11 Best Guitar Pedalboards for Simple and Complex Rigs
The issue of finding the best guitar pedalboards is not as objective as you may think. Some boards clearly outclass others and it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why assuming that you have a handle on what makes them tick.
To the inexperienced guitarist, a guitar pedalboard may seem like a novelty, or perhaps even a basic tool with little real value. I’m here to prove those players otherwise by shining some light on the best of the best pedal boards, their must-have features, as well as how to find the perfect fit.
11 Best Pedalboards for All Types of Guitarists
Table of Contents
- 11 Best Pedalboards for All Types of Guitarists
- Is it All About the Dimensions?
- Go for Sturdy Builds
- How Much Does the Pedalboard Design Matter?
- Is a Simple Board Enough?
- Accessories Worth Paying a Premium For
The Gator Cases Pedalboard-LGW is part of the manufacturer’s G-Tour series of pedalboards. It comes in three sizes of small, large, and extra-large. The extra-large format also includes wheels, which is certain to make lugging the case around easier.
With that in mind, the large case may offer the best value for the money. The board has an internal surface of 24” x 11”. It should be enough for around eight to nine pedals, depending on sizes, as well as a wah-wah pedal.
This type of advanced configuration can fit the needs of many guitarists no matter how simple or complex their tone is and no matter their genre.
The hardware is as rugged as they come. It’s a combination of plywood and aluminum together with Pro Grade EVA foam on the inside. The foam will protect the pedals during transportation but also prevent them from moving when you’re using them.
Another feature that I greatly appreciate is the 3M dual lock fastener. This should allow for a faster configuration time as well as secure installation of all the pedals that you intend to use.
2. BOSS BCB-60
The BOSS BCB-60 pedalboard is made for guitarists that know what they’re doing and value their instruments. It’s a lightweight board that definitely has its advantages. It’s easy to carry and easy to set up. Its dimensions are 26-7/16” x 13-5/8”.
The molded resin exterior provides a good amount of protection even from weighted pressure. On the inside, there’s some light padding to protect your effect pedals when you’re carrying the case.
What’s very interesting is the semi-customizable interior. The padding can be rearranged to fit small and larger configurations, although the maximum number of pedals is around seven if you’re including the 1,000mA AC onboard adaptor.
BOSS would tell you that the BCB-60 is ideal to use for all your BOSS effects. But not everyone uses only a single brand when it comes to pedals (I know I don’t). The BCB-60 pedalboard can accommodate a wide range of pedals from multiple manufacturers, from the smallest distortion pedal up to twin pedals and giant looper pedals.
A wide range of accessories is also available like short and long L-l cables, a parallel DC cord, pre-cut inserts, spare inserts, and more.
If you’re looking for a more affordable pedalboard and you’re not interested in a hard case, the Luvay Guitar Pedalboard might be a good fit for you. The board has an open-back design and the dimensions to fit at least six pedals (22” x 12.6”.)
The board is all-metal and weighs around 7lbs. This is very good considering that board/case combos tend to be at least twice as heavy. An Oxford heavy duty bag is also included in the price. And, the exterior pocket might offer sufficient room for all your pedal effects.
Setting up your pedal configuration on the Luvay board should be easy enough. You can attach a power supply on the back of the board and then interweave the cables between the grates. While you may not be able to secure the pedals onto the board, the surface is not slippery so you shouldn’t encounter problems on stage.
The design of the board allows for wide-ranging compatibility with most power supplies. This is another great aspect of the Luvay pedalboard, as is the affordable pricing and superior portability.
The EX Stompbox pedalboard comes in a variety of sizes. The one I recommend the most is the 20” model that also comes with its own gig bag.
I like this aluminum pedalboard for many reasons. Many of you might appreciate the low price tag. Others may appreciate the lightweight design even more. The board’s dimensions are 20” x 7.28”. As you can tell, this doesn’t leave you with enough room for a twin-row configuration. However, it should still be enough room for up to seven slim-profile pedals.
Installing your pedals shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s worth mentioning that there are also eight zip ties included. These can help you secure the cables or pedals firmly to the board so that nothing moves during a show.
You can also make use of the gig bag’s exterior pocket to carry all your necessary accessories, as well as some of the pedals. Unlike many other boards, the EX Stompbox also sits comfortably on four small leg supports, which improve the stability regardless of how many pedals it holds.
The Donner DB-3 is an affordable pedalboard that comes with its own custom canvas gig bag. This 20” x 11.4” open back pedalboard is made of aluminum alloy. It’s very sturdy and has a non-slip coating that helps to keep the guitar effects in place.
Designed for maximum portability, the DB-3 can accommodate a wide range of musicians and guitar effects configurations. The board is big enough to hold two rows of pedals. The stability of the board is great but not unexpected given the well-balanced design.
Another perk that I appreciate, and perhaps you might too, is the 60” worth of adhesive. That should provide you with more than enough to secure all your pedals to the board so that they don’t move around when you’re using them.
Still, the adhesive might not be enough to safely transport the pedals on the board from gig to gig. An additional backpack or carry bag may be necessary if you have an advanced configuration with multiple pedals. Some effects might fit in the external storage pocket of the included canvas bag.
The design of the DB-3 board is compatible with multiple types of power supplies, so there’s no reason to worry about that down the line. Unfortunately, a power supply won’t be included in the bundle.
Mr. Power makes very sturdy yet lightweight pedalboards, many of which have the classic open back design. Although these boards are available in multiple sizes, I find that the 18.6” model is the most versatile option for all guitarists.
This board is 18.33” x 10.6”, enough room for a two-row configuration or at least one or two larger pedals linked to the smaller effects that you might have. The weight of the board is just 2.2lbs. Carrying this board always with you should be a piece of cake.
The design of the board is quite simple. The open-back grate is thick and completely flat. There are no legs to elevate the board. This is usually a good thing, unless you’re setting up on an uneven surface. But hopefully that won’t happen often.
Mr. Power doesn’t offer a power supply but it does offer enough zip ties, adhesive tape, and a carry bag with external storage. That’s a lot of value crammed into a budget-friendly bundle.
Not everyone can agree about the quality of Behringer audio equipment. I for one particularly enjoy looking for diamonds in the rough. In my opinion, the Behringer PB1000 is one of those diamonds and easily one of the best options on the market.
It’s a rigid plastic board that comes with a hard case and its own 1.7A power adapter. It can power as well as accommodate a complex rig of up to 12 pedal effects. This should be enough even for some of the more demanding players and musical genres.
The impact resistance of the board is impressive, as is the resistance of the case. The case itself is also dustproof and water-resistant. This makes it suitable to use in various environments. Due to the fact that this is an all-plastic construction, the case and bag are lightweight.
The interior padding is customizable to fit a wide range of pedals. However, the PB1000 has been designed to hold 2.5” x 4.5” or regular-sized pedal effects. Daisy chain cabling for 12 devices has been included in the package as well as anything else you need to quickly set up your rig.
I also like the quick access provided by the sliding latches. It makes opening the case a lot smoother, which may come in handy more often than you think.
If a compact pedalboard is enough for you then you might want to take a closer look at the On-Stage GPB2000. This is a small board, designed for a single row rig. The cutouts are to accommodate up to five regular-sized pedals and to allow more versatile cable management.
The GP2000 is made from an aluminum alloy frame. It’s durable but also lightweight, which you might expect from the small footprint and cutouts. The rubber feet offer improved stability on slippery stages. To keep the pedals in place, On-Stage has fitted the board with adhesive hook and loop strips.
The adhesive strip is remarkably strong. Unlike many other similar boards, you should be able to keep your small rig always connected and hooked to the board, even while you’re carrying it in the bag. By the way, a bag is included and it’s dust-proof. A nice perk in this price range.
The Pedaltrain PT-N24-SC guitar pedalboard can help you in setting up a pretty impressive rig. The board’s dimensions are 24” x 14.5”. This should be enough for two-row configurations that are essential if you want to create a superior quality tone.
This board doesn’t come with a power adapter. However, even though the price tag is slightly higher, the quality of the aircraft-grade aluminum frame is more than impressive. The board is 3.5” thick, very stable, and boasts great impact resistance and weight pressure resistance.
The hook-and-loop adhesive strip is 120” long. This is enough to accommodate a large rig while still leaving enough spare length for reuse at a later date. It’s also worth mentioning that the board comes with its own custom case.
It’s a soft case but still quite sturdy. Although many may prefer a more rigid case on the road, the reinforced stress points still give it good impact and weight pressure resistance. Additionally, the high-end metal zipper guarantees a secure lock that won’t accidentally open.
The Gator GPB-BAK-1 guitar pedalboard case comes in three sizes: small, large, and extra-large. I find that the large model is more than enough for most complex rigs and perhaps offers the best value for the money.
This board can hold up to 10 regular-sized pedal effects and a standard wah pedal besides. You can arrange the effects in a two-row configuration. Due to the closed-back design, you won’t be able to hide the cable connections.
However, the angled design does make pedal access simpler. Adhesive Velcro strips are included in order to facilitate pedal security during transport and on stage. The pedal isn’t very heavy but not as light as other models.
After all, it boasts a surface area of 23.75” x 10.66” and is made from a rugged aluminum alloy. The black finish is quite standard but there are models in different colors available, should black not fit your style.
The board comes in a reinforced carry bag that features a polyethylene reinforced top and a reinforced bottom. It also features a removable and adjustable shoulder strap for improved portability.
Here’s another affordable alternative for those shopping on a budget. If you want a medium-to-large pedalboard with a good cutout design, the Vangoa 19.8” x 11.5” board should be a good fit. It has enough room for complex rigs and allows for versatile cable management.
Although this board doesn’t come courtesy of a wildly popular manufacturer, I can appreciate the craftsmanship as well as the extensive list of accessories. Everything you need from adhesive strips to cables will come with the board.
So will a 600D heavy-duty carry bag. The bag has very thick padding which can provide ample support and protection to your pedals. The frame of the board is made of a strong and lightweight aluminum alloy.
The board is also angled and equipped with non-slip feet. A separate slot for a power supply is located underneath the top of the board. Nuts to secure the power supply are also included in this bundle.
Is it All About the Dimensions?
Knowing how many pedals you plan on using and their exact dimensions is a big part of picking the perfect pedalboard. That said, the sizing variety on the market is exhaustive. The majority of manufacturers make pedalboards for at least four and up to 12 pedal effects.
And then there are the custom boards made for specific pedals. There are also custom boards that you can order.
Most manufacturers will only list the internal dimensions of the board (without the external), meaning that it should be easy to determine how many of your effects a board will fit.
Go for Sturdy Builds
Plastic pedalboards are not as flimsy as you may think. But at the end of the day, they can’t hold a candle to a metal pedalboard. Picking the most rugged board you can afford is very important.
Good build quality doesn’t just translate into durability but also stability. A metal board will almost always be heavier and offer better stability. You may not care about that at home or at the studio but it will matter to you when you’re performing on stage.
Besides, you should want the most protection you can get for your money. Pedal effects aren’t cheap either. However, I should also mention the obvious downside. Sometimes, some of the sturdier cases can get quite heavy.
It’s important to decide just how big and rugged you need the frame to be so that you won’t be overexerting yourself all the time.
How Much Does the Pedalboard Design Matter?
There are mainly two types of pedalboards on the market: open-back and closed-back. Open-back boards typically have cutouts. Some have more than one, enough for each individual pedal that the board can hold. Others have generic cutouts made over the width of the board.
These longer cutouts are very cool to have if you want to hide your cables or if you have a rig with weird cable management. Individual cutouts can be good too. But, these ones are usually made to allow guitarists to have an extra latching point for their effects.
Closed-back pedalboards aren’t great if you’re a cable management nut. That said, I find myself recommending them often, at least to some guitarists. If you spend most of your time on the road, the padding that usually comes on closed-back boards can be most helpful for minimizing impact damage against the pedals.
Is a Simple Board Enough?
A guitar pedalboard won’t do you much good if you don’t have an adequate carry bag or case for it too. Obviously, cases are more expensive than bags, but they do offer the best protection for your effects and other accessories.
It’s also usually easier to ensure a secure hook and loop rig with a case as opposed to a bag where the pedals might move around more. Of course, the quality of the adhesive strip may have a lot to say on the matter too.
Buying some extra L-l cables for your rig won’t be expensive. Therefore, I’m not one to be impressed by the number of cables included in the price of a pedalboard. What does move me is a pedalboard that comes with a power adapter and daisy chain cabling.
These are two features that you might want to keep an eye out for. They will make it much easier to set up your rig in record time and hit the road for your next gig. A hard case or reinforced case is also worth looking for.
Create the Best Tone for Your Play Style
You won’t need a pedalboard at home or at the studio. It’s not a necessity. But as you can see by now that having a pedalboard for your guitar effects keeps the rig looking neat and performing at optimum levels. If you want to be able to take your rig anywhere with you and have every effect within reach, any one of the boards on this list will offer some advantages.