A guitar pedalboard allows you to control your guitar's volume, tone, EQ, effects, and more - all at your foot's range at best when you're playing live. How? It serves as a container to help you power all your pedals and control them - so you've got your reverbs, phasers, wahs, EQs, and more, all in one place! We've rounded up some of the very budget-friendly yet long-lasting guitar pedal boards of 2021 in this guide to help you find the right one for your next jam session! Better yet, mostly for all your big-shot concerts! Jam sessions are easy going and you may always get away with missing a few strums when you'd like to and nobody would notice. However, when you're playing in front of an audience, you need to be swift enough to flip all those pedal switches on time! So, let's jump right in!
Honestly, whether you're a guitarist; bassist, lead, or rhythm, or a pianist, effect pedals will often be the secret sauce behind your unique sound.
In the recent few years, musicians have shifted to virtual pedals (DAW plugins) to get the job done, even during live concerts. However, using these VSTs and various plugins is still not as practical because let's be honest, not everybody likes to operate their laptop with one hand and play guitar with the other.
Therefore, to get that desired sound, one needs an effect pedal, or often, multiple pedals to go about their set! Since organizing them becomes one hell of a headache with all those wandering cables on the stage, we were blessed with this beautiful, lifesaving invention called a pedalboard. That's why we've hooked you up with a list of a few budget guitar pedalboards above - they're all budget-friendly but most importantly, they're above par quality-wise!
How? Let's find out the secret ingredients of an ideal pedalboard in this section!
How To Differentiate a Poor Pedal Board From an Optimum One?
In retrospect, an ideal pedalboard lets you place all your favorite effect pedals on it, is easier to carry, and will last long!
However, there are a couple more details that are difficult to eye on directly so we'll elaborate the secret recipe for you.
The size is crucial and it's an essential key part that goes without saying. If you're an absolute beginner, then know this; you're going to buy multiple pedals over the years, even if you only have a single pedal right now.
As time goes by, you'll want a delay pedal, and then a phaser, then you'll like doing those wah starters for your audience. It's a never-ending ride and that's why the size of the pedalboard is important - you need to make sure all your pedals can fit on it!
Another very important factor to differentiate a reliable pedalboard from a substandard one is the weight! A good pedalboard is always easy to carry, so lightweight that it can fit into your average nylon bag or a soft case. This is important because musicians tour a lot and need a light solution instead of a heavyweight pedalboard that is loaded with pedals that requires two people to carry it.
So most pedalboards out there come with velcro tape, pedal cables, and relevant tools for you to go about organizing your pedals. A couple of effect pedalboards come with zip ties that allow you to better position your cables.
You get the deal, so watch out for these items when you're buying a pedalboard and make sure they aren't missing when your product arrives!
For extra convenience, some manufacturers do put a power supply in a dedicated compartment in their pedalboards. While others come with power supplies/cables that can be used to connect various effect pedals.
The power supply can be bought separately as well but the point for a power supply is to be good enough to power all your pedals! However, if you've got a power supply that gives out 9V and you've got a few pedals that work on 20V or anything higher than 9V, you're going to end up with a damaged pedal. Don't forget to take this into consideration!
Plywood has been the go-to material for pedalboard owners for a long time - particularly because they're easily customizable and aren't too heavy. But in comparison to aluminum, they're not as sturdy and prone to breakage. On the other hand, aluminum ones are sturdy, well-built, and offer enough functionality to get things done.
Lastly, you may find plastic pedalboards but they're usually below par, cheap, and prone to breakage.
Flat vs. Angled
This is a matter of personal preference but one advantage angled pedalboards have over flat ones is that they enable you to press the top row without your foot messing with a pedal from the bottom row.
Some of the coolest pedalboards may come with a particular compartment for power supply and some even come with plus points like guitar pickup holders - think of them as just a cherry on top!
How Does One Organize Pedals on Their Pedal Board?
There aren't any rules about this and to each its own! However, we suggest it's best that you order them in a way you'll be needing them.
For example, start with a tuner, followed by a compression pedal, then an overdrive pedal, further followed by the chorus, phaser, and delay pedals, and lastly a reverb pedal.
Try to have reverb on one end and your tuner on one end. It's just better to have easy access to these two since they're used most often!
Why Do Pedal Boards Cost Too Much?
So pedalboards are notorious for costing too much! This is because some high-end brands do price pedalboards around the expensive spectrum.
However, the truth is, all you need to look for is the ease of carrying, size, and longevity and they work like a charm! That's why wood pedals have been so famous and now aluminum ones have taken the lead!
When you're planning to buy a pedalboard, don't worry about spending too much and just go with a $50 - $100 choice. More often than not, you'll have your ends met with convenience!
People Also Ask
Q: Are all pedalboards the same?
A: Not at all! There are size and weight differences as well as design differences. The design differences will combine to give you either a convenient or a full-of-hassle experience.
If you're looking for a good budget pedalboard, look no further than our elite list of pedalboards we've curated in this guide!
Q: Will a pedalboard make me play better?
A: If this is a beginner guitarist asking a question; then no, your pedalboard can't make your fingers do wonders. It ultimately only helps you produce better sound! However, if you're an experienced guitarist and you're wondering how can a pedalboard help you - well, it can do so by providing you with a guitar tuner at your foot's range so you don't have to install an app on your phone in front of an audience. It can help you by flawlessly switching between multiple effects without having to do wizardry on your laptop!
Q: Can I make a pedalboard at home?
A: Sure you can! Just make sure to find the top-of-the-line pedalboards in the market and learn about the features they offer. As long as you can create a product that offers those features with convenience, you'll know that you're not missing out on something after you're done with your masterpiece!
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.