Looking at getting a pedalboard but they feel like major rip-offs

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MMiller28, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Can anyone tell me why this costs $200? It's a few pieces of flat, straight metal welded together, with a case. I feel like every manufactured pedalboard should cost half of what it does at most, and you'd have to be borderline insane to not make your own or buy one off Etsy.

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  2. I have always made my own.
    blocka, erratick, sonojono and 9 others like this.
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    The company has to make money somehow and yes, it is simplistic. I made my own and bought a cover from: https://studioslips.com/

    I was able to get exactly what I wanted with nothing, but wood scraps. Solid as a rock and it's black.
  4. Because it's solid as a rock. Because it's gone through all the learning curves you haven't when building yours yet. Because the people building expect to turn a profit.

    Because a lot of people don't have the time, skills, tools, or desire to collect the materials, to design the shape, to eff up the shape, to modify their original design, go buy the hardware they forgot, put it back together, realize it doesn't quite fit their power supply, look at the design again, make modifications, put it together, then have GAS take hold and render the board too small.

    That said, I always build my own board.
  5. waver


    Nov 19, 2016
    Memphis, TN
    On Rig Rundown (or whatever it’s called) on Youtube, Michael League of Snarky Puppy shows his pedalboard, which is a plastic cutting board from Target.
    Artorious Rex, FritzM, Swerve and 7 others like this.
  6. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I don't have tools to do the metal working or carpentry, so I can't make my own board.

    FWIW, I bought a Classic Junior with a hard case for $200. The board is rock solid and the case provides great protection for the $2500 worth of pedals, power supply, and cabling that are on the board. I don't feel like I got ripped off. Of course, I'm borderline insane. :D

    I'm certainly not going to tell anyone they should or shouldn't build their own, and nor will I attempt to psychologically diagnose anyone based on their decision. If you've got the tools and the motivation to build your own, go for it. I've seen some really nice pedal board builds here on TB. But if you decide to buy, then find the one that best balances your requirements and your budget. I don't regret my decision.
  7. allintime


    Apr 10, 2018
    I did a lot of research on pedal boards a few years ago and what I found was that the more expensive boards had two main benefits:
    1) better overall quality (consistent production, well made, no sharp edges, better materials/coatings)
    2) came with a case that is sturdy, protective, and fits the board (with pedals) well

    That second point seemed to be the bigger factor the more I looked at different boards. Most of the complaints I saw in reviews on amazon/GC/MF for 'cheap' boards talked about how the included case fell apart after use, especially the zippers, or lacked enough extra pockets, padding, or features. Other complaints were about poor craftsmanship of the board, like rivets popping out, welds not ground down, or paint falling off, but the shoddy cases were the biggest deal breakers for peoples.

    So you can certainly make a cheap board on your own, or use a cutting board like mentioned above, but if you want to protect your board in a road worthy padded bag or hard shell case that fits and secures your board well, then you might spend the money on a high end one (like @dave64o did). Just buying a good gear bag is expensive, so you might as well get a board with it too. I went with the Gator Small and Extra large boards with bags (got them on sales of MF), and the bags have held up well. Sometimes I don't even use the board and just use the bags to carry gear!
  8. Paying decent money for accessories never seems to sit well with people. Then you're still using it 15 years later and you go "oh, I guess that was money well spent".
  9. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    Money well spent IMO
    Buy used & profit!
    Staccato, The_Meatwagon and bassbrad like this.
  10. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    NUX bumblebee is my favorite pedalboard
    Not overpriced and very versatile
    cnltb likes this.
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I also have found it hard to pull the trigger on manufactured boards/bags. It does seem like the prices are higher than I expect. But in the end I pay the money because I don't want the hassle of making my own. Although to be honest, it's teh bag/case that is of greater value to me. As someone else pointed out, you can use a cuttongoboard with some velcro tape for a board. None of my power or cabling is hidden below the pedals.
    BlueTalon, bassbrad and allintime like this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    Spidey2112 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  13. moon-bass

    moon-bass They call me El Jefe Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    I dunno, that aluminum welding rig costs a lot more than a pedalboard ... Also, my time is valuable - time = money, and I'd rather be practicing or playing than building a board. Doesn't make me crazy, just makes me decide that my time/energy is better spent elsewhere.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  14. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    I bought the Ghostfire little 20! Love it $60 with a bag!:thumbsup:
    Pdaddy1978 and Spidey2112 like this.
  15. dBChad


    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I'm also in the camp of seeing production boards too expensive, but I do own some tools. I have the materials already, and in a couple weeks, I'll have the time to build my own.

    For the DIY'ers, a home made pedal board is a better option (even a hard case using 1/4" ply and aluminum corners are within comfort level and available tools on hand). For those without tools, time, and/or experience, the peace of mind that comes from a commercially available product is worth the price of admission. You just have to figure out where you stand on the issue and act accordingly.
    instrumentlevel and knumbskull like this.
  16. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Most homemade boards are going to be some combination of heavier and more fragile than the Pedaltrain. But that might not matter depending on the way you use it.

    also, the case!
  17. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Nice! I was unaware of this brand. Seems like solid value. I'd probably have to use the 19.8''x11.5'' model, but it's a pretty reasonable $70.
    EatS1stBassist and JohnnyChatter like this.
  18. stu FORD

    stu FORD

    May 22, 2004
    If spending a couple hundred bucks freaks you out, pedals might not be your thing!

    I was using a Gator board that came with a soft case that was $150 new when I got it. I gigged with it for a few years but always took good care of it and I was even able to get $100 (minus Reverb fees) out of it in the end. The reason I got reason rid of it was to upgrade to the PedalTrain board with a "tour case." It was $250 for a slightly bigger board and the tour case is invaluable IMO for peace of mind when carting around what can sometimes be thousands of dollars of pedals. I've got certain things like my Deep Impact that aren't easily replaceable I never felt comfortable gigging them before I got the PedalTrain with the hard case.

    Anyway you slice it $250 is only the cost of 1 or 2 pedals. If you've got a bunch of pedals, it's a relatively small expense.
    bass4u, FRoss6788, Thisguy and 5 others like this.
  19. Yep, me too.

    My board is both the case and the platform for the pedals. It's done 10+ years of rehearsals and gigs, I've had to replace the carpet in it twice already, as the dual-lock makes a mess of it eventually. Homemade may not be as lightweight, but lifespan will vary on construction method
  20. Primary

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