the riptide rhythm

Pedalboards



When starting out with pedals, the hardest thing to do is decide what kind of pedalboard you should get. I struggled with this and everyone does. You don’t know where to start or what to get. When you first start digging, you will come across Velcro, mounts, or zip ties. Velcro is the most common of the three. So, I will try to explain the cons of each then let you decide for yourself.

Velcro

Velcro is the most common of the three that you will see, as I said before. It is easy to set up and it is easy to remove pedals off of your board. This is the solution that you find with cheaper boards like Pedaltrain. It’s cheap and easy. Slap one long piece of Velcro on the rails of the board then cut smaller pieces for your pedals.

Cons

  1. Stock rubber feet on pedals.
    • You will need to remove these to use Velcro. Most major companies put them on but some will ship them separately, so it’s hit or miss.
  2. Adhesive
    • The minute that you slap Velcro on a pedal, you decrease the value. You can attempt to remove the gunk after you remove the strip but it is very noticeable. Goo Gone is your friend.
  3. Security
    • Almost every time, I can shake someone’s board and a pedal will fall off the Velcro. This is a concern if you travel with your board. It can damage pedals if you drop the case. It is easier for people to steal your pedals. You have to consider most of those boxes on your board are $150 or more, on average.

Mounts

I discovered Temple Boards and if I was touring long distances, this is probably the solution that I would go with. You stick a metal plate to your pedal that has a screw hole. The pedalboard has holes on it. You align the mount to the hole and fasten it down with a turn screw. It uses an adhesive like Velcro so it will have the same problems as Velcro. It claims that it doesn’t, but I don’t ever believe that. These boards have a side module system that is an extra cost but is really cool. You can put your inputs and outputs on the side so you never have to plug into a pedal, which is really nice.

Cons

  1. Mounts
    • The pro about this board is also its con. You have to purchase mounts separately each time that you get a pedal. They run between $2-3 a pop but if you have 16 pedals like I do, that’s $58. It’s not cheap because of the extra cost on top of the board.
  2. Adhesive
    • Same as Velcro.

Zip ties

What? Zip ties? I had the same reaction when I came across Chemistry Design Werks Holeyboard. The board has a bunch of pre-drilled holes in it and is a two-tier board. It sits an inch off the ground. You align the pedals between two holes the zip tie it to the board, clipping off the extra bit so you don’t see it as much. This removes the adhesive problem from pedals, no need to remove rubber feet from pedals or add anything to them. Real estate is always a problem with boards but pedals with top mounted jacks are the best for this board.

Cons

  1. Lack of Rubber Feet on pedals
    • This is an easy fix, but some brands do not send rubber feet at all which causes the pedals to slide. For this system, rubber feet are essential. Luckily, they are cheap from Amazon. You can remove the feet without leaving gunk marks.
  2. Alignment
    • Sometimes larger pedals fit awkwardly between the holes, so it takes some fidgeting and finagling to get it to work. 1590b pedals are best for this board.

Final Thoughts

Well, the most common solution is Velcro. In my opinion, that Velcro is the worst one of the three. If you are touring heavily, then I recommend going with mounts. But if you are just playing local gigs and at home, then I would seriously recommend giving the Holeyboard a look. It is cheap for the size of the board and you can buy 100 zip ties for $10. It allows you to resell pedals for a higher value.

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