Guitarists are always obsessing over pedals. Every one of those little boxes can contain its own unique magic and it’s little surprise that some electric guitarist just can’t get enough.
As much fun as it is to talk pedals and effects, something a little more down to earth is an essential part of any guitarists’ pedal setup is incredibly essential and yet gets little attention: the pedal-board
Serving as the steady foundation of any pedal setup, your pedal-board might not make any noise but it is just as vital to your rig as any pedal.
Your pedal board can be nothing more than a simple piece of wood that secures your pedals during transit and performance. Or you can have a complex setup full of wiring and switches and controls that allow for unique switching options.
Which way you go depends largely on what you need. If you’re feeling brave (or have an especially crazy pedal setup,) making your own pedal board can be a great DIY project. On the other hand, there are some truly excellent pedal-board setups ready to purchase on the market.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
Table of Contents:
- I. Finding The Best Pedalboard To Compliment Your Setup
- II. Think About Transporting Your Pedals
- III. Our Best Pedalboard Selections
- a. Mr. Power Pedalboard
- b. Donner Guitar Pedalboard With Case
- c. PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR
- d. Gator Cases G-TOUR Series Gutiar Pedal board with ATA Road Case
- e. Behringer PB1000 Universal Effects Pedal Floor Board
- f. Boss BCB-60 Deluxe Pedal Board
- g. Holeyboard Dragonfly 2.0 Pedalboard
- h. Odyssey Flight Zone – Pedalboard & ATA Flightcase
- IV. See What You Can Do With Your Pedalboard!
Finding The Best Pedalboard To Compliment Your Setup
When it comes time to choose a pedalboard, there are four main things you want to keep in mind:
- Current Space Requirements: How many pedals do you already have, and how much room do they need? Hook up your pedals in the most space-efficient way that compliments your playing. Be sure to actually wire them together. Then measure the width and length of the entire setup. This gives you some dimensions for how big of a board to look for.
- Future Expansion: If you’re a true gear head, you’re probably already intimately aware that whatever you’re stuffing on your pedalboard probably won’t be the end-all be-all solution for your setup. If you’re looking to expand, or occasionally experiment with swapping out different pedals, look for a board that has a bit of extra space beyond what’s already required.
- Wire Routing: Some pedalboards have an integrated power system wired into the board itself. This means you’ll have easy access to power for all of your pedals. Other boards require you to rig up your own solution by running daisy chains and wires on the underside or inner side of the board. Some boards even include their own integrated power supply.
- Mounting: How are you going to secure your pedals to your board? Many guitarists opt for velcro mounting tap, which lets you easily remove your pedals. Some pedal board designs instead offer mounting points where the pedal can rest or be secured to the board.
Think About Transporting Your Pedals
When you envision your pedalboard, it’s easy to picture something static, idly sitting on the floor waiting for you to press some buttons. While this is the case while your pedalboard is in use during performance or practice, give some thought to transit when choosing a pedalboard.
Consider how heavy all of your pedals (plus the board) might be to carry. How easy is it to pack in a car? Can you carry it on your back? Does it fit easily into a case?
Many pedalboards include hard flight cases or soft gig bags specifically designed for the pedalboard. Assuming you don’t have any pedals with seriously unusual dimensions, these typically provide the ideal way to lug your pedalboard around.
Your pedalboard can represent hundreds or even thousands of dollars in investment. Be careful with it! Think diligently about how well your board will handle the stresses of travel.
Our Best Pedalboard Selections
Mr. Power Pedalboard
Only have a few pedals? Never had a pedalboard before? Mr. Power is the pedalboard for you. Just fifteen inches in length, this little board is ideal for housing about 3-4 regular pedals, or a whole selection of mini-pedals.
The pedalboard includes a small canvas carrying bag. Other than that, it’s just a no-frills little aluminum board. Perfect for a beginning guitarist who wants to add a bit of organization to their pedal setup without breaking the band. A fantastic way to break into the world of building pedalboards!
For the more experienced pedal freak, this could be a great jumping off point for a mini-board or some new pedal experimentation.
Donner Guitar Pedalboard With Case
If you’re looking for something simple, no-nonsense, and you don’t have a lot of pedals to put on it, this little board from Donner is a great choice. Within the range of even a shoestring budget, this little board is made from durable and lightweight aluminum and includes a simple canvas bag for carrying.
The pedalboard doesn’t have any bells and whistles like routing, but the included canvas bag fits comfortably and does a decent job of keeping the pedals safe during transport. Mounting to the board is accomplished using velcro tap, and Donner was nice enough to include a few rolls with each new board.
If you only use a few pedals, this is an excellent board. Or it could accommodate a whole family of mini-pedals. Whether it’s your first board, a side project board, or just something you snatch up because it’s a great deal, this is a nifty pedalboard worthy of a second look.
PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR
Pedaltrain is one of the best known names in guitar pedalboards. Their simple, no-nonsense boards have provided a home for countless effects pedals. With the Classic JR, Pedaltrain has iterated on their proven design without complicating anything at all.
The Pedaltrain board is just a piece of sturdy lightweight aluminum. Pedaltrain includes velcro tape for easy mounting and the board’s spacious openings make routing your wires a breeze. Included is a canvas carrying bag, which doesn’t provide a lot of protection but makes it easy to carry and transport your Pedaltrain.
The board is on a slight angle, providing easy access for pressing buttons with your feet while performing. With a little bit of setup and planning, a Pedaltrain board can be all a guitarist would need for an entire career. Check out the different sizes of Pedaltrain boards available to find the ideal pick for your board.
Gator Cases G-TOUR Series Gutiar Pedal board with ATA Road Case
Gator Cases provide everything you need to have a travel-ready pedalboard all in one package. This pedalboard is built directly into a solid plywood and aluminum flight case which does a great job at protecting the pedalboard’s contents. EVA foam lining on the interior provides an extra layer of protection and shock absorption.
Aside from being something of a tank in terms of durability, the G-TOUR Series is also remarkably portable. The combination of plywood and aluminum strikes an excellent balance between being lightweight and durable. For easy maneuvering, the pedalboard includes wheels and a heavy duty carrying handle.
Mounting your pedals is accomplished with velcro tape. Gator helpfully includes 3M Dual Lock tape with every new board to get you setup right away.
No wiring or routing is provided. You’ll need to setup your own power supply and wiring. Available in three sizes.
Behringer PB1000 Universal Effects Pedal Floor Board
The Behringer PB1000 integrates a foam-padded interior that snugly houses your pedals beneath its hard shell, impact resistant plastic carrying shell. Your pedals are mounted by securing them snugly into the foam. This works best for Behringer-style pedals, but the foam mounting system is modular and with a bit of work can be configured to fit most pedals.
While the mounting might not cut it for a more open pedal board, the hard shell case which is integrated in the PB1000’s design keeps the entire board very snug and secure during transit.
Another nifty feature is the PB1000’s integrated power supply. The board also includes integrated input and output jacks for your mono or stereo signal, making it easy to integrate the entirety of the PB1000 as if it were a single pedal. Pretty neat!
Boss BCB-60 Deluxe Pedal Board
With the BCB-60, Boss created a pretty unique and integrated all-in-one system for storing, transporting, performing, and powering your pedals.
The BCB-60 includes an integrated power supply which can support up to 7 pedals. This means you don’t have to worry about getting your own power supply or routing your wires through the board to power your pedals.
Boss has innovated a bit with the mounting, as well. Instead of something like velcro tape, pedals are secured into the BCB-60 through foam padding. This works really well with the Boss pedals it was designed for, but some other types of pedals might take a little more work. However, Boss includes foam blanks and pieces especially for this purpose. With a little work, you can get wah pedals and over-sized pedals to fit snugly into the BCB-60’s foam housing.
While there are a lot of nifty features on the inside, the BCB-60 isn’t quite as rugged on the outside as a heavy duty flight case might be. It’s great for transporting to practices and local gigs, but for those who put a lot of abuse on their boards on the road, you might want to look into something a bit tougher.
Holeyboard Dragonfly 2.0 Pedalboard
The Holeyboard Dragonfly is a pretty unique pedalboard, both in looks and functionality. As the name implies, the board is covered in holes which are used to mount your pedals.
Instead of using adhesive velcro tap that can gunk up the bottom of your pedals if you need to remove it, the Holeyboard uses small plastic zip-tie-esque fasteners to secure your pedals to the board.
For those looking to keep their pedals pristine, this can be a great way to avoid adding adhesvies or modifying the pedals for custom mounting solutions.. The Holeyboard includes all the fasteners you’ll need with the board, so you don’t need to worry about getting anything extra.
The sort of “Swiss cheese” design of the board also makes routing your power supply wiring a breeze. You can easily see every part of the board – including the under side – so it’s not hard to run some wires where you need them. Take care to make them clean, though! A messy Holeyboard will look like even more of a disaster than a normal board with nasty wiring.
The neat look of the board isn’t just to be admired, either. It offer a comfortable curve and a nice elevation that makes it easier to access your pedals while playing.
Odyssey Flight Zone – Pedalboard & ATA Flightcase
If you have a nice pedal collection and need to travel, your main concern is security. How durable is your case? Does it lock? How much rough handling would it take to cause some damage?
Should you find yourself asking questions like this, you need something like the Odyssey Flight Zone. The pedalboard itself is very spacious, accommodating up to 32 pedals, but doesn’t have any fancy features like a power supply or routing.
Instead, the Flight Zone is all about durability. The case is a bit heavy, but this is because it is extremely tough. An ATA-compliant flight case compatible with TSA locks, this is a board and case combo designed specifically to withstand unsympathetic baggage handlers, accidents, drops, weather, and everything else that the road might be waiting to throw at your pedalboard.
The case is equipped with wheels and a heavy duty carrying handle to make transport a bit easier. This is good, because empty the case weighs about 45 pounds by itself. Mounting your pedals is accomplished with included velcro tape and the board is at a slight angle for easy access. There is some extra space inside the case as well, providing an ideal storage space for cords and other equipment.
See What You Can Do With Your Pedalboard!
Putting together a pedal board can be a real joy. Figuring out which pedal goes where and why it should be there is a process of trial and error.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with rearranging your pedals until you have something that ideally suits the needs of your performance style!