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, 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.
|Model||PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR||RockBoard TRES 3.1||Gator Cases G-TOUR Series||Gator Cases Guitar Effects||Voodoo Lab Dingbat|
|Dimensions||21.5 x 16 x 5.9 inches||24 x 14 x 5 inches||28 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches||17.5 x 6 x 31.5 inches||27 x 17 x 7 inches|
|Materials||Aircraft aluminum||Cold-rolled aluminum||Aluminum & plywood||Plywood||Aircraft aluminum|
|Capacity||6 pedals||10 pedals||14 pedals||6 pedals||10 pedals|
PT-CLJ-SC Pedaltrain Classic JR — Middle grounder
Design. 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 pedals. The twist here is open front design: you can mount almost any power supply underneath.
Materials. 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.
Additional Features. You can choose from a soft or professional tour case. Even though the professional case is sturdy, 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 — Versatility is the key
Design. Rockboard designed in a way that allows for mounting 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.
Materials. 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.
Additional features. 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
Design. 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 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.
Materials. 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.
Additional features. You will be able to install your pedals with 3M Dual Lock Fastener which comes with the product.
Gator Cases G-TOUR Series
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- 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
Design. 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 pedals are attached with velcros.
Materials. The main material is plywood, you won’t find any metal here.
Additional features. 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.
Gator Cases Guitar Effects - Review
Check out our Gator Cases GPB-BAK-1 black large aluminum pedal board with carry bag and bottom mounting power supply bracket.
- Affordable. Lightweight. Includes a handle.
- Nylon case is not very durable. Plywood construction.
Voodoo Lab Dingbat Medium
Design. This pedalboard features a simplistic design with the ability to fit around 10 pedals. The hook-and-loop tapes that come with the product will allow you to easily assemble your setup.
Materials. American 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum provides both ease of transportation and durability.
Additional features. The gig bag is included here as well, and it offers enough in terms of protection. Anyone needs to 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
Design. 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 pedals you’d like to install on the board. For instance, Pedalboard Nano can fit only 4 pedals.
Here we are talking about Pedaltrain Classic Pro — 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.
Materials. Even though it doesn’t look impressive, the pedalboard will surely get you through years of rough usage. Pedaltrain Classic Pro is built from aluminum alloy for the combination of durability and lightness.
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In this video, we demonstrate how to install the PT-VDL-MK brackets on your Pedaltrain. The PT-VDL-MK brackets are compatible with all Voodoo Lab power supplies.
Additional features. 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. Sturdy built. Upgraded tour case.
- Doesn’t come with power supply. The tour case option is a lot more expensive.
What is the best all-around pedalboard?
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 good number of 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 a decent capacity, it comes with a spacious case with some protection.
First of all, you need to understand that the sizes of guitar pedals vary. The length of one device can be up to 19 inches. If you take the pedals from the “Boss” company as a standard, then you will be able to install up to 5 pedals in a row. There are a total of 10 small pedals because of two rows.
The PT-CLJ-SC is a versatile pedalboard. Almost all pedals are easily mounted on its surface. However, to be on the safe side, just enter the name of the desire pedalboard in any search engine and find the desired pedalboard with your pedal among the pictures.
This hole is for installing a special “RockBoard” device. At the moment there are 6 devices for which this hole is intended. They are all patch bays. The simplest of these is patch bay for five channels. This means that you can connect five pedals, which will feed the signal to five independent amplifiers. The second device is also a patch bay, but with the ability to connect to a computer and equipped with a MIDI interface. Another variation of “RockBoard’s” patch bay is the patch bays for singers and acoustic guitars. A distinctive feature of this device is the presence of a large number of XLR inputs. The most original patch bay from “RockBoard” is a Wi-Fi receiver. The company produces two varieties of Wi-Fi patch bays. The most useful is a patch bay with built-in effects and DI box option.
Compared to other manufacturers, the “Gator Cases” from “G-TOUR Series” are quite heavy. The weight of one pedalboard is 12.2 lbs. . This is a lot if you have to constantly carry the pedalboard in your hands. Its indisputable advantage for use on tours is the presence of a top cover that protects the pedals from damage during transportation. You just need to put the pedalboard on the floor and open the lid. After that, the entire stack is ready to work. Therefore, if you do not need to carry the “Gator Case” in your hands, this is a great solution for traveling musicians.
The “Gator Cases” company has been producing equipment for professional musicians since 2000. The headquarters and factory are located in the United States in Florida.
In terms of size, the wide version will definitely do the trick. Nevertheless, the company “Gator Cases” produce cases specifically for Line 6 Helix effects processors. The advantages of the cases from “Gator Cases” include a paraffin coating on the inside of the lid, which will protect the expensive effects processor from damage.
Unfortunately, the strength and versatility of the Gator Cases pedaling design is offset by the lack of a cable solution. They just bulge out of the back, as if the pedals were right on the floor. For this reason, being inside the case under the pressure of the foam rubber pad, the wires are frayed and need to be changed more often.
In a bag from “Voodoo Lab” pedalboard, in addition to the pedalboard itself, wires or several pedals can easily fit. There is a lot of space left. In terms of usability, the bag is easy to carry in your hands or behind your back. The bag itself weighs very little. And the durable, water-resistant material will protect your pedalboard for years.
The AC adapter built into the “Voodoo Lab Dingbat Medium” pedal board can power up to six guitar pedals, which consume a current of 9V.
For this, special velcro straps are used. One side is attached to the pedalboard surface using an adhesive surface. The second part is attached to the pedal. The advantages of this method include versatility. Regardless of the presence or absence of mounted holes, any pedal can be installed on the “Pedaltrain Classic PRO”. The disadvantage of this method is the constant need for velcro straps. You should always have a few in reserve.