I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
You’ll need to add the best pedalboard to your rig when expanding your guitar pedal collection.
Here’s the deal:
We realize that buying a pedalboard from a company that knows what they’re doing is better than building one yourself…
So then the question is:
“What is the best pedalboard?”
Today we’ll go through the best pedalboards currently on the market.
I spent tens of hours gathering the most crucial information so that you can find the best pedalboard.
When thinking about pedalboards you probably think about brands like Pedaltrain, Gator and SKB…
However, it might surprise you that there are plenty of other pedalboard companies that offer amazing quality pedalboards.
I divided this article into three parts:
- List of best pedalboards;
- Essential pedalboard accessories;
- Buyer’s guide to pedalboards.
Here it is:
Best Guitar Pedalboards 2018 – Powered and Unpowered Pedal Boards Reviewed
Their infamous brand “Pedaltrain” is known for its quality pedalboards.
The first pedalboard on our list of best pedalboards deserves a spot as it’s a classic.
The Classic 2 by Pedaltrain features a very reliable aluminium construction that will support your guitar pedals with ease.
Something I always look out for when buying a pedalboard is that it should have some elevation between the front and rear rows.
The 3.5-inch leg will leave create plenty of accessibility to the second row for you.
The Pedaltrain Classic 2 also received a lot of positive feedback in the community, here’s one from Amazon.
This is the best pedalboard if you don’t want to commit to a single pedal attachment.
You’ll be able to use either hook&loop or zip ties when attaching guitar pedals to this pedalboard.
Here’s something you need to know:
This is not a powered pedalboard.
But, fortunately, there is room to attach a power supply underneath the pedalboard, take a look down below to find a good power supply.
To be able to attach the Power Pedal Plus 2 to this pedalboard, you are going to need a mounting kit.
The Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mounting Kit by Pedaltrain is a good product if you’re looking to attach your Pedal Power 2 Plus.
Dimensions of this pedalboard are 24 x 12.5 x 3.5 inch, which makes it a pretty big pedalboard.
In regards to the soft case, you will get when purchasing this pedalboard, it’s big enough to leave your pedals on the board when packing it in the bag.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any pockets for storing bigger pedals or cables.
This is the bottom line:
When buying the Pedaltrain Classic 2 you will get a very reliable and sturdy pedalboard for your money.
The angled pedalboard will improve usability by a ton compared to flat pedalboards.
The carry-on gig bag will smoothen the process of transportation by providing enough room to leave the guitar pedals on the board.
Next up in our list of best pedalboards.
If there is a company that is able to produce quality budget pedalboards, it’s Donner.
The Donner DB-3 is at the low-end price range on this list of best pedalboards.
They made a DB-series, or Donner Board Series, with only pedalboards.
In my opinion, the DB-3 is far superior over the other models in terms of practicality, and here’s why:
It is due to the simple fact that the Donner DB-3 is an angled pedalboard.
This does not only improve usability because you can reach the second pedal row easier, but you’ll also be able to mount a power supply underneath the pedalboard…
Being able to mount power supply underneath will enable you to use that precious real estate on the top for guitar pedals.
Even when we look at the ratio of positive reviews vs less favourable reviews on Amazon, we can that this pedal board is a huge success.
Okay then, now you probably think: “surely there must be downsides to this product?”.
Well, there are some, the included gig bag for instance.
The included gig bag isn’t one of great build quality and probably won’t survive too many road trips.
Also, you might come a bit short on the included hook&loop when attaching your pedals, so make sure to stock up some more hook&loop before setting up your pedalboard.
In terms of dimensions, this pedal board is 20 x 11.4 x 4 inches, which is a bit less than the Pedaltrain Classic 2.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you’re looking for a budget pedalboard, then this is the best pedalboard for you.
Surely, you will have to compromise a bit in terms of build-quality compared to higher-end pedalboards, but this is still a great choice.
The angle in the pedalboard will enable you to reach your guitar pedals on the second row and mount a power supply underneath.
Best pedalboard for the money.
If you’re looking for the definition of sturdy, you would probably see a picture of the pedalboard above.
The GPB-BAK by Gator is made out of one piece, bent, light-weight aluminium.
No assembled parts, except for the rubber knobs, is what makes this product so tough and reliable.
The multifunction spaces in the frame can be used to surface cables from underneath the pedalboard…
But they can also be used to attach the pedals with cable ties.
The GPB-Bak by Gator has an attractive design and can be picked in different colors, like orange, white, purple and black.
This is a fairly big pedalboard, the dimensions are 23.75 x 10.66 x 3 inches.
It get’s even better:
There even is a universal mounting bracket underneath the board to mount most common power supplies.
So far, this pedalboard does great in my book, but let’s see what Amazon customers have to say about it.
Well, an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars is also a pretty good indication of a great product.
But you’re probably wondering:
“What’s the downside of this pedalboard?”
First thing I noticed was the angle of the pedalboard.
Even though there is an angle, which is good, it’s a very small angle of 8 degrees.
You can imagine how this might lead to problems when trying to reach the rear row of effects pedals.
The hook&loop that is included with this Gator Pedal Board, isn’t of great quality.
Many people complained about the adhesive of the hook&loop itself not being strong enough.
You might be wondering:
“What is the quality of the included gig bag?”
Well, as we are used to with Gator products, they deliver good quality bags and cases, just like this bag.
Inside a pocket can be found to store your cables and extra pedals in.
What’s the bottom line?
A very durable pedalboard that will serve you for many years to come.
You can easily mount most of the power supplies under this pedalboard, increasing usability.
Depending on your pedal sizes, you can fit about 10 pedals on this large pedalboard.
A great pedalboard that will be loyal years to come!
Next up in the list of best pedalboards.
This is the second budget guitar pedalboard on our list of best pedalboards.
It’s worth mentioning the Pedal Board by Vangoa because it has different qualities than the other budget option in this list.
There are some features on this pedalboard that make it a great option for any guitarist running on a budget.
The Vangoa Pedal Board is made out of aluminium, making it a strong but light construction.
Depending on your pedal sizes, you can fit approximately 8 pedals on this pedalboard.
Dimensions are: 19.7 x 11.8 x 3 inches
There are some products that are bundled when buying the Pedal Board by Vangoa, here’s a quick rundown:
- Pedalboard, obviously;
- Gig bag,
- 3 patch cables, 6 inches;
- 2 inches wide hook&loop.
You’re going to need more than that to complete your pedalboard set-up, but it’s a great starting point.
Here’s what one customer had to say about this pedalboard.
A very valuable review I’d say.
Like the previous pedalboards, this one also is angled, which is great for reaching the second pedal row and mounting a power supply underneath.
This compact pedalboard, however, has a slight twist to its elevated design, and here’s why:
It features foldable legs.
Which is great for saving storage space!
If you, however, are going to mount a power supply underneath the board, you probably won’t use it, as the guitar pedal rack will then rest on the power supply.
It’s great that Vangoa added a gig bag in the mix, especially one with plenty of space for some cables.
Here’s the kicker though:
The soft case is only 3 inches deep, which is deep enough for the pedalboard, with folded legs and small pedals.
But when you mount a power supply underneath the pedalboard or add a big/tall pedal like a wah, you can’t close the bag anymore.
This is an aspect of the pedalboard that could definitely be improved upon.
A quick fix, for now, is to buy a separate hard case.
The bottom line:
A very viable option for guitarists running on a budget.
The soft side of the hook&loop is already applied, speeding up your set-up process.
The soft case could use some improvement but doesn’t take away from the quality of the pedal board.
Falls into the category of “best budget pedalboard”.
Next up, on our list of best pedalboards, a more high-end pedalboard.
If you’re looking for a pedalboard to take on the road, look no further.
The Gator G-Tour will fall in the category of best pedalboard for touring.
This is mainly due to its extremely strong hard case, that is included in the purchase.
When you own the Gator G-Tour you won’t have to worry about careless roadies throwing around your gear, because its valuable contents will stay unharmend…no matter what.
The hard pedalboard case features:
- Ball corners and aluminium edging;
- Spring-loaded handles;
- Butterfly twist latches;
- In-line wheels for convenient transportation.
Enough about the road case…
Let’s talk about why this product is on the list of best pedalboards.
First of all, the response from the community is outstanding.
You will get a very sturdy pedalboard with loads and loads of room for all your guitar pedals.
Combining the Gator G-tour’s size and awesome features, we could easily call this the best large pedalboard.
Pedalboard surface of the Gator G-Tour Extra Large: 32 x 17 inches.
I really like how they at Gator thought about the practicality of moving the pedalboard itself around.c
What they did, was adding a couple of very convenient handles to the sides of the pedalboard.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
You really need a set of good handles when moving all that pedal weight around.
They added aluminum edging all around the board so you won’t damage the pedalboard during performance.
At Gator they made sure you either have the possibility of leaving the pedalboard in the base part of the case or outside.
So far only upsides, what about the downsides…
For starters, the pedalboard is very minimally angled, which isn’t optimal for reaching pedals easily beyond the first row.
This will also force you to mount the power supply on the top, fortunately, you have plenty of room on your board.
Last con of this pedalboard is that all wiring happens above board, making it messier than other pedalboards.
The bottom line?
The perfect fit for the serious guitarist that needs proper protection for his costly effects pedals.
A flat board with no additional cable routing options, but room for about 20 regular sized guitar pedals.
A comprehensive pedalboard that will improve your gigging experience.
Definitely the best pedalboard with power supply and for touring.
Next up, is the first powered pedalboard in this list.
The BOSS BCB-60 Deluxe powered pedalboard is a medium sized pedalboard, that can house up to 7 pedals.
Buying this board is very convenient as it comes with all the pedalboard supplies needed for your setup.
There are 2 main parts to the product, together forming a hard case.
In the picture above you can see the bottom part, after a performance you can simply attach the lid back on the board and transport it.
The padded bottom and cable channel can be fully customized to fit all the pedals you desire.
The cut-outs of the padded bottom can be removed to fit regular sized pedals, that way you won’t have to use hook&loop for attachment.
All you have to do to provide your guitar pedals with power is connect the included power cable and daisy chain and you’re good to go.
If you own primarily BOSS pedals you’re in for a treat:
The pre-cut pads will perfectly fit your standard sized BOSS effects pedals.
Although the BCB-60 Deluxe hasn’t got a lot of vertical space, users noted it is possible to fit for instance a wah Cry Baby inside the closed case.
The BCB-60 powered pedal board by BOSS has received amazing reviews over time, here’s one.
So, what are some critiques about this powered pedalboard…
For starters, BOSS should’ve added a separate output for different Voltages, like 12 V or 16 V.
Also, in regards of the power supply, it’s non-isolated, meaning some humming might occur.
It’s not a problem that this pedalboard isn’t angled because there won’t be a second row of pedals behind the first one.
The hard case is made of a molded resin, which isn’t a problem because the case seems to be quite tough.
It is the latches and the hinges that might start showing signs of wear over time, because they seem a little flimsy.
Here’s the deal:
The bads simply don’t outweigh the goods…
Because this is still a killer pedalboard.
Want to know the bottom line?
This is pedalboard falls in the category of best pedalboards for a couple of reasons…
It’s lightweight, powered, easily customizable and a slick design.
If you don’t have too many guitar pedals laying around that need to fit on a pedalboard and don’t want to mess around with external power supplies, then this is the right fit for you.
Next up, another powered electric guitar pedal board.
This might as well be the best pedalboard 2018.
If you’re going for a quality guitar pedal board, then look no further.
This top pedalboard might look simplistic, but it’s obvious that Voodoo Lab took the time to perfect the design of this pedalboard.
This is a very lightweight pedalboard, made of American 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum chassis.
With this special bundle, the MONDO isolated power supply of Voodoo lab is included with the pedalboard, making it a powered pedalboard.
It is very satisfying to see the INS, of the power supply, line up perfectly with the holes of the frame, what is be expected with products of the same brand.
This professional pedalboard has the following dimensions: 22 x 13.5 x 3 inches.
I know you’re going to like this:
The Dingbat has an angled surface, so you’ll be able to access the rear rows of pedals.
An angle in this pedalboard created for a great opportunity of mounting the power supply underneath the board.
As you can see in the picture, there is room for at least one more power supply to the left, of the already mounted power supply.
Let’s see what the response is like from the community…
This user seems to be ecstatic in regards to the customer’s service of Voodoo Lab.
Depending on your pedal sizes, up to 10 guitar pedals fit on this board.
Meaning you would have to do something with another external power supply, will it be another power supply of Voodoo Lab or something of your own.
Let’s talk about the included guitar pedal board case for a bit…
This is a high-quality soft case, providing your valuable pedals with enough protection when moving around.
The zippers actually appear to be one of the best features of this bag.
How about the negatives?
Well, because there is a wide variety of pedal sizes out there, the slots in the frame are not going to line up perfectly with every effects pedal. A few extra slots could’ve helped.
That’s really all that I could find for this high-end pedalboard.
The bottom line…
Extremely strong and lightweight chassis combined with a very durable soft case for worry-free travel.
The multiple options for power supplies let you choose the best personal solution.
Some extra slots for cable routing could’ve been added, but overall the pedalboard provides plenty of options to design a clean pedal board.
A very high-quality piece of equipment for the guitarist that doesn’t want an average design pedal board.
We’re already at the last board on our list of best pedalboards 2018, and it’s another powered pedal board.
I wanted to include a budget powered pedalboard in this list, and here it is.
The SKB 8-Port is a medium sized powered pedal board that can, with its onboard power supply, power up to 8 effects pedals.
This budget pedalboard has got a pre-applied layer of loop (hook&loop) on the pedalboard’s surface.
You’ll only have to put the hook part on your pedals, and you’re good to go.
The pedalboard comes with a gig bag for easy transportation. The soft bag comes with some padding, the nylon exterior isn’t really capable of withstanding heavy usage.
With the use of this gig bag, you can easily leave your pedals on the board during transport, as the bag offers enough room for your pedals.
Dimensions of the surface of this cheap pedalboard are: 19 x 12 inches.
Let’s take a look at one user had to say about the SKB 8-port…
What can we say about the power supply of this guitar foot pedal board:
This board offers 8 separate 9 V DC non-isolated power outputs.
Let me unpack that for you.
- You can power up to 8 pedals;
- You’ll only be to use 9 V powered pedals;
- Non-isolated power supplies may result in static hums in your board.
Now, most users didn’t have too much trouble with buzzing sounds in their board…
Here’s the deal:
You can compare budget pedalboards to high-end pedalboards all day long, but it isn’t really going to get you anywhere unless you are willing to go for the professional pedalboard.
So let’s take the SKB 8-Port for what it is, a great value for money pedalboard.
So, what’s the bottom line?
If you’re on a budget, then this is the best pedalboard for you.
Truth is, if you don’t already have a power supply, then this will be the cheapest option in this list of best pedalboards.
While you might have to compromise on quality in terms of the power supply and gig bag, this is still a great pedalboard to get yourself started with.
A great starting point for any guitarist as all the necessary accessories are included.
That concludes the list of best pedalboards 2018.
We’ll jump into the essential pedalboard right about now, after that you’ll be able to learn more about pedalboards in the buyer’s guide.
Essential Pedalboard Accessories
After you picked yourself a great pedal board it’s best to pick some accessories accordingly.
Some of the accessories in this list are included in your pedalboard, so make sure you’re not getting doubles.
Pedalboard Hard Cases and Bags
This is probably the most common accessory that is included with pedalboards.
But, for those that are unfortunate not to have one, you better pick a good one according to your pedalboard’s size.
When choosing a good hard case for your pedalboard you need to look for some characteristics.
In another article, I wrote about some of these characteristics for guitar cases.
Pedalboards are valuable by themselves, but when you add guitar pedals worth a fortune to the mix, now you really have something worth to protect.
It should be clear that I prefer a hard case over a soft bag.
Pedalboard Power Supply
Most of the pedalboards don’t come with a power supply.
Getting yourself a proper isolated power supply for your pedal board is truly essential if you want to reduce hum in your guitar pedals.
When buying a power supply for your pedalboard you’ll be able to pick the following DC outputs:
Choosing a high-quality power supply for your pedalboard will be a load off your mind in terms of your pedalboard’s reliability.
Here are my top picks:
The Donner DP-2 is a very affordable power supply with a very small footprint.
Safe valuable real estate with this affordable power supply.
- 10 isolated outputs;
- 9V, 12V and 18V.
And it turns out that the reviews for the Pedal Power 2 Plus by Voodoo Lab are outstandingly well.
Of course, we shouldn’t just rely on the reviews we see online.
This high-end power supply will leave any humming at a big distance from your pedals because this supply is isolated.
You’ll be able to change voltage from 4V – 9V in the SAG mode, but also combine outputs with Y-cables (not included), for more info check out Voodoo Lab.
- 8 isolated DC outputs;
- 9V, 12V and 18V.
Pedalboard Patch Cables
Alright you’re getting close now.
So far, we found you the best pedalboard, a pedalboard case and a power supply.
Let’s get you some patch cables so you’ll be able to hook up all your pedals.
Here’s the deal:
You’ll need 3 types of patch cables if you’re going to successfully hook up your guitar pedals on your pedalboard.
- Straight connector, for identical design pedals, think about BOSS;
- Short cable, connect different pedal designs;
- Long cable, reach from the bottom to the top row
- BONUS: solderless cable kits, DIY kit for personal preference in cable length.
These patch cables are essential to minimize the chaos and keep your pedalboard clean.
The Donner Pedal Coupler does a very good job of keeping your pedalboard clean so you can keep a good overview.
You will use this connector when connecting guitar pedals with output and input at the same height relative to each other.
Using connectors like this could result in a spot for one extra pedal on your board. You’ll only need about 1/2 inch of space between your guitar pedals.
Gives a nice clean sound.
If you’re looking for a something that is durable and high quality, then this is the perfect fit for you.
These 6-inch patch cables transfer the signal perfectly from one pedal to the next.
If you make sure the next pedal in your signal chain is above and not diagonal from the previous pedal, 1 foot should be enough.
This patch cable is fitted with solid metal jackets, strain relief will increase reliability and durability.
The woven tweed jacket gives the cables a pretty good look too.
As a bonus solution to creating the best pedalboard design, there are solderless pedalboard kits.
D’Addario made this kit for any handyman that is looking to design a homemade pedalboard.
A solderless cable kit will enable you to create patch cables that are at the exact required length.
With this kit, you’ll be able to create a custom pedalboard with no excessive cables.
You will need something that is going to hold your guitar pedals at their place on your pedalboard.
Now, there is a variety of ways to mount your guitar pedals to your new pedalboard.
However, I found these mounting techniques the easiest and cheapest.
Here we go!
The first way to attach your pedals to your pedalboard is with hook&look.
Using hook&loop is the best pedal mounting option if you’re going for a clean look.
3M has been known for a line of great products.
They’ve hit a home run with this hook&loop fastener as well.
With a very strong adhesive, simply put one side on your pedalboard, and the other on a pedal, and you’re good to go.
As I’m currently writing this article, it receives an average of 4.5 out of 5 with 167 reviews.
Here’s what one Amazon customer had to say about it:
These are a bit more uncommon than velcro, however a very viable option, and here’s why:
Whenever you’re using hook&loop this is eventually going to be completely worn.
And guess what, removing it can be extremely frustrating.
Also, your pedal board and guitar pedals are going to look dirty.
Using zip ties is the best mounting option for static pedalboard configurations.
Best Pedalboards – Buyer’s Guide
Let’s get you up to speed in regards to choosing the best pedalboard.
Also, we’ll take the time to answer frequently asked questions.
How to find the right fit and best pedalboard?
There’s no one single best pedalboard on the market.
Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise should not be listened to.
Here’s the deal:
Each guitarist has their own specific needs when it comes down to finding the best pedalboard.
The first step is to determine the size of the pedalboard. I will help you figure that out in a second.
Step two, technical characteristics:
- Material, metal is advised;
- Good electric components;
- Sturdy support for your pedals.
Step three, practicality:
- Option to disassemble the pedalboard;
- Portability, case and handles included?;
- Elevation difference, accessibility to all pedal rows;
- Clean, ability to hide cables under the platform.
Lastly, how can you pick the best pedalboard without considering esthetics!
How to figure out the best size for your new pedalboard?
To determine the best size for your pedalboard, this is what you need to do:
First, you need to gather all your guitar effects pedals and measure them.
Next, consider all the pedals that are on your pedal wishlist.
You’ll need to save a spot for those as well…
Next step to do is to add space for your patch cables, do this in your blueprint.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to use the straight pedal couplers, you’ll only need 1/2 inch of space between your effects pedals.
If you can’t use straight pedal couplers, calculate 2 inches of space between every pedal for patch cables.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some guitar pedal sizes:
Width: 2-7/8 inches
Depth: 5-1/8 inches
Height: 2-3/8 inches
Most Wah Pedals
Width: 4 inches
Depth: 10 inches
Height: 3 inches
Big Pedals like Line6 DL4
Width: 10 inches
Depth: 6 inches
Height: 2-1/2 inches
How would you go about building your own pedalboard?
First, let me answer the question:
“Could you build your own guitar pedal board?”
To some degree, yes.
Here’s an example what the result might look like.
The right question is, however, “should your build a homemade pedalboard?”.
And I’d advice you to stay away from it.
There are a ton of very affordable, high-quality pedalboards on the market.
It’s simply not worth the time and effort to mess around with it yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re the kind of guy that likes to build things or really can’t afford a reliable pedalboard from a professional company…
Well, maybe it’s worth a drive to the local hobby shop to get yourself some plywood or metal frames.
The Best Pedalboard Design
Whether you only have a mini pedalboard or a big pedalboard, you can’t escape the crucial order in which you have to place your guitar pedals.
I’ll get you up to speed on what the best blueprint is for your pedalboard and why.
Without further ado, here’s the best pedalboard setup.
1. Tuner Pedal
The first pedal that will be in your signal chain is going to be the tuner pedal. We need a completely clean signal for the pedal to operate at peak performance.
2. Wah and Volume Pedals
Next up, we’ll add the wah and volume pedals in the chain. Some people prefer putting the Wah behind overdrive. However, I like having the frequency boost of the Wah before the Overdrive.
3. Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz Pedals
These pedals will be placed behind the Wah and Volume pedals. If you’re using some of these pedals as a clean boost you can put them one after another behind the Wah and Volume pedals. This is a great spot to place your Overdrive pedals in the pedalchain, because you will be able to get very nice overdriven sounds when combined with the Wah pedal.
It’s a great spot to fatten up your guitar sound after the signal was run through the series of drive pedals.
5. Chorus and Flanger (Modulation)
This is the part of the pedal board where you will be able to apply modulation to your guitar signal. You’ll want these kinds of pedals behind the previously mentioned pedals, because they are end-game signal changers, putting these earlier will diminish their effect.
6. Delay and Reverb (Time Effects)
You could say we have come to the last series of guitar effects pedals we are adding to our signal chain. That’s true in terms of them being the only ones that really change the toneprint of your guitar signal. Use these pedals on your pedalboard to recreate an ego and a natural ambience. Important is to really place the Reverb pedal behind the Delay unit.
7. Looper Pedal
Now, some people forget to mention the looper pedal when it comes down to presenting the best pedal order on a pedalboard. Here’s the thing…it is absolutely crucial to place the looper pedal all the way at the end, and here’s why. Whenever you want to play a loop, you’ll want to have access to guitar effects on your pedalboard, your looper won’t record the guitar effects if they are placed behind the loop pedal.
So that’s it, that concluded our article of:
Best Guitar Pedalboards 2018 – Powered and Unpowered Pedal Boards Reviewed
All you need to know about pedalboards, and more importantly the best pedalboards of 2018.
If at this point you’re still not sure what pedalboard to choose from this list of best pedalboards, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many pedals do I have and what size are they?
- Do my pedals have special power requirements?
- Do I already have a good power supply?
- Is it okay to have a humming sound in my pedalboard?
- What is my budget for a pedalboard?
- Do I plan on taking my pedalboard to many gigs?
Depending on your answers to these questions you can pick one of the above-mentioned pedalboards.
All the questions you have should be provided in this article.
I’ve put a lot of effort into this article, make sure to share it with your friends if you found it useful.