburgh’s newer Structure 208 case has a better supply and should run two R or RK modules. Their Structure 360 case would be best, with enough capacity to run at least five Metasonix modules.
  • Please DO NOT use Synthrotek supplies with Metasonix. No matter what the company claims. They won’t handle the tube heater load.
  • We do NOT recommend the Tiptop uZeus or Happy Ending kits, even for one R/RK module. They just won’t handle the cold load. The newer Zeus Studio is marginal, although it’s been claimed to be able to run one R or RK module.
  • Please, we beg you, do NOT use “Art For The Ears”, Befaco, Elby, Seismic Industries, Veropower,, KonstantLab, GMSN, dotRed, Eowave, SILTA, 4ms, Flight of Harmony or MFB power supplies with Metasonix modules. The companies can make all the claims they want, and these supplies are more than adequate for a small solid-state system; but they will have trouble running tube modules.
  • Cwejman’s power supply is an unknown quantity, please check with Cwejman before trying it. 

Regardless of the kind of supply you use, make sure the cabinet is well-ventilated, or at least large enough to handle the excess heat.




All of the following will require busboards and some wiring. If you don’t know how, get a good technician to do it for you, don’t take any risks. If you’re a beginner and really don’t know where to start, don’t experiment; spend the money on a good, preassembled cabinet from Doepfer or Monorocket. 

The following suggestions are aimed at experienced DIYers or technicians who want to build a “premium” Eurorack cabinet. They all involve working directly with dangerous AC mains voltages. 

A. For best possible performance, linear regulated supplies are strongly recommended. They are large and heavy, and are thus suitable for studio systems not intended for stage or portable use. 

  • If you don’t need a lot of +5v power (and most people don’t), the International Power IHBCC512 is excellent and recommended. It will run eight Metasonix R or RK modules easily. This type is available from Mouser.
  • For better performance, get the International Power IHDCC-150W or Power-One/BEL HDCC-150W-AG. Either has 3.4 amps on +-12v rails and 12 amps from the +5 rail. If you’re running R-55 thyratron VCOs, this model is strongly recommended. The two makes are essentially identical electrically but different mechanically. Yes, they can be wired to put out +-15v instead of 12v. This is advanced work, and you have to be an experienced technician to try it. Metasonix R and RK modules can operate on +-15v power, but require dropping resistors to avoid overvoltage on the tube heaters. These supplies are available from Mouser or from Digi-Key.
  • If you want the best for your Euro modular synth, and cost is NO object, use the Acopian 51212T16A.

B. If you must save weight and space, use good-quality “OEM” switching power supplies. For Eurorack modulars, you will need two 12v supplies, one wired for +12 and the other wired for -12. You can “experiment” with cheaper surplus supplies, but you do this at your own risk. The supplies recommended below are not very costly. In fact, they are cheaper than some of the “powered busboards” on the market. Note that switching supplies, unlike linear ones, do not have any “cold surge” capacity above their maximum ratings, so you must over-rate them heavily to run our vacuum-tube modules.

For a smaller portable system, we recommend the Mean Well SE-100-12 supply. Two are needed for powering a Euro cabinet. They will run up to ten R or RK modules easily. Available from Mouser or from MPJA. If +5 power is needed also, get a Mean Well SE-100-5, available from Mouser. You can run up to ten R-55 thyratron VCOs from it. 

Building a really big modular? Perhaps you ought to use a pair of Mean Well RSP-750-12. They make 62.5 amps at 12v dc. A pair of these will run more than fifty Metasonix modules conservatively. Available from Mouser.


Newer products, such as the S-2000 synth, D-2000 drum machine, RKP power supply for Euro, and F and TX-3 pedals, include “universal” AC power adapters that can be used on 100-240v ac mains, with only a mains plug adapter needed for different countries. If you need a new supply for these models, we recommend you find a 12-volt, 5-amp switching “brick” supply. It must have a 2.1mm coaxial output plug with center positive. This is a VERY common supply and is often sold around the world for powering small laptops and LED lighting.
We can recommend some adapters that are available in the UK or Europe, should your dealer not be able to provide the proper adapter.

To run the S-2000, D-2000, RKP, F series pedals, or TX-3 pedal in Europe or other 220v-230v countries, you need 12 volts DC with a 2.1mm pin connector with center positive. The following should work:


Older Metasonix products, including the D-1000, S-1000, KV100, and TM modules plus the TX-1 and TX-2, are supplied with AC-AC adapters for use on USA power only–120v, 60Hz.

–If you are only running a single TM, TX-1 or TX-2 in North America or elsewhere with 120v mains power, the Jameco 167151 is original equipment and recommended.

–Also usable in 120v countries, the MPJA 31004-PA (it needs a LV lead with a female 2.1mm barrel connector, such as the MPJA 33390-CB).

–If you’re in Europe or other countries having 220-240v 50Hz power, the above adapters are NOT USABLE. It is STRONGLY recommended that you obtain an AC-AC adapter made especially for your local AC mains power. The adapter must produce 11 to 12 volts AC ONLY!! DO NOT feed DC power to your older Metasonix standalone device–you will DAMAGE IT.

Power supplies for older AC-input Metasonix products (TM, TX-1, TX-2, S-1000, D-1000, KV100) for Europe and other 220v/230v countries:


  • RS-ONLINE 400-6541. It will run a single TM, TX-1 or TX-2, or KV100 on 220-240v European mains. It includes the proper 2.1mm connector. It also includes a connector for 2.5mm sockets, needed to run very early TM-1, TM-2 and TM-4 with gold paint.

Also usable, needs soldering:

  • TME PFS20S(for one TM/TX-1/TX-2, D-1000 or KV100–you must obtain a 2-conductor wire and a female 5.1mm/2.1mm coaxial power connector, and attach to the output–soldering may be needed)
  • Block HIT60or the similar Conrad 610270-62(it will power three TM modules, two KV-100’s or D-1000. It requires 2.1mm coaxial connector as above. It will also run an S-1000 but must be directly connected to the S-1000 12VAC power input.)

(note: S-1000 included the special LV lead required. TM and TX-1/TX-2 modules, KV100, and D-1000 require a 2.1mm coaxial-plug LV lead for their AC ONLY requirement, which should be commonly available at any distributor or dealer that sells AC-AC power adapters.)

TM-5 manual, GIF format, pages 1 and 8.
TM-5 manual, GIF format, pages 2 and 7.
TM-5 manual, GIF format, pages 3 and 6.
TM-5 manual, GIF format, pages 4 and 5.

The TM manuals above are formatted so that you can print the GIFs out in landscape mode, back-to-back (for example, print TM1manual.gif on one side, TM1manual2.gif on the other), then staple the 2 sheets together (if it is an 8 page manual), fold down the center, and you have a digest-sized manual exactly like the originals.

Why tubes? Read THIS article: