Gator is one of those brands that randomly show up when you’re browsing guitar gear. You almost get the impression that they don’t make anything in particular, but just sporadic stuff.
I used to have a very lovely pedalboard, with lots of full-size pedals. It was great to just have open at home for casual playing, and it survived an onslaught of gigs: flung in the back of vans, spilled beer, and who knows what else.
I was downsizing my accommodation, so I felt the need to downsize my rig to match, and that included my pedalboard. I went to the usual suspect brands, and happened upon this one, which seemed to tick all the boxes.
|What’s it made from?
|What size is it?
|The surface area for pedals measures 15.75” x 7”
|Does it include a case?
|How many pedals will it hold?
|Five standard BOSS pedals
|Is it powered?
Normally when I’m writing reviews of guitar gear, I can get so elaborate about parts, but that’s far from the case here!
There are essentially only two parts to what comes packaged with this: the board itself, and the carry case.
Unlike some other pedal boards which are assembled, this is just a solid piece of aluminum, maybe an eighth of an inch thick. For the size of it, it’s deceptively weighty. It comes with some rubber studs on the bottom to reduce sliding across grimy stages.
Underneath, there’s a piece that I’m struggling to describe. I guess it’s a ‘shelf’ for want of a better word? It’s to hold your power supply underneath, keeping the top surface of the board free for actual pedals. As such power supplies come in all shapes and sizes, the shelf takes the form of a further piece of aluminum, that is held and adjusted with two screws and wingnuts.
At that’s it. As simple as that.
The accompanying carry case is very cool. If you’re familiar with Gator’s gig bags, you can expect the same padded, rugged-for-a-bag construction right here.
It comes with plenty of depth for your pedals and cables. There’s about half an inch to spare around the sides of the board when you put it in the case, so it’s a comfortable fit, and you won’t be trying to ram it in.
It comes with a mesh pocket in the top part for strings, picks, capos etc. If you’re reading this far, you know yourself what I mean!
Even opening and closing the zip, it feels very rugged. It’s lovely to still get a product that feels like it was made to last!
As well as the handle on the case, it comes with a longer strap. I feel like this is useful for those of us on public transport: strap your guitar in a gig bag on your back; your modest combo in your hand; your pedal board around your neck/shoulder; and you’ll still have a hand free for getting your bus or train pass out of your pocket, and opening the door into the venue.
With the simplicity of the board itself, it’s pretty hard to get anything wrong, but there are a couple of features that I would like to highlight.
Firstly, the curved front of the board. It might seem odd to highlight, maybe, but it is cool feature that helps with slide the board back into the case with ease – important if you’ve got a tight turn around time onstage between your set and the next act.
The amount of slots on the top surface of the board is also very useful. Although it does come with a decent strip of velcro for you to attach your board, we all know how grimy that gets, so cable ties can be a better option. That’s where those slots come in useful.
Additionally, it’s likely that you’re considering this because you’re looking to save space. There’s quite a bit of space to be save by running your patch cable under the board, rather than tying them up between pedals. And getting them out of the way generally makes for a tidier and cleaner board.
Personally, I feel that adds great aesthetic value to the my board!
Looking at the carry case, and it doesn’t give any cause for concern. It’s sufficiently padded and constructed that you really won’t worry about any of your pedals getting damaged. I’d be confident bringing this around to practice and gigs for several years.
That’s pretty much that. If I was ranking my guitar rig in terms of ruggedness and durability, this one would be at number one or two – I have a flight case for a guitar that’s a strong competitor.
To date, the GPB-LAK has done entirely what I needed it to: save space and be tough.
I’d recommend this for anybody looking to achieve similar results. It’s ideal for gigging musicians with limited space for practicing at home, and the accompanying case makes it ideal as their gigging rig too.
Sounds like wins all around to me!