Awww yissss: A Pedaltrain Nano+ Review

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Hey y'all, I didn't see any reviews for the Nano+ yet, so here's my contribution. :)

I've had it for 3 weeks and I like it so far. The redesigned soft case is greatly improved, so naturally, its portability is greatly improved. I use it as my main board and bring it to my friends' house several times a week.

I already own a Pedaltrain Jr., Mini, and original Nano. The Nano+'s frame is just like its predecessors: nearly indestructible. It carries on the tradition of a matte black finish, but the white lettering on the frame is slightly raised, like a decal (for the sake of curiosity, I ran my nail against it to see if it'd come off like a sticker, and it didn't). There is now lettering on both sides (the audience's view, and from your view too).



TU-3 > Tubescreamer Mini > Archer > Aqua-Puss > blueSky.

Wired with a Lava Cable solder-less kit.

Powered by a standard 9V Boss power adapter, daisy-chained from the TU-3. I thought this wouldn't work, because of the blueSky's higher current draw, but it works beautifully with no noise and no problems.

Note: It's 5" wide, like the old Nano, so there is going to be over-hang on top, where the jacks and power plugs are. For reference, Boss pedals are almost exactly 5". So my TU-3 fits perfectly on the board, but the power plug protrudes "off" the board on top. It's minor, but OCD pedalboard'ers take note.


It has 2 rails on the back. One is broad and one is thin.


The soft case can be used as a "live in" case. There is enough room for right angle jacks to and from the board while it's in the case, but because I use a Boss power adapter that sticks straight out the top of my tuner, I prefer not to leave the board in the case when I play. Otherwise, still nice as a dust cover of sorts. Just fold down the lid of the case when you're not playing it.


The re-designed soft case is nice, functional, lightweight but sturdy.


The new metal zipper teeth are excellent, and a marked improvement over their plastic ones from before.


The zipper head itself looks roughly the same as before, still metal. When I bought my old Pedaltrian Mini, the zipper head broke off THE FIRST DAY I got it. Then the second zipper head broke off a few days later. I treat my belongings with care, so it was not from misuse. I don't know if I got a bum soft case with the Mini, but I've been using this Nano+ regularly for the past 2 weeks, and so far, it's held up with no problems. I actually do tote this board around several times a week to jam with my friends, and the unusable soft case on my old Mini was a deal breaker.


They added a fabric logo, stitched to the lid of the bag. It's minimalistic and looks nice.


The D-rings are attached like this. I wish they would further reinforce where the D-rings are attached, because the idea of my board hitting the concrete when I'm moving around town gives me heart palpitations. So far, it's held up, but there is definitely room for improvement here.


They moved the D-rings, so that they are staggered on opposite sides of the case. On my Mini's case, they were sewn onto the same side, and as a result, the bag always flopped forward while on its shoulder strap. This new configuration is an improvement, because it distributes the weight more evenly, and it feels basically like a messenger bag when you wear it.

Overall, I'm enjoying the Nano+. I really liked my old Nano (and its soft case was my favorite design, too) but the extra 4" makes all the difference. If I ever decide to remove my blueSky and use my amp's reverb, I'll probably go back to the original Nano because it's easier to tote around, and I prefer the vertical design of its soft case, with the big handle on top, like an insulated lunch pail. I'd recommend the Nano+ to friends. :)
 

BrandonAy

Member
Messages
688
Cool review. I'm really like Pedaltrain's recent stuff. I got their Novo 24 to replace my PT2 and that extra slab of metal on the top allowed me to add one more pedal and space everything out, which I needed because I'm clumsy and flatfooted.
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Cool review. I'm really like Pedaltrain's recent stuff. I got their Novo 24 to replace my PT2 and that extra slab of metal on the top allowed me to add one more pedal and space everything out, which I needed because I'm clumsy and flatfooted.
Thanks, Brandon. The Novo 24 looks like it has useful dimensions. Do you have a photo you could share?
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Thanks for the nice review :aok



when you carry your board in the case, place it the other way around (jacks front the handle).
this way, there won't be any pressure on the top and power jacks from the pedals weight.
Thanks, udi, I already do! I just had it facing this way for the photo. I thought I was weird for facing it "backwards", but it must be a good idea if other guitarists are thinking of it too. :beer
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
By the way, udi, I clicked on your pedalboard in your signature. Sweet set up! How does the Maxon delay compare to the Aqua-Puss? Is your AP an original from the 90s? It looks a bit different. I'm a big fan of Way Huge pedals. I have a Red Llama (most amp-like pedal I've ever tried), a Pork Loin, and I'm thinking about getting a Blue Hippo Chorus for covering The Smiths.
 

acwild

Member
Messages
2,252
Great review! I have the Nano and always wondered why they bothered making a case for it that wouldn't let me keep my pedals intact. The new case makes much more sense and now I'm going to have to look to see if I can find one.
 

udi9

Member
Messages
517
By the way, udi, I clicked on your pedalboard in your signature. Sweet set up! How does the Maxon delay compare to the Aqua-Puss? Is your AP an original from the 90s? It looks a bit different. I'm a big fan of Way Huge pedals. I have a Red Llama (most amp-like pedal I've ever tried), a Pork Loin, and I'm thinking about getting a Blue Hippo Chorus for covering The Smiths.
Thanks :)
the Maxon is quite different from the AP. it has a lot more delay time (900ms), the repeats are more gritty/dirty and you get a washed-out sound at high repeat settings. the AP is more 'bouncy' and clear - perfect for slapback. they're a great combination.
yeah, my AP is the original 90's version, they look a bit different but they sound pretty similar to the new ones.
the WH pedals are very cool, I really want to try the Pork Loin, how do you like it?

Ah, Smiths covers - nice, I'm a big Smiths/Morrissey fan :love:
I think the Blue Hippo will be great for getting some of Marr's sounds, he used a CE2 for a while and the BH is basically a CE2 clone with true-bypass (and now a Vibe switch, as well).
 
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Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Thanks :)
the Maxon is quite different from the AP. it has a lot more delay time (900ms), the repeats are more gritty/dirty and you get a washed-out sound at high repeat settings. the AP is more 'bouncy' and clear - perfect for slapback. they're a great combination.
yeah, my AP is the original 90's version, they look a bit different but they sound pretty similar to the new ones.
the WH pedals are very cool, I really want to try the Pork Loin, how do you like it?

Ah, Smiths covers - nice, I'm a big Smiths/Morrissey fan :love:
I think the Blue Hippo will be great for getting some of Marr's sounds, he used a CE2 for a while and the BH is basically a CE2 clone with true-bypass (and now a Vibe switch, as well).
Bouncy and clear is exactly how I'd describe the AP. Thanks for the tip about the 90s AP and new APs sounding similar. Was starting to develop GAS, wanting to run out and try a 90s unit!

I like the Pork Loin. It's the smoothest overdrive I've ever tried, doesn't matter if it's set up subtle or thick. The Tone knob is actually not like a regular tone knob. You know how a regular Tone knob either intensifies the treble and sharpness, or makes the tone more dull? The Tone knob on the PL, when cranked all the way up, is just the "original" sharpness of your tone. It doesn't add any more treble or sharpness when it's cranked. It only takes away from the sharpness when you turn the knob down. This is helpful if your guitar or amp is bright, like a Tele through a Fender, or an ice-pick bridge tone.

The two little knobs on the PL are also interesting. One controls how much of your clean tone is blended with the drive. However, if you turn up the clean blend knob so that most of the "drive" sound is removed, it's still got a unique character, because the "base" of the clean tone from this pedal is a British preamp sound. It's a clean with a punchy kick to it.

The other little knob is called "Curve", which after a lot of twiddling, I realized is a fancier way to say it affects the characteristic of the mids. If you turn it down, the drive sounds flatter. If you turn it up, it sounds livelier.

You should check out the Pork Loin. I think you'd like it. :)

Also, I'm a huge Smiths fan too! I'd like to relearn some of my faves like This Charming Man and Asleep.
 

Slideman

Member
Messages
1,644
Nice review. I just wired up a NOVO 18 and like it a bit better than my Jr. due to the extra room. My only complaint is that the new cases do not have a compartment to store jacks, and cables...stuffing them into another bag or my guitar case is not fun. Also a big WH fan....the AP is always on any board I have and the Red Llama kicks my Orange into "more drive" all the time. Nice pedal selection you have as well.
 
Messages
37
By the way, udi, I clicked on your pedalboard in your signature. Sweet set up! How does the Maxon delay compare to the Aqua-Puss? Is your AP an original from the 90s? It looks a bit different. I'm a big fan of Way Huge pedals. I have a Red Llama (most amp-like pedal I've ever tried), a Pork Loin, and I'm thinking about getting a Blue Hippo Chorus for covering The Smiths.
I do a mod to the Pork loin,more range of clean to distortion,smoother less buzzy.
Digetech made a stomp box digital delay that is as warm as a analog without the noise,i think its called DX-9.Ihave one and use it for slapback.
 
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Ivo

Member
Messages
2,190
Excellent write-up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Living with a very furry pet, you touching on the "live in" part of the case was particularly helpful. :D In any event, I'm tired of lugging around my PT2. This looks like a very well thought out and very portable alternative. Funny, Jeff Buckley's cover of "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" came on as I started typing this post. D:
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Nice review. I just wired up a NOVO 18 and like it a bit better than my Jr. due to the extra room. My only complaint is that the new cases do not have a compartment to store jacks, and cables...stuffing them into another bag or my guitar case is not fun. Also a big WH fan....the AP is always on any board I have and the Red Llama kicks my Orange into "more drive" all the time. Nice pedal selection you have as well.
Thanks, Slideman. It's weird that Pedaltrain removed the compartment from the soft case. Seems counter-intuitive. My Jr. came with the ATA hard case, but I enjoyed the outer compartment on my Mini's soft case. Great place to stash cables, wallet, and keys during practice.

I am always surprised when I find other Way Huge fans. I almost never see them on TGP boards, and also rarely in the wild, except for maybe the occasional Aqua-Puss on a Mayer fan's board. I think Jeorge Tripps designs great pedals, and Dunlop offers them at fair prices, plus their enclosures and footswitches feel excellent.

Here's my Jr., loaded with Way Huge pedals. :)



Please post a photo of your Novo, if you have one. Cheers!
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Excellent write-up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Living with a very furry pet, you touching on the "live in" part of the case was particularly helpful. :D In any event, I'm tired of lugging around my PT2. This looks like a very well thought out and very portable alternative. Funny, Jeff Buckley's cover of "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" came on as I started typing this post. D:
Thanks, Ivo. I have a cat whose hair is on everything I own, no matter how diligent I am about brushing him and vacuuming lol. I used to cover my Jr. with a towel after practice because I was tired of cleaning fur and lint off of the board. Leaving them in the case is a good compromise!
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
Sweet review.

I need one!
Thanks, rooster. I couldn't find any of the new Pedaltrains in stores for a while after they released, but they started trickling in to nearby Guitar Centers and music shops a few weeks ago. I found mine at a Guitar Center. Good luck!
 

Jessica

Senior Member
Messages
403
During your photo shoot, the Tube Screamer morphed into an SP compressor. :)

Useful review. I have an old Mini that I was going to use for my MXR pedals, but I might repurpose that board for something else and give this Nano+ a try instead.
Thanks, Matt. Good eye! I took the photos right after I got the board, and I had the SP on there at first. I was intrigued by the Tubescreamer Mini after seeing reviews of it on YouTube, and I don't currently own an 808-style pedal so I went for it. The fact that it's made in Japan lured me in. I'm also a sucker for "mini" things.

The Tubescreamer Mini is built like a tank. The custom enclosure makes it look different from other mini-style pedals. And it sounds just like the Ibanez TS-808 reissue. I got it for $46 after tax at a Sam Ash. :)
 

ClassicLP

Senior Member
Messages
1,199
Fake review. The text is straight up from a marketing department. Smart to use a girl's photo.
 






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