Price paid: $ 109
Purchased from: Sam Ash Retail Store
Sound — 7
The only real way to be able to measure the sound through the pedal board is by virtue of how well it delivers the power to the pedals. For me, in all circumstances I have not had an issue. Feel free to jump over to my profile where you will find pictures of my pedal board. This is what I am running from the power supply: XDS Wireless system (9v) Dunlop Crybaby Classic (9v) Russian Big Muff (9v) Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET (18v) Ibanez TS808 (9v) Ibanez AD99 (9v) Holy Grail Plus (9v) TC Electronics Polytune (9v). Yes that is my order, and no I don't want your opinion of where everything should go. For my sound, every pedal is in the right spot. The XDS Wireless system and Dunlop Wah are both off of the board. It is a tight fit with those 6 pedals already. If you are unfamiliar with the pedals I am using you should know that only two of those 6 are the size of a standard Boss pedal, the others are, well, enormous. So to say the least you should have no problem getting your pedals on this board. Moving on, I used to run an Electro Harmonix Holy Grail (the old giant one) that used a 500ma supply. Well the gator power on this unit did not have that option so I was getting a constant hum even when the reverb was disengaged. This is a common problem with that version of that pedal but I swapped out the pedal for the Holy Grail Plus and no hum no more. From that standpoint the pedal power on this unit works fine for my setup but if you are pedal crazy you will run into some problems. For example, my closest friend owns this exact same board but is looking at swapping out the power supply. Reason being, he is a fuzz nut. He has more fuzz pedals then Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys has even heard of. As you will hear from a lot of classic players who used fuzz pedals to pioneer a sound they will tell you that they sound the best being powered by a half dead 9v battery. It is able to give it this unique sound that you do not achieve while having it at full power.' There is another, much more costly way to achieve this and it is buying yourself a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+. The problem is the power unit alone is $60 more than this entire pedal board. The choice is yours. For the conventional gigging musician I believe this pedal board will do you just fine.
Overall Impression — 8
For the price I paid $109 USD I think this is a great bargain. In my humble opinion the DC power brick is a complete joke for the price they charge ($119 Musicians Friend). It is essentially the same as this power brick but for $10 less you can get the Gator pedal board, carrying case, and their power brick, which is nearly identical in specs. If you are serious about pedal power get the Voodoo and mount that on whatever you want. Neither this brick nor the DC Brick are isolated and they don't have the option for battery sag like the Voodoo has. Not to beat a dead horse more than it needs to be beaten but if you are specific about your fuzz pedals and other pedals and need precise power neither this, nor the DC brick will work for you. If however you are looking for a tough pedal board that comes with a fairly decent power supply this will more than suffice and you will have some money in your wallet to go buy a couple more pedals to fill up the board. Enjoy your tone and happy picking.
Reliability & Durability — 6
When I spend my money on any piece of musical equipment I expect it to last and stand the test of gigging. I play in a cover band anywhere from 2-3 times a month so there is always traveling, set up, tear down, sliding, scuffing, stomping on, tripping over, etc. So far, so good. This pedal board is extremely rugged and has stood up for about 2 years. My one complaint lies within the adhesive on the back of the Velcro pads. As I have alluded to I have had some swap outs of pedals, additions, re-arranging, etcetera so the Velcro on the board has started to come off the board itself. There are two lengthwise sheets of Velcro on the top of the board instead of one large piece and I think that is the issue. Although it did annoy me it wasn't a big surprise as this pedal board has been in some extreme weather changes which most definitely effected the longevity of the adhesive. It was a simple fix with some store brand super glue. On the inside of the pedal board (the case it goes in to) there has begun to be some mystery black powder which is like a suit which has congregated on my pedals. It actually doesn't bother me though, it looks like the pedals have been around, which they have but if you want your pedals looking squeaky clean this might not be the choice for you for the long term, or you will just have to clean your pedals every week. It seems to me that the fabric of the case on the inside has slightly deteriorated which has led to this mystery dust.
Ease of Use — 7
Here are the dimensions and basic features as pulled from the Gator website. ▪ 16.5" X 12" Wood Pedal Board w/ Black Nylon Carry Bag Includes G-Bus-8 Power Supply w/ (8) 9V & (3) 18V Outputs ▪ Plywood Pedal board covered in Tolex ▪ Pedal board comes with carry handle which slides into a rugged nylon padded carry case ▪ Pedal board has access holes for cables to run below board to utilize 4 supplied mounting screws for most multi-output power supplies ▪ Exterior pocket for cables ▪ Face of pedal board covered with Velcro for attaching pedals - attachment Velcro included ▪ Powered version comes with Gator's G-BUS-8 multi-output 1700 milliamp power supply ▪ Includes nine (9) 24" straight end cables to power pedals, (8) - 9v & (1) - 18v ▪ Weighs 8lbs The features of this pedal board are pretty basic, sturdy construction, built to last, a power supply underneath. They have pedal boards that come in a variety of sizes, I chose this one for the amount of pedals I use and that I wanted to have a power supply. My only complaint on the features is the outside pouch on the case. Once you have pedals on your board and it is in your case this pouch is virtually worthless as it has no room, I Slide several patch cables and a 6ft extension chord in mine and that is all it will fit. Ease of Use? Not much to it. Figure out your pedal order, Velcro, run all the cables and make them nice and tidy. Bam! Installed. It can get tricky if you have some pedals with rubber feet on them or that have something that lifts them up off the level of the Velcro. I have had several pedals like this and have simply just taken the feet off or put the Velcro directly on the feet themselves. I never mount my Wah on the board as it is too heavy and even with Velcro, if the board turns upside down in transport it will come off. Unfortunately if you are like my and have some slight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies then when you change a pedal and a chord is out of place it will Drive you crazy. Welcome to my world. So the good is that the Velcro is really strong on this board, the bad is that the Velcro is really strong on this board. How can it be both good and bad you ask? Well if you are swapping out a pedal you better plant your feet on the board and pull on it with all of your might and hope you do not rip the Velcro off from the board itself.