7 Great Guitar Pedal Boards – Arrange the Effects in Your Own Way
Last updated: Apr 19, 2020
67Hours of Research
A guitar pedal board does exactly what you may expect it to – holds all of your effects pedals in one place. Guitarists who experiment with electronic effects frequently have a vast selection of effects pedals, varying from overdrive, reverb, and EQ. It can be quite confusing trying to operate all of these effects during a song—almost like doing a puzzle, while still trying to make music. The advantage of using a guitar pedal board is that these different effects can be systematically organized into one unit. But what are the best guitar pedal boards available to purchase?
When considering to buy a pedal board, this article argues that size, power supply, warranty, weight, and board material are some of the most important factors that you should factor in.Based on these aspects, the Editor’s Choice for the Best Guitar Pedal Board is the Voodoo Lab Dingbat Pedalboard PX-8. However, there was a close competition between the 7 products.
Top 7 Guitar Pedal Boards Review 2020
This article provides detailed product reviews of different pedal boards currently available in the market. Using a mixture of customer reviews and product features to guide the overall product description, rating as well as the pros and cons. The reviews are followed by an extensive buying-guide and FAQ section that discusses different aspects you should consider before purchasing a guitar pedal board. Purchasing the most suitable pedal board can be a complex choice. Before starting, you should read all the relevant technical information to ensure you are best placed to make the right purchasing decision.
The remarkably innovative design of the Voodoo Lab® Dingbat creates a robust yet light structure for you to arrange your pedals to suit your playing style. The design ensures that all your pedals and cables can be kept neatly out of sight. The product is designed from aircraft-quality aluminum from America 6061-T6, as well as being accompanied by a gig bag to help with transportation.
The size of the Dingbat PX is 22″ x 16″ and has sufficient space for anywhere between 6 to 10 pedal effects. Performance and sound quality can be manipulated thanks to the true bypass pedal switching option. Your pedals can be attached to the pedal board through using hook-and-loop tape which comes with the Dingbat PX purchase. Zip ties and four-way tie mounts are also included—meaning the Dingbat PX provides all the necessary accessories.
The unique element of the Dingbat PX, which sees it placed at the premium end of pedal boards, is its PX-8 PLUS true bypass pedal switcher, which is integrated into the product design. The switching system allows your effects to be manually transformed at the touch of a button, reducing the space required on the board. The PX-8 PLUS also contains 36 different presets, allowing you to create a store a large variety of sound effects.
The Dingbat PX ensures a seamless transition between power supplies. Installation is quick and easy using a screwdriver. If you require extra power to supply your pedals, there is space on the board specifically allocated for an additional power pedal to be installed.
The FX22 Command Center by Accel provides a great quality pedal board for guitar players interested in a straightforward design concept that can easily store pedals, cables, and power supply. The FX22 keeps simplicity at the forefront of the product design, with purchasers leaving with the peace of mind that setup is really easy to operate.
The FX22 to uses a similar circuit setup to its predecessor the FX8, containing 4 presets in a bank, totaling to 20 across the whole pedal board. Within these 20 banks, it is possible to program approximately 80 presets giving a great variety for players. The 20 banks are also split into two groups, to provide players with an easy transition between presets, especially if you want to program two completely different sound options such as country and rock. This splitting up of banks adds to the simplicity of the product design.
The FX22 has room for 8 effects pedal loops which allows players to run 7 effects through the amplifier and one of the effects through the loop, adding to the great variety of sound options. In addition, there are two identified foot switches to ensure that switching between sound effects is as simple as possible. This is ideal for those wishing to use a pedal board for live performance.
Additional functions to take note of with the FX22 is the tuner/mute function, factory reset and bank up/down function. This with a straight forward bypass functionality really makes the FX22 one of the most user-friendly pedal boards currently available.
The Pedaltrain Classic 1 is a familiar design for most guitarists who use a pedal board. The Classic is based on the original PT-1 concept and features the classic four-rail design which maintains the rail spacing you should be familiar with. One of the distinct differences about the Classic 1 is the open design at the front of the pedal board. This new development ensures that the power supply is much more versatile and easy-to-use.
Constructed from aluminum, the Classic 1 ensures it is really straightforward for users to attach a power supply underneath the pedal board. There is sufficient room for 9 regular size pedals such as the Ibanez ts9 or 3 boss, as well as extra space for accessories such as a power bank or LED lighting. One of the downsides in the accessories is the Velcro that is provided, which according to some user experiences, is simply not tough enough.
The pedal board has been elevated by around one inch to be more compatible with a wider range of power supplies and switching systems. A great buying option with the Classic 1 is that depending on your personal need or preference, you can choose between a soft and a heavy case for the pedal board to be stored in.
The soft case is designed with a heavy-duty zipper made from metal as well as featuring rounded corners to ensure stronger durability. The harder case is a professional standard touring case which is a new addition for Pedaltrain.
The FX2032 by OSP is a rugged pedal board that is designed for life on the road due to the robust casing that is designed to protect your valuable equipment during the transportation process. Portability of the product is enhanced through pull handles which are attached to the side of the board, which in addition to transportation, ensures that the guitar is easy to place when on stage.
The FX2032 is constructed from robust 3/8” Plywood with a wonderful black laminate to the make the product appear very slick and professional. Another great benefit of the product is the slip-resistant rubber feet of the pedal board which gives that extra layer of security for players who may encounter wet surfaces when performing.
Measuring around 3.5 ft in length, 2032 is the largest pedal board ever designed in the FX series and is really suited to players who are likely to carry a large amount of effects pedals with them to the various different gigs. The FX2032 comes with Velcro strips which are used to attach the effects pedals to the surface of the pedal board.
For many years, OSP has delivered guitarists with strong and reliable cases for pedal boards at reasonable prices. Purchasing with OSP, therefore gives you a great option for cases, suitable to all different kinds of gigging options. The FX2032 is really ideal for performers with the accessories tailoring towards live performance. That said, the product is available at an affordable price and may be appealing to beginners.
The Behringer PB100 is an affordable, well-constructed pedal board that is primarily designed to keep all your pedals safe after a gig, rather than simply tossing them away into a duffel bag. This pedal board is able to comfortably hold 12 pedals that measure approximately 2.5″ x 4.5″, leaving players with a greater degree of sound effects options.
The Behringer PB100 pedal board is constructed from ultra-rigid plastic, which although tough, is supremely lightweight and compact. You will be surprised by how much cabling the product is able to store. The product includes a 1.7 A power adapter which is ideal for those who do not know about the power setup. This can easily power all twelve pedals in one swoop.
Included in the product purchase is 1/4″ patch cables which allow you to connect your pedals to each other with ease when they are being transported. Additionally, the product comes with 1 x 12 daisy chain cabling that syncs all of your pedals together. When the daisy chain is in operation, after the power adapter is turned on, all of your pedals will be receiving power. This adds a great element of safety and simplification to the power connection process. The high impact plastic casing of the Behringer PB100 is a real winner. After you have finished playing, you can feel rest assured that your pedals and cabling will be well-protected inside the confines of a high-impact plastic casing. This is an ideal setup for regular performers.
The Gator GPB-BAK-1 is a great quality, affordable guitar pedal board, which comes in a couple of different sizes (medium or large) depending on your own musical needs. The size options are perfect for those who have a moderate amount of sound effects pedals and not suited to major effects players. In total, the pedal fits around 11 to 13 pedals depending on their size.
The GPB-BAK-1 is designed from lightweight aluminum with a pedal surface of 23.75″ x 10.66″ and has a sleek black finish, adding to its visual appeal. The product includes Velcro strips to help with transportation of the pedal board as pedals can be easily attached to the board surface. Also included is a premium carry bag constructed from polyethylene with a removable shoulder strap. This is ideal for those who want to casually carry their pedal board in a stylish manner.
For live performers, the GPB-BAK-1 is ideal because of the angled design of the unit. This ensures that easier visual access of the pedals from a standing position. It is a common complaint from guitarists that flat pedal boards can put players at greater risk of hitting the wrong sound effect, the GPB-BAK-1 tries to minimize this.
The GPB-BAK-1 is inclusive of most power supplies due to the incorporation of a universal mounting bracket. This allows for the majority of well-known power supplies to be easily fitted beneath the board. Before doing this you should consult some online expertise.
Not suited to players with large numbers of effects pedals
Although it may appear as simply a pedal case, the Road Runner Effects product is actually a guitar pedal board. Available at really affordable prices, this is one the cheapest guitar pedalboards on the market that is primed for touring on the road.
The case of the board is constructed from solid aluminum and the small case can hold somewhere between 4 to 5 different effects pedals. It is useful to point out that if you would prefer a slightly larger version of this product, that is also an option and can hold 6 to 8 different pedals. The interior surface of the pedal board is covered with Velcro, this ensures a really strong and reliable connection between pedals and the board when being used as well as being transported. There is also self-adhesive Velcro tape accompanying the product which greatly assists the secure mounting of effects pedals.
One of the downsides of the product is that it does not come with a power supply, which may be a source of frustration for beginner guitar pedal users. Despite this, it allows great customization, as guitarists can add in their preferred power supply that meets the power needs of their effects pedals.
While the sides of the case are a little high, there is sufficient room for guitarists to maneuver their feet easily to transition between sound effects. The height of the pedal board has the advantage of using tall pedals or even pedals that are on risers. This is often not possible with other affordable pedal boards.
Small and compact
Easy to transport
Incorporates tall pedals
No power supply
Small amounts of pedals
This buying-guide and FAQ section provides you with all the essential information that you need to know before purchasing the most suitable guitar pedal board for your needs.
Why you should buy a guitar pedal board
For guitarists, a pedal board has a variety of aspects to offer:
·Stability – No matter whether you have two or ten pedals, you will certainly appreciate having a secure surface where you can easily change the pedals without panicking about re-configuring. Accidentally kicking your pedals is commonplace for many guitarists, purchasing a pedal board prevents this from happening.
·Portability – Storing all of your pedals together in place will do wonders for transportation of your pedals. That includes those who do not play gigs, transporting pedals from your home to the studio or practice area is made easier with a compact pedal board.
·Versatility – As the market for pedal boards as grown, they now come in many shapes and sizes. If you are starting out small, you can easily upgrade to a larger one. In addition to online purchasing, pedal boards are available in many retail stores.
Tip on arranging your pedals on the board
While pedal arrangement is ultimately down to personal preference, there are some well-known arrangements that you can seek guidance from. An example of how you can line-up your pedals is listed below:
1. Overdrive and gain-driven pedals first
Drive pedals to not just refer to the standard overdrive effect but anything in the same family of effects including distortion, fuzz and boost. These effects are put first on the line-up because distortion effects work best when they are located close to the guitar’s original clean signal.
This ensures that the overdrive and distortion effects will manipulate the purest form of sound, which is why it is very important to place these pedals first on your board.
2. Wah and EQ pedals second
Second in the pedal line-up should be the wah and equalizer pedals which operate best when working with the sonic signal created by overdrive pedals. The wah effect, in particular, is only powerful when it is accompanied by distortion. The EQ signal will also sound much brighter and wholesome when operated in tandem with overdrive.
If you are interested in using a compressor pedal to produce a more natural tone suited to rock music, this pedal should be located to the right of the EQ effects. If you prefer a country sound, this pedal is best placed at the far end of the board.
3. Modulation effects are third
Coming third on your groups of pedals on your pedal board are the “modulation effects”. This grouping of effects incorporates chorus, phaser, flanger and vibrato pedals. Their location as a third grouping on the pedal board is due to the fact that they are richer effects when placed after overdrive effects.
It is common knowledge that these pedals can overpower all other effects if they are placed at the end of the pedal chain. To avoid this potentially ruined sound, place the modulation effects before the end of the pedal chain.
4. Time-related effects at the end
Delay and reverb are also known as time-related effects. It is important that these effects are placed at the end of the pedal chain because the effect creates a more natural echo which dramatically enriches your sound.
Between reverb and delay, it is best practice to put reverb at the very end of your pedal board to ensure the natural echo. This effect can also be created from natural reverb that is built into your amplifier.
Pedal boards have a great variety in price, ranging from $120 to $700. While the premium end may appear overwhelming, for players who use pedals regularly for gigs, that level of investment should be seen as a broader investment for the sound of your band. For those who are more part-time players, the cheaper options also give you a nice setup for your pedals.
Features to consider while buying the best guitar pedal board
This section discusses the specific aspects of a pedal board that you should consider before purchasing one for your own guitar needs.
Plywood is a very popular choice of material for pedal boards because of its simple structure and practicality. A great aspect of plywood is its ability to be customized through making cuts, drilling holes and adding extra elements to the surface.
Aluminum pedal boards are also increasing in popularity because they are lighter and a bit more robust than plywood. They are ideal for players who are regularly gigging and constantly on the move.
Plastic boards are normally the most affordable pedal boards available in the market, they are sturdy but tend to be heavier than aluminum pedal boards.
Pedal board size
The standard size of a pedal board is 3″ x 5″ of space. This may be too small or larger for your needs, it is completely down to personal preference and the number of pedals that you own. If you own pedals are radically different sizes and shapes, this could also impact the size of board that you wish to purchase. When looking at product reviews, always take note of the (W x D x H) to get a decent idea for the size of the product.
In addition to the pedal, the patch cables are also an aspect you should consider when deciding on the size of the pedal board as they are known for taking up a lot of space. The difference in size also means a significant difference in weight. You don’t want to purchase a pedal board that is impossibly heavy to carry.
Some manufacturers of pedal boards include a power supply into the pedal board such as the Behringer PB1000, while others have an external power supply unit that is attached to the board. The ultimate goal of the power supply is to have sufficient power for the pedals that you are using.
Unfortunately, not all pedal manufacturers follow the standard 9V power supply, with some requiring 12V or 8V. It is important to be aware that using the wrong power supply could damage your pedal, it is essential that you check the respective power supplies of your pedals before purchasing them.
Pedal boards can be annoying because they also require a case. However, most products such as the Pedaltrain Classic 1 TC, come with a soft or hard case included in the price.It is worth checking that this is the case with the pedal board you are interested in purchasing.
Soft cases tend to be lighter and easier to lift whereas harder cases significantly heavier but offer a stronger guarantee of protection of your pedal board.
Additional bits of equipment are necessary to operate a guitar pedal board, luckily many products include these accessories as part of the purchasing offer. Additional accessories to look out for include small cables to connect the pedals, a power adapter as well as the important connector cables to go from the pedal board to the guitar and to the amp.
When reading the product features, make sure you check out whether the pedal board of interest contains any of these features. Most products will include the adapter whereas small cables are less common in being included with the product.
Compared to other musical items however, extra accessories required for a guitar pedal board are minimal and actually quite affordable. Do not get up to worried if these accessories are not included as they can be easily sourced elsewhere at an affordable price.
Pedal boards are available as either flat or angled in design. Flat pedal boards are much easier to store whereas angled pedal boards such as the Gator GPB-BAK-1 offer players easier access to the pedals and increased storage capacity.
Is it user-friendly?
This is an important consideration. Although some pedal boards are able to pack a large number of pedals onto the board, in some cases these pedals are really closely fitted together, increasing the chances of accidentally pressing the wrong pedal. It is important that whatever pedal board you choose, the pedals are nicely separated from each other.
Angled pedal boards are often considered more user-friendly, as guitarists who are standing up have much easier visual access to the board. Find the right-angled pedal board that fits your foot size.
The pedal board must also meet your power supply needs, otherwise, you will be wasting money. Check the power supply of your pedals before purchasing a pedal board.
It is common knowledge among guitarists that adding more pedals to your pedal board will increase the chances of problems that can result in poorer sound quality.
Some suggest a solution to this would be to use true-bypass pedals that send a signal straight to the input jack that bypasses the circuits of other pedals. However, if you use too many true-bypass pedals, you may lose out on much of the high-end sound due to the excessive cabling.
Buffers are another alternative to circumvent the issues arising from having many pedals on a pedal board. However, these accessories tend to add a significant cost to the original pedal board investment.
Ultimately, it is a balancing game achieved through trial and error. Start with a smaller number of pedals and work your way up to achieve the best quality sound.
Check to see on whether the pedal board you are interested in purchasing has a warranty agreement. These agreements can be really important in protecting you against any issues with the product, as well as giving you flexibility.
The design of the pedal board may appear relatively straightforward; however, to get it right requires a high degree of musical knowledge and expertise. If you do have this expertise, then trying to create your own pedal board could be a very interesting task and would have its benefits by tailoring the design specifically to your physical and musical needs. If you do this, you should consider getting a high-quality pedal board power supply to maximize the chances of it working successfully.
When you put all your pedals in a chain you have to make sure that they meet the total current draw of the guitar pedal board. Guitar pedal board currents are measured in milliamps (mA). 1,000 milliamps = 1 amp. The majority of simple analog pedals do not draw much power. It is a simple numbers game so make sure when connecting a pedal to a power supply unit that there is a sufficient current.
Many pedal brands such as Voodoo Lab, MXR and T-Rex do produce their own pedal boards. If you have pedals from exclusively the same brand, for smoothness of operation it may be worth considering a pedal board from the same brand. However, if you have pedals from multiple different brands, provided their combined power supply is synchronized the pedal board power supply, they should still work effectively.
Hopefully, this article has given you more information to guide you through the buying process of a guitar pedal board.
The Voodoo Lab Dingbat Pedalboard PX-8 is our clear winner because of the high-quality true bypass system which guarantees stronger, cleaner and more reliable performance.
The Accel FX22 Command Center comes in second place because of its user-friendly design that has simplicity as a core focus. It is particularly useful for live guitar performers.
The Pedaltrain Classic 1 TC comes a close third in our ranking because of its affordability and great casing options to cater to types of guitar players.
Choosing the best guitar pedal board for your needs can be a difficult process. However, by taking your time and researching all the relevant product reviews and technical guides online, you will be in really good shape to purchase the best guitar pedal board for the best possible price.