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Alder and Ash | NUX | Pedaltrain | Ruach | Scmidth Array | Talon286

We’ve all fallen into this trap, spending hours, days, and weeks “working” on our pedalboard instead of practicing or developing the old repertoire.

A student once said to me, “I know I should practice all this stuff, but I just love gear.” He went on to work in a music shop before becoming one of the main reps for Roland/Boss. To be fair to him, he seems very fulfilled!

It is very appealing to fiddle with pedals, so with that in mind, let me give you some guidance. If nothing else, you’ll avoid practicing for a little longer!


pedaltrain logo

This is the classic. Pedaltrain comes in various sizes, and you can mount (some) power supplies underneath. There are add-ons like risers, etc.

They also make a power supply called Volto, which is rechargeable. This feels risky to me. For a bag, you can have a soft case or a hard case.

I’ve had at least 5 of these, and the only problem is that as soon as you’ve got it right, you’ll realize you have to have this other pedal, and a rebuild is not enough; you must now have a different size. Alternatively, you can have two smaller boards. Perhaps one for the effects loop, one for pedals going in front.

This is kind of what I ended up doing. I have one for electric, a second for acoustic, and a third for stereo effects. This way I can combine boards. This concept won’t last long though; it’s all about building a new perfect board!

My main criticism of Pedaltrain is that it feels very expensive for what you’re getting, and also, they don’t do a tiered version. I struggle to fit my favoured power supplies underneath.

These are their best models and sizes:

  • Metro 16 – 16” x 8” (anything smaller is pointless)
  • Classic Jr – 18” x 12.5” (this is probably the best one)
  • Novo 18 – 18” x 14” (same as Jr with one more rail if you have a switcher)

NUX Bumblebee

NUX bumblebee

Relatively new to the market is the NUX Bumblebee which comes in three sizes with a soft case.

All models are tiered and flat, instead of Pedaltrain’s angled design.

Essentially, the product is the sides (yellow), with different lengths for the slats which are plastic so all are very lightweight.

The tiered design means you can get the power supplies out of the way; only a soft case comes with this product.

All three models make sense in the lineup, it’s just down to how deep and how many pedals you have.

NUX Bumblebee models and dimensions:

  • Small 12” x 9.5”
  • Medium 17.5” x 9.5”
  • Large 17.5” x 12.5”



A genius variation on the NUX design comes from eBayer Talon286. This guy hasn’t even bothered to put a brand name on his extremely clever, 3D-printed design.

It’s essentially the Bumblebee, without the rails. The sides are designed to fit your standard wood slat, meaning, you can design the width yourself.

What’s so great here is that after you’ve built your perfect board, two weeks have passed and you have come to realize how you simply must add another pedal; you can just go back to the woodshop and buy longer slats – genius!

Talon286 provides different sizes for the sides, tiered or not.

  • 10” x 5” (tiered, depth and height, you decide length)
  • 15” x 4” (same shape as Pedaltrain)

Schmidt Array

Schmidt Array

For the pedalboard connoisseur with deep pockets, there’s the Schmidt Array to consider.

These are extremely expensive and are usually seen equipped with some kind of switcher, probably a Gigrig, as many pedals are intended to go below the lid, safely tucked away from prying eyes.

If the Chase Bliss Automatone’s programmable pedals with faders appeal to you, you’ll love this board.

The best models are:

  • SA450 (a Gigrig fits at the bottom)
  • SA750XDM (go big or go home!)

Wood Designs

Alder and Ash pedal board

In the craftsmanship category, several woodworkers are offering essentially the same concept: beautiful wood sides with space below for power supplies.

Many of these come with a suitcase design that acts as a lid for transport.

Check out these two brands if you want a woodie with a suitcase.

I wish you good luck in your search for the perfect pedalboard. Remember, it’s about the journey; the goal will keep moving!

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