Most popular pedalboards in the world. Rails system is ingenious and keeps the board clutter-free. Expansive range available to suit any size pedal collection - from the affordable Nano to the behemoth Terra 42. Read more
Plenty of models to accomodate small or huge pedal collections, Rockboard pedalboards don't cut any quality corners and the multiple holes on the surface help route cables and remove clutter. Read more
In this guide, we'll help you research and buy your guitar pedal board. Whether you are a first time buyer just beginning your pedal collection, a seasoned veteran looking to upgrade your existing pedalboard, or just pedalboard-curious, we'll guide you through the process!
What Is a Guitar Pedalboard?
In its most basic form, a pedal board is essentially a flat surface that serves to hold your guitar effects pedals in place. Guitarists typically have a variety of pedals - from a tuner to a reverb pedal to fuzz pedals and much much more. If you think of your pedals like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the pedalboard is the table the puzzle is built on. The pedalboard allows you to configure the pedals, chain them together, power them, easily take them from one gig to the next, and make sure they stay put.
Why Do You Need a Pedalboard?
Once you've accumulated 3 or 4 guitar pedals, it's a good time to begin shopping for a pedalboard. Let's talk about some of the reasons a board is a good investment:
Stability - Whether you’re just starting out with a few effects pedals or have a collection of dozens, you will want a sturdy, portable surface where you can configure them once and not have to worry about it again. We’ve all been in the situation where our pedals are moving around all over the place, getting pulled around by guitar cables, or you accidentally kick one across the room.
Power Supply - Your pedals all need to be powered. Without a pedalboard chances are you are messing with a bunch of different power supplies. Some pedalboards come with their own power supply, which means you will simply need just one power outlet to power your entire board. Others provide a dedicated slot where you can tuck away your pedal power supply.
Portability - Having all your effects pedals together in one place and easily portable is one of the best parts of investing in a good pedalboard. You might be thinking “I don’t play any gigs, why would I need one?” Well, even if you don't gig, your home studio just feels 100 times more organized with a pedalboard. Your pedals will be arranged in aesthetically pleasing right angles, and your mess of cables will become nice and tidy. If you do play gigs or jam with your friends, having your pedals on a pedalboard makes your setup super portable and more compact. When you get to your gig or your friend’s house, you simply lay down your pedal board, plug your guitar in, and you are good to go!
Versatility - Pedal boards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are models available to suit all budget ranges, and more importantly different sizes of pedal collections. You can always start out with a small pedalboard, and as your collection of effects pedals grows bigger, you can sell it on eBay (or trade it in to your local guitar shop) and buy a bigger one!
Protection - Guitar effects pedals are not cheap. The average price of one pedal is around $150, but you could spend up to $800 for a rare/boutique/vintage pedal! No matter how many pedals are in your collection, chances are you’re at least looking at hundreds of dollars worth of equipment. And even though certain pedals like Boss for example are known for being built extra-tough, a pedalboard with a cover or a case provides protection and peace of mind. Keep in mind that not all pedalboards come with a case or cover, so you might need to buy one separately.
Types of Pedalboards
There are essentially two main types of pedalboards you can buy:
A "One size fits all" board or
A pedalboard from a manufacturer that offers a more modular system
Let's talk about the pros and cons of each:
"One size fits all" - These types of boards are generally more suitable for beginners. In some cases they come attached to a hardshell case for maximum portability. The Boss BCB-60 is a good example of this type of pedalboard. It only comes in one size, and may or may not have a power supply built in (in the case of the Boss BCB-60 it does include one). The great thing about a "One size fits all" board is that there are less variables to think about. Say you have a maximum of 5 or 6 pedals and none of them have outlandish power requirements - you simply secure them to the board, plug in power, and you're done! Another advantage is that these kinds of pedalboards tend to have pretty budget-friendly price tags.
Modular - In this case the word modular is a bit misleading, since it implies you can add pieces to the pedalboard as needed. What we mean by modular this is there are manufacturers (like Pedaltrain) that offer the same basic pedalboard in numerous different width, length, and height configurations. You can get a Pedaltrain Nano if all you need is room for 4 pedals, or a Pedaltrain Terra if you have dozens of pedals to mount for a permanent studio installation. Obviosuly the price increases as the pedalboard gets larger, and in many cases with the modular option you need to figure out the best placement for your pedal power supply. And speaking of placement, the way the pedals mount to the board will differ between manufacturers. Since this is a more pro option, there's more to think about and plan ahead.
The Best Guitar Pedalboards: 2019 Edition
Buying your pedalboard can be tricky. Lucky for you, this guide exists to help you find the right one. Being pedal junkies ourselves, we tested numerous boards to come up with what we feel are the best pedalboards for guitarists across a variety of budgets and needs.
Pedaltrain has set the industry standard when it comes to modular pedalboard systems. Professional touring musicians rely on Pedaltrain boards the world over, and for good reason. They have lightweight metal frames, yet are built to withstand the rigors of touring and take a beating.
The reason they're as popular as they are is because of how many options they offer - no less than a dozen different models across five series. Between the five series and the names of the pedalboards within each one, things can get a little confusing. Luckily, their website helps by splitting them out into 3 categories that make more sense:
Ultraportable (up to 5 pedals)
Standard (6-12 pedals)
Big Rigs (12 pedals and up)
Nearly every Pedaltrain model offers the option of a soft zippered case, or tour-worthy hard case. Here's a handy chart which will help you select the perfect Pedaltrain model for your pedal collection:
Hook-and-loop (aka Velcro) is included with every Pedaltrain board; you attach one side to the underside of your pedals, and the other to the pedalboard's rails. You can use the rails to route all your cables and maintain and very clean and tidy looking board. They even include zip ties to tame any remaining unruly cables. You can mount a power supply underneath, though you'll have to make sure that your power supply fits under your chosen Pedaltrain board if you opt for the smaller flat ones (if you have any doubts they're pretty good about answering power supply questions).
In this short video by Pedaltrain, they give you an idea of how easy it is to set up your pedalboard:
Bottom Line: Pedaltrain pedalboards are hard to beat, provided you don't mind fastening your pedals down with Velcro. Whether you're looking for an entry-level pedalboard or you're a veteran with a monster rig, they've got plenty of options. They are also priced very reasonably, and the inclusion of a case is very nice.
Canada-made Temple Audio pedalboards give you more possibilities to organize your pedals than any other board on this list. The most notable thing about Templeboards is the amazingly designed plate, which comes drilled with screw holes. The entire pedalboard is full of these screw holes, so you can place any size and shape of pedal virtually anywhere on the surface of the board. There's no need for adhesives like Velcro or tape, as you position each pedal individually with thumb-screw mounting plates. This system keeps the pedalboard really tidy and gives you plenty of flexibility.
This video runs through a basic setup of a Templeboard:
Another amazing thing about this pedalboard and the screw holes is that you can mount pedals and other devices on both sides of the plate. All Temple pedalboards are slanted, so the bottom side has a ground clearance between 1.25 and 2.25 inches; plenty of clearance to mount your power supply underneath.
They offer 7 sizes in the lineup, with the most popular one being the DUO 24 since it's pretty compact (roughly 1 ft. tall x 2 ft. wide) yet can house 10-12 pedals.
Besides functionality and practicality, Temple Audio pedalboards feature an impressive build quality. They're sturdy and lightweight due to being constructed of rigid high-grade aluminium, and feature quality handles and side rails. The side rails come in your choice of Temple Red, Vintage White, or Gunmetal Grey. You can also get custom colored rails for an additional $50.
Bottom Line: The Templeboard mounting system is pretty ingenious. However, unlike Pedaltrain which includes a travel case and velcro, the Temple Audio mounting plates and thumb screws are sold separately, as are their soft travel cases and hard flight cases. This makes them a slightly worse value than Pedaltrain, so it really comes down to which mounting system you prefer.
RockBoard is one of German manufacturer Warwick's subsidiaries that is known for pedalboards, cables, and other accessories. Think of the RockBoard as a kind of hybrid of Pedaltrain and Temple Audio Templeboards, with a few unqiue offerings.
Similarly to its competitors, the RockBoard lineup is made up of 8 models, from compact to huge. Most models are offered with a choice of soft gig bag, ABS case, or heavy duty flight case.
In the middle of the lineup you have the RockBoard TRES 3.1, which is just under 2 ft. wide and 9 inches deep and can accomodate up to 10 or so pedals spread over upper and lower rows.
The RockBoard's build quality is impressive. These boards are made of cold-rolled aluminum and there are no sloppy weld seams or other tell-tale signs indicating a mass-produced product.
As with Pedaltrain, mounting pedals on the RockBoard is best done with Velcro, which they include, as well as zip ties to clean up your cable bundles. However, similar to Temple Audio Templeboards, these have many holes on the surface to route cables how you see fit.
All the RockBoards are on an incline, meaning there's room underneath for a power supply. Check the FAQ on RockBoard's website for specific power supply fit concerns.
Starting with the TRES series, RockBoards accomodate the RockBoard MOD patchbays, which allow you to route connections to and from the board in a clean and simple fashion.
Bottom Line: These German-made pedalboards are impressive. Their build quality is second to none, and they are comparably priced to Pedaltrain and Temple Audio. If you don't mind securing your pedals with Velcro, the holes drilled into each board provide near limitless routing options.
If you're looking for a "one size fits all" solution, the Boss BCB-60 pedalboard is a very popular and well-rounded option. It comes permanently set into a hard-shell case, and comes with its own built-in power supply to power your pedals. Along with the power supply you get internal mono and stereo channels for an even more routing options.
It has room for 4 oversized pedals, or 5-6 regular size stompboxes. As for the case, the thick plastic shell does a great job of keeping your gear safe. It's durable and tough enough for any bumpy band trailer, and also fits sleekly under most backseats. The latches however, have a tendency to break off over time, so pay close attention how you load it in said trailer.
The built-in power supply (1,000mA) and stereo in/out jacks are an added bonus. However, like many permanent hardcases in its price range, if the jacks stop working for any reason your board will be without input/output and a few useless pounds heavier than non-powered boards. Thankfully this doesn't happen very often, and if the power supply breaks, you can rearrange the panels and replace it pretty easily. Foam inserts help keep your pedals in place. Here's an example configuration of the BCB-60:
Bottom Line: All in all this is a great board, and while not exactly inexpensive it has a lot of features. The Boss BCB-60 makes an excellent pedalboard for a beginner due to its simplicity.
The Behringer PB600 pedalboard is a great value in the world of permanent-hard-cases. The PB600 comes with a built in power supply, mono and stereo outputs, and space for up to 6 regular sized stomp boxes (and possibly more if you get creative). All the components sit in a permanent hard-shell case with noticeably more room than some of its other peers. Its long "hotdog" design offers a lot of surface area for some oversized pedals as well. For a visual of what this board is capable of, here's an example configuration:
The hardcase is durable; the plastic is surprisingly thick and provides excellent protection from bumps along the way. Inside the case, pedals are held in place by foam padding which can be cut to accomodate awkwardly-shaped pedals.
The built in power supply provides a generous 1.7 A of power along with a daisy chain power cable for 6 pedals. Stereo outputs are a nice bonus, as is the inclusion of 1/4" patch cables.
Bottom Line: The Behringer PB600 is an attractive looking board and quite functional. It's a direct competitor to the Boss BCB-60, and improves on the Boss by providing 700mA more power for your pedals. It's a nice solution for beginners, and will survive a wild night almost anywhere. If you have a small to moderate stage rig, this board is a great option.
The SKB PS-8 is a straightforward pedalboard at a very good price point. The unique thing about its design is that all components exist internally to keep the top of the board sleek and uncluttered. The power supply lies buried deep in the heart of the board to give you added space on top.
Another unique feature of the PS-8 is that the entire surface of the board itself is covered with Velcro. This gives you a lot of area to work with, and you can arrange up to 8 standard sized pedals in any shape or pattern your heart desires.
The built-in power supply (9V DC providing 500mA) makes things easier, but we've heard from some folks that it can produce a buzz or hum in venues with poor wiring. Luckily it can be replaced with another power supply quite easily.
The included ballistic nylon gig bag is nice overall, but we wouldn't mind if it was a little more reinforced.
Bottom Line: All in all, the PS-8 is hard to beat for the price. If you have any power-hungry digital pedals, they might eat up the power supply's available 500mA rather quickly, so that's something to watch out for. Otherwise if you just want a clean and basic solution that's essentially a large Velcro pad with built-in power, this pedalboard fits the bill.
Here's one for the road warriors. The Gator Cases G-TOUR is a very simple pedalboard sitting in a very heavy-duty case. The case is really the main selling point here, which should come at no surprise since the folks at Gator know how to make very tour-worthy cases.
The Gator Cases G-TOUR lineup has 3 models: small, large, and extra-large, sized as follows:
There are three pieces to this pedalboard/case combo: the top and bottom halves of the case, and the pedalboard itself which is just a flat surface with a very subtle downward angle. You can keep the pedalboard tucked inside one half of the case, or take it out and lay it on the floor by itself.
The pedalboard surface itself is as no-frills as they come. There is no included power supply, and no rails or slots for cable management. It truly is just a flat surface. Pedals can be secured to the board using Velcro. They include a small roll of 3M Dual Lock, which is great stuff.
While intuitive pedal mounting and cable routing is not its forte, you can make it your own by drilling your own holes if needed.
The price tag of the Gator Cases G-TOUR is rather steep, and what you are paying for here is the great design and ruggedness of the case. This thing looks and feels bulletproof, and it'll protect your precious pedal collection from anything you can throw at it. It's quite hefty, and fortunately the large and extra-large versions have wheels.
Inside, the case has a soft eggshell cushion on top which presses against your pedals when closed, protecting delicate components and keeping things from moving around.
Bottom Line: While we absolutely love this case + pedalboard combo, we must caution you that it's not for everyone. The price tag is a bit high, and you are definitely paying for the heavy-duty nature of the case. This is not the pedalboard to get if you're just looking for a home setup. Also keep in mind that you'll have to get a bit creative when it comes to routing and managing your cables, and there's no clever place to mount a power supply. If you can live with all that and demand the toughest case around to protect your pedals, the Gator Cases G-TOUR pedalboard is it.
Several of the recommended pedalboards above come with Velcro strips to hold your guitar/bass effects pedals in place. One of the boards even has its entire surface covered in Velcro. Unfortunately, Velcro alone won't do the trick. Between guitar effect pedals that may weigh a lot, Velcro losing its "gripping" power, and your pedalboard being tossed around, there is a danger of your expensive pedals becoming detached from the pedal board surface.
To solve this issue, a company called Godlyke has made a Power-Grip Pedal Tape, which serves as a Velcro alternative to mount your pedals to your board. It looks like this:
Once we made the switch from Velcro to Power-Grip Pedal Tape we never looked back. The grip it provides is so strong, it needs a screwdriver to be taken apart! This means you might have to put a little more elbow grease into taking your pedals off to rearrange them, but the added security and sturdiness that Power-Grip Pedal Tape provides is well worth it. It works great, and is a nice replacement to normal Velcro. Check it out for sure.
Michael bought his first guitar, a Fender California Series Stratocaster in Candy Apple Red, in 1998. He likes rock of all types, from classic to punk to metal. Michael co-founded Equipboard to satisfy his curiosity around what gear his guitar heroes use. Read more