This post was triggered by two related events - the pending arrival of my new Boss GT-1000 CORE Guitar Effects Processor unit, and Henning Pauly’s (EytschPi42) recent feature on the very same above trio of ingenious interconnected power supplies - the Cioks DC7 main unit, and ’4’, and ’8’ Switch-Mode Power Expanders / Extenders. What is unique about these devices is their super slim profile (perfectly adapted to Pedal Train pedalboards), and that each power outlet onboard is individually configurable via dedicated dual dip-switches - to 9/12/15 or 18V DC. Also at the 9V level each output delivers a category-leading 660mA of independently isolated Current.
My readers will already know that I have a pretty complex 40-pedal pedal-chain rig - which uses no less than 5 power supplies to deliver individual isolated power to each pedal. The power supplies in question have for a while been : 2 x Friedman Power Grid 10’s (10 x 9V DC 350mA outputs each), a Strymon Zuma (9 x 500mA outputs, 7 @ 9V DC, and 2 configurable to 9/12 or 18V), a Strymon Ojai (5 x 9V DC 500mA outputs), and a T-Rex Fuel Tank Goliath (5 x 9/12V DC 450mA outputs, 1 x 18V DC 250mA, and 1 x 12V AC 450mA). These provide a total of 40 DC individually isolated outputs which exactly match my 40-pedal pedal-chain - the T-Rex also provides an additional 12V AC output which I’ve really not used much, in fact not for several years now. 98% of my pedals are at 9V, and the remaining 2% is mostly 18V, with a smattering of pedals that take 12V - that’s about it really in a nutshell.
I am very satisfied with the Friedman and Strymon supplies which operate wholly noiselessly - while the T-Rex Goliath has always annoyed me with its slight operational hum - which though isn’t reflected in its wholly clean power delivery. I have known for a while though that I wanted to replace the Goliath, but really wasn’t sure what the best solution was.
Since my Boss GT-1000 Core has landed - with its 670mA Current Draw requirement - I was always going to have to combine two power outputs to provide me with sufficient amperage to power this pedal. I’ve always liked the look of the Cioks DC7, but with is 7 outputs - where two would need to be combined - it was simply going to match exactly the DC outputs of my incumbent T-Rex Goliath, albeit with more power and versatility - but I wanted a little more inherent flexibility.
I had been mulling the DC7 for a while as the most likeliest candidate for replacing the Goliath, and had quite missed the launch of the Cioks’ ’8’ Power Expander back in April - while I think those units have only really fairly recently arrived at UK dealers. So I was still mulling over what power supply was likely to be the best solution for me - when I happened to come across Henning’s very recent 8th of October overview (as below) of that trio of Cioks supplies.
10 minutes into the demo Henning plugs the Cioks ’8’ into the 24V out socket of his Strymon Zuma and I’m immediately sold! I could have been powering the Ojai all this time off that Zuma 24V port, but because I got the Ojai first, and then added the Zuma - it somehow never occurred to me that I should be powering both of those off the same mains power outlet. Which has serendipitously led me to this exact point.
My pedal-chain is fairly sprawling - and I therefore need one of the longer / longest Cioks DC Link Cables to connect the ’8’ to the Zuma - but that’s when I started running into problems. In his ’8’ Expander overview per below - Poul Cioks mentions that the basic included Link Cable is 50cm, but longer versions are available at 80cm, and 160cm even - which is actually not quite true as none of those is currently available anywhere yet - not even in Denmark, the home of Cioks. I scanned all the usual dealers in UK and Europe - and not one had those longer cables. I then switched tack and decided I should be getting a Strymon EIAJ cable instead which in theory was available in lengths of 9, 18 or 36 inches. I would really like a longer length, but 36 is the maximum available - only it’s largely not. Pretty much all Strymon EIAJ cables are sold out currently in the UK - every dealer - while I found one 36" edition in stock at Thomann - so that was that sorted!
I also determined that I would need additional outlet cables to the ones provide with the ’8’ unit as the nature of my ever-shifting pedal-chain requires a lot of inherent flexibility as every week sees several changes - and the somewhat sprawling chain needs longer power cables to simply reach those relevant pedals. This is one of the key provisions you need to be aware of, as Cioks uses a totally different system of output jacks or the RCA style format - which are for more robust and high-quality for sure - but it means you cannot use your various existing output power cables. You get a fair number of ’Flex’ cables with the device - which is what Cioks calls its general supply cables, but like I said, I determined I would need extras - or an additional 3 at 50cm and 3 at 80cm lengths. Once again these were either not in stock or wholly sold out in the UK - and once more Thomann came to the rescue. So in theory I now have everything I need to update my power section - and to power the Boss GT-1000 CORE!
An interesting side-bar is that these Cioks power supplies with their max 660ma per output are one of the very few supplies that can easily power pedals like the Line 6 Helix HX Stomp and Boss GT-1000 CORE - via combining two of the outputs with an 8800 Parallel Adapter Flex Cable! I got my ’8’ unit and parallel adapter flex cable from Andertons - but like I mentioned - they had none of the other cables I wanted in stock.
Since I chop and change so much I need the ultimate in power-supply versatility to be able to adapt on-the-fly and with minimum fuss - and that’s exactly what these Cioks power supplies can give me. I was hoping that the DC7 could be joined by a Future Power Generation DC10 sibling of the same kind - so you could have 10 fully 9/12/15/18V configurable outputs as core - as I like to be able to sort my power-supply requirement in the least amount of moves - while delivering the maximum flexibility and versatility. The Zuma is specified for supporting up to 6 Ojai devices via its 24V output (5 @ 500mA outputs each) - which equates roughly to 3 Cioks ’8’ units - which is what Poul Ciok also qualifies his DC7 for. Regardless of which way I went at it - I would need 6 Cioks Future Power Generation power supplies to get me up to my required number of outlets - i.e. DC7 + ’8’ + ’8’ + ’8’ = 31 + DC7 + 4 = 42. While with my specific variety of 5 supplies as mentioned I’m able to deliver 41 isolated outputs at the most efficient cost level and in the least amount of units! (i.e. 2 x Power Grid 10, 1 x Zuma 9, 1 x Cioks ’8’ and 1 x Ojai 5 or = 41 DC Outlets!).