It is what it is: you start with one small distortion pedal and all of a sudden you have no more room to store all the reverbs, choruses, tuners, overrides and delays. So you start looking for the best pedalboards to organize those babies, and quickly realize that the choice is quite overwhelming.
Which pedalboard is the sturdiest? Which is the most versatile? Which is the best bang for your buck? We will cover all of those questions today and try to find the best pedalboards for your needs.
What are the best pedalboards out there?
Each consumer has his or her own idea about what’s best for his or her particular guitar setup.
So we’ll start simple. To better understand how the pedalboards stack up against each other, see the specs table below. Under the table you can find an overview of each board listed here. You will find both great and not-so-great features of each board to determine which will work best for you.
- Dimensions: 21.5 x 16 x 5.9 inches
- Materials: Aircraft aluminum
- Capacity: 6 pedals
- Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 5 inches
- Materials: Cold-rolled aluminum
- Capacity: 10 pedals
- Dimensions: 28 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches
- Materials: Aluminum & plywood
- Capacity: 14 pedals
- Dimensions: 17.5 x 6 x 31.5 inches
- Materials: Plywood
- Capacity: 6 pedals
- Dimensions: 27 x 17 x 7 inches
- Materials: Aircraft aluminum
- Capacity: 10 pedals
PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR — Middle grounder
The Classic JR has the original four-rail design with familiar rail spacing. It has three rows, each row can fit up to 4 regular sized effect pedals. The twist here is open front design: you can mount almost any power supply underneath.
Aircraft aluminum makes the pedalboard hard to bend and break. The soft finish is much better to the eye and harder to scratch when transporting.
You can choose from a soft or professional tour case. Even though the professional case is heavy duty, the soft case can take a beating as well: thanks to the reinforced stress points and metal zipper.
- Holds a decent amount of pedals. Easy to carry around. It has two case options.
- Can’t fit bigger power suppliers.
RockBoard TRES 3.1
Rockboard designed in a way that allows for mounting effect pedals of any type and size. You can be as versatile and as savvy with your setup as you want: the surface has a lot of space to place up to 10 pedals. Some people will appreciate the “holes” instead of “rows”, since there is less mess on the board. The pedalboard is quite stable thanks to a wide stance.
The construction features just one folded aluminum sheet. No weld seams mean stronger construction and sleeker feel to the pedalboard. You can easily carry it to a local gig or on a tour: the construction is very lightweight.
The design lets you hide the cables underneath the board to keep things clean and organized. The board comes with a soft case with a strap for easy carry.
- Lightweight. Versatile in terms of set up options. Fits up to 10 pedals.
- Less sturdy. It comes with only a soft case with not so much padding.
Gator Cases G-TOUR Series — Durability champion
The manufacturer definitely went for a more premium look here. The board provides lots of storage for pedals, cables, and accessories. It also has an impressive capacity: you can fit up to 14 effect pedals here. The case is robust and features retractable tow with wheels for easy transportation. The lower portion of the case has some space to store cables or some other stuff you may need during the show.
The exterior is made out of aluminum with a plywood frame — be sure that your pedal won’t get damaged. Also, there is an EVA foam interior to help with shock absorption. On top of that, rubber grip handles are spring-loaded with recessed butterfly latches.
You will be able to install your pedals with 3M Dual Lock Fastener which comes with the product.
- One of the most durable. Large capacity. Easy to transport.
- The case is quite hefty at 12 lbs.
Gator Cases Guitar Effects — No need to break the bank
This is one of the most affordable solutions here. This particular pedalboard has a more simplistic design with not much going on. It does have some space underneath for power supply, but the angle of the board is not wide enough to fit a lot of stuff. The effect pedals are attached with velcros.
The main material is plywood, you won’t find any metal here.
The pedalboard comes with a nylon carry case. Nylon is a strong material, but it lacks the impact-absorbing spots and just not as sturdy as hard cases of some other setups.
- Affordable. Lightweight. Includes a handle.
- Nylon case is not very durable. Plywood construction.
Voodoo Lab Dingbat Medium
This pedalboard features a simplistic design with the ability to fit around 10 guitar pedals. The hook-and-loop tapes that come with the product will allow you to easily assemble your setup.
American 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum provides both ease of transportation and durability.
The gig bag is included here as well, and it offers enough in terms of protection. I would still be careful when carrying the board around since we don’t have any impact-absorbing elements in here.
- Decent capacity. Strong build. Heavy-duty case
- Case with mediocre protection. The hole design is not the best for versatile setups.
Pedaltrain Classic Pro — an Honorable Mention
Pedaltrain manufactures a wide range of modular pedalboards — those which are similar in their design but come in different sizes. The size of the pedalboard depends on the number of guitar pedals you’d like to install on the board. For instance, Pedalboard Nano can fit only 4 pedals.
Here we are talking about the Classic Pro model — it is a pretty large model, with the ability to fit up to 13 differently-sized pedals. The pedal has Pedaltrain’s classic five-rail “pro” design with traditional rail spacing. With the open front and elevated angle design, it is very convenient to mount the power supply and switching system.
The pedalboard also comes with 160″ of Professional-Grade Hook-and-Loop and zip ties for fast and easy setups.
Even though it doesn’t look impressive, the pedalboard will surely get you through years of rough usage. It is built from aluminum alloy for the combination of durability and lightness.
There are two case options to go with: soft case and wheeled tour case. The soft case is made of heavy-duty cordura nylon, with the solid panels sewn inside the sides — that’s a quite good amount of protection we’re talking about.
Another case option also features reinforced stress points, and its construction is enhanced to be 35% lighter than previous iterations.
- Fits a good number of pedals. Open design. Heavy duty built. Upgraded case.
- Doesn’t come with power supply. The touring case option is a lot more expensive.
Best Pedalboards — Buyer’s Guide
There you have it — some of the most balanced pedalboards on the market right now. Your choice depends on your setup, the number of pedals you need, the amount of travel, and so on. But here’s what we can outline to make the choice easier:
PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR — that will definitely meet most people’s requirements. The design is solid, it fits a solid number of guitar pedals, and you can choose from two cases to have it shipped with.
RockBoard TRES 3.1 — this pedalboard is for tech pedal savvies. The design allows to have various pedals, and it is very durable for its price.
Gator Cases G-TOUR Series — premium solution. The case provided is durable enough to survive the wildest and the longest tours. It fits up to 14 pedals.
Gator Cases Guitar Effects— the least feature-packed, but the most affordable. The material is lightweight, and the pedals can be easily installed with velcros.
Voodoo Lab Dingbat— another quite well-balanced pedalboard. Quite durable with decent capacity, it comes with spacious case with some protection.