For guitarists and bassists enthusiastic about hardware effects, the stompbox/pedal collection can get rather large. Choosing the right effects pedals and the order of such stompboxes is one thing, but keeping them all organized and easily transportable is another ordeal. This is where pedalboards come into play.
Though there are plenty of multi-effects and all-in-one modeling pedals out there, many musicians choose the more modular route of accumulating individual pedals. A proper pedalboard, having the appropriate size, durability, and, in some cases, power is often a requirement for easy transportation, set up and overall performance.
It's perfectly reasonable, then, to see so many brands offering pedalboards on the market. Among all the options, I've compiled what I believe to be the top 11.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Variety of pedalboard options
- Performance of the pedalboard
- Accessibility of the pedalboard (how easy are they to find?)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let’s list out the brands.
The Top 11 Best Pedalboard Brands Are:
- Temple Audio
- Voodoo Lab
- Ultimate Support
- Emerson Custom
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best pedalboard brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable set of strings, and a link to their official website.
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John Chandler founded Pedaltrain in 1999 in Nashville, Tennessee, where it still holds its headquarters. The idea for the company popped into his head after being on the road for many years as a guitar tech with famous acts.
What was revolutionary about Pedaltrain was the hollow aluminum frame with the inner “pocket” to install your power supply underneath an inclined design.
This allowed players to save space on the top, maximizing surface footprint to add more pedals.
It all started as one man’s vision and turned into a worldwide phenomenon that is easily spotted in the biggest stages around the world. Pedaltrain is a synonym with the highest-quality craftsmanship and reliability. You can learn more about it in this interview.
Notable pedalboard: Terra TCW 42″ x 14.5″
This is Pedaltrain’s biggest model. Although it looks like a spaceship, the frame is only 6.1 lbs (less than 3kg). This version of the Terra comes with a tour-proof wheeled tour case, but it is also possible to get it in its soft-case version for domestic gigs.
The Terra also comes with an assortment of zip ties to attach the pedals to the aircraft-grade aluminum frame. The new, modified rail frame can accommodate newer, smaller pedals, ensuring optimum adhesion and support.
If you want the best for your pedal collection, this might be it.
Temple Audio is the creation of Ryan Dyck. It all started in 2009 when he was requested to build a custom pedalboard for an artist while abroad and with limited resources. Need took him to use unconventional materials, and the result was nothing short of astonishing.
This was the seed that, with hard work and relentless dedication, Ryan turned into a world-class company shipping pedalboards around the world. The leverage and knowledge that the road gave him opened the door to ultimate creativity in the service of music.
Temple Audio employs revolutionary thinking to solve modern-day musician problems; you must check them out before buying any other brand.
Notable pedalboard: TRIO 28 Templeboard Kit
This lightweight aluminum board requires no Velcro to guarantee the pedals will be steady during the gig or transit situations. Also, it is the perfect DIY canvas to design your dream pedalboard since there are endless possible combinations for its surface.
Among the revolutionary add-ons found in this pedalboard, you’ll find a 4-way jack patch mini-module to plug everything and achieve mono or stereo configurations. Also, a switching IEC micro module that works wonders interfacing with any power supply in the market.
Finally, it comes with a road-ready soft case to carry it anywhere.
Temple Audio came up with a solution to everyday problems; it is high time you give it a try.
Gator Cases was born in the year 2000 as a father and daughter endeavour in Tampa, Florida. After a successful first NAMM appearance that year, the company grew its line to over 1,000 solutions for all audio and video-related professionals.
After a meteoric rise, the steady volume of sales and the purchase of other bag and case companies took Gator to a new facility of over 180,000 square feet where all production is centralized.
Nowadays, besides being one of the biggest OEM case manufacturers on the planet, Gator's lines of bags and cases can be found in most music stores around the world.
If you want to work with the best in the business, you have to give Gator a chance.
Notable pedalboard: G-Tour Pedalboard-XLGW
This pedalboard with a wheeled flight case can fit up to 25 pedals inside a 34×17” removable surface. The case's interior is fitted with EVA foam and features industrial-grade Dual Lock Hook 3M locks and a loop fastener for a secure pedal installation.
Also, the spring-loaded rubber grip handles in red offer uncanny lifting and carrying aid while staying out of the way the rest of the time. Finally, the protective ball corners cover all vulnerable points the case might have.
Rolling with the best is rolling with a Gator G-Tour pedalboard. Here’s a video to see it up close.
Dave Friedman is the man responsible for some of the most sought-after tones in the history of music. He has been an active amplifier builder and modifier for figures the size of Eddie Van Halen and Jerry Cantrel (Alice in Chains), and countless others.
The company started in sunny California after 25 years of amplifier modding wizardry with one head, the BE-100 that can be found fueling the Foo Fighters or Joe Bonamassa’s live performances.
Soon, Friedman’s notoriety grew so much that it branched toward guitars, effects pedals, and pedalboards.
Following the same motto of excellence that took the company to the pinnacle of amplification, all Friedman-stamped products are road-tested and possess three decades of know-how applied to every bolt.
Dave Friedman has been building pedalboards for rockstars for almost 30 years; you owe them a try.
Notable pedalboard: Tour Pro 1530 15″x30″
This pedalboard by Friedman doesn’t look like any other you might have seen so far. To begin with, it is a hybrid design with a slanted top tier and a flat bottom tier. This allows for easy access to the bottom and upper row without touching any dials with your heels.
Furthermore, the bottom tier features two risers to accommodate expression or wah pedals that can be moved horizontally so left-handed players can use the foot they feel the most comfortable with.
Finally, the bag is among the best you can find in the market.
This revolutionary approach to pedalboards could be the answer to your everyday pedal problems; see it in action in this video.
From day one, Voodoo Lab was a company conceived from musicians to musicians that built a reputation for making sturdy, road-ready, and reliable products.
Their famous pedal series, capable of some of the purest, richest analog tones in the market that could also survive the hardship of nineties rage, put the company on the map for musicians worldwide.
Nowadays, after more than three decades of restless innovation and seeing countless stages all over the planet, Voodoo Lab owns the know-how to make some of the best pedalboards you can stomp on. Try them before making any decisions.
Notable pedalboard: Dingbat 22″ x 13.5″
Entirely made out of superior 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum in Sonoma, California, this patent-pending design is perfect for laying out pedals and tucking cables out of sight.
Moreover, the road-ready gig bag is among the sturdiest in the market, and the platform it contains can fit 6 to 10 effects pedals. The pedalboard also comes with zip ties, loop tape, and 4-way tie mounts to make sure the cabling underneath is secure and tight.
Finally, up to two different power supplies can fit underneath your pedals for optimum performance.
Stephen Henderson started his company in 2011 when he was only 16 years old. The spark that lit that flame came from a Cajon at a friend’s house during a jam session. He couldn't afford one, so he built himself the first product of what would become his dream company.
After a ton of hard work and, with the help of word of mouth, demand grew so dramatically that he had to hire a team and branch out to manufacture other musical instruments and accessories. Thus, Ruach pedalboards were born.
Because of Stephen’s drive, passion for innovation, and wizardry with wood, Ruach pedalboards are sturdy, lightweight, and feature a plethora of benefits that granted a growing number of fans.
From dream to reality, from Ireland to your feet, you have to check Ruach pedalboards out.
Notable pedalboard: Infinity Series 4
Made of a mixture of aluminum bars and wooden profiles, this Ruach Infinity Series pedalboard not only works perfectly for life on the stage but looks amazing, too.
To begin with, it comes complete with all the Velcro you need to install at least 18 Boss-type pedals comfortably on its surface. Secondly, it features a road-ready gig bag. Finally, the entire structure weighs only 2 kilograms. Plus, it can be expanded if your collection grows.
Although this company is new to the market, it managed to create a product that can compete with the best, most experienced brands out there.
In their own words, the company strives to be in a constant “patent pending” state; in other words, continually innovating. Although they have been in the market making stands for the Oscars and the Grammys for over 40 years, they have no intention of slowing down.
The heart and soul of the project is musician, entrepreneur, and inventor Darrell Schoenig, who started making speaker stands as far back as 1977.
After more than four decades of relentless dedication to innovating, the quality of Ultimate Support’s pedalboards is second to none. You can certainly trust the trajectory that took a man’s dream all the way to the top of the crop to put your pedals on.
Notable pedalboard: UPD-2416-B
This is the biggest size available for the new UPD series of pedalboards by Ultimate Support. It is entirely made of lightweight aluminum and features a road-ready gig bag with a big pocket to put away cables safely.
On the bottom of the pedalboard, you can find a tray to which you attach your power supply and then bolt it to the structure securely. You won’t use any footprint to power your pedals or worry about it falling off ever again.
This no-frills approach to pedalboard building separates Ultimate Support’s UPD series from many of the rest of the best pedalboards in the market. Try them out before you make any decisions.
You can learn more about the series in this video.
RockBoard is a division of Warwick, a German company founded in 1982 by Hans-Peter Wilfer, which is famous for building basses played by legends like Adam Clayton (U2), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), and many others.
Working with legends of that size gave the company a privileged peek into the demanding size of stardom. Thus, they learned how to make products that could perform even at the most challenging stages in the world.
Their pedalboard line is no exception to their commitment to excellence and could bring your rig to the next level.
Notable pedalboard: Cinque 5.4
This is one of the biggest models available in the market and can fit up to 30 pedals, depending on their size. It comes complete in three versions: with a soft bag, an ABS case, or a flight case.
The RockBoard Cinque 5.4 is entirely made out of a single cold-rolled aluminum sheet and features U-shaped support braces to add rigidity. Also, its surface is angled by ten degrees and features no wielding under the robust black powder coating.
Finally, it comes complete with a self-adhesive hook, loop tape, and cable ties.
Whichever is the size of the gig you’re playing, you can’t go wrong with a RockBoard Cinque at your feet.
If you have ever owned any pedal, you might know that Boss is the benchmark by which all others are measured. Moreover, most pedalboards use the quintessential “Boss pedal size” to manufacture their platforms.
As a part of the Roland Corporation, this Japanese company was founded in 1973. It was in 1976 that it released to the world the utterly famous CE-1 Chorus Ensemble pedal, which not only shaped the sound of a decade but also defined what an effects pedal should be.
Furthermore, it can still be found in the pedalboard of legends like John Frusciante.
Thanks to its status as a go-to brand for effects lovers worldwide for decades, Boss gained the necessary knowledge to design and manufacture some of the best accessories to go with them, including pedalboards.
Notable pedalboard: BCB-1000 Deluxe
With the size of a carry-on suitcase, complete with a handle and a set of wheels, this pedalboard by Boss is one of the most comfortable in the market for musicians on the go.
The outer structure is rugged and can take the abuse of the road, including being thrown around by airport staff.
Once laid on solid ground, though, the interior aluminum frame can be detached, and it features a built-in junction box so you can plug straight into the pedalboard and be ready in less than a minute.
This pedalboard features the quality and dependability you would expect from a company the size of Boss and then some. If you are on the road a lot, this could be the pedalboard you were looking for. You can check the entire line in this video.
For those in search of boutique-grade craftsmanship and attention to detail, this family-owned business created in Bixby, Oklahoma, in 2009 might be the perfect match.
They started making hand-wired pedals and guitar components such as pickups and pre-wired kits. Because of the critical acclaim and a meteoric rise in demand, they also branched out to the pedalboard market.
Nowadays, the family still manufactures products in-house and ships them around the world to a growing network of over 100 dealers.
No other company in this list features this level of attention to detail and craftsmanship. If that is your cup of tea, you need to check Emerson Custom before buying your next pedalboard.
Notable pedalboard: Megaboard 32″ x 18″
This huge board is made of a lightweight aluminum frame with dual cherry wood end caps. The specially designed frame includes multiple holes and spaces to Velcro your pedals down with the included yard of Dual Lock fastening material and arranges your cables in a tidy, almost invisible way.
Underneath the aluminum frame, you’ll also find space to mount your power supply without taking up any space on the surface. This is a 100% road-ready companion that will withstand your hardest gigs and remain firm at your feet.
Names like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, and Death Cab For Cutie are just some of the many in Mono Creators’ clients’ list.
Indeed, this San Francisco-based bag brand founded by Daniel Kushner in 2007 gained uncanny notoriety in a very short time for being the best-designed, most innovative bags in the market.
Moreover, they won the Industrial Designer Society of America Award (IDSA). Although BandLab acquired the company on September 8th, 2016, Dave is still its CEO.
The fine line dividing design, comfort, and performance doesn’t seem to exist for this brand, and their pedalboards can be seen in the hands of the most famous musicians in the world. If you truly want to experience this revolution, it is high time you give MONO a try.
Notable pedalboard: Pedalboard Large 32″ x 16″
Cut from a single sheet of anodized aluminum and accompanied by a military-grade luggage bag, this gig bag is road-ready, lightweight, and easy to equip.
To begin with, the single sheet of aluminum from which the entire pedalboard is crafted allows a no-wield structure that will withstand any and all scenarios.
Also, the bag comes with plastic-reinforced hybrid shells that allow for a minimum weight and maximum protection. Speaking of which, the plush top panels protect knobs and switches like no other brand.
If you are ready to take on the world with your music, this MONO pedalboard can be the best vessel to get to the top.
Choosing the right effects pedals for your applications and budget can be a challenging task. For this reason, I've created My New Microphone's Comprehensive Effects Pedal Buyer's Guide. Check it out for help in determining your next pedal/stompbox purchase.