Pedaltrain pedal boards are noted as some of the best on the market for their quality. When you make the decision to buy a pedal board, you enter into the next level of playing as a guitarist or bassist. They offer products in a wide variety of prices, making them accessible to most guitar or bass players, no matter what’s the size of their rig.
When Pedaltrain launched in 1999, it started as a one-man show. This made their products on the more expensive side. Today Pedaltrain is a very successful global brand, and their prices are well within the normal boundaries and might be even slightly cheaper than they should.
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What is a Pedal Board?
A guitar effects pedal board is in its simplest form just a platform that effect pedals can go on. Many, however, include velcro that can keep pedals in your effects chain in place even when traveling. There are some pedal boards that also include power sources for your pedals, which is very popular, built right into the board. Others, like the PedalTrains, do not. Although there are a few power supply units you can buy that will fit Pedaltrain’s designs.
What does Pedaltrain Have to Offer?
Pedaltrain is a master of pedal board craftsmanship. So when you go with them you know that you are choosing quality. Each board comes with a free professional aluminum travel case that the board fits inside of. This travel case is absolutely well made and perfect for carrying onto airplanes or wherever else you may be going. The board itself is designed as an elevated slant instead of a flat surface. Making sure that pedals can be aligned on two different levels and easily reached.
Pedaltrain Models Rundown
If you went to their site, you might’ve found yourself a bit confused. Both by the huge variety of what is essentially the exact same thing, and because for some reason, not all of their models appear under ‘models’.
A big part of this mess can be solved by having the hard/soft/tour case as an option instead of having 3 different products, which is what I’m going to try to do here.
Each of these comes with either a soft, hard, or a tour case, a lifetime warranty on both the workmanship and material, and different amounts of Hook-and-Loop, which is also sold separately for a price a lot higher than it should’ve been sold for.
Pedaltrain Nano Series
The Nano series is Pedaltrain’s entry-level collection, and it includes 3 models. Each comes with a soft case (plus an additional case strap), some zip ties, and Hook-and-Loops.
The smallest pedalboard Pedaltrain makes. It is just 14″ wide, and is enough for roughly 4 pedals, maybe 5 if enough of them are top mounted.
Check out Nano on Amazon
Nano+ (Nano Plus)
Nano plus has an added 4″ of rail space on top of the 14″ you got with Nano, making it 18″ wide. It’s enough for about 6 average pedals and enough breathing room, so the cables won’t bend too much. It costs roughly as the Nano, just with an additional 4″, making it a no-brainer decision if you’re deciding between these two.
Check out Nano+ on Amazon
Nano Max is 24″ wide, which sounds like a lot compared to Nano and Nano Plus, but it only has 1 row of pedals, which is something you should take into account. I, for example, don’t mind having two or three rows of pedals, but I know some players prefer just one. Nano Max has enough room for about 8-9 normal-sized pedals.
Check out Nano Max on Amazon
Pedaltrain Metro Series
The Metro series is where things start to get more serious in terms of space for bigger pedals, such as Wahs. They added another rail on top of the two they had on the Nano series, making it 8″ long. This is, also, the first model that has an option for a hard case or a tour case.
Metro 16 gives a surface of 16″ X 8″ and is available with soft case, hard case, and tour case.
With an additional 4″ to its width, Metro 20 is 25% bigger than Merto 16. It is also available in soft, hard or tour cases.
At 24″ wide, this is the biggest model of the Metro series. Just as Metro 16 and 20, Metro 24 is also available in soft case, as well as hard and tour case.
Pedaltrain Novo Series
The Novo series takes it to another level, by having an incline that reaches a height of 3.5″, increasing the number of rails to 5, and the length to 14.5″
The Novo 18 is 18″ wide and 14.5″ long. I think that it will fit most players while being comfortable and accessible enough to you won’t need to reach too far.
If Novo 18 wasn’t big enough for you, this is the one you should consider before any other board. Being 33% bigger than Novo 18, it will most likely suit your needs.
A bigger version of Novo 24. These additional 8″ will allow you to have probably as many pedals as you need. And knowing that the price difference is just $20 (for the soft case versions) makes it an easy decision if that’s the size you really need. This is also the only board in the Novo series that comes with an optional wheeled tour case.
Check out Novo 32 on Amazon
Pedaltrain Classic Series
No rundown of Pedaltrain’s line is complete without the Classic series. It is a hot mess, though. The reason for this series being so messy is that Pedaltrain is paying respect to their early models by reissuing them and using them as a base for their new designs. I find that admirable and I wish more companies paid that much respect to their early days.
So essentially, the Classic series is a collection of 3 sub-series: JR, Pro, and Classic. I’ll do my best to simplify this all-over-the-place series for the slight chance that none of the boards from any of their other series suit you.
A reissue of Pedaltrain’s first model: PT-1. Classic 1 is 22″ wide, 12.5″ long, and 3.5″ high.
With just 2″ extra, this is, essentially, the same board as the Classic 1, with more room for cables. It cost just $10 extra (for the soft case versions), so if you’re trying to decide between the Classic 1 and 2, might as well go with this one.
This is the reissue of Pedaltrain’s best seller from their early days. It’s not the board that started it all, but is more likely the board that got them as far as they got. 24″ wide, 16″ long, and 3.5″ high, with 5 rails and enough room for a power supply, what else can you ask for?
Check out Classic 3 on Amazon
Based on one of their early models (PD-JR), this board comes at 18″ * 12.5″ and 3.5″ high.
A 10″ wider version of the Classic JR. 28″ * 12.5″ * 3.5″.
Check out JR Max on Amazon
The Pro model is 32″ wide and 16″ long, and it’s 3.5″ high.
The Pro FX is just a nor-risen version of the Classic Pro model above. The exact same size, just without the additional height.
Check out Pro FX on Amazon
Pedaltrain Terra Series
Terra is the top series in the entire Pedaltrain collection, and it contains only one model.
As the biggest pedal board in their line, Terra 42 is an astonishing 42″ wide, and as long as Novo, at 14.5″. In a way, they could’ve just called it Novo 42, but this size of a pedalboard deserves its own series.
So Which Pedaltrain Should I Get?
With such a wide collection, with no reference other than their size in inches and a few images with pedals, it’s very hard to mentally place your rig on top of any of these pedal boards. For that reason, they came up with quite a clever website that lets you place the pedals you own on any of the boards they offer. Just make sure to leave enough room for cables and an additional 1-2 pedals you might need down the line.
What Makes Pedaltrain Pedalboards So Special?
Pedaltrain’s pedal boards are made of high-quality steel. Each kit comes with some velcro so that you can cover the board as well as the backs of your effects. Plastic ties for securing your pedals are also included. Pedaltrain boards also include a design to mount a power source (that’s sold separately) to the bottom of the board, giving you more room for other effects. The bags each come in are very high quality, and even though it’s a matter of taste, they look great, too.
My Personal Impression of Pedaltrain
Pedalboards often don’t get to be in the spotlight, but that’s not the case with Pedaltrain, and here are my reasons:
- No other pedal board is as reliable as this one. I’ve had mine for more than 10 years, and it’s still as good as new. I know players that have had theirs since the mid-00s, and they’re still holding to this day.
- They didn’t lower their standard when they started manufacturing boards at a higher volume.
- They cost just as much as other pedal boards in the market, for the highest quality you can get.
- A lifetime warranty ensures that the pedal board you buy is the last one you’ll ever need.
Conclusion and Finishing Thoughts
Pedaltrain used to charge an arm and a leg for what was essentially just some well-designed pieces of steel welded together. They came a long way since they started, and as they became more efficient in making them, the boards’ prices went down. So the con here is just that they’re not the cheapest, even though they are very far from being the most expensive, too.
There aren’t too many cons that apply to the entire collection. Some may be the extremely high prices of Hook-and-Loops, which can be bought for a lot cheaper on amazon. Or the lack of complimentary pedal raisers (even in their top models). But in all honesty, this is just how this market works.
Still, these products are very well-made and can be used for the rest of your guitar-playing days. If you gig, have a lot of effects, and want a way to haul them around easily, then one of these pedal boards will probably be a good fit for you.