Pedalboards

PedalboardTo every guitarist, who use more than three effect pedals, it makes sense to think about how to transport and store the pedals in a rational way.
The need for a re-arrangement of the pedals before each gig or rehearsal is, on the one hand, pretty time consuming and, on the other hand, the permanent movement may cause a serious damage of cables or jacks.
But which pedalboard is the right one?

Size

Because of diverse sizes and shapes the planning of the arrangement of your pedals is the most important thing before you finally get a new pedalboard.
Some are flat, others are wedge-shaped.
To be able to estimate which size your pedalboard needs, you should place all the pedals you are going to use in front of your feet.
Frequently guitarists misjudge how much space plugs and power supplies actually need.
Therefore, it makes sense to test the wiring, too.
And if you casually suffer from GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) and additionally the next NAMM Show is coming soon, it can be pretty helpful to leave some space for a future pedal.

Material

At the beginning, many guitarists use a simple MDF- board as a pedalboard.
There is nothing wrong about that and before you get another board, you are able to try out if you will like the size and the shape.
But a pedalboard that is made of wood is pretty heavy.
Some manufacturers offer pedalboards that are made of aluminum. These boards are quite robust and do not weigh that much.
A pedalboard made of aluminum might look really good but sometimes, it will cause unintentional groundings, accompanied by humming.

Cables lead through the board?

Many guitarists who use pedalboards that are made of aluminum joists, lead the cables through the board and then fix them with cables ties.
In my honest opinion this kind of wiring is not even the best solution because it prohibits to alter the wiring in case of emergency (for example when you are playing live on stage).
Bolting the pedals on the board is even worse.

With case or bag?

If you want to carry your pedalboard it might make sense to think about a bag or case to protect the board and your pedals while you are planning your pedalboard.
Many manufacturers offer suitable solutions for their pedalboards. But pedalboard case builders too are able to create individual cases.

Space for a power supply

Like mentioned above, you should always keep some space for a high-quality power supply.
It can be installed on the bottom of the board or even underneath the pedals.
In this way it will need less space and it may still serve as a pedestal for the pedals so you can easily reach the effects in the second row.
Patchbay

RockBoard and other boutique manufacturers also offer modules that facilitate a simple and quick wiring between the pedalboard, your amplifier, the guitar and expression pedals.
These adapter modules provide all of the necessary in- and outputs.
Especially for complex pedalboards (with midi and external effect loop) these devices are meaningful.

DIY

Although there are numerous manufacturers who offer uncountable kinds of pedalboards, it can be great fun to build your own pedalboard.
Some time ago, IKEA offered shelf elements (Gorm) that were pretty suitable as pedalboards.
But you can also build yourself high-quality good-looking pedalboards with (imitation)leather cover and silver handles like the ones that are offered by some boutique manufacturers.
The advantage of this kind of DIY is, that you can adapt your pedalboard exactly to your needs and in the end it will look much better than its little IKEA brother.