I’ve had quite a few pedalboards in my time. Everything from homemade boards to custom boutique boards. I never seem to be content with pedalboards.
My boards are always modular due to the variety of gigs I do. I may make one for a tour, but when I get back I swap out half the effects.
I don’t like the SKB or Furman powered boards. I prefer the “roll you own” style. I’m picky over routing and power options.
For this reason, it’s made choosing a permeant pedal board more difficult. I’ve recently been using Pedaltrain boards for simplicity.
They’re lightweight and fairly priced. You can find them in a lot of sizes and most music stores carry them.
I’ve been using three of their boards for about a year now. Long enough to have the new gear joy factor wear off. Now, I can give a fair assessment.
The build quality on the JR and Nano models is very high. I mean, it’s a really simple design of welded metal. Not much to go wrong.
The slatted system is brilliant. It’s really easy to snake patch cables around.
It’s sturdy too. I’ve been banging it around for a year and it’s held up perfectly.
I like that there are brackets to install a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 underneath the JR model. I only use Voodoo power supplies.
My only gripe is: They only made it accessible to install one supply. There is clearly enough room to install two. I wish they had thought about this and drilled two more access holes.
Many pedals these days have different power requirements. I often have to run a Pedal Power Plus and an AC Power.
I guess I gave a second gripe: Accessing the courtesy power supply through the “holes” is not exactly convenient. I find most pedals I need to power with an additional outlet require a wall wart.
I wish there was a way to make the outlet flush. Maybe they can sell an adapter for that?
Each Pedaltrain Bag comes with a roll of velcro and some cable ties. It’s nice that they include this. However, the quality of the velcro is not to my desire. I usually use my own velcro that I purchase separately. This means added cost.
You have the option to either get a gig bag or hardshell case with the JR board. I opted for the gig bag. I’ve seen the hardshell and didn’t feel quite secure putting it underneath the plane on tours.
The gig bag is ok. It has a nice pocket on the front which holds a fair amount of stuff. I can stick a wah wah and cables in there easily.
Overall, I don’t think the bag offers a lot of protection. It will keep water out and prevent minor bumps. But, I still don’t feel as secure as placing it in a Mono bag.
I’m not sure I would trust anyone other then myself handling the bag when I have some of my more fragile pedals in there.
After about a year of serious use (I’m a pro session/touring musician) I’m seeing some wear I didn’t expect. The material is starting to wear on the side and a hole has appeared.
I’m not abusive with gear. I just use it regularly. I didn’t expect to see a hole in that time.
I would also say the included shoulder strap is not that comfy. Living in NYC, I have to carry gear a lot. I would imagine there is a way to make it more comfortable.
So far the zippers have been holding up well. This is often a weak spot on bags. Often a bag outlives it’s zippers…. except in this case. See what I did there? Clever I know.
It’s a very affordable pedalboard. Maybe that’s what holding back some of the features.
Clearly a nicer gig bag would cost more money. I would pay extra though. It’s not uncommon for me to be carrying around $1500. worth of pedals. A little more security would put me at ease.
The JR costs $99. with the gig bag. That’s a price that is accessible to most. The Nano costs $49. with a gig bag. It’s worth noting I don’t have as much issue with the Nano bag. It’s small and won’t take the same abuse a bigger bag will.
Overall, Pedaltrain makes a nice pedal board. A few tweaks and they can make an AMAZING pedalboard. It’s not quite at boutique level of quality. It is much higher then most consumer grade products though.
One thing you get with boutique boards is their willingness to understand the flexibility some guitarists need. This is hard to do when you make broad strokes of the brush. Meaning, it becomes very difficult when you mass produce products.
Still though, this board will accommodate most. Overall, I do like this pedalboard despite a few of the flaws.