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The Premier Guitar Pedalboard Survival Guide

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The Premier Guitar Pedalboard Survival Guide




  1. The StageTrix Pedal Riser units let you raise stompboxes in the second row of your pedalboard for easier activation, and they also feature a center channel for neater cable routing.
  2. The Furman SPB-8C measures 28.5" x 20.125" and features a hardshell case with wheels and an extendable handle, as well as 12 power outlets (eight 9-volt DC and four 120-volt AC).
  3. The Pedaltrain PT-JR measures 17" x 12.5" and features a lightweight metal frame that facilitates neat cable routing and is angled for easier activation of second-row pedals. It’s also available with an ATA flight case.
  4. The Pedal Pad Pro Series MPS II Tour Series Pedalboard’s two-tiered design lets you attach your pedals (with Velcro) to individual metal plates that can be set flat or angled. Its hardshell, carpet-covered case also includes the Power Pad II power supply, which has eight 9-volt DC jacks and one 110-volt AC plug.
Attaching the Pedals
Once you choose the right pedalboard you need to make sure your stompboxes stay in place. Otherwise, you risk damaging your precious investments. And for guys who obsess over tone, it’s not just pedals that cost a chunk ’o change— it’s also the specialized power supplies, patch cords, and cables.

Although Velcro and generic hook-and-loop fasteners have been ubiquitous on pedalboards for a long time now, other solutions are coming on the scene, too. Some players have moved on to 3M’s Dual Lock, while products like Godlyke’s Power-Grip pedalboard tape (Street $19.95 for one meter, godlyke.com) are made specifically for keeping pedals in place. Each method has its pros and cons, but when you consider them all, which is the best way to keep pedals on a board?

“That’s a question that I get and wrestle with almost daily,” says Pedaltrain’s John Chandler. “For years, I have searched for the new holy grail of pedal attachment. I’ve tried lots of materialsand different grades of almost every type of Velcro and Dual Lock adhesive-based methods out there—and some other space-aged things that ultimately led me full circle back to the original hook and loop.”

“While Dual Lock and other materials like it tend to hold pedals in place stronger, the ease of use, ease of removal and wide availability of Velcro has made it the preferred method. The adhesives used on most Velcro products are usually not as permanent and, therefore, are easier to remove with minimal residue or damage to a pedal. A lot of folks I’ve seen over the years have chosen to use Dual Lock and later regretted the decision when it came time to reconfigure their board or sell a pedal. I recommend Dual Lock only when someone knows exactly what pedals they want and the order they want them in—and they don’t plan on changing them for a long time. There are very few people I’ve ever met who are so satisfied with their pedal setup that they will leave it alone for more than six months.”

Godlyke’s Power-Grip features multiple rows of mushroom-shaped posts that interlock to create a bond the company says is stronger than other hook-and-loop attachment materials.
Once you’ve settled on an attachment mechanism, Chandler has a few basic steps he follows. “As a rule, try to get the bottom as flat as possible—remove rubber feet, pads, etc.—then apply the Velcro to the bare metal or painted surface. Many folks refuse to take the stock rubber pads off the bottom of pedals. For example, Boss pedals all come with that thick rubber pad that folks are reluctant to remove. This will make a huge difference in how well the adhesive works—especially when it’s exposed to heat, say, in the hot trunk of a car or trailer. The Velcro’s adhesive applied to a rubber pad will have the reverse effect when it gets hot and actually reject its bond.”

Once you’ve applied the adhesive, Chandler says to lay the pedal on the board to see where you can get the most surface-area contact while still having the footswitch accessible.

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