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Shop our Pedal Board Buying Guide to find the ideal surface for your pedals!

Pedal Board Buying Guide

Over the decades, as guitarists added more and more effects pedals and overdrives to their arsenal, pedal boards went from being an optional organizational tool to a necessity. The size and structures of pedal boards have also evolved over time to suit contemporary musicians' needs. Today, you can choose from pedal boards the size of a shoebox to the size of a shipping pallet.

There are more size and feature options to choose from than ever before. But how do you know which is best for you? We're sorting through popular pedal board sizes and layouts to help you find the ideal surface for your pedals in this buying guide!
Small Pedal Boards
Small pedal boards typically run between 12 and 19 inches long, with a single row. If your rig consists of two to four standard-size pedals, this is the format for you. If you're using mini pedals, you can even squeeze a couple more on your board.

Small pedal boards are popular for being relatively lightweight and easy to transport, especially when flying or taking public transportation. They also take up minimal floor space on crowded stages or rooms. You can fit the essentials here -- think tuner, overdrive, distortion or fuzz and delay -- and get rocking!
Medium Pedal Boards
Medium pedal boards generally run about 20 inches long, and give you two rows to place pedals on. On boards like these, you can usually fit about 10 standard-sized pedals.

Medium-sized pedal boards really open up the options for your rig. For example, they have room for all the basics, plus your amp's footswitch (if it has one) or a power supply. Many pedal boards in this size have a designated space underneath where you can mount a common-sized power supply. Some assembly and modification might be required on your part. Medium pedal boards are great if you want to start branching out to incorporate more effects into your repertoire, and are still relatively lightweight and compact.
Large Pedal Boards
Large pedal boards run about 25 inches long and offer you at least two, if not three, rows to organize your effects. Boards of this size can typically fit about 12 standard-size pedals, with some room to spare for mini pedals or accessories. Large pedal boards also typically include dedicated spaces for power supplies and onboard I/O routing.

If you're looking to add spacier sounds to your repertoire that go beyond the basics, you should look at a large pedal boards. Likewise if you're into stacking overdrives, or having an arsenal of boosts, distortions and fuzzes on your palette. These boards can also accommodate loop switchers and other signal routing solutions.
Extra-Large Pedal Boards
Extra-large pedal boards are the biggest boards you can find. Boards in this category typically measure 34 inches or longer, and often have three rows of space to sort your pedals. Boards like these can fit 20 or more standard-sized pedals. Common features include I/O jacks and dedicated power supply spots underneath the board.

For those whose signal chain looks as complex as an airplane's control panel, an extra-large pedal board is the only way to go. You'll have ample room for loop switchers, multi-effects units, and larger footprint wah and volume pedals, putting the entire world of guitar tones at your feet.
Pedal Power Supplies
Some players still prefer 9V batteries to power their pedals, but if you're looking to invest in a board, you'll probably want a dedicated power supply. Power supplies are a lower-maintenance, cost-effective and eco-friendly solution compared to batteries.

When shopping for a power supply, the most important factors to consider are its number of outlets and whether each outlet is isolated or not. If a power supply does not feature isolated outputs, each output shares power from the same circuit, which can lead to unwanted noise in your signal chain, as well as power outages for your entire board, rather than one pedal going out at a time.

Also, consider the voltage of each outlet -- many power supplies contain a mix of 9V and 18V outlets, designed to feed different pedals, or to make overdrives behave in different ways. If you're unsure, you'll want to check your pedals' specifications to make sure they're compatible with the outlets provided by your power supply. Also important to note is the size of the power supply itself. If a supply can't fit under your board, you'll have to make room for it on the surface.
Pedal Accessories
Finally, to round out your board, you'll need a few key accessories. Chief among these is mounting tape, if your board doesn't already include it. A patchbay can add functionality to your board, but make sure it is compatible first! And last but not least, a few footswitch toppers can greatly enhance the playability of your pedals, and gain you some extra control over effects parameters.