We love pedals, that goes without saying. And, being the Type A player I am, I like my pedals to be organized and configured in a way that provides the versatility in sound that I’m looking for in a straightforward manner. Additionally, depending on the type of music I plan on playing, the pedal selection can vary from gig to gig. For example, if I’m playing a blues gig, a heavy metal distortion probably wouldn’t be the best choice for tones.
In the spirit of sharing some thoughts and concepts with you, we present to you the start of a multipart series in building and configuring your pedalboard. Some of the concepts shared will be pretty obvious, some not so much. That said, there will be something for everyone here.
In this first installation, I’m going to cover the primary starting point, which is the pedalboard itself. When selecting your pedalboard, you’ll first need to decide upon the size and build quality of the pedalboard. Buy a board that’s too small, too heavy and/or made with low quality materials, and you’ll find yourself upgrading within weeks or months.
Let’s face it, when it comes to selecting a pedalboard, size matters. While there are a lot of compact sized pedalboards out there, they are not necessarily the best choice. For example, if you buy a small board (approx. 16”x7”) and plan to use more than 4 pedals of various sizes, that’s unlikely to work well. By that same token, getting a large pedalboard (approx. 32”x16”) might be overkill, especially if you only have a couple of pedals. Ultimately, it’s really your choice and it simply comes down to how complicated you want to get.
When it comes to the build quality of the pedalboard, this is something you really need to pay attention to. For example, you can figure out how to compensate for a pedalboard that’s too small or large, but what you’ll have the toughest time compensating for is a pedalboard that’s flimsy and made of less than ideal components. You don’t want your board coming apart while you’re on the road. Be on the lookout for pedalboards that are made with quality materials, such as aluminum or wood. While they may look expensive, they are actually quite reasonably priced and will offer years of reliable service.
There are also molded plastic solutions, but if I was a road warrior gigging machine, I would probably err on the side of caution. Again, it’s up to you. If you find a plastic board that meets your needs, by all means, give it a try.
Currently here at ThePedalGuy, we carry the Palmer PedalBay’s which vary in size and are incredibly lightweight and sturdy. There are more coming soon to our store (stay tuned), but the PedalBay is a fine and easy solution. There are also several other options on the market.
In the next installment, we’ll take a quick look at power, lighting, and tuner solutions.