Today, we bring you an article about the 12 best Pedalboards for Gigging in 2023. We’ve collected information for out-of-this-world pedal boards from leading brands such as Gator Cases, Pedaltrain, Harley Benton, SKB, On Stage, D’Addario, Boss, Holyboard, Nux, Voodoo Lab, Temple Audio, and Fender.
Pedalboards are basically a platform for your effect pedals. You can place a number of pedals of your choice onto your pedal board, in a sequence of your choice as well. You can then conveniently carry your pedal board onto the stage. Some pedal boards even hold the handy function of being able to provide power to your pedals. How cool is that? We know selecting pedal boards sounds like a simple task, but there’s still a lot to consider. Size and dimensions, the rows of pedals a board can host, and whether it’s expandable if it supplies power are all factors to take into consideration.
We’re not looking to confuse you, just the contrary. We want to assist you with your decision. We have taken the best pedalboards from the market and explained in detail what makes them great. Just as there’s no universally best effect pedal, so too is there no universally best pedal board. You’ll need to figure out exactly which pedal board best suits your needs. You’ll need the knowledge to make an informed decision; that is where we come in.
The list is made up of the best pedal boards, but let’s find what’s the most suitable one for you. Let’s dive right into it. Our quest starts now.
What do pedalboards do?
A Pedalboard is a flat platform serving as a tray to pack and easily carry 4 to 8 standard-sized pedals. Some pedal boards even come with their own power supply that can provide power to the effect pedals. You can use Velcro to patch and customize your board to your liking and playing style.
Are pedalboards necessary?
The use of pedal boards has become very common over the years since it’s an easy way to carry your style of music effects. It’ll save you the hassle of reconnecting your pedals repeatedly and prolong the life of cables. The pedal boards that provide power as well will bring you further convenience.
Plus, pedal boards look fantastic, and not only is setting them up fun, but it also serves as an expression of creativity.
Things To Know Before Buying Pedalboard For Gigging
To the untrained eye, all pedal boards look similar and don’t differ much in functionality. However, that’s far from reality, as several factors need to be taken into account. Before buying a pedal board, you’ll need to decide the number of pedals your board will carry, as that will determine its size.
The next thing to consider is if the board has a power source or, if you can do without one, independently powering your pedals instead. After that, the next main thing to consider is whether the board comes with a travel case. Then the materials of the board and the case may be considered. The brand may also play a role in your decision, just as the price and looks of the pedal board may.
Top 12 Pedalboards For Gigging 2023 (All Budgets & Types)
1. Gator Cases Large Pedal Board w/Carry Case
Easy to use and extremely easy to carry, this lightweight pedal board is one of the best out there.
In the year 2000, Gator Cases was founded by Jerry Freed and her daughter Crystal Morris in Tampa, Florida. Nashville, Tennessee, held a Summer NAMM show, and that’s where the company initially launched its molded plastic cases for electric and bass guitars.
The company quickly gained popularity and soon added many more products to its product line, including bag and case solutions for audio visual, IT, pro audio, band instrument, general utility, and percussion. Today, the brand’s product line hosts more than a thousand solutions.
- Design & Build Quality
Made in the USA, the pedal board is made of strong aluminum material that focuses on maximum durability. The board’s design allows it to sit stably on any flat surface. Rubber supports at the base of each corner ensure zero wobbles. The sloping design also allows the user to easily access the controls of the pedals and the connectivity ports. All pedal boards by the brand are available in matte black or vibrant paint jobs. This pedal board is bright ‘British’ orange, and coupled with the glossy finish, the color brings a lot of personality to the board.
- Universal Mounting Bracket & Cutouts
The unit’s Universal Mounting Bracket is located underneath, and it can cater to most power supplies like Gator’s G-bus power supply or the Voodoo Lab’s pedal power. The unit features several angled cutouts, which can be used to easily pass cables from one side to the other so that they’re out of the way. The rear of the unit features a circular cutout for the power cable to reach a power source.
- Size, Weight & Feel
The pedal board houses 7 to 8 standard-sized effect pedals. This offering by Gator measures 23.75″ x 10.66″ x 2.98″. The lightweight aluminum construction means the unit feels exceptionally rugged and durable, with a weight of just 9.48 lbs.
- Travel Case
The brand has included a nylon carry bag which is quite sturdy. All sides of this case are padded to ensure your gear stays safe and protected. The bag is black, and even though the case is made of nylon, it is very tough and thoroughly keeps the frame safe and secure.
The unit has a robust build quality. The design and base rubber pads ensure the frame stays stable and in place. The spacious pedal board offers enough room for 7-8 effect pedals. This offering from Gator is priced reasonably and brings a lot of value to the table.
Although the pedal board features a solid build, it ventures to the heavier side of the spectrum. The large size may differ from everyone’s cup of tea, as those who prefer fewer pedals would instead go for a smaller pedal board. Not everyone will like the bright orange paint job.
2. Pedaltrain Nano + with Soft Case
This pedal board from Pedaltrain is easily one of the most portable.
Pedaltrain was founded in the year 1999 and is currently based in Nashville. The company is known for its musical accessories and has become the category leader in several music accessory categories. The company focuses on customer service and product quality.
The brand’s equipment is the preferred choice for many musicians. Several world-renowned bassists, guitarists, keyboardists, DJs, orchestra, and band musicians have played their part in establishing Pedaltrain to gain global popularity. The brand has indeed come a long way.
- Design & Build Quality
The unit incorporates one of the simpler designs in this list, with just a single sleek horizontal rectangle cutout down its center for wires to pass through. The pedal board sits well on flat surfaces due to its sturdy metal build and sturdy design. The board features a matte black smooth paint job. The Velcro with the pedal board is perfectly sized to stick on either side of the slit cutout.
- Size, Weight & Feel
As the name suggests, the nano pedal board is one of the smaller units you’ll find, housing enough space for 3 to 4 standard-sized effect pedals. It weighs only 3.04 lbs. owing to its tiny form factor measuring just 14″ x 5.5″. The unit feels solid and durable and is easy to carry.
- Travel Case
This offering by Pedaltrain comes with a branded black nylon carry bag. The bag is also very lightweight and features foam padded sides, base, and top for maximum protection. The case allows the pedal board to fit snuggly, and its full top open style adds to its overall convenience.
The unit is pretty sturdy. It’s an excellent option for those who prefer using 3 to 4 standard-sized pedals at a time. The form factor makes this unit lightweight and more accessible than a larger bulky pedal board. The Velcro provided is sized perfectly and is simple to install.
Though lightweight and easy to carry, the pedal board only features enough space for 3 to 4 effect pedals. This means those who wish to carry more may want to look elsewhere to find something like the previously discussed Gator Cases Large Pedal Board w/Carry Case.
3. Harley Benton SpaceShip 50C
This unit is another simple-looking pedal board with a minimal design featuring a horizontal slit.
Located in Bavaria, Germany, Thomann Music makes Harley Benton equipment. In 1954, Thomann Music (Musichaus Thoman) was founded by Hans Thomann. The company is a large retailer specializing internationally in Musical and audio equipment.
Harley Benton’s product line includes guitar stacks (Electric, Acoustic, and Bass), Guitar Amps, Effect Pedals, Ukuleles, and Pedalboards. The brand primarily manufactures in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia from 20 factories.
- Design and Form Factor
The pedal board features a simple, no-nonsense design. The board features a black paint job with stripes carved on the left and right sides to assist handling, providing about an inch of protection to the effect pedals. The base of the unit houses 4 black rubber supports with bright red elastic band accents, which go well with the otherwise subtle design. These supports can be adjusted to provide the board with a little more height and make more room at the base for the power supply and cable management.
The center of this Harley Benton offering hosts a large horizontal slit cut out from left to right for cables. The pedal board is quite sleek and doesn’t take up much space overall, measuring just 50 cm x 13.5 cm x 3.5 cm. The board weighs just over half a kg at 0.65 kg. The base of the pedal board hosts 4 metal hook-like supports to guide and hold cables and wires. A flat power supply can be added but must be supported with bands.
- Travel Case
The unit comes with a good-looking soft, padded gig bag with a long adjustable strap and a handle. The long strap has two metal loops that can attach or detach the strap. The base of the bag comprises 2 sleek rubber support pads. The bag also has a handy pocket for cables, wires, bands, and possibly a power supply source. A hard case for the board is also available but needs to be purchased separately.
The pedal board is easy on the wallet with its affordable price tag. The board can hold up to 5 standard-sized effect pedals. Very easy to use, the unit would be a fantastic option for beginners. The board features pre-installed perfectly aligned Velcro on both sides of the slit.
This offering by Harley Benton would not be an ideal option for those who prefer using more than 5 effect pedals. It’ll also take up unnecessary space for those who use fewer than 5 standard-sized effect pedals. The design is very basic, even though the board has a robust build.
4. SKB Powered Pedalboard 1SKB-PS-8
This big pedal board houses a lot of space and provides power while weighing just over 5 lbs.
Steve Kottman and Dave Sanderson founded SKB cases in 1977. The company’s first-ever case was made for a guitar in a garage, and from this humble beginning, SKB now has 3 factories with a global distribution network.
SKB bases has always focused on making high-quality injection molded, rotational, and vacuum cases that provide the best protection for various products and equipment ranging from music, audio, sporting and outdoor gear, medical, overlanding, industrial, and military.
- Design and Power
The pedal board features a plain design with power options at the top. The rest of the board’s top panel is relatively plain, with Velcro stuck to ensure secure effect pedals. The body of the pedal board uses two kinds of black materials. The area set for the effect is covered with Velcro, whereas the rest of the pedal is sanded smooth black. The board comes with its own power adaptor, which has Velcro on one of its sides. This is handy as it ensures the charger is safely fastened on the board when not in use. The power adaptor can supply power to the effect pedals you’ll place atop the pedal board.
The top panel of the pedal board hosts 8 buttons and a bright red LED. Each of the 8 buttons provides power to the effect pedals. The unit can house a total of 8 regular-sized pedals. As a result, this board is one of the larger boards you’ll find in the list. The board is mainly made of plastic which allows it to be lightweight. The base hosts rubber supports at each corner for stability. A grid-like plastic formation at the base of the unit adds to its sturdiness. The large pedal is 21.5″ x 15.5″ x 2″ but weighs just 5.15 lbs., owing much to the plastic build.
- Travel Case
The pedal board comes with a soft nylon padded standard travel case. The case only opens from one side and hosts a single zipper pocket for your cables. The case is black and is branded with the red and grey SKB logo.
The pedal board offers enough space for 8 standard-sized effect pedals. The unit is relatively inexpensive and justifies its value. The board is largely constructed of plastic but is sturdy. The material used allows the pedal to be low-weight and easy to carry.
Though sturdy and lightweight, the plastic construction may not be as durable and long-lasting as other boards. The pedal board may be a different size for people who use fewer effect pedals.
5. On Stage GPB 2000 Compact Pedalboard
This pedal board from On-Stage features a robust build at a very affordable price.
An integral part of the Jam Industries located in the USA, ‘The Music People’ has produced innovative musical equipment since 1979. On-Stage is affiliated with The Music People and was founded to provide durable, innovative equipment at affordable prices.
The brand’s product line impressively includes over 300 products pertaining to 8 distinct categories, namely microphone, guitar, workstation, keyboard, speaker, rack/ amp/ mixer, lighting, orchestra, and band.
The solid pedal board is entirely constructed of aluminum. The top panel is flat, with enough room to host up to 5 regular-sized effect pedals. The baseboard hosts the brand’s logo on the right side of its rear panel. The base has 4 rubber legs, one at each corner. This site also hosts a spacious cavity for battery setup and wire management. The board measures 18.75″ x 6″ and weighs 2.75 lbs.
- Design & Cut-outs
The unit features a plain, no-nonsense design with a matte black paint job. It features 6 small rectangular cutouts, which could be ideal for passing wires and cables. Bands can also be used to keep the effect pedals more secure.
- Travel Bag
The nylon travel bag has a sturdy box-like build. It’s black and has a zipper on one side. The bag has a single carry handle and a long expandable strap. On the inner side of the flap, you’ll find a large mesh pocket for wires, cables, and possibly a power supply source. All sides of the bag are heavily padded. The bag does offer a considerable amount of extra room. The bag also contains some perfectly sized Velcro stickers for your effect pedals.
The unit features a complete Aluminum build. The board can fit up to 5 standard-sized effect pedals. It comes with 6 convenient rectangle cutouts. The carry bag looks and feels very professional. It also supports a sizeable inner mesh pocket. The unit brings excellent value at an affordable price.
The board may not be ideal for those with more than 5 effect pedals. Though great value, the unit doesn’t come with a battery supply. The travel bag offers much unnecessary extra room, which may allow the pedal board to move about, possibly causing damage.
6. D’Addario XPND 2 Pedalboard
This unit is truly unique as it grows to cater to your growing needs.
D’Addario was founded in 1973, with its roots dating well beyond the 1700s. The company’s equipment is the preferred choice for Musicians, including Nate Smith, Gary Clark JR, Nita Strauss, Scott Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Bandi Carlile, and Larnell Lewis.
D’Addario’s XPND series features 2 pedal boards, both of which are expandable, as the name of the series suggests. Model 1 from the series is much smaller and expandable from 35.56 cm to 60.96 cm, whereas Model 2 has 4 rows and can be expanded from 43.18 cm to 78.71 cm.
- Design, DIY Construction & Expandability
At first glance, this pedal board looks like a ramp or a footstool with smooth silver sides and equally distanced flat strips placed horizontally. The pedal board comes unassembled as the company aims at reducing the damage packing materials cause to the environment. The board is straightforward to put together. One thing that is sure to make this pedal
Although the pedal board doesn’t come assembled and has the expandable factor, the board is surprisingly sturdy, and the aircraft aluminum material is extremely durable. The board also comes with easy-to-understand assembly instructions. The soft side of the Velcro comes pre-installed onto the blades of the board. The board also comes with the screws and the L-keys needed. Everything is smooth, thanks to the high-quality build. You’ll get 2 silver matte plates for the sides, which snuggly fit the screws. These side brackets also have sturdy rubber support feet, as does the bracket, which has a cutout for expandability. The locking capability is also a very handy inclusion.
- Travel Case
The nylon bag is large enough to carry the board in its expanded size. In fact, you’ll still have space for cables. All sides of the bag are padded, and you’ll find 2 separating foam panels with Velcro on the sides. The bag is lightweight and also comes with an expandable strap. One of the 2 larger sides of the case also hosts a handy large pocket. The case is very rugged but is sold separately.
The pedal board comes unassembled to minimize the cost of packaging on the environment. The unit can be expanded to make room to stage more effect pedals. The process also allows for a lot of customization options. The board is quite sturdy even when expanded.
The board needs to be assembled by hand, which can be a bother for some even though the task is rather simple. Not everyone likes the amount of customization this unit brings. The board packs excellent value but is expensive. The travel case, though robust, is sold separately.
7. Boss BCB-90X Pedal Board
This sturdy pedal board has more than one way of securing pedals to the board.
In 1973, Boss was founded in Hamamatsu, Japan, and the brand has dramatically evolved ever since. The company has gone on to establish itself with a broad product line that includes comprehensive effect pedals, pedal boards, guitar Amps, and more.
Music equipment by Boss has been the preferred choice of bands and musicians alike, such as John 5, Marty Friedman, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Firewind, Kirk Fletcher, The Neighborhood, Gus G, Orianthi, and many more.
- Design & Build Quality
Boss’s take on constructing a pedal board is unique in the way that one side of the travel case is itself a pedal board. This already makes it very different from the other pedal boards by most other brands, but it also brings an extra way of securing pedals and allows the pedal’s to be powered by a single power source. You can cut out the foam provided by shaping space for your effect pedals. The foam method of pedal placement brings you a lot of benefits. You can simply remove and place the pedal again without worrying about reducing the stickiness of the Velcro stuck. It also provides a more premium look and feels. The foam will also hide wires.
The upper right corner of the unit has 2 quarter-inch jacks for ‘Input’ and ‘Send.’ The Input jack will allow you to plug in your guitar. The send jack will pass the signal to the effect pedals. The board will also allow stereo output with the 2 quarter-inch Output jacks located at the top left corner of the pedal board. These 2 quarter-inch ‘Return’ jacks allow for stereo ‘Return.’
The unit has horizontal and vertical spaces for wires to be hidden away easily. The unit also comes with its own power supply, which can, at a time, power up to 10 9V effect pedals. The board can fit up to 9 regular-sized effect pedals.
The pedal board comes with a solid hard case. The unit will allow you to use the traditional Velcro method of attaching pedals as well as the option of cutting the foam provided to fit them easily. The unit also comes with a single-plug power source/ Integrated power supply.
This Boss offering is priced on the expensive side of the spectrum, even though it brings great value, especially regarding the alternate foam-based pedal placement method and the hard-shell case.
8. Holyboard 123 Complete Package
One look at this pedal board, and you’ll know why it’s called the Holyboard.
Designed in St. Paul and manufactured in Minneapolis, these boards have been around for over two decades. With special attention to quality and detail, the construction is solid and lightweight. Using 5052 aluminum for the construction ensures that the board is built to last.
No wonder the company offers a lifetime warranty on the Holyboard 123. Thanks to its expandable nature, you can load it with as many pedals as you wish. Also, the powdered finish keeps the board safe from wear and tear.
- The Goodies
The “123” refers to the three components you can assemble to accommodate all your pedals. If you’re into DIY projects, you’ll get a kick out of the Holyboard. The package includes many fun stuff like zip ties, rubber feet, brackets, and thousands of screws.
Pieces 1 and 2 are identical in looks and size. Both pieces can be overlapped on top of each other and screwed together. You can keep the overall length to a minimum of 13 inches. If you think that’s not enough to manage all your pedals, you can further expand the board by bolting both pieces end to end using a bracket. This will give you as much as 30 inches of space. However, in essence, you can put as many of these pieces, end to end, till all your space requirements are fulfilled. Piece 3 is a shorter rectangular section sized ideally for expression pedals. You can also link multiple of these to provide a base for more expression units if required.
The board gets its name from the millions of holes on the surface. This lets you easily pass cables through to your board’s power supply. Secondly, you can place your pedals on it and use zip ties to attach them firmly to your board through the holes. Finally, the smaller-sized holes are where you can attach screws to resize the setup.
The most significant utility the Holyboard offers is the ability to expand or contract according to the user’s needs. The fully customizable nature not only makes it extremely useful, but for most musicians, this is the only board they’ll ever have to purchase. Also, the material used is aircraft grade and provides immense strength to each component.
The zip ties make things more long-term. So, if you’re constantly re-arranging pedals to accommodate new ones or just want to change the board’s orientation, you may want to switch to Velcro, which allows this with greater ease. In addition, the expandable nature of the Holyboard means you won’t find many cases this behemoth can fit in.
9. Nux Bumblebee Pedalboard NPB-M
This one will remind you of the old Meccano playset from your childhood.
The NBP series includes three different variants, the NPB-L (large), the NPB-M (minimum), and the NPB-S (small). Dubbed the “Bumblebee” pedalboard, the setup owes its name to the yellow side pieces and the black frame that runs between them.
If you visit the board’s webpage, you can get an idea of its sturdy build through the picture of a guy standing on the upper tier. The usage of aluminum ensures that the pedalboard remains incredibly strong and light at the same time.
- The Structure
The yellow sides host a plethora of holes. This gives you the freedom to set the black pedal frames in any way you like. You’ll find plenty of screws in the package to arrange the gaps between the different rungs. This way, your board can constantly adapt to the pedals you decide to put on it.
- Dual Tier
The side frames are shaped so that the Bumblebee offers a dual-tier setup. This has its advantages. You can put your frequently used pedals on the lower tier and perhaps your modulation effects or looper/drum pedals on the top tier. The gap between both levels means you can easily conceal your board’s power supply in the middle.
- Stay Organized
Nux has made a conscious effort to make life easier for the modern musician. Apart from the modifying pedalboard, you’ll also find a couple of cable organizers that stick to the frame and keep your patch cables secure and free from tangling up. Also included is a looped strip of Velcro with a glued base so you can keep your pedals firmly in place.
- The Bag
The padded carry case has everything you need. The front pocket with the NUX branding keeps your patch cables. The main pocket has enough room for holding your Bumblebee Pedalboard and the pedals you’ve mounted on it. Go on stage, unzip your bag, pull out the board, and it’s all set and ready to go. Nothing needs to be put together.
Thanks to the aluminum construction, the Bumblebee board is exceptionally sturdy and will serve you for decades. Including cable organizers is a nice touch, and the Velcro strip is the perfect solution for attaching your pedals to the board. Finally, the padded bag keeps you gig ready at all times.
The lower tier is more suited for mini pedals as you may find it hard to fit regular-sized pedals between the decks. In addition, while the Velcro loop and cable clips are very handy, having more of them would have helped.
10. Voodoo Lab Dingbat Medium
You’ll get the finest quality when you buy anything from the Voodoo Lab product line.
This is because everything they sell is methodically crafted by hand. Working out of their facility in Northern California, Voodoo Lab has been actively making great products for touring musicians worldwide since 1986.
When it comes to effects units, the company offers tons of effects like Fuzz, Overdrives, Preamps, and more. But once you’ve assembled the ultimate pedal collection that delivers that dream guitar tone, you’ll surely need a pedalboard. This is where the Dingbat series comes in.
- The Series
Voodoo Lab offers a wide assortment of pedalboard sizes from Dingbat Tiny, Dingbat Small, and Dingbat Small-EX to larger units like the Dingbat Medium and Dingbat Large. The medium version measures 22 inches in length and 11.3 inches in depth, with a thickness of just 2.75 inches. As aluminum is the preferred choice for most pedalboards, you’ll notice that the Dingbat boards are made of the 6061-T6 variation of the metal.
- Powerful Pedalboard
While at first, the pedalboard looks just like any other simple-looking, unimpressive piece of metal, flipping it over reveals its versatility. Hidden underneath this perforated frame is the famous Pedal Power 2 Plus power supply that Voodoo Lab is renowned for. The Pedal Power 2 provides eight isolated outputs for smooth and noiseless pedal operation.
- More Stuff
With the pedalboard, you’ll get eleven power cables to run your pedals through the built-in power supply. You’ll also get a detachable cable to power the Pedal Power 2 Plus. The included zip ties will keep your cables organized, and the dual rolls of Velcro strips ensure all your pedals have a firm grip on the board. But where to put all these things? The board also comes with its own padded gig bag that can comfortably hold your whole rig.
The Dingbat Medium Board is adequately sized and should handle all your pedal mounting needs. The most significant advantage it has is the included power supply that will save the trouble of purchasing one separately. Also included in the package are plenty of power cables and Velcro rolls, so you’re ready to start gigging away.
Because of the inclusion of the critically acclaimed power supply, the pedalboard is quite expensive compared to some of the simpler units. Also, while the Pedal Power 2 is great for most pedals, it has its limitations regarding AC-powered units.
11. Temple Audio Duo 24 Templeboard
Here’s another pedal series that is ruggedly built, easy to travel with, and comes in various sizes.
The Duo 24 is made in Canada and comes in three different color varieties, including “Temple Red,” “Vintage White,” and “Gunmetal Grey.” With a myriad of gaps and holes on its surface, the Temple board exudes ease of use.
Speaking of its dimensions, the Temple board measures a whopping 25 inches in length, 12.5 inches in depth, and 1.5 – 2.5 inches in height. The wide platform is great as it will allow you to manage two rows of regular-sized pedals and even expression units after a few rearrangements.
- Slanted Design
The first thing you’ll notice when you feast your eyes on the board is its slanted design. This has various advantages. Firstly, having a slightly lower front end and a higher back limits your foot’s travel to the back row and gives you easier access. Secondly, there’s plenty of space underneath the board to conveniently hide the network of power and patch cables essential to set up your rig. Finally, the raised back end means you’ll have ample space to attach a power brick that runs all your pedals.
- Pedal Mounting
Contrary to how some manufacturers encourage the use of zip ties or Velcro strips to keep your pedals firmly attached to your boards, the Temple board has a unique mounting system. You can get a hold of their proprietary mounting plates that stick to the base of your pedals. Then through the perforations on the board’s surface, you can use a thumbscrew to lock your effects unit in place to avoid wobbling. The side rails have practical handles that let you carry the board conveniently, like a serving tray.
- Size Selection
If you’re unsure about selecting the right option, the products webpage has you covered. Simply navigate to the pedal “Tetris” section and start loading the pedals you own or are considering buying. Then start dragging them onto the board, so you know precisely how many effects units you can adjust on the board you’re looking to purchase.
Despite its relatively large size, the Duo Series Templeboard is excellent for larger pedal setups. The board will have ample space for whatever you wish to mount on it. The slanting design is great for multiple reasons, and the different color options add more spice to your guitar rig. Finally, compared to others, the pedalboard is quite affordable.
Although the folks at Temple Audio seem quite excited about their newfound mounting mechanism, some more traditional guitar players would likely stick to the Velcro strips (no pun intended!) or zip ties. Why complicate things by purchasing more attachments when you can use much cheaper options that you can find around the house?
12. Fender Professional Pedalboard – Large
The list wouldn’t be complete without adding a product from the guitar giant Fender.
When you talk about this mammoth brand, you instantly think of the instruments associated with it, like the iconic Fender Stratocaster, the Telecaster, the Jazzmaster, and the Jaguar, but in reality, the Fender line of products is exceptionally vast.
Offering a wide array of effect pedals, including the classic Hammer Tone series, Fender has hardly put a foot wrong in the execution of several innovative strategies to woo their target audiences. What makes things more interesting is that Fender also has its own line of pedalboards.
- The Size
If you decide to get this pedalboard in its largest size, you may want to free plenty of space on your workbench when you do the unboxing. This beast of a structure measures 32 inches in length, 16 inches in depth, and 2.95 inches in height. To put things into perspective, the length is almost as much as 3 feet, which is astonishing. Undoubtedly, your artillery of pedals does not need a larger space than this. The board is flanked by helpful handles that let you easily lift it off the ground. The construction involves anodized aluminum to keep things sturdy and light.
- Trays & Cable Organizer
As you flip the pedalboard over, you’ll notice two black plastic trays towards the rear end that are slightly raised from the base. These are designed so that you can place your power supplies on them. The raised structures will ensure plenty of ventilation around your power bricks to keep them from heating up. Also, right in the center is a looped section through which you can thread all your cables to keep them all in one place to avoid clutter underneath the unit.
Right out of the box, you see how nicely padded the bag is that encompasses the actual pedalboard. You get large pockets to keep all your necessary accessories. The board comes with lots of zip ties to keep your cables grouped and a couple of Velcro rolls to help mount your pedals firmly onto it.
There’s hardly a pedalboard in the market that can match the sheer size of this beast from Fender. The weight management on the unit is very impressive as the board is relatively light considering the large form factor. The power supply shelves are a good addition to ensure proper heat dissipation, and the accessories accompanying the board make things easier.
While the four rubber feet on the base of the pedalboard keep things stationary on the stage floor, they come off with minimal effort. Be sure to glue this if you don’t want to lose them during your travels. In addition, because of its almost 3-foot frame, the board is a bit awkward to lug around.
D’Addario XPND 1 Pedalboard
Such a simple concept and yet so effective, the XPND 1 pedalboard by D’Addario screams innovation.
The XPND series consists of two sizes. The XPND 2 is a dual-row pedal board that is much larger and can host more pedals. The XPND 1 is the more modest of the two and can accommodate 3 to 4 normal-sized pedals in its normal state.
As you know by now, the letters “XPND” aren’t an abbreviation and quite literally stand for the word “Expand!” Dubbed “the only pedalboard you’ll ever need” by the think tanks at D’Addario, this tiny little structure can change its form factor with the utmost ease.
- Assembly & Accessories
The board comes dismantled, so you must assemble it yourself before usage. Setting it up is a breeze and an enjoyable experience, especially for someone like me who loves to put things together. The top of the board comes loaded with Velcro, so you don’t need to apply any Velcro strips to it. Simply attach some Velcro pieces to the base of your pedals, and you’re good to go. Also included with the board are cable management components that go between the frames to let you thread your cable neatly through the setup.
In its regular size, the XPND 1 measures just 14 inches in length, 5.85 inches in depth, and 2.57 inches in height. However, lifting the latch on the side and middle lets you expand the board by almost 11 inches. This makes room for 2 to 3 more pedals on the board. The overall build is solid, and the rubber feet keep the unit firmly in place even in the most adrenalin driver performances.
Using the standard Boss pedal as a reference, you can make room for around seven pedals when
the frame is fully expanded. In its fully extended state, there is an area of unevenness where the outer frame meets the internal one, so you won’t be able to set a pedal on top of it. Since the XPND 1 is so compact, the space underneath the unit is also quite limited, which makes you wonder which power bricks should be chosen when using this particular board. The options are few and far between. The Ernie Ball Volt or Dunlop’s DC brick are both great options.
The XPND 1 is ideal for the beginner musician who might just be starting on a live gigging journey. The more seasoned musician may also like to get his hands on this one if he prefers to take a few pedals on stage. The adjustable design is a space saver and extremely useful if additional pedals are to be added on the fly.
Considering its added utility, there is generally little to dislike about the XPND series. Perhaps your decision in choosing either of the two variants will depend heavily on the requirement. The larger version may be a better choice for someone with more detailed pedal choices.
As a musician, it is fascinating to see how the top brands in the market compete to get my attention and others like me. If you think about it, the concept of a board that holds your effects pedals in place is a simple one but has so many complex executions, as you can see in today’s list.
Starting from the smaller boards, the Pedaltrain Nano+, Harley Benton SpaceShip 50C, On-Stage GPB2000, and the versatile D’Addario XPND1 are all boards that cover the basics of a smaller setup well and offer enough room for a single row of pedals. If you’re looking for something that offers dual tiers for placing different pedals in your rig, you can give the NUX NPB-M a whirl.
However, for those who don’t want to be bound by limitations, picking between the Large Pedalboard from Gator, the Velcro-covered SKB 1SKB-PS-8, or the Boss BCB-90X Deluxe could do the trick.
When it comes to the utmost customization, the Holeyboard Pedalboards 123 blows every other unit out of the water. The XPND2 (large) is a close second, as it lets you expand your current setup substantially in the blink of an eye.
If the objective is to kill two birds with one stone, you can grab hold of the Voodoo Lab Dingbat Medium, which has a built-in Pedal Power Plus 2 power supply. Finally, if you want to bring all your pedals on stage, the Temple Audio DUO 24 and Fender Professional – Large Pedalboard are surely up for the challenge.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..