Crafting a pedalboard from a piece of plywood might be your first impulse if you want to end
the madness of stringing a bunch of loose stompboxes
on the floor, but the availability of quality, ready-made
boards makes it hardly worth the effort of going all DIY.
Aftermarket boards come in a wide variety of sizes,
materials, and configurations to suit almost any need, so
basically all you have to do is determine is how big your
board needs to be and what amenities it should have. A
few things to consider: Are you comfortable with a flat
board or do you prefer an angled type? Is a riser needed
to make the inboard pedals easier to reach? Do you plan
on turning pedals on and off individually, or will you need
to factor in some extra space for a switching system that
can activate multiple pedals with a single stomp? Some
boards come with their own power supplies, which can
save you some dough, but if the DC output isn’t sufficient
to handle current-hungry digital effectors, you may still
need to shell out for a pro-grade power supply (and
reserve space on the board for it).
A pedalboard has to be reliable too. Troubleshooting
connections on the gig is a non-starter, so do you trust
your own skills at wiring it up or should you hand that job
over to a pro? And even if you get a “turn-key” board with
all your pedals professionally mounted and wired, any
changes you make to it can compromise the system. If
cost isn’t an issue, it’s probably best to leave a properly
working board alone and build another for all those new
pedals you’ve bought.
For this roundup we gathered six pedalboards that run
the gamut from basic flat and angled platforms to more
feature heavy models to a unique new board that offers
wireless pedal switching. We evaluated them on the basis
of construction, features, and ease of setup.