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The Custom Boards guide to pedalboard frames

All pedalboard frames offered by Custom Boards are of professional quality, made to stand up to heavy gigging.

A Pedaltrain Soft Case (SC) is easy to carry with you, while a Pedaltrain Tour Case (TC) is fit for any type of transport. Voodoo Lab’s Dingbat bags cover the middle ground. They are lightweight, but still very well padded. They also feature sturdy lids that can take some pressure. The larger bags can also be carried as a backpack.

Level and rising frames

There are two main groups of pedalboard frames – those who allow you to fit a power supply unit from underneath, and those who don’t. With the exception of the very smallest models in our product range almost all of our frames are rising models. It would be fair to say that the rising pedalboard frame – one that rises at an angle away from the player – has become something of an industry standard.

Rising frames offer many advantages:

  • It’s easy to install a power supply to the underside of the frame, so it doesn’t take up any valuable space for pedals.
  • It makes reaching the pedals in the back much easier, compared to a level pedalboard frame.
  • Most of the cabling can be kept beneath the frame, giving you a neat look and, again, more space for effects.
  • It’s easy to install additional signal or power splitting connectors to the underside of the frame.

Pedaltrain models

Pedaltrain frames have become the standard that all other frames have to stand up against. The frames themselves are quite lightweight, and there are many different sizes readily available, which makes it easy to realize different configurations. Pedaltrain also offers a wealth of accessories that will help you in building and using your pedalboard. For most models you can choose between a case and a soft bag according to your needs.



Pedaltrain Nano and Nano Plus

The Nano and Nano Plus are Pedaltrain’s smallest models, which will fit three to five standard-size pedals. These frames are level and they lie rather low, which limits your choice of power supply. Luckily, many PSU makers have taken low and level frames as a positive challenge over the last few years, and have started to release compact models made to fit beneath Pedaltrain’s Nano Series frames.

Thanks to its size, a Nano pedalboard won’t get heavy, even if fully loaded with effects, which is great news for those of us who’d like to put their pedalboard in an aircraft’s overhead locker or into their suitcase.

Pedaltrain Metro series

The Metro Series could be described as elongated and deepened versions of Pedaltrain’s Nanos. You can use the same power supplies, and the additional third rail adds a few more options when it comes to installation.

Metro frames have also become popular among mini-pedal users thanks to the closer placement of the rails. Compared to the wider spacing of the Pedaltrain’s Classic Series frames, the Metros offer more purchase for attaching smaller-than-standard pedals.

Pedaltrain Classic series

Pedaltrain’s Classic frames are based on the brand’s first frame designs. This series was also the first to offer rising frames. A Classic frame allows you to install two rows of standard-sized effects, while also being the smallest design making the use of a full-sized wah-wah possible. Classic frames can be powered – from underneath – with virtually any power supply on the market.

Over the years the Classics have been raised higher and higher off the ground, now being on a par with the company’s Novo frames. The newest models also have an open back edge, which makes it easier to place a power supply off-centre.

Pedaltrain Novo series

The Novo frames are cousins to the Classic Series. The main differences being a closer spacing of the lower rims and the addition of a fifth row, making the Novo frames a little deeper than corresponding Classics.

The new lower rim spacing makes working with mini-pedals much easier – like on the Metro Series – while the lowest, additional row is great for mounting bypass loopers.

Pedaltrain bags and cases

It’s up to you to decide whether to buy a padded bag first, and buy a case later, once you have fly-in shows lined up, or whether you get the case first, before following it up later with an easy-to-carry bag. In both cases your pedalboard will be ready for action.


Pedaltrain’s Premium Series – introduced in 2018 – features very sturdy, yet lightweight cases, while the padded bags clearly have been designed for maximum comfort and usability. The bags have plenty of different accessory compartments, they can be easily converted into backpacks, and they are well padded. Great care has been taken to add additional strength to all zippers and seams, meaning the bags are ready to withstand the rigours of regular gigging.

Voodoo Lab Dingbat frames

Voodoo Lab has been the most popular power supply brand for years, which is why the release of their first pedalboard frame models was highly-anticipated. When they finally came out, Voodoo Lab’s Dingbats scored a bull’s-eye. The frames are sturdy and ooze confidence, while the padded bags are a first-rate combination of robustness, ease-of-use and lightness of weight. Careful selection of the materials used makes sure that even the largest boards are well protected on the road. The Medium and Large models can also be carried as backpacks.


Dingbat frames come with the necessary brackets you need if you want to install a Voodoo Lab power supply. There are also a few combination models available that have the power supply preinstalled in the factory, making them an excellent starting point for building your pedalboard. If you’re planning to integrate a bypass looper into your pedalboard setup you could go for a Dingbat Medium frame with an integrated programmable Voodoo Lab PX-8 Plus looper.


Another advantage of Voodoo Lab’s Dingbats are their open sides. You can easily install a buffer, a DI-box, an isolating transformer, or any other device beneath the frame, without compromising pedal space, while at the same time keeping the additional device’s connectors in easy reach.

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If you have purchased all the parts and components but get a feeling that you might not be up to the task after all, we can make your pedalboard for you, using the components you have bought from us. Don’t worry, we won’t let anything go to waste.

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