If you use effects pedals, whether on stage or in the studio, running them from a high-quality power supply is essential to getting the best performance and lowest noise out of them. The best power supplies have regulated, electrically isolated outputs, and that gives the same electrical separation as when running the pedals from batteries — but without the obvious disadvantages! There are several excellent power supplies available that offer such features, but CIOKS have managed to come up with an incredibly compact solution, seemingly without compromising on quality or flexibility.
Designed in Denmark and built in Poland, the CIOKS power supply range comes with up to 16 short-circuit-protected outputs, but the CIOKS DC7 is the slimmest, with a one-inch (25.4mm) depth profile, which allows it to be mounted beneath most of the popular pedalboards, including all but the smallest Pedaltrain (Nano) to maximise pedal space on top. There's also an optional mounting bracket, the CIOKS GRIP, that can be used to clamp the PSU beneath Pedaltrain rail-type pedalboards without having to drill any holes. There are three M4 threaded holes in the underside of the sturdy all-metal case and two more along the edge that allow for custom mounting arrangements (these also align with the Templeboard fixings), and the box includes two screws and a hex key.
The DC7, can power seven pedals and has a built-in IEC mains inlet, which can automatically accommodate any mains voltage from 90-265 Volts AC, at 50 or 60 Hz. The outlets, which are all electrically isolated, are on phono connectors, which is a little non-standard but the package includes 12 compatible Flex cables: black with 5.5/2.1 mm centre-negative DC plug (x7), red with 5.5/2.1 mm centre-positive DC plug (x1), green with 5.5/2.5 mm centre‑positive DC plug (x1), black with tip-positive 3.5mm jack plug (x1), Split Flex type 1, which powers two pedals from a single outlet (x1), and a three-way daisy-chain. Additional cables are available separately.
Recessed dual DIP switches for each output set the voltage to 9, 12, 15 or 18 Volts, and the available current per output is 660mA at 9V, dropping to 330mA at 18V. The total output power is 48W. There's also a 5V USB outlet for charging or powering mobile devices and a 24V, 2A DC auxiliary outlet that allows the unit to be expanded by connecting to the forthcoming CIOKS 4 or CIOKS 8 PSUs, or other 24V 'wall-wart' PSUs (including competing devices like the Strymon Ojai/Ojai R30, and so on). The new CIOKS expander units are expected towards the end of the year. (Note that the older CIOKs LINK range is not compatible.)
Each output has its own red LED and there's a further global status LED in the centre of the logo that extinguishes if the unit is overloaded. Usefully, there's also a three-LED power meter showing 40, 70 or 90 percent load. Clearly you won't usually be able to see these if the PSU is fitted beneath the pedalboard, but they are very helpful when setting up.
The CIOKS DC7 feels reassuringly solid, and the manufacturers are confident enough to offer a five‑year warranty as standard. Having hooked up a few pedals, I can confirm that everything remains free from buzz, with nothing giving me any cues for concern. This really is a solidly built piece of kit, and the fact you can add an expander to give you more outputs seems very practical (though I didn't have a second unit on hand to be able to test this). Good power supplies such as this don't come cheap, but I think they are essential to a well-behaved pedal setup and well worth the investment. The compact format makes this model particularly attractive.
£225 including VAT.