Eight of the best pedalboard problem solvers
From smart routing devices to cable management systems, these are the essential bits of kit you need to build a pro pedalboard.
Whether you’re a pedal aficionado whose rig looks like a fighter jet cockpit was disassembled on stage, or you keep things simple with an overdrive, a tuner and a wah, there’s a whole host of innovative problem-solving gadgets for your pedalboard. Let’s take a look at some of the best problem-solvers for your rig.
EarthQuaker Devices Swiss Things
EarthQuaker Devices’ Swiss Things combines together a set of pedalboard accessories into one enclosure. It’s simultaneously an ABY box, a true-bypass looper and a clean boost. This means you can run a stereo rig without any ground loops or phase issues, and turn on multiple effects with a single button press. It also lets you use any expression pedal as a volume pedal, and has a dedicated tuner out, Slotted into the right setup, the Swiss Things can really tidy up a pedalboard.
Lists for £249. Read our full review of the EQD Swiss Things. Find out more at earthquakerdevices.com.
Mono Pedalboard Accessories Kit
There’s nothing worse than laying out your many boutique delay pedals onto your Instagram-ready, only to have the whole thing ruined by cables snaking all over it. This handy set of cable organisation gear pairs with any Mono pedalboard. The included tracks allow for neat cable management, and the sturdy cable ties included will keep everything under wraps.
Lists for $29.99 Find out more at monocreators.com.
Old Blood Noise Endeavours Signal Blender
Old Blood Noise Endeavours‘ signal blender is a versatile box indeed. Want to send your input to three different places? No problem. What about combining three signals, or setting up wet/dry sounds? Also no problem.
The Signal Blender gives you two send/return loops, as well as a main output. It lets you consolidate three separate inputs into one, or blend in different effects to taste. You could also use it like a traditional looper, using the footswitches to engage or disengage different effects.
Lists for $129. Find out more at oldbloodnoise.com.
Pedalboard input jacks
These come in a range of configurations, from sleek Telecaster-style jacks to more industrial-looking locking jacks. Installing them is really only an option if you’re putting together a fully DIY ‘board – but if you are, there’s a lot of benefits to wiring in jacks like these.
Inputs, outputs as well as effects loop send and returns can all come out of the same spot on the ‘board, as opposed to four different places – so you can bundle everything together, as opposed to having cable clutter all over the stage. Setup and teardown are made quicker as well, and if you like to get weird with your pedal order you can start your signal chain from anywhere on your ‘board.
These particular input jacks shown are from West Coast Pedalboard, and come in a variety of sleek colours.
Lists for $7. Find out more at westcoastpedalboard.com.
TheGigRig‘s QuarterMaster comes in a plethora of different lengths, starting with just two loops and expanding all the way up to ten. For a truly monolithic ‘board, the Quarter Master could save you money on tap-dancing lessons by reconciling the whole thing into a simple row of footswitches. Alternatively, if you just want the true-bypass benefit, or want to turn on a whole series of effects at once – grab yourself the smaller version.
Starts at £139 for the two-loop configuration. for Find out more at thegigrig.com.
Ernie Ball VP JR Tuner
As your friend told you after you dragged them to your gig last week, tuners are pretty essential. But they’re not very exciting. After all, you’ve freed up a slot on your ‘board for something you leave off 99 per cent of the time. That’s where the VP JR Tuner from Ernie Ball comes in – it’s a volume pedal with an in-built tuner. If you use your volume pedal on the floor, not your pedalboard, this could free up a slot for another pedal – but in any case, it offers more functionality than a regular tuning pedal.
Lists for $199. Find out more at ernieball.com.
Perhaps you’ve gone to all the trouble of putting together the perfect ‘board, but it never sounds quite right with the venue’s house amp. Or perhaps your pedal rig is so back-breakingly massive you don’t want to also bring an amp head to gigs. The EHX 5MM is a power-amp that fits right on your ‘board, so if your core sound is from your pedals, you can keep everything in one place and easily run your rig straight into a cabinet.
Lists for $63. Find out more at ehx.com.
Boredbrain Patchulator 8000
This little octagonal unit from Boredbrain turns your whole pedalboard into patchable modules, by means of eight distinct send-return loops. Each of these feeds into two eighth-inch jacks on the top of the unit, so you can switch pedal order or even set up multiple signal paths on the fly. Perhaps this only counts as a problem-solver if you find yourself constantly experimenting with pedal order – but it is a useful little accessory that’s also a neat creative tool.
Lists for $120. Find out more at boredbrainmusic.com.
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