Frequently Asked Questions

Do you ship internationally

Absolutely!  I've shipped hundreds of packages worldwide.

How are international customs fees handled?

All customs fees are paid directly by the customer to their customs service when the package arrives in their country.  The shipping charge that you pay to KVgear covers only the postage and packaging, not the customs fees.  Sometimes people ask me to under-declare the value of a package so they will be charged lower customs fees.  Sorry, no can do.  As much as I love traveling and visiting other cultures, I don't want to take a tour of jails and courthouses around the world.

How long does international shipping take?

All orders are processed and packed within a few days of payment.  After that, they are shipped via the US Postal Service from Wisconsin, USA.  In-transit time after packaging and processing is typically 5-7 days to Canada and 10-12 days to the UK and EU.  Occasionally, an international package will take a few days longer than the typical times I've listed above.

How much does shipping cost to my address?

Place the item that you want in the shopping cart, then begin the checkout process.  Before you're required to enter payment information you'll be asked to provide your address.  You'll be able to see the exact shipping cost.  At this point you can decide whether or not you want to proceed with the purchase.

I don't use Paypal.  Can I pay with a credit or debit card?

Yes.  From within the shopping cart, click on the "Continue to Payment" button.  A new page will display and you should click on the "PayPal Check out" button near the bottom of that page.  A pop-up window will appear.  Click on "Pay with Debit or Credit Card" at the bottom of the window.  You will then be prompted to enter your credit card info.  No PayPal account needed.

Which forms of payment do you accept?  Will you take eCheck?

Out of necessity I accept only PayPal and credit cards for online transactions.  If you happen to be in the Madison, Wisconsin area I gladly accept cash and will provide a 10% discount for in-person transactions.

Will your daisy chain cable cause noise?

The daisy chain cable does NOT generate noise.  But it can provide a pathway for ground loop hum to become audible.  Understanding this phenomena and learning how to correct it will allow you to use a daisy chain cable in peace and quiet.

Ground loop hum is a persistent, constant noise caused by a difference in the ground (or neutral) voltage of devices connected to each other by electrically conductive cables. Notice that I didn't say "power cables". ALL electrically conductive cables have the potential for contributing to ground loop hum. This includes power, audio, MIDI, sync and USB cables.

I've solved ground hum problems in my tiny home studio on a couple of occasions. My approach was to tear everything apart and remove ALL cables. Next, I connected equipment one cable at a time and tested it to find which piece of gear and which type of connection caused the problem.


Here's a rundown of how you could troubleshoot noise problems with Volcas and a daisy chain cable:

Connect all your Volcas with a single PSU and a daisy chain cable. There should be no other cables in use at this point. No audio, USB, MIDI or sync cables should be used. No connection to a mixer or monitors. Turn on all Volcas and listen to the output of each one using headphones plugged one at a time into each Volca. Find the noisiest Volca, then disconnect the daisy chain and connect the PSU directly to the noisiest Volca. Use headphones to listen again to the output of the noisiest Volca. You should find that there is no different between the direct PSU and the daisy-chained PSU.

Next, plug your mixer into the same wall outlet as the Volca daisy-chained PSU. Do not connect your monitor speakers or any piece of hardware to the mixer. At this point there should only be a single wire connected to the mixer and that would be the power cable. Set all knobs and faders on the mixer to unity gain. This is important because you don't usually want the mixer to boost signals. It's mostly there to route signals from one place to another. With your mixer now in its least noisy configuration, turn on power to the mixer and all Volcas. Now connect a single audio cable from the noisiest Volca to the mixer. Use headphones to listen to the output of the mixer. While continuing to listen to the mixer output with headphones, attach audio cables one at a time between the Volcas and the mixer. If you hear an increase in noise at this point you might have a defect in your mixer or a bad audio cable.

Continue to reconnect everything in your studio in this slow and methodical manner. The next step would be your monitor speakers, followed by fx, then other synths and drum machines. After that you could connect MIDI and sync cables. The very, very, very last thing to connect should be USB cables going to an audio interface and computer. In my experience they are the worst culprits.

Ground hum doesn't necessarily mean that any specific component is defective. It just means that something in the system is allowing different pieces of gear to live at different electrical potentials. There are various methods that can be taken in solving the noise problem.

Once you find which connection is the cause of the hum, try any or all of the following;

  • Use a shorter audio or MIDI cable.
    Use an audio or MIDI cable with better shielding.
    Use a different cable (the hum could be caused by a cable defect).
    Add ferrite clamps to the cable.
    Use balanced audio cables if the equipment on both ends of the cable have balanced jacks.
    Use a ground lift audio cable, available commercially or as a DIY build.
    Add a DI box with ground lift capability.
    Add a hum destroyer box, such as the Behringer HD400.
    Add a USB isolator.
    Physically isolate AC power cords from all other cables.
    If audio cables must pass near AC power cords, make the crossing at a 90 degree angle.
    Plug all equipment into the same AC power circuit
    Plug the problem equipment into a different AC power outlet.
    Move light dimmers and fluorescent lights to a different AC power circuit..

UPDATE:  I recently saw a recommendation online for a commercially-available ground lift cable called a "mini jack ground loop isolation cable".  I know and trust the person who made the recommendation.

Can I use a 1-Spot power supply with the KVgear DC-4 daisy chain cable?

Sorry, but the 1-Spot isn't compatible because its barrel plug diameter is different from the standard required by the Volcas. 

I already own a power supply that I've been using with my Volca.  Will it work with the DC-4 daisy chain cable?

I recommended that you use either the KVgear PS-1 or the Korg KA-350 power supply with the DC-4. This is because some aftermarket power supplies use barrel plugs that don't exactly match the Korg specification. The Volca inlet jack is flexible enough to accommodate a slightly incorrect power supply, but the DC-4 will only work with an exact match.  The Hosa universal power supply is one example of an incompatible product because it's "1.7mm" plug adapter isn't actually 1.7mm.

I have synths, drum machines and effects boxes that need stands, but I can't figure out which KVgear stands to use.  Can you help me?

You betcha!  For starters, take a look at the Fit Check page, which contains a description of each stand.  It also includes a detailed Compatibility Chart that shows exactly which gear will fit on which stand.  If you're not able to figure things out after consulting the Fit Check page, then send me an email and I'll help you directly.

Can the K-25m keyboard be used in conjunction with any of the KVgear Boo stands?

YES!  I've modified the Boo-2 and Boo-3 stand design to allow a K-25m with docked Boutique to connect loosely to the stand.  The K-25m/Boutique will cover most of the region of the first tier on the Boo-2 and Boo-3.  There will be a gap between the docked Boutique and the Boutique on the next highest tier on the Boo stand.  It's not a seamless arrangement, but it's not bad.  On a related note, the Boo-1 is designed to allow a controller keyboard to sit flat on the table in front of the stand. 

Do your stands fold flat or collapse for travel?
With the exception of the Lobe, all of my stands can be disassembled in less than a minute and will pack completely flat.  The stands consist of two rigid plastic side panels, anywhere from 1 to 3 steel support tubes, and two knobs per tube.  The knobs can be threaded into the ends of the tubes for easy organization during travel.  You'll need to take a bit of care when packing the side panels in your backpack to prevent them from being damaged.  There are small rubber-coated tabs on each panel that hold the gear in place.  I don't think they are especially fragile, but I want to highlight that they're not bomb proof.

How are cables managed at the back of your stands?
All of my stands consist of side panels connected by steel support tubes.  There is plenty of room for audio/MIDI/power/sync cables to slip between adjacent pieces of gear and out the back of the stand.  You can attach cables to the steel tubes using velcro straps or cable ties.  Figure-8 cable keeper attachments are included with the Lobe stands.  They're also available as an option accessory for purchase separately.  They'll work on all KVgear stands except the Ramp Racks and Stilleto Stands.