Pedaltrain Nano+ & Cioks DC5 Power Supply Review
As the use of effect pedals in music has grown increasingly popular, so has the popularity of pedalboards. Huge pedalboards with thousands of dollars worth of effects can be found in use by even occasional players. Collecting effects pedals seems to be a hobby unto itself. And there are YouTube channels devoted completely to setting up and using pedalboards and effects. But sometimes you only need a few effects to get the job done. This is the idea behind the Pedaltrain Nano+ pedalboard.
The Pedaltrain Nano+ Pedalboard
The Pedaltrain Nano+ is 18 inches wide. Four inches wider than the original Nano. It is 5 inches across and 1.4 inches tall. Depending on the size of the pedals and power unit you use, you should be able to mount anywhere from two to five pedals on it. Obviously it is designed for a minimal setup. It is made of the same featherweight, aircraft grade aluminum as Pedaltrain’s other pedalboards, and comes with enough velcro to cover the board. Plus some zip ties for tidying up cables. It also comes with a very nice, lightly padded gig bag with a detachable shoulder strap. You wouldn’t want to check it in at an airport, but it is perfect for playing local gigs.
I am mainly a guitar player but I also play bass at church. The bass goes direct into the P.A., so I have an Ampeg SCR-DI pre-amp and direct box with distortion, a Korg Pitchblack tuner, and a Keeley Bassist compressor/limiter. That is all I need. I used to bring them loose in my bass gig bag pockets and set them up on stage, but I wanted to streamline the process and make it is as quick and easy and possible to setup and tear down. The Nano+ seemed like the perfect option. It turned out to be just that. Setting up in simply a matter of taking the pedalboard out of the bag, plugging in the power cord, plugging in the bass, and plugging in the cable to the P.A. Super fast and easy. It would serve equally well for a guitar player who only needs a few pedals for a gig or practice.
The Cioks DC5 Power Supply
I knew the three pedals I had would fit on the Nano+ pedalboard, but I also wanted a dedicated power supply. Unfortunately most pedalboard power supplies will not fit under the Nano+. And because the Ampeg SCR-DI is fairly large, taking up about a third of the pedalboard, mounting a power unit on top of the pedalboard was not not really an option without giving up one other pedal. After some online research I discovered a power supply that would fit under the Nano+. It is the Cioks DC5. It has 5 isolated power outlets, four of which can be switched between 9v and 12v (my Ampeg SCR-DI can run at 12v for more headroom), and one that can be switched between 9v and 18v. It has a total output current of 900mA. It comes with power cables and a five year warranty.
The Cioks DC5 had two more power outlets than I needed, and is fairly expensive - like most dedicated power supplies. But I don’t like buying and dealing with batteries, and it was the only one that did what I wanted and fit under the Nano, so I splurged.
The Cioks DC5 fits under the Nano+, but just barely. I mounted it with screws directly to the board and there is just a tiny fraction of an inch between it and the floor. If you mounted it with velcro it would probably touch the floor. One nice little touch about the Cioks DC5 is the user manual actually was also a screw hole template. This made mounting it very easy. Drill a few screw holes, screw it on, done. There is enough extra space in the Pedaltrain gig bag to store the power cable so it makes for a very compact efficient setup.
The Pedaltrain Nano+ is a great solution for minimal rigs with just a few pedals. And it comes with a nice gig bag. But it really shines when you pair it with a Cioks DC5 power supply mounted underneath.