Am I missing something about pedal boards???

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Medic162, Nov 13, 2005.


  1. Medic162

    Medic162 Member

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    Since I've been lurking here a lot, and posting here a little, I've spent countless hours reading about and looking at all the various pedal boards everyone has/had/wants etc. I pose a question...
    There are a tremendous amount of "pre-made" boards available today. You can literally spend hour upon hour surfing the net and checking out the latest and greatest. As I'm finally at the stage of putting all my trash onto a board, I've worn myself out looking at all the possibilities:eek:
    I'm leaning towards building my own. I "think" I've seen just about everything out there by now, and I just can't justify 100 to 500 bucks for something that you can build for material cost. What are your opinions of building your own? Here is my strongest reason. I know how well built it's going to be. It kinda blows me away that a piece of wood, covered in material with a trim of aluminum c-channel and a couple of handles can go for $200 plus. If I'm missing the boat on something here, please educate me. Someone give me the pros and cons based on your experiences. Thanks!
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Nope, you are not missing a thing. For just a board, you are on the right path. To buy a premade board is simply being expedient.

    Personally, I use the Furman powered board; which comes with a power supply, outlets and a padded carrying bag.
     
  3. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    I had around $3K in a pedalboard about six years back. Anvil road case, Internet buzz du jour pedal selection, etc.

    My pedalboard now is an unpainted slab of plywood, and I have a much smaller collection of pedals.

    Works just as well.
     
  4. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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  5. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    I own a MKS Pedalpad and love it, but despite that, I do think the best pedalboards out there are home made. So no I dont think your missing anything Medic162. The advantage of making your own is you know exactly what you want and it's not that hard to do once you figure out exactly what you want and need. You can make your dream pedalboard for probably 1/3 of what you can pay for one. If I had the tools and time I would make my own as well. The only advantage of buying one (as Scott pointed out) is time.
     
  6. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Sure, making a board is easy, I used my own homemade board for years. But, making one with a lid/cover that latches on to protect your pedals is tougher.....I use a board from www.nycpedalboards.com and am very happy with them, quick setup and solid protection for my expensive peds...
     
  7. gitpicker

    gitpicker Member

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    There are cases out there (if you look) that are relatively cheap. I contacted Pedal Train and they had a few cases laying around for their original board and sold me a pair for $45 each - plus they threw in some nice stickers and a pair of heavier duty handles. (thanks guys!) Making a pedal board is easy, but making a case for it is more involved. It cost me about $20 to make a board that fits into one of the cases. There are several companies that make CD cases for DJ's that are cheap and big enough for a nice sized pedalboard and won't break the bank.
     
  8. loopjunkie

    loopjunkie Member

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    My drummer made my pedal board and it is truly first rate. I think beter then i could buy! atleast for me. (italso has an anvil type lid; you can buy the ends and the side peices and everything you need)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    That is a truly beautiful pedal board. You'r lucky to know a guy that can do such nice work.

    There's the crux of it all. To the originator of this thread, I have also read others accounts of this, and generally (with exceptions of REALLY handy carpenter types, with lots of tools, and experience and raw materials) unless you are going the "I just need a flat board and some paint" route, it will end up costing you more than at least the low to medium priced pedal boards to DIY.

    You will also spend a LOT more time on trying to figure out all the small details, how to power it, where the power will go, routing, what size, do I want it in a case so it is protected? How will it attach? how will I attach the pedals (velcro or screws, or rusty nails?) how can I make it so it is flexible, or do I want a fixed pedalboard...so if I upgrade a pedal I might have to do a lot of extra work...etc.

    I had the simple idea....using a shoe rack from Ikea that is angled..cutting it down a little I thought "man...after just cutting it the right size I'm almost done"....

    It was flimsy (since it is somewhat thin aluminum, angled) and it flexed too much, so I had to buy a rivet tool and rivets, and some metal strips to strengthen it...then some L brackets to make it support the weight. Oh yeah...a "worktool" aluminum attache case I had to buy for carrying the pedal around...protected. I had to gut the thing and had to buy foam for cushioning it.

    Had to buy paint, but it turns out the aluminum is coated, so I had to buy some more. While at the hardware store, I ended up buying a ton of screws...I probably won't need this time, but next time.

    Gonna mount the power supply on the underside...I had to buy a large hole drill (the kind that has "steps" so you can drill many size holes with the same) for routing of cables...because even though the "shoe rack" had holes for letting snow and water drain out and they were big enough...turns out they weren't in the right place. While there I bought a tap & die set, because I didn't have one, but I could see that there is a good chance I might need some threaded holes.

    Now I am on the net looking (and this will take weeks to get now) for right-angled 9Vdc connectors, and the RNC connectors on the other side...my pedalboard is compact, so I can't lose all that room that straight DC connectors require (ridiculous...you have to have the pedals like almost 4" from each other (from top of one to bottom of next) with straight DC power connectors in order not to have them bend and possibly short out.

    I have figured out a way to mount the power supply...now I gotta go buy more parts.

    Also, different pedals have different footprints, and so I can't have a one-strip like velcro thingy. I DID find some velcro-lilke thingy that is pretty cool...it doesn't have a "male-female" concept (hooks and loops) more like an interconnect thingy that means I don't have to think about which one to put on the board and which on the pedals (making sure ALL pedals get the correct kind)...

    My little, almost-done-before-I-even-started pedalboard....I simply do not want to calculate, even in just materials, the cost so far. Plus I am probably only halfway done.

    This thing is going to end up looking "okay", being functional, but limiting (the size is a compromise...forcing me to keep pedals from becoming too many)...and costing a fortune in materials and time.

    Of course, if I just did the "hunk of plywood" thing it would have been cheap. But I wanted it to have protection, I wanted it angled, I wanted the power out of the way.

    But, I could have bought a pro one, for 200 dollars or so (delivered here to Norway, that is reasonable, it's much cheaper for folks in the US) and it would have been painless.
     
  10. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey medic162,

    I've built my own pedalboards from plywood, cabinet handles, wood screws, rubber feet and spray paint to buying pre-fabricated pedalboards. I got tired of my plywood pedalboard splintering, the poor mounting surface for my MIDI controller and wah pedal and didn't like the weight.

    I currently use and own 2 Stompin' Ground pedalboards (40"x16" and a 48"x16") and an SKB PS-45 power conditioned pedalboards.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I like the high quality build, the velcro surface and lightweight design of the Stompin' Ground pedalboards. I only have a MIDI controller, wah pedal and a few pedals mounted on there for that setup. I can repostion all of my pedals and MIDI controller anywhere on the pedalboard. You can't do that with most pedalboards. I need to get a roadcase to transport it though.

    Now the SKB pedalboard is power conditioned, has 8 DC jack outputs, 3 AC jack inputs, a patchbay and a 9' AC cord. I have 8 pedals and buffer/power supply so the pedalboard needs to be strong and durable to be used as a pedalboard and be roadworthy. It has a nice hardshell polyethylene cover so it's protected when your gear is packed away.

    I find it fairly easy to build a nice custom pedalboard to house my effect pedals and MIDI controllers from pre-fabricated pedalboards. They're easy to mount pedals on, wire up and setup onstage. My SKB pedalboard is pre-wired now. I just hook up guitar to patchbay input and patchbay output to the amp. It's money that's well spent on a nice, functional, professional looking setup.

    Guitar George
     
  11. straticus

    straticus Member

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    That SKB board looks pretty nice. I like those patch cables too. Who makes those?

    Thanks, BC :)
     
  12. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey straticus,

    The pedalboard was wired together with leftover Boss and ProCo cables from a previous pedalboard.:eek: The angled patch cables with insulation around the plug was made by Star Audio cable company. I bought them at Aantone's Music in Newark,CA. I wanted to custom route the signal flow of certain pedals.

    Guitar George
     
  13. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    I have mostly built my own Pedalboards and racks etc. over the years. It is not that hard and can save you some money in the long run unless you can find used stuff.

    Building a PB with a cover is very easy, just build a box and cut it in half and add handles and hinges. You should be able to build your own for around $75 or less depending on what you use for handles, cover, wood,etc If you have materials already that is where you will save a bunch. If you have to buy everything then you probably won't save much.

    A big plus is that you can design it just for you and your gear. If you don't have the time or ambition then buy one but I personally enjoy building my own stuff.

    There are many pedalboards available for sale. Some are very expensive and others are about as cheap as you could build one for yourself.
     
  14. guitarz_dave

    guitarz_dave Member

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    I kept it simple while not spending a lot and yet getting max flexibility.

    What I did was use a rubber-coated metal wire shelf from the hardware store, cut it to size, then strap down the pedals with mini bungee chords. Then I used a Godlyke PA9 Powerall.

    This has allowed me to change the lineup whenever I wanted, and not spend a lot for the board. Yet, the board this way is light weight and very strong.
     
  15. straticus

    straticus Member

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    Thanks, I'm going to check into those patch cables.

    BC :)
     
  16. Medic162

    Medic162 Member

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    Thanks to you all for the great replies! I'm very fortunate that in my job as a paramedic/fireman, I work with a couple of guys that do some pretty hardcore woodworking on the side. They sometimes look at photos on here with me and have offered to help me build my dream board... that honestly, I wouldn't be able to do without their help(and woodshops!). I'll post a pic when it's complete. Blue Skies, Brian
     

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