7 Custom Pedalboard Builders You Should Know About

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  • Are standard pedalboards not cutting it for you?
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Long gone are the days of showing up to your gig with a bag full of pedals, cables, picks, and strings, all mushed together into a recipe for disaster. With a pedalboard, you can truly show up, dial in your sound, and be ready for your gig or studio session.

Additionally, these custom pedalboard builders offer unique solutions for each musician. After all, no two setups are identical, and everyone has very specific needs and preferences. Without further ado, here are our candidates for the 7 best custom pedalboard builders you should know about.

  • NYC Pedalboards
  • Pedal Pad
  • Pedaltrain
  • Pumaboards
  • Trailer Trash Pedalboards
  • West Coast Pedal Board
  • Custom Pedal Boards

7 Boutique/Custom Pedalboard Companies

1. NYC Pedalboards

NYC Pedalboards was founded by Mike Rustin out of sheer necessity. Rustin played bass in a band in New York, and the guitar player in his band had tons of pedals but no pedalboard.

Setting up and breaking down was a time-consuming affair, and when Rustin and his guitarist set out to buy a pedalboard to accommodate the pedals, they quickly found out that none existed to appropriately accommodate his pedals.

Rustin decided to solve the problem regardless, and built his friend the very first NYC Pedalboards board.

NYC Cases - Custom Pedalboards & Rack Cases

NYC Pedalboards has a reputation for clean, efficient design and full-on customization. As a gigging musician in New York City, owner/builder Mike Ruskin realized the importance of making the most out of a small stage and keeping pedals safe on the road.

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Features

  • Practicality and affordability
  • Pedalboards built to the customers’ exact specifications
  • Unique costumer-to-builder communication
  • Lifetime warranty

Overview

After building a pedalboard to fit his friend’s pedals, Rustin realized that he had created something that the New York City gigging musicians could use: custom-made pedalboards that would let them set up and break down quickly, keep their pedals protected, and use space wisely.

From that moment, Rustin started a website offering these very pedalboards and his business took off from there.

NYC Pedalboards keeps innovating and now offers its clients the possibility of having a pop angle alternative for their pedalboards. With this option, the pedalboard surface is hinged in the front and has hinged foldout support below in the back so the board can be flat or angled.

The advantage to this design is that it can be angled for shows and then laid flat when you close the lid – which means that the overall case height does not need to be increased to accommodate the angle.

The main materials used by NYC Pedalboards are high-quality birch plywood, case carpet, steel hardware, rubber feet, and genuine Velcro brand loop material.

2. Pedal Pad

Before starting Pedal Pad, Mike Stratton used to play guitar in a band. He would show up to the gig’s soundcheck with a duffle bag full of pedals to then set them on stage, plug them in and start tweaking.

This whole process took him over twenty minutes and proved to be cumbersome every single time. Finally, he had enough and decided to take matters into his own hands, literally, and created Pedal Pad.

Custom Pedal Boards by Pedal Pad, The Players Choice™ - Pedal Pad™ Custom Pedal Boards

When Michael Stratton, the designer of Pedal Pad, was looking to buy a board in 2000, he wanted something fast, easy, and durable. Twenty years later, Pedal Pad is still the only pedal board that offers this capability. 

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Features

  • Two-tier designs
  • Adjustable panel design to fit different size pedals
  • Comes with power supply
  • Baltic birch wood for the central support beam

Overview

Some of the noted users of Pedal Pad include Dweezil Zappa, George Lynch, and Victor Wooten. Pedal Pad’s first designs were pretty simple, featuring a compartment underneath for concealing the excess cables as well as other undesirable items that just got in the way of the pedals. Mike was constantly trying new pedals and setups, so he set out to build a pedalboard that could also be changed.

Pedal Pad’s two-tier design is an important feature, as it helps you avoid kicking the knobs off the front row when trying to step on the back row of pedals. Having a stair-step design is a clever way of solving this problem.

For accommodating larger pedals like wah or volume, Pedal Pad created an adjustable panel design that allows any section of the front row to be either flat (for smaller pedals) or raised (to accommodate longer pedals).

Apart from the adjustable design, the company has scaled down the height of the pedalboard.

Pedal Pad’s pedalboards come with power supplies like the Power Pad II and Power Pad Pro, which have eight isolated outputs via a transformer with multiple secondaries.

All of the outputs can run either 9 or 12 volts and have protection features built into each output.

Pedal Pad’s materials include 9-ply, void-free, ½” Baltic Birch for the rim and ¼” for the top and bottom. They roll the entire case with adhesive and cover it with the standard Ozite-style carpet, which is common with speaker cabinets.

Pedal Pad uses charcoal color, Baltic Birch for the center support beam, which is sanded and painted then fastened into the pedalboard case. Panels, power supply, patch bay, and accessories are added and then boxed up. The aluminum panels and power supplies are produced in Asia.

3. Pedaltrain

Pedaltrain features eight models that are widely available in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, it was founded by former guitar tech John Chandler.

Just like many others on this list, Chandler started his company out of frustration with the lack of solutions available for guitarists who need something different.

Pedaltrain

Since Pedaltrain’s founding in 1999, and the humble beginnings of a one-man start-up, Pedaltrain has grown into a global brand and the category leader in their space.

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Features

  • Compatible with Voodoo Lab Pedal Power
  • Small and efficient
  • Can fit nearly any set of pedal configurations in one of their boards
  • Simple construction

Overview

After many years of research and development, Pedaltrain went into mass production with the goal of providing musicians with pedalboards that are effective, easy to reconfigure, and be extremely durable.

Pedaltrain has become particularly popular among guitarists in the Christian music industry, like Mark Townsend and Barry Graul.

Pedaltrain boards are made by welding together specifically shaped hollow aluminum tubing. Founder John Chandler takes special pride in this simple-as-it-gets construction that produces highly durable and practical pedalboards.

Customers love this simple approach and the main change that Pedaltrain has incorporated is to make all their models more compatible with the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power, which has become an industry standard.

Pedaltrain boards do not come with a power supply. John Chandler’s best recommendations for which power supply is the best is based on exactly what pedals you need to power, what their individual requirements are, and what country you’re in. Naturally, these variables are nearly endless, but Pedaltrain will no doubt know exactly what you need if you ask.

4. Pumaboards

Kevin “Pumaman” Perkins was inspired to do something special after meeting Ron Thorn, a renowned custom guitar builder in Glendale, Ca.

Thorn’s enthusiasm for guitars and his appreciation for his customers caused a lasting impression on Perkins and were the driving force for the start of Pumaboards.

Perkins started developing a pedalboard for himself and, after a few months of research and development, he founded Pumaboards in Oregon.

Features

  • Visually striking designs
  • Durable
  • Costumers can pick custom looks
  • Materials used include clear ¾” Pine for the frame, 5/8” Ply top, various Tolexes and vinyls

Overview

Pumaboards’ basic design has remained consistent through the years, with the mission of providing musicians with a solution for transporting and arranging their pedals.

Their basic design consists of a wedge shape with room underneath for wiring and power supplies. The customer then picks which size they want and can add power sockets and quarter-inch jacks to their needs.

However, beyond the basic function of a pedalboard, Pumaboards also wanted to provide their customers with something that looks great.

The thought of Tolexing boards to match the look that amps often have, sounded like a good idea to its founder and it didn’t take long before Perkins was adding stripes and other elements to spice up the pedalboard’s visual element.

Pumaboards also offers the option of a two-piece slotted top. This allows you to have multiple spaces in between pedals to bring cables up through without being bugged by the grommet.

Pumaboards also give customers complete control over the size of the pedalboard they want. In other words, this company can build any size of pedalboard that you specify to fit your pedals precisely.

On top of that, Pumaboards can cover the board with just about anything, to give each customer the exact look they want.

5. Trailer Trash Pedalboards

You might wonder “why such a peculiar name for a pedalboard company?”. Well, there is a sad story turned positive behind it. Trailer Trash Pedalboards‘ founder James “Rooster” Olson used to be a professional guitar player in Nashville.

One day, he arrived at his home to find it burglarized, where over 25 K dollars worth of guitars and guitar gear was stolen. The main robber lived in a trailer park nearby, and even though he was caught, the State of Tennessee did not award Olson any restitution money.

Olsen decided to turn this into something positive and created Trailer Trash Pedalboards.

Trailer Trash Pedalboards

Trailer Trash Pedalboards represent the evolution of the pedalboard. For years, they have been building custom boards for the world's most demanding musicians. Through innovative features and unrivaled quality, they have transformed the pedalboard from a simple necessity to an art form. 

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Features

  • Unique, eye-catching designs
  • Comes with custom installed power supply
  • Based in Arvada, Colorado
  • Glow-Tops illuminates pedalboard from below

Overview

Trailer Trash Pedalboards are used by guitarists of Rascal Flatts, George Thorogood, Steve Stevens, and others.

It was also the pedalboard featured in the hit reality TV series Rock Star INXS and Rock Star Super Nova. Trailer Trash was the first pedalboard company to upholster & match the look of several famous amplifiers.

This company did the entire Fender line, Marshall, Bonner, and others. This unique approach to the looks of their pedalboards made them known at the NAMM convention in 2005.

Word spread and Trailer Trash Pedalboards started exporting worldwide while adding several different paint options to satisfy their clients’ demands. Today, they offer six sizes, six colors, three top options, and two case options for you to mix and match at will.

Trailer Trash Pedalboards custom-installs different power supplies depending on the board at hand. Additionally, Trailer Trash helped start the trend of builders changing their design to be able to install power supplies under their boards. Ultimately, this is a great success story born out of a shocking event.

6. West Coast Pedal Board

This company based in Sonoma, California offers a great variety of pedalboards for all needs and preferences.

You can truly mix-and-match and even take a do-it-yourself approach when putting together your ideal board with West Coast Pedalboard.

Customers can custom-order on their website and in case you need a board quickly, you can just pick one of the several models they have in stock and have it shipped to you within 48 hours.

West Coast Pedal Board

With an absolute love for many genres of music, electronics, and the ability to manipulate materials into functional art and useful tone tools, West Coast Pedal Board are proud to present a full line of guitar and bass pedalboards, cases, and accessories.

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Features

  • Free shipping within the U.S.
  • Hardwood, tweed, Tolex and flat standard pedalboards
  • Full customization options
  • Great variety of finishing accessories and supplies available

Overview

West Coast Pedal Board started operation in 2012, and they take special pride in hand building all of their products. These products include various styles of boards, cases, and pedalboard accessories for all levels of players, for any style and preference.

One of the great aspects of West Coast Pedal Board is all the variety that their custom shop offers, with very customizable options that allow you to execute your vision for your pedalboard but have an expert builder take care of it and guide you along the way.

Their Standard Line allows customers quick and easy access to West Coast Pedal Board’s most popular features with just a few clicks on their site, offering handmade, boutique-quality gear for everyone.

7. Custom Pedal Boards

Custom Pedal Boards is a North Wales-based company that works directly with musicians to tailor each and every board to the client’s needs and budget.

Whether you want something lightweight for easier load-ins or something very tough for touring, this company is committed to delivering. Custom Pedal Boards also offers direct communication with the client to advise about every function of the system, helping them get the best results possible.

Some of the artists that use Custom Pedal Boards include Mike Moore (Liam Gallagher), Ted Dwane (Mumford and Sons), Phil Short (Westlife), and Phil Edger (Sinead O’Connor).

Custom Pedal Boards

SImply passionate about pedalboards, whether it’s power supplies, patch or instrument cables, flight cases, or boards, Custom Pedal Boards build pro tour gear at affordable prices.

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Features

  • Highly customizable pedalboards
  • Everything from cabling, to power and loop switchers available
  • Outstanding client-builder communication
  • Focus on comfortable, functional, and reliable products

Overview

Custom Pedal Boards offers a one-stop solution for all kinds of musicians that need help with their pedal setups. They provide boards with or without power supplies, patch and instrument cables, flight cases, and more at an affordable price.

Custom Pedal Boards even has their very own line of custom-built guitar pedals, most of them in a mini type form factor that will occupy very little space on a pedalboard. Clever!

This company is also the official pedalboard manufacturer for RJM, Music Lab, The Gig Rig, and BOSS. Custom Pedal Boards has established four pillars as the basis for what they offer: Transportation, ergonomics, functionality, and reliability.

With the exception of reliability, the other three are highly customizable for the needs of the client, whether it be playing at home or touring under rough conditions. Overall, this is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to take their pedal game to another level.

(Power amp pedals are here to give your cabs enough juice to rock out with no amp required. If you’re after some serious power in a single pedal, then head on over to our roundup of the 7 Best Power Amp Pedals On The Market)