What are guitar pedal cases?

If you've spent any time researching guitar pedal cases and pedal boards, you have already realized there are quite a few options available. There are so many styles, features, and prices it can seem overwhelming. But one thing you know for sure, is that you want to protect the guitar pedals you've invested in. Acquiring even a small number of quality guitar effects can cost in excess of one thousand dollars, so spending a few hundred dollars protecting your investment makes perfect sense.

Features of quality guitar effects pedal boards:

There are a few things you want to decide before shopping for guitar pedal cases as they will narrow down your search:

Price: Of course, you must decide what your price range is for a guitar effects pedal board. Prices can range from as little as $30 dollars to over $300 for manufactured pedal boards and can cost even more if you order a custom flight case. Before looking at any pedal boards, figure out your spending limit and stick to it.

Size: The biggest difference between most pedal boards is their size. Of course, the size of board you get will be determined by the number and size of your effects pedals. Don't let the advertised number of pedals a board holds fool you. Often times, pedal board manufactures will use the smallest guitar effects pedals, like the MXR Phase 90 or the Boss RV-5 as a metric to make them seem larger than they are. The best way to pick the right sized pedal board is to lay out your exact pedals and measure how much room you'll need.

Bonus Tip: Be sure to buy a pedal board with a little extra room. Ideally you should be able to add 1 or 2 pedals comfortably.

Features: There are a number of cool features built into many of the more expensive pedal boards. The two most popular are built in power supplies, and built in patch bays. Rather than try to fit several wall wart power supplies somewhere on your pedal board, most higher end boards have surge protection and power supplies built right in. The result is not only cleaner power, but also less clutter. Patch bays are a great addition for both amateur and professional guitarists. For new guitarists, they simply clean up the signal chain and make everything neater, for pros they allow you have dedicated effects loops and patches in the event one of your pedals goes bad during a performance.

Durability: The whole point of buying an effects pedal board is to protect your investment. If your guitar pedal case doesn't stand up to the beating of a traveling musician, then it was not worth purchasing in the first place. The most durable pedal cases will be custom ATA flight cases, but if you cannot afford custom quality, most hard shell guitar pedal boards should be up to the standards of most traveling guitarists. If you are concerned about durability and protection, avoid soft shell pedal cases.

Pedal PadWeight: Transportability is the cost of having extra protection for your guitar pedals. Of course, buying a guitar pedal case will make it much easier to transport your collection of guitar effects, however if the pedal board becomes too heavy and bulky you may be less inclined to book that last minute show. The best guitar pedal boards will strike a perfect balance between weight and durability. Cases like the SKB PS45 save some weight by using a plastic shell, but sacrifice some durability. Pedal boards like the Pedal Pad AXS II will be a little more durable, but being made out of wood will be much heavier.

Determining which pedal board is right for you can be a difficult process. First you must determine your price range, and then pick which features are most important to you. Depending on your price range, you might want to learn How To Build Your Own Pedal Board.