Having numerous guitar pedals at your feet, haphazardly arranged with patch and power cables everywhere isn’t an ideal scenario for your performances or your practice. What you need is to contain the chaos with the best pedalboards for your stompboxes. Not only will a pedalboard allow you to play more efficiently, but it’ll also majorly cut down your setup time, and make transporting your favorite pedals significantly easier.
Our pick of pedalboards comes in all shapes, sizes, and price points so you’ll be able to find your perfect match here. Whether you’re a pedal hound with a massive collection, or just need a few select stompboxes for your perfect tone a pedalboard is a worthy addition to the rig of any guitar player.
If you’d like to learn more about pedalboards then have a look at our buying advice section for some extra info. To see our top picks, just keep scrolling…
Best pedalboards: Our top picks
As one of the biggest names in the pedalboard game, it’s not a shocker to see two Pedaltrain ‘boards at the top of our list. The Pedaltrain Classic JR offers portability whilst still retaining enough real estate to house a decent amount of pedals. The Pedaltrain Nano Plus meanwhile, offers a smaller size with rock-solid build quality for those who only need a few pedals to create their sound.
If you don’t want to ruin your precious pedals by attaching velcro to them, the Aclam Smart Track S2 offers an innovative, non-destructive design. Handily the rail system is modular as well, so if you like to switch out pedals a lot you can replace the existing rails with larger or smaller ones depending on your needs.
Best pedalboards: Product guide
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 ten pedals.
The regular Pedaltrains have options for their brand of power-supply, but most brands will fit comfortably underneath, as will cable-runs and I/O connectors.
The Pedaltrain Nano Plus is a compact, soft-cased board that accommodates only a single row of pedals, but it’s a great option if that’s all you need and you’re craving a tidy solution.
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.
Part of the latest trend toward modular, extendable 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 cool feature 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.
Gator offer an overwhelming array of options, 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 soft-cases, there's flight case options for most of the range. There's 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.
Proving that not all the 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 adjustible feet at the rear so that the pitch of the board can be easily adjusted.
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.
Read the full Warwick RockBoard review
A fine first board, the BOSS BCB also has a number of useful features like 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 modeled 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.
Voodoo Lab sure knows a thing or two about effects pedals and is the go-to pedalboard power supply company for many touring guitar players. Voodoo Lab has used its expertise in the field to produce a lightweight pedalboard solution that can incorporate its famous power supplies.
The Dingbat pedalboard comes in three different sizes, with the medium board able to house up to 10 pedals. However, this may vary depending on the size of pedals you use.
As well as a heavy-duty tour grade padded gig bag, this pedalboard also comes with the usual adhesive hook-and-loop tape and a variety of zip ties to ensure everything stays nice and tidy.
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.
Okay, so imagine this scenario - you've just spent months getting the perfect board together, from choosing the pedals to arranging them into the most user-friendly order and filling up every inch of your new 'board. But wait, you've stumbled upon a new overdrive pedal that you just know will allow you to achieve tonal greatness, but you can't possibly remove one of the stompboxes already on your 'board.
Well, if you've found yourself in this tricky situation, the D'Addario XPND is the pedalboard for you. This telescopic pedalboard will grow with your pedal collection, meaning you don't need to buy a brand new pedalboard every time you get a new stomp.
This clever 'board also features a unique cable management system and comes with loop Velcro fitted straight out of the box. However, we have to mention that the pedalboard comes unassembled, so you need to put it together yourself.
Fender’s entrance into the world of pedalboards makes quite a statement with its eye-catching silver look and unique mounting system. The Fender Professional Pedalboard comes in three sizes to suit players of any sized pedal collection.
It’s a low-profile design with a machined, anodized aluminum construction which keeps things nice and lightweight. Despite the lack of heft, it retains significant structural rigidity so will easily put with the stresses of regular gigging and rehearsals.
Integrated routing channels make your cable management a doddle and Fender have handily included zip ties and cable clips to ensure everything is as tidy as can be. A dedicated mount fits a variety of pedalboard power supplies and it comes with a soft case for taking it to your next show.
Best pedalboards: Buying advice
Are pedalboards worth it?
While it's true, you don't need a pedalboard to use guitar effects pedals, a good quality 'board certainly helps to keep them in order. These factory-produced pedalboards give you a surface in which you can attach a whole manner of delay, reverb or tremolo pedals, keeping them wired up and always ready to rock - drastically reducing set-up time.
This can make it easier to get straight into playing the guitar whenever inspiration strikes. Of course, nothing hinders creativity, quite like getting your pedals out, connecting the power supply, finding your patch cables, and hooking everything up, and by that time, that epic riff idea is gone.
Another added bonus is that, as the pedals are housed inside a case, unable to move during transit, it reduces the risk of damage on the way to a gig or practice session.
How much does a pedalboard cost?
A good quality pedalboard doesn't have to cost a fortune, with many low-cost options coming in well under the $/£100 mark. That said, we believe it's all relevant. If you have a minimal set-up - say, a tuner, drive pedal and a delay - then you don't need a fancy 'board. A basic unit such as the Pedaltrain Nano would undoubtedly do the job.
On the other hand, if your current rig looks more like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise - with more high-end boutique pedals than you can shake a Vulcan at - then you may want to invest in something more substantial.
What size of pedalboard do I need?
Size is the most crucial factor to consider when picking out a pedalboard. Not only does your new board have to fit your existing pedals, but we recommend giving yourself room to expand. You will most likely purchase more pedals in the future, and you don't want to buy a new pedalboard each time.
Also, don't forget about your power supply. The power unit needs to go somewhere, and whether that's underneath or on top next to your pedals, remember to account for the space it will take up.
What style of carry case is best?
When deciding on what type of case to choose, think about the application of the pedalboard. The over-the-shoulder carry bag is ideal for general pub gigs and travelling to and from the practice studio. The lighter weight means they are a breeze to carry around, and the smaller form means they fit easily in most vehicles.
Most of the common big-name brands will also have an option for a hard flight case, these are perfect for longer tours or overseas travel. Bear in mind that this will mean the pedalboard will be significantly heavier and take up more room.
How we chose the best pedalboards for this guide
MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.
Here at MusicRadar, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing, creating and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music gear related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.
When choosing what we believe to be the best pedalboards available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.
First and foremost, we are musicians, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best pedalboards on the market right now.
Find out more about how we test music gear and services at MusicRadar.
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