Guitar Pedalboard Buying Guide
Posted: 15 February 2023
Synopsis: When selecting a pedalboard, there are a few factors to consider. First, you'll want to choose a size that accommodates your pedals and allows for any future expansion. You'll also want to consider the weight and durability of the board.
If you're a guitarist, you probably already know the importance of having a great sound. One way to achieve this is through the use of guitar pedals. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose which pedals to include in your rig. That's where a guitar pedalboard comes in.
A pedalboard is simply a flat surface on which to arrange your pedals. It can be made of wood, metal, or plastic, and comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate different pedal configurations. But beyond providing a convenient way to organise your pedals, a pedalboard can also improve the sound and performance of your rig in several ways.
First and foremost, a pedalboard helps you to keep your pedals organised and easily accessible. With a dedicated space for each pedal, you can quickly find the one you need when you need it. Plus, a pedalboard can prevent your pedals from getting lost, damaged, or accidentally unplugged during a performance.
Secondly, a pedalboard can help you to create a more consistent sound. By arranging your pedals in a specific order, you can achieve a particular tone and colour your sound in the way you like. A pedalboard also allows you to connect your pedals in a way that reduces noise and interference.
Another benefit of using a pedalboard is that it can save you time and hassle. Setting up your pedals individually before each performance can be a hassle, and a pedalboard streamlines the process by keeping everything in one place. You can also add or remove pedals from your rig quickly and easily.
When selecting a pedalboard, there are a few factors to consider. First, you'll want to choose a size that accommodates your pedals and allows for any future expansion. You'll also want to consider the weight and durability of the board, especially if you plan to take it on the road. And of course, you'll want to choose a style and design that fits your personal taste.
Pedalboards for Mini Pedals
Compact pedals are all the rage at present due to their ability to perform like their larger cousins but in a more small form factor that allows you to reduce the size of your pedalboard, or potentially to just fit more pedals!
If you want an ultra compact pedalboard there are options such as the Rowin LC100 that features pre-cut foam holes for the pedals and an integrated daisy chain packaged inside an aluminium case. The drawback is being able to fit just 5 pedals. While the MOEN mini board is a more versatile design with hook and loop tape for attaching the pedals and can fit up to 8 mini pedals.
Perhaps you still need to accommodate a wah-wah or larger pedal or just need more space. There are plenty of slightly larger models in the SWAMP range though the MOEN Pedal Bridge Junior is probably the standout upgrade option, capable of holding 2 rows of mini pedals while accommodating larger pedals as well.
A pedal bridge provides a convenient solution for mounting pedals while allowing easy access underneath for attaching a power supply and routing power cables. This setup ensures that your audio signal cables remain unobstructed and separated from power cables, resulting in a clean and noise-free signal flow. Additionally, this method reduces any visible clutter in your setup, giving your pedalboard a clean and professional appearance.
Once you have narrowed down your selection of pedals to include on your board, it's time to consider how you want to place them and what size bridge you will need. We have compiled a list of currently available sizes so you can easily consider your options.
The PDB range offers excellent quality and value. Quality gig bags optional for all models and hard cases to suit the larger models. With 5 sizes to choose there is a budget friendly pedalboard option for everyone.
Known for their stylish and lightweight aluminium designs
With a huge range of different sizes and options for hard cases or soft bags, the Rockboard has options for any professional setup. They also include modules that attach to the rear of the bridges to allow for streamlined connections for signal routing, power, MIDI, XLR and more. If you are planning to hit the road on tour these are the pedalboards you should consider.
Innovative design where velcro is not used to attach the pedals to the bridge. Rather small clamps attached to the corners of the pedals secure them robustly. Ideal for those with boutique or vintage pedals that are proving to be assets and increasing in value. Keep your pedals free from marks and stains and attached securely to the pedalboard.
The standout from JOYO is the RD-3 all-in-one pedal board case with wheels and handle. If you need to save your back for chores around the house - this can be a good option to make bumping into gigs and jams a lot easier.
In addition to the pedalboard itself, you'll also need some additional gear to complete your rig. This includes a power supply to provide power to your pedals, patch cables to connect them, and possibly a tuner, volume pedal, or other accessories to further customise your sound.
Pedal Gig Bags
For regular transport a lightweight gig bag is often preferred over a hard case. Rockboard models will have options for a hard case or gig bag soft case. Though for a high quality, thickly padded bag with durable exterior fabric consider our SWAMP pedal bag range that can also suit many other popular models of pedal bridges.
When taking your pedalboard on the road it is important your pedals are kept safe and ready for the next show, no matter how the roadie packed them into the truck. This is when a hard case becomes necessary and can be a wise investment.
The SWAMP hard cases suit the 60cm and 80cm wide PDB bridges and are designed so the bridge can stay mounted within the base of the case without intruding access to the pedals. Simply position it on the floor, undo the latches, remove the lid and you are ready for action.
The final piece of the pedalboard puzzle is a power supply to power your rig. A power brick that can power the entire pedalboard is often the best option. The PDB range of bridges can be upgraded to include a powerbank that replaces the rear rung on your bridge enabling a compact and streamlined power supply option. Those with ground hum problems should consider fully transformer isolated power bricks. While the more compact power bricks that have only transformer isolated main output are usually noiseless in most cases. Read our blog about guitar pedal power supplies for more detailed information.
Overall, a guitar pedalboard is an essential piece of gear for any guitarist who wants to create a unique, consistent sound. By providing a convenient and organised space for your pedals, a pedalboard can streamline your setup and help you to achieve your desired tone. So if you haven't already, consider investing in a pedalboard to take your playing to the next level.