Our round-up of compact pedalboards back in September proved that there’s plenty of competition, but that hasn’t stopped Smorg Pedalboards bringing a stylish new design to the fight. Smorg (aka Daniel Adams) hand-builds custom boards to order in the UK and its recently-introduced Grab range is structured around three standard sizes.
The Grab400 is 400mm wide; you can probably guess how much additional width the Grab500 and 600 models provide. All three units are available with or without Smorg’s own satchel-style gigbags and fixing pack and are 190mm deep, lightweight aluminium designs made with raw materials sourced from local suppliers.
Pedaltrain’s near industry-standard design provides the most obvious point of comparison, but Smorg’s boards are different, principally because effects pedals can be anchored to a flat surface, rather than rails. This offers greater stability under stomping feet, but thanks to a generous rear cut-out you can still route a power supply unit and cabling out of sight and harm’s way underneath.
Although the board comes pre-velcro’d with a useful surface area of 350x125mm, you can add more loop tape and go right to the edges if you need to. The proportions of the Grab400 cope with five Boss or MXR-sized pedals plus wiring, but the rear rail is wide enough to support micro pedals arranged sideways, so you can squeeze a lot of effects onto a small footprint here should the need arise.
Once you’ve attached your stompboxes, non-slip rubber feet ensure that the Grab400 isn’t going to slide around, while the rear feet (15mm larger than those at the front) create a pleasing angle for stage use that also allows power supply units of up to about 30mm in height to sit firmly affixed beneath without issues.
Smorg lists Diago’s Powerstation and Micropower9, TheGigRig’s Generator and the Cioks Adam and DC5 units among those that fit comfortably. We used a Pedaltrain Volto with no difficulties.
The cable ties and self-adhesive bases supplied in the fixing pack are by far the best way to organise your cabling underneath, while the padded gigbag’s oversized flap provides the capacity to accommodate heavily-loaded boards.
Those of you who have either perfected the `one journey from the car’ load-in or rely on public transport to get to gigs will note the absence of a shoulder strap on the case; this, plus an external pocket for cables and ephemera would have made the whole package nigh-on perfect.
Though web forums bristle with all-singing, all-dancing multi-tier boards wired up using clever switching devices and independent loops, the overwhelming majority of gigging guitarists can take care of business with a low-to-medium-power amp and four or five stompboxes. If that sounds like you, the Grab400 is an excellent choice, but if you do need something bigger, Smorg can build that too.
Smorg Pedalboards Grab400
• Price £69.99 + P&P (inc softcase and ‘fixing pack’ containing 700mm of hook velcro, cable ties and cable tie bases) or £39.99 + P&P for board only
• Description Lightweight aluminium pedalboard with loop velcro surface. Made in the UK
• Dimensions 400 (w) x 190 (d) x 50mm (h)
• Contact Smorg Pedalboards 07971 926898