If you’re reading this now, it means that you’ll likely have already accumulated a fair few guitar pedals. The probability is that you’re also looking for a higher-quality board than some of your earlier purchases.
The fact is that as we progress as guitarists, and accumulate more gear, there always seems to be an upward movement in terms of price and quality for all-things guitar.
No doubt there’s a mathematician somewhere, with a very big head, that could send us an equation to confirm this. But we digress. If you are in the hunt for a premium pedalboard, the question is, have Gator done enough to earn their right to be playing in this segment of the market?
Let’s get this Gator Cases Aluminum Guitar Pedal Board Review underway and find out…
Construction and Specifications
The Gator pedalboard is made from extra-lightweight aluminum. The board is well machined and nicely finished with no sharp edges or nasty surfaces. A quick glance and feel of the board will tell you that this is a quality product.
The choice of aluminum is a good one. It ensures that it will survive decades of use and abuse wherever it’s taken. Additionally, being so light is also useful because when the board is fully stacked, it will normally weigh a ton.
A perfect match for your pedals…
There are three sizes available. The XL size we’re reviewing is a big boy. It measures 32” x 17”. If this is too big, there is a large size that measures 23.75” x 10.66” and a small size that measures just 15.75” x 7”.
Frankly, you shouldn’t be too worried about the pedalboard being too large for the number of pedals you have. You should be more worried that you’ll have enough money to buy even more pedals to fill up space. It’s pointless thinking otherwise. It’s just one of those guitarist inevitabilities.
Just ask any of our broke or divorced mates if you don’t believe us!
The pedalboards are available in different colors. We’re reviewing the stealth black one, it’s the most popular choice. However, if you fancy a bit of flash, you can choose from green, white or purple.
The board has four heavy-duty non-slip rubber feet to keep the board firmly in place whist your dancing around on top of it like a maniac. They can be adjusted for height if you come across an uneven floor. But regardless, this is a stable board even when it’s fully loaded with all your good stuff.
Designed to be gigged…
For carrying it around, there are a couple of built-in handles. This makes it easy when either moving the board around the room or putting it into the case. The good news is that this is still easy to do when the board is full.
The handles are also well-placed so that picking up and putting the loaded board into its carrying case is easy.
Nice one, guys!
Let’s now take a look at the practicalities…
Set-Up and Use
There’s no doubt that this is big. Consequently, it has more than enough real estate to cater for the vast majority of guitarist needs.
But exactly how many pedals can you shoehorn on to it?
If you fill it with standard-sized pedals, we know that’s highly unlikely, there’s enough real room to attach 18. In a more realistic scenario, put on say a Wah, an expression pedal, something like a Fuzz Face and a Strymon, you’ll likely still have room for another dozen pedals.
Fixing them into place is straightforward. You get enough hook and loop adhesive strips for the job. Plus, there’s plenty left over for the inevitable future purchases down the line.
The board features a lot of large diagonal angled slots on its surface. This gives you plenty of places to choose from to run the patch cables between your pedals as well as the power supply cabling. We prefer this kind of set-up compared to the long horizontal cut slots found on most pedalboards.
There are two brackets for holding your power supply blocks under the board. These are very well engineered and won’t move around when you have to transport the board with the pedals in situ. You can fix just about any power supply onto the board with the mount. However, for reference, a pair of Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus will fit perfectly.
In most circumstances, you’ll be able to fix enough power supply to run a full board.
And to the mains…
At the rear of the board, there are plenty of slots to choose from for running the cables between the power supply and the mains.
In operation, the Gator pedalboard feels solid underfoot with no discernable flexing. It’s also nicely angled to gain relatively easy access to all of the pedals — even those shouting at the back, trying to find some love.
Now let’s take a look at the case…
The case is every bit as good, in terms of quality, as the pedalboard. Realistically, it needs to be, since when the board is full, it weighs about the same as a small child. The board needs a case that’s tough and hard-wearing. In this regard, we can say it delivers.
The bag is made from heavy-duty Nylon. It’s water-resistant, has good zips, and also has a reinforced polyurethane top and bottom. What’s more, it has a reinforced carrying strap and a removable shoulder strap. However, we don’t think we’d ever remove the shoulder strap, as we wouldn’t fancy carrying it too far, where ever we were playing.
A place for everything and everything in its place…
The carrying case has enough room not only to fit a fully loaded board but also has enough to put in a few guitar and other cables. There’s also a mesh pocket on the inside to store all those extra bit and pieces we all need to take around with us.
Unless you’re doing a huge amount of gigging, the Gator bag will do the job well. We can’t honestly find anything to fault it. Before moving up to a solid case, this is just about as good as it gets.
Gator Cases Aluminum Guitar Pedal Board Review Pros and Cons
- Sturdy build quality.
- Well finished.
- Good mounting brackets for the power supplies.
- Well angled.
- Diagonal slot design.
- Excellent quality case.
So many Pedals, so little time?
Looking for a few more pedals for your best guitar pedalboard? If so, check out our reviews of the Best Reverb Pedal, the Best Uni Vibe Pedal, the Best Compressor Pedal, the Best Looper Pedals for Electric Guitar, and the Best Wah Pedals currently available.
You’ll also need some of the Best Patch Cables, the Best Pedal Power Supply, and a few of the Best Guitar Cables to complete your rig.
Gator Cases Aluminum Guitar Pedal Board Review – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it, an excellent pedalboard with plenty of great features.
The only negative we have in our review of the Gator Cases Aluminum Guitar Pedal Board is its price. However, we believe that the Gator pedalboard has more than enough quality to fully justify its premium price-tag.
If you’re looking for a strong and sturdy guitar pedalboard that can hold heaps of pedals, that’s easy to set-up, easy to use, easy to re-configure, and that will serve the tests of time, look no further.
Happy sound manipulation.