As soon as you have more than a couple of pedals, it's probably time to start thinking about getting a pedalboard.
In the first case, like us, you'll probably cobble something together from an old suitcase or some wood offcuts, but stumping for a quality board can be well worth your while.
Factory-produced pedalboards can not only help to neaten your setup, but also make it more portable. Some of the 'boards featured here come with an over-the-shoulder carry bag, and most of the common big-name brands will have an option for a hard flightcase, for if you're going on longer tours or overseas.
Even if it's just a studio 'board, having everything logically laid out and accessible is better than a mass of pedals skidding about on the floor.
As with most things guitar-related, there's a range of different options, from budget to high-end custom - the Schmidt Array custom boards featured here are not only achingly beautiful, but expensive to boot.
1. Pedaltrain Classic/Nano
The best pedalboard in terms of flexibility
Launch price: $139/£108 (Classic 1) | Dimensions: 55.9x31.7cm | Weight: N/A | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Soft | Power supply mounting: No
The de-facto standard for pedalboards, the Pedaltrain series has more different options and models than you can shake a stick at. The Classic series has a number of different sizes, with risers available if you need to improve the ergonomics of pedals on higher rails. The JR is a decent size for a grab-and-go board, or something that you need to take on public transport, fitting up to about 10 pedals. Regular Pedaltrains have options for their own brand of power-supply, but most brands will fit comfortably underneath, as will cable-runs and I/O connectors. The Nano range, on the other hand, is a compact, soft-cased board that accommodates only a single row of pedals. Because of the tight space under the board, you'll have to raise the rear feet by DIY means, or buy a specific compact power supply. Luckily Pedaltrain, Strymon and other brands offer super-slim supplies that will fit - for a price.
2. Boss BCB-60
A no-nonsense solution from the pedal legend
Launch price: $215/£120 | Dimensions: 67x37cm | Weight: 3.8kg | Construction: Moulded Resin | Case: Integrated | Power supply mounting: N/A
A fine first board, the BOSS BCB also has a number of useful features like included patch cables, I/O connectors, send and return jacks, a power supply and space at the top for miscellaneous odds and ends. It's a decent feature set in a highly portable and robust package, but the main drawback is that the foam inserts to brace the pedals are modelled on the Boss form factor, meaning that if you want to have a different set of pedals than 4-6 Boss products, they might not fit so well.
3. Aclam Smart Track S2
A clever, Velcro-free pedalboard solution
Launch price: $199/£168 | Dimensions: 59x15cm | Weight: 3kg | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Softcase | Power supply mounting: Yes
Part of the latest trend toward modular, extensible pedalboard solutions, the Aclam boards have a number of interesting features. First is that you don't need to fix your pedals using velcro. Instead, the Smart Track fasteners allow you to firmly fix pedals to the board without any adhesive. Another innovation is the ability to switch out the main bed of the 'board, which means you can substitute a smaller set of rails for a larger one if your collection grows. Like the Pedaltrain line, the Aclam comes with a softcase as standard for maximum portability. Finally, in addition to the expected kits for attaching power supplies to the underside, there's the option of an extender kit for the 'board feet to increase the pitch of the 'board.
4. Holeyboard New Standard
An unconventional but wholly practical option
Launch price: $179/£129 | Dimensions: 64.77x45.72cm | Weight: 2.5kg | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Not included | Power supply mounting: Zip ties included
With a wide range of different sizes, shapes and models, the Holeyboard has come a long way from its original wooden incarnation. Now made of lightweight aluminium, there's a variety of options for stylish-looking and robust carrying cases, and bags with more than a touch of hipster flair to them. The reason the 'boards themselves have proved so popular is the highly ergonomic form-factor, with the original having space for a wah or Whammy on the right, and then two layers of stacked pedals to the left, with space for a power supply under the shelf. The whole 'board is curved, offering the user maximum access to the pedals, which can be routed more efficiently. The holes serve a practical purpose too, both lowering the overall weight and offering a way of affixing pedals using zip ties.
5. Temple Audio Duo 17
Custom options at consumer prices
Launch price: $89/£69 | Model: Duo 17 | Dimensions: 43.2x31.8cm | Weight: 1.1kg | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Not included | Power supply mounting: Not included
Another 'board that doesn't force you to use velcro is the Temple Board. With gaps above pedals for cable runs and power supplies, pedals are fixed via zip tie or the company's proprietary Quick Release Pedal Mounts. The 'boards themselves are modular, with a number of different end-panel options that range from plain to complex, with integrated I/O and power connectors. They're stylish, but the layout of larger holes might be an issue on 'boards containing a large number of pedals with side-mount, rather than top-mount, jacks.
6. Diago Showman
An old-school pedalboard with integrated hardcase
Launch price: $179/£189 | Dimensions: 75x35cm | Weight: 7kg | Construction: Plywood | Case: Hardcase | Power supply mounting: N/A
Diago's line, which includes the venerable Gigman, Showman and Tourman, are decent options if you want an integrated hardcase for your pedals. They also offer accessories like risers that you can use to rearrange the order or ergonomics of your pedals within the case. However, cable runs and power supplies can't be stowed away, and space is lost as a result. They're also not cheap, at least compared with the non-custom options on offer.
7. Warwick RockBoard TRES 3.1
One of the most customisable pedalboards on the market
Launch price: $99/£88 | Dimensions: 51x23.6cm | Weight: 1.2kg | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Soft case | Power supply mounting: Not included
The Warwick Rockboard is another modular option that offers custom-level specs at non-custom prices. While it's still not cheap, you can easily put together something robust and tailored for your specific needs. 'Boards come as standard with a softcase, and then you can pick a patchbay to slot into the rear for I/O, power supply and buffer options that work for you. There's also a variety of mounting accessories available for you to customise to your heart's content.
8. Schmidt Array
The ultimate in boutique pedalboards
Launch price: $613/£471 | Model: SA450 | Dimensions: 45x14.4cm | Weight: 4.7kg | Construction: Wood | Case: Integrated | Power supply mounting: N/A
These stunning pedalboards are made to measure, and can be built with multiple different options, finishes, I/O connectors, shelves and sizes. As they're built as integrated hardcases, they're not the lightest, but they're absolutely guaranteed to perfectly fit your needs and turn heads wherever you go.
9. Gator G-Tour Large
Looking for something more unusual? Gator can cater
Launch price: $219/£189 | Dimensions: 60x27.94cm | Weight: 15kg | Construction: Wood and Aluminium | Case: Flightcase | Power supply mounting: Not included
Gator offers an overwhelming array of pedalboards, from Pedaltrain-style 'boards, which will take power and cable runs on the underside, to heavy-duty options where everything sits topside between large carry handles. As well as softcases, there are flightcase options for most of the range. There are some particularly wild 'board and case combinations at the more esoteric end of the range, too. For example, there's the Gigbox, which has integrated power and a case that can be used as a guitar stand for three guitars, and the Mega Bone, a single-row board with space for two wah-sized pedals at either end that curves around the user like the Holeyboard.
10. Harley Benton SpaceShip 40
A solid and affordable 'board from Thomann
Launch price: $60/£45 | Dimensions: 45x30.5cm | Weight: 1.2kg | Construction: Aluminium | Case: Softcase included | Power supply mounting: Yes
Proving that not all options need break the bank, Thomann's own-brand Harley Benton line has some decent Pedaltrain alternatives, with a variety of sizes under the SpaceShip moniker. They're competitively priced, come with a soft case as standard, and as a neat feature boast adjustable feet at the rear so that the pitch of the board can be easily adjusted.