Best Pedalboards 2019 – Reviews and Top Picks

Let’s say you spend thousands of dollars on fancy pedals – we all need them because they make your music juicer, richer and more unique. I have about 15-20 pedals that are all scattered around the house and my friend’s studio. I used to lose track of them, so I kept buying more because I thought the other one was lost. Obviously, it wasn’t.

At some point, my bassist decided that he’d had enough of me leaving pedals in his apartment, so he gave me a pedalboard for my birthday. Honestly, I thought it was just going to gather dust in the corner like all of the other cases I have, because I didn’t want to carry another bag in addition to my guitar case. Surprise, surprise; I ended up using it for each gig and soon got myself another one. If you are like me and keep postponing the purchase of the board – you might want to rethink that decision. Look through the list below, you might find your best powered pedalboard. Or the best unpowered pedalboard, if that’s your case.

  • Gator Cases G-TOUR Series
  • Rating:
  • Dimensions: 28” x 15.5” x 7.5”
  • Frame: Removable Plywood frame with Aluminum Edging
  • Weight: 27.9 lbs
  • Case: Flightcase
  • Pedal Fastener: 36″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
  • Boss BCB-60
  • Rating:
  • Dimensions: 27” x 15.5” x 5”
  • Frame: Internal Molded Plastic with Padded Interior & External Molded Plastic Resin
  • Weight: 10.36 lbs
  • Case: Integrated
  • Pedal Fastener: N/A
Name
Dimensions:
Frame:
Weight:
Case:
Pedal Fastener:
Price
Name
Dimensions:
Frame:
Weight:
Case:
Pedal Fastener:
Price
№1
28” x 15.5” x 7.5”
Removable Plywood frame with Aluminum EdgingShow More
27.9 lbs
Flightcase
36″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
№2
27” x 15.5” x 5
Internal Molded Plastic with Padded Interior & External Molded Plastic ResinShow More
10.36 lbs
Integrated
N/A
№3
23.75″ x 10.66″ x 2.98″
Aluminum Alloy Pedalboard
9 lbs
Soft
3M Dual Lock Hook and Loop
№4
22″ x 13.5″ (surface)
Lightweight American 6061-T6 Aluminium ChassisShow More
6.4 lbs
Soft
Hook-and-Loop fastener
№5
4.5” x 26.1” x 19.8”
Plastic with padded lid
12.4 lbs
Integrated
N/A
№6
23 x 16 x 4.5
Injection Molded from Eco-friendly Rubber Modified StyreneShow More
9lbs
Soft
19″ x 12″ hook and loop
№7
16″ x 8″ x 1.4″
Lightweight Aircraft Grade Aluminium 3-Rail SetupShow More
1.6 lbs
Soft
48″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
№8
20” x 11.4” x 4’’
Aluminium Alloy
2.54 lbs.
Soft
N/A
№9
18” x 5” x 1.4”
Lightweight Aircraft Grade Aluminium 2-rail SetupShow More
1.2 lbs
Soft
36″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
№10
11.8 x 11.8 x 11
Aluminium Alloy
6.8 lbs
Soft
2 x 60” Velcro

Let’s kick it off with an elite pedalboard Gator G-Tour. Featuring high-quality material and hardware, this beast is an ultimate choice for professionals and is hands down the best pedalboard out there. Being really big and spacious, it fits 12 pedals and stomp-boxes plus all required gear in the additional compartments. The hardware is neat and sturdy, including an aluminium frame, 3m dual lock fastener for pedals, tow handle and in-line wheels, grip handles and butterfly latches. The ideal option for a touring professional.

Dimensions:
28” x 15.5” x 7.5”
Frame:
Removable Plywood frame with Aluminum Edging
Weight:
27.9 lbs
Case:
Flightcase
Pedal Fastener:
36″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
PROS

Pro-level

Heavy duty signature hardware

Portable & Spacious

Cons

Heavy

Does not include cables and power adaptor

We all know that Boss pedals are freaking awesome – always are and always will be. The good news (if you don’t know yet), is they are making wicked pedalboards too. Boss BCB-60 might not be as exquisite as others on the list (it’s made of plastic, not classic wood or aluminium), but it’s well-built, durable as rocks and very practical. Most importantly, it features patch cables, I/O connectors, and a power supply, while most other boards have an adapter at best.

Dimensions:
27” x 15.5” x 5
Frame:
Internal Molded Plastic with Padded Interior & External Molded Plastic Resin
Weight:
10.36 lbs
Case:
Integrated
Pedal Fastener:
N/A
PROS

All-in-one pedalboard

Loaded hardware

Sturdy

Cons

Pricey

Might not fit all 6 pedals from other brands

Gator is one of the most well-trusted pedalboard brands out there, and has a reputation of producing pedalboards with the best protection. Gator GBP-BAK has a light, large aluminium body with angled construction. The pedalboard is equipped with a universal mounting bracket and cable routing perforations.

Dimensions:
23.75″ x 10.66″ x 2.98″
Frame:
Aluminum Alloy Pedalboard
Weight:
9 lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
3M Dual Lock Hook and Loop
PROS

Angled construction

Long & light body

Fits most power supplies

Cable routing perforations

Cons

Basic set up

California-based Voodoo Lab is notorious for creating high-quality, handmade guitar gear, power supplies and pedalboards. Dingbat Medium is one of their best-sellers. It is crafted using superior American 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminium and fits from 6-10 effects. Each model comes with a different number of accessories, the most cost-effective in my opinion is the one including Pedal Power 2 Plus (completed with cables & detachable AC power cord)

Dimensions:
22″ x 13.5″ (surface)
Frame:
Lightweight American 6061-T6 Aluminium Chassis
Weight:
6.4 lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
Hook-and-Loop fastener
PROS

Pedal Power 2 Plus onboard

Lightweight and durable aircraft aluminium

Easy cable manipulations

Cons

Expensive

A transportable pedalboard Behringer PB1000 is a smart and convenient solution for travelling musicians. The pedalboard is a board and a case all in one. It’s made of durable plastic with padded lead. It comes with a build-in 9V DC power supply able to power up to 12 pedals, as well as a number of 1/4” patch cables.

Dimensions:
4.5” x 26.1” x 19.8”
Frame:
Plastic with padded lid
Weight:
12.4 lbs
Case:
Integrated
Pedal Fastener:
N/A
PROS

Heavy-impact casing

Built-in power supply and cabling

Easy transport and organizing

Cons

Noisy

SKB PS8, unlike classic pedalboards, features a rubber modified styrene body with the hook-and-loop mounting surface and fully integrated DC 500mA power source. There is room for a maximum of eight pedals (hence the name) and has eight built-in 9V DC output jacks for each pedal. The purchase includes a nylon gig bag.

Dimensions:
23 x 16 x 4.5
Frame:
Injection Molded from Eco-friendly Rubber Modified Styrene
Weight:
9lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
19″ x 12″ hook and loop
PROS

Lightweight and durable

Square-shaped (suitable for larger effects)

Onboard electronics and wiring

Heavy-duty ballistic nylon gig bag

Budget friendly

Cons

Humming from the power adaptor

Pedaltrain creates advanced pedalboards loved among multiple musicians due to their flexibility. Metro 16 is constructed with an exceptionally tough and light aluminium body, making this compact board perfect for travelling musicians. It’s also one of the most versatile pedalboards out there, due to the open-frame design and adhesive-backed hook-and-loop material.

Dimensions:
16″ x 8″ x 1.4″
Frame:
Lightweight Aircraft Grade Aluminium 3-Rail Setup
Weight:
1.6 lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
48″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
PROS

Ultra-tough and lightweight

Versatility

Open-frame design

Hook & Loop materia

Cons

Small

Donner a relatively new producer of musical instruments and gear, has hit the nail in the head with their pedalboards. Donner DB-3 is the largest rail-type pedalboard in the line, able to fit up to 12 standard stamp boxes (and even more smaller ones). The board is made of aluminium and includes four aluminium rails.

Dimensions:
20” x 11.4” x 4’’
Frame:
Aluminium Alloy
Weight:
2.54 lbs.
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
N/A
PROS

Budget friendly

Spacious

Sturdy

Angled design

Cons

Poor quality of the included canvas bag

When musicians talk about pedalboards, chances are they are talking about Pedaltrain. The brand’s been making high-quality pedalboards for years, and even such a small and inexpensive board like Nano is the best of the best. The durable aluminium body weighs only a pound; fits six pedals at once which are connected with 36″ adhesive Hook-and-Loop strip.

Dimensions:
18” x 5” x 1.4”
Frame:
Lightweight Aircraft Grade Aluminium 2-rail Setup
Weight:
1.2 lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
36″ Adhesive backed Hook-and-Loop
PROS

Compact size & Portability

Ease of use

Affordable

Cons

Hard to fit power supplies

Luvay’s biggest pedalboard fits up to 14 standard stamp boxes and yet, it is light as feather. This no-nonsense deal includes the pedalboard, carrying bad, pedalboard Velcro, 12 buckles and ties for pedals for under $70. It fits most power supply types.

Dimensions:
11.8 x 11.8 x 11
Frame:
Aluminium Alloy
Weight:
6.8 lbs
Case:
Soft
Pedal Fastener:
2 x 60” Velcro
PROS

Extra-large size

Durable aluminium construction

Compartment for power supplies

Cons

Weak carrying bag

No electronics included

Buyer’s Guide

What factors to consider when buying a pedalboard

Buying a pedalboard is a tricky endeavor. Honestly, at first glance they all looked the same to me. Yet, there are a lot of factors which will help you to identify the difference in pedalboards, and what kind of pedalboard you need.

  • Size – most simple and straightforward factor. There are a few basic size types: compact/nano, standard/medium, large. You can identify what size you need by the number and kind of stamp boxes you have. If you have large ones like wah wah, make sure that the weight of the pedal is long enough to fit them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a large one, most standard pedalboards fit the wah wah just fine. If you only have a handful of pedals you use on gigs – nano is your best choice. Though I personally prefer having two boards: a standard for storing, and a nano for gigs.
  • Power Supply – not every pedalboard comes with a power supply, it’s more like most of them come without one. It’s obviously very convenient to have power supply mounted in the pedal board, which frees you from the task of buying a separate one. However, the power supply might end up being noisy or have the wrong specs, not suited for your pedals (some pedals require non-standard 12V or 18V). So unless you already have some extra power supplies, I’d recommend buying a board with them included, but check the power specs carefully.
  • Material – there are four most common materials used in pedalboards: plywood, aluminium, plastic and rubber. Plywood is a classic choice used for dozens of years and is still a favorite among many musicians. It’s easily customisable, yet heavy. Aluminium is more popular nowadays, as it is most durable, with a heavy-impact and is lightweight. Plastic is even lighter and cheaper, but isn’t too rigid. Finally, rubber – which is relatively new and cheap, but just as durable and light as aluminium.
  • Profile – pedalboards can be of two different profiles: flat & angled. Flat is the classic profile, it’s very straightforward and easier to store, however, it’s not too practical, especially during live shows. Angled, however, is getting more popular as it’s easier to hook the pedals and use them. They also have a compartment underneath the board for accessories and supplies.
  • Case – most pedalboards include a carrying bag (soft or hard) upon purchase. I, personally, prefer the soft ones, as they are lighter and easier to carry. Hard cases, obviously, offer more protection, but considering that pedalboard themselves are pretty rigid, you don’t always need extra protection. Also, pay attention to the quality of the included bags – there is a high chance it won’t be excellent.
  • Pedal fastener – this is the pedal closure system. Basically, this is what makes the pedals stick to the board. The most popular fastener is the hook and loop – it’s basically a tape that attaches to the board and the back of the pedals. Then you can stick it together and move it around as you wish.

F.A.Q.

How much does a good pedalboard cost?

The price of a pedalboard depends on so many factors: size, materials, included accessories, cabling. Technically, what you need it to do is to be sturdy and secure pedals – that isn’t that complicated to make, right? The pedalboard itself doesn’t cost too much (unless it’s made of aircraft aluminium like Pedaltrain Metro 16), so you can aim at $80. But if you require additional accessories and don’t want to spend extra time and money on wiring, a bag and other stuff- buy it altogether. Then, a $150-200 deal with all accessories included should be pretty solid.

That being said, I’m talking about good quality, not budget pedalboards – there are some that sell for around $60, and they are still pretty decent. Yet, if you want to make sure the pedalboard will serve you 5-10 years, do spend some extra cash on it; this won’t hurt you in the long run.

Do I need any accessories?

As I’ve mentioned many times – absolutely. Not every pedalboard comes with the power supplies, power cords, cables, adaptors and bags. Unless they are included, you should certainly buy them, or your pedalboard will be useless.

Can I craft my own pedalboard?

Technically – yes. Grab yourself a piece of wood or plastic, buy Velcro hook and loop tape and stick it on top – and voila. As simple as that. But you also need to buy cables, accessories, and find a suitable bag. Screw the holes in the surface to set up the wires. Unless you are a crafty handyman, it will end up being quite a complicated task, but it will be perfectly suited to your needs. Yet, if you are a beginner or don’t have/want to spend time on building things – I’d rather buy the pedalboard. It will end up costing less anyway.

In what order should I set up pedals on the pedalboard?

You, of course, can always set up pedals to your liking. If you want to have the wah wah in front of the distortion or boost in front of harmonizer – by all means go for it! If it works for you and your style of play, you are the only judge!

But if you don’t know your pedals too well, or prefer to stick to the classic sound, there is also a universal way of doing that. It follows the classic sound chain set up and is the most efficient and less noisy way to chain the pedals.

  1. Filters // Harmonizers // Dynamic Pedals (compressors)
  2. EQ Pedals, Distortion, Overdrive, Boost, Fuzz Pedals
  3. Modulation Pedals: phaser, chorus, etc.
  4. Time-based pedals: echo, delay, reverb, tremolo, etc.

You, obviously, do not need to use all of them at once. Just use one or two from each group (or from only three groups) and attach them to your pedalboard in the order above.

Conclusion

So here you have it: pedalboards for every pocket and every need. I, personally, prefer the compact pedalboards like Pedaltrain Nano, which is easy to take with me on a gig or to the studio. It’s not like I need a whole collection with me every time I leave the house. Though I know most musicians prefer standard sized boards, so I recommend Gator Cases Aluminium Pedalboard – sturdy and lightweight – it covers the needs of every musician and will serve you for years. My standard size board is a bit more basic – SKB PS8 – the one that my friend gave me, but it is also pretty sturdy and practical. I’ve being using it for about five years and I can’t complain.

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By Max Hudson
    about author

    My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. It can become a starting point for your new hobby, where you can find the right instrument, get tips for playing effortlessly or anything else music related.

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