It’s always a good idea to bring along a pedal board, especially if you have multiple pedals. You should always consider size, weight, and build quality. Here are some of the best pedal boards available out there today.
Overview (Guitar Pedal Board)
As a musician, your journey as a guitarist seems endless.Every day, there’s always something new to learn, and there’s always something new to need. A new guitar. A new amp. A new pedal. A new software.
All of this seems like an integral part of being a good guitarist – music gear. Some may argue that the more experience you have, the more gear you will need, Part of this can be true, but there are still some who think you can make the most of your music with the least gear. Of course, all of this comes later in your journey. Just like almost every musician, you probably started off hearing your music heroes through music players and classic stereos.
You were then inspired and thought to yourself that someday, you’re going to be just like them.Eventually, you really started getting into them – learning all their gear, knowing how they started, who their influences are, all that good stuff. And then the day finally came when you got your first guitar.
Best feeling ever, right? So you got a few lessons. Played a few school events.
But somehow, you still aren’t able to nail John Mayer’s tone, or Jimi Hendrix. or The Edge, or Billie Joe Armstrong. And then you realized, it’s not always about the guitar nor the amplifier.
It’s about the effects pedals. Pedals always had an interesting way of adding life to your existing guitar tone.
There’s a reason why many musicians spend a fair amount of dough trying out several different effects pedals. It can be stompboxes or even multi-effects units. Whatever your preference is, there’s no denying the role of these pedals in your signature sound.
Because of this, it can be quite daunting to figure out which ones will work for you. With a little over a million options available out there today, you might not even know where to start looking! Due to this, you’re most likely to be setting out looking for several different effects pedals that will suit your needs.
When the time comes that you have a variety of different pedals at your disposal, then chances are, you’re going to want to take them all with you. Whether it be for a studio rehearsal or recording session, to even an actual live gig, you can always rely on your pedals for a consistent sound.
But then again, it can be fairly difficult to carry all of these pedals separately and lay them all on the floor, you feel me? This is why in this feature, we’re going to be talking all about pedalboards.
What is a Pedalboard & Why You Need It (Pedal Boards & Power Supply)
Simply put, a pedalboard is where you can velcro, cable tie, or stick your pedals on a decent platform. This can be useful when you’re gigging or touring, and you need to travel from point A to point B.
This also makes it easier for you to access all of your effects, having them together in one neat space without having them all over the place.
You can also rely on a trusty pedalboard to have your signature tone and sound with you wherever venue you go. This pedalboard can be home to some of your favorite overdrives, reverbs, or delays. A trusty power supply is also crucial in order for you to power your precious pedals
Although pedal power is one of the most overlooked aspects of building guitar pedal boards,
Personally, I see pedal boards as a necessity. It can dictate the amount of gear you are allowed to bring during a set, and can also spare you from the hassle of bringing a bunch of scattered pedals on the ground.
Ask yourself how many pedals are you planning on using, what sort of power supplies do you need, all that good stuff.
In reality, there are a lot of questions you should consider before going for your new pedal board and power supply.
• Are you a hobbyist with a large pedal collection?
• Do you only have a few pedals? Are you a one pedal guy?
• Do you want a board with built in power supply or a powered pedal board?
• Are you using wah pedals and a volume pedal?
• Do you see yourself opting for larger pedals in the future?
• Are you going for the basic pedalboard?
• Do you want a pedal board with rubber feet or folding legs?
• How do you plan to mount your pedals securely?
• Do you plan on organizing the cables underneath your board?
• Are you relying on having a soft bag or carry bag with your pedal board for maximum portability?
• Are you mounting different power supplies?
• Will you be relying on hook and loop fasteners, foam inserts, or a universal mounting bracket?
• Will you be buying the power supply separately?
• Are you using twin pedals?
Having your own pedalboard means answering all of these questions and considering their factors for you to have and own the best pedalboard out there.
Nothing beats having an organized rig.
Pedalboard Types (Buying Guide)
Right off the bat, there are certain types you can look out for: flat and incline, modular and “one size fits all”, and powered and un-powered. All of this can be selected depending entirely on your preference and the space allowed by any ample room.
There are some pedal board companies (like Pedaltrain) that offer the same type of boards in different lengths and sizes. This allows the same quality build to cater to musicians with several different needs.
There may be some of you who only need three or four pedals in their arsenal. Then of course there are some who just enjoy a variety of tones so much that they opt for 10 or more pedals.
Because of this, you need to consider the size of the board you want to have. If you have a little less than 5 pedals, then it’s no use going for a huge-sized platform immediately.
Unless of course, you’re planning on upgrading and investing in pedals sooner or later, then by all means, invest in a guitar pedal board that can fit up to seven pedals or more!
This is regardless of if you have expensive pedals or affordable units, such as Behringer pedals and Boss pedals. Next up is the pedal board material. There are some who prefer a lightweight aluminum board, or aircraft grade aluminum.
Some prefer to have wood as their guitar pedalboard to cater to their either large or small pedal collections. Another thing you would have to consider is your budget. There are some pedalboards that are much more expensive than others.
This is because they have different components or materials that either involve weight, quality, or even features and aesthetics.
Some guitar pedal boards come with their own respective power source. Others can just be straight-up boards.
Depending on what you need, do consider your power requirements before purchasing a guitar pedalboard.
If you’re going to be traveling a lot for events, gigs, or recording sessions, then you might want to look into pedal boards with included carry cases or hard cases that provide a padded interior.
This allows you to have the option to bring with you your whole rig without the fear of losing bits and pieces of your board during travel or commute.
Hard cases are much more future-proof, while soft cases can be easier to carry, and much more lightweight. After all, you can do a lot of arranging pedals in the long run.
You should also look into the guitar pedalboard mounting options. A popular option is velcro (or via hook-and-loop). Another thing that is common among musicians is cable ties. Depending on the board you pick, you should be looking at both options.
Lastly, always consider your budget.
Look at what aspects you can compromise on before purchasing. Your guitar effects pedals can be expensive. Depending on how many pedals you use, try and understand that your guitar pedal board will have to have a decent power supply, too.
Pedal power is often overlooked in terms of talking about guitar pedals. Power supplies play an important role in pedal power, especially if you want to make the most of your pedal collection.
Although there are pedal boards with built in power supply, a powered pedal board can be a tad more expensive than your average one. But we can talk about power supplies and pedal power in another feature.
If your pedals comfortably fit your case, then you’re pretty much good to go. Just make sure all pedals are secured.
The Power of Power Supply (Pedal Power)
Now we head on to one of the most confusing things a guitarist can look into – power supply or pedal power. Power supply for your pedal board can be quite challenging simply because not all pedals have the same requirements in terms of pedal power.
Power supply and its job description simply pertains to the conversion of the voltage from your wall power outlet supply (that usually ranges from 110V or 220V) into something that translates to your set of effects pedals.
At first, power supply for your pedal board can be a bit daunting. Since there are different power supply requirements for certain pedals, you can have a hard time looking for a compatible one, especially if you have one of those expensive pedals.
Guitar effects pedals however often times have instruction manuals that help you identify which sort of power supply to use. There are also certain ways to power your pedal board. Some resort to power bricks that help distribute power to your pedals. A clean powered pedal can perform much better and quieter.
Some resort to daisy chains which means connecting your pedals through a wired connection. Another cool thing is that there are budget friendly pedal power supply options! A powered pedal is usually seen when blinking indicators show on your pedals.
Now let’s get into the fun side of things – the best guitar pedalboard options available out there today!
Arguably the most famous name in the pedal board community, Pedaltrain offers this staple model to the pedal nerds out there. The Classic JR pedal board is a 45.7×31.7cm offering that is made out of aluminum, making this pedal board both lightweight and durable.
It often comes with hook and loop fasteners, and a carry case with a shoulder strap included! It has enough space to mount around 10 regular-sized pedals (a wah pedal included), with more space available if you mix and match micro pedals with your standard-sized ones.
You have the option to choose between a soft case and a hard case. Thanks to its elevated design, you can mount usual-sized power supply units below the board, making it a versatile and functional option. Some pedal board units even have included power supplies, a great option for powering your pedals through a powered pedal board!
However, if you think the Classic JR pedal board is too much, try out their other options, such as the Nano and the Nano+ Max pedal board!
Coming in at number two in our best guitar pedalboards roundup, we have the slick-looking RockBoard TRES 3.1 from Warwick. This is a neat-freak’s dream come true, as it comes with enough spaces for cable routing and can house a variety of pedal combinations.
It’s also a modular type of board, making it flexible and space-friendly, depending on your needs.
It weighs around 1.2kg and is measured at 51×23.6cm.
If you’re the sort of musician who wants everything neat and tidy, then the Duo 17 from Temple Audio might just be the thing for you. It’s got a futuristic design, capable of mounting your pedals via cable ties thanks to a lot of dedicated holes in the board itself.
They can even incorporate Temple Audio’s Quick Release pedal mounts so you won’t even need velcro anymore. The Duo 17 also boasts integrated I/O and power connectors, meaning powering up your board is easy as mounting your pedals to the board’s surface. It weighs around 1.1 kg and is measured at around 43.2cmx31.8cm.
Take note though – it doesn’t come with its own carry case. *pout*
Gator Cases built a board for the serious gents. This series is definitely built for the road!
The G-Tour Series from Gator Cases offers a variety of sizes, depending on your preference. It offers a retractable handle and wheels making it the perfect companion for musicians on tour, as well as endless options for cables and case combinations.
It can be quite heavy though, as it weighs around 15kg and is measured at around 60×27.94cm.
Talk about a pedal board and a gig bag in one. Coming in at number five we have a pedal board from one of the legends in the pedal community!
BOSS offers the BCB-60 – a tough and reliable powered pedal board option for the musician who wants something simple and hassle-free. The Boss BCB 60 has an integrated power supply, as well as included patch cables! It also houses I/O connectors and send & return jacks, making all sorts of connections easy to set up.
The Boss BCB 60 can be home to 5 – 6 regular-sized pedals (or Boss size pedals), but it has a dedicated foam in which you can cut depending on your preference.
Take note however that for those of you who have pedals that require 18V power, you will be needing an external power source. The Boss BCB 60 weighs around 3.8kg and is measured at 670x370x100mm, making the BOSS BCB 60 a decent choice for any musician.
Completing our roundup is created by the fine folks who brought you one of the most famous and reliable power supplies available out there today!
The Dingbat Medium by Voodoo Lab is a lightweight yet very well-built offering designed to mount your usual power supply units. It sports a futuristic look, all while having the platform to help you mount your pedals with ease. It has enough space underneath to organize your PSUs, cables, and routing options.
To top it all off, the Dingbat also comes with hook-and-loop velcro to help you out with all your mounting needs.
It weighs around 4.54kg.
Thanks to the ever-so-evolving world of guitar gear, we have a plethora of options to make our journey easier, especially with effects pedals and our pedal board! Pedalboards have their specific strengths where they can help you out the most with your effects pedals.
What’s important is that you figure out how you can make the most of your gear and you should be fine.
Have fun looking for your first (or your next) pedal board!