It's Time to Buy a Pedal Board
An independant and honest review of LYT Pedalboards by Anonymous
Let's get right down to it: You have pedals, you need a pedal board. So, the basic idea as you look for a board is finding one with the best FUNCTION, and if it also happens to be cool looking, well that's a bonus.
Here are the MOST important things: (you may or may not have thought of)
Ease of use/Customizing
To date, in all our searches for the perfect board, there is only one company that has truly nailed all of these must have features, and that company is LYT Pedalboards. For years, there were only HUGE bulky setups that looked like a middle school science experiment gone wrong. Let's take a look at the main features needed to make a great board.
Height off the ground
The lower level of the LYT pedal boards sit about ½ inch off the floor. It would be hard to get any lower without putting your pedals on the ground. I think it is safe to say they are the lowest. I would also say a lot of guitarists overlook this feature, but guys who constantly hit lots of pedals.... or more than one pedal per trip to the board end up having to balance on one foot for sometimes up to 4-5 seconds. The lower your foot is to the ground, the less chance there is of making a fool of yourself in front the audience, or falling into them! The other great thing about being close to the ground is that you're not drawing huge attention to the board, but rather to you and your performance. Mostly I see boards with like 3-4 inches, and that is BEFORE the pedals.
It happens ALL the time... you're in the middle of a soft ballad type song, and WHAM you accidentally hit your +47db boost pedal with your heel, when you only meant to hit your chorus. All 23 people in the front row just googled “sign language” on their smart phones because they're now deaf. Wouldn't it be great if you had a 2nd tier to minimize the chances of this happening? It is so clear that LYT has designed their boards to function perfectly in this respect. Not only are the tiers moveable to any position, to fit all your various sized pedals, but they also have an ever so slight angle to keep it ergonomic and make switching effects on the top row feel effortless. It's also great to store your power supplies underneath, out of sight. It's the best “feeling” board I have used. What's cool too is that any board can use any tier.... and it moves left to right to any position!
Bottom line: Heavy is out. No company makes things to be heavy on purpose anymore unless it's a tank. There is absolutely no need for bulky, heavy equipment. Not only that, but in case you didn't notice, the weight limit for checked baggage on a plane is now 50 lbs. The largest board, the LYT 32 with the Flytcase is only 20 lbs! That gives you 30 lbs for pedals and gear. Not only is it light, but it is strong. The material is what they call a “unique wood composite” that truly is amazing. It does flex a little, but not to the point that you notice it or feel like its a problem, it actually feels very natural and better than something rigid.
Ease of Use/Customizing
Not only is heavy out, but so is complicated. I see so many guys (some of my friends, sorry Jake, I still luv u man) spend hours running cables in complex “under the board” hidden configurations with hundreds of zip ties everywhere and every cable cut to length and they shudder when I ask the most basic question: “Do you think you will use this exact pedal setup for the rest of your life?” Oops, they just found a new pedal that they “LOVE” now they have to get the clippers out, they ran out of cut cable, so they have to spend hours, if not days, and hundreds of bucks reworking the board. Silly isn't it? Unless you know for a fact that you are only going to use 4 pedals that will never change, don't get caught up in the hype. The LYT boards make moving, routing, power supplying VERY easy. The tier has holes for routing, you can route under the tier easily and even the supports themselves have thru holes to run cable. If you are on a tone quest, you need the flexibility to change your setup quickly, not in hours, but in minutes.
Most pedals are designed to be on the floor, this means that in general they are already built with a little bit of angle. Just look at over 85% of single pedals, and definitely wah and volume pedals. Smart manufacturers of pedals are very clever in their design, so why do you want a slanted board? This is where I feel so many pedal board companies seriously fail. Have you ever tried to use an already slanted wah pedal on a slanted board... yuk! It just feels unnatural....sometimes you can't even get it all the way to it's back position because the natural angle of your foot. The great part of LYT is that the base of the board is flat so the pedals feel like they should. It makes sense to angle a tier, but not the base. I would imagine most companies do it to cut costs, surely it is very cheap to make one piece of wood or metal on a slant.
It's true, unless you have tons of cash laying around, face it, you do care about the price. In life it's a constant reality. We have found these boards to be a shining “LYT” (pun intended) in the world of overpriced, hyped, junk out there. You know, as I think of it, there are very few products you get nowadays that really make you say, “wow, I really feel like I got a great product for the money I spent.” The great thing about these boards is that you can buy them with a soft or hard case, or NOT. Yes that's right, you can buy a board “a la carte” and then add a softcase or hardcase later. Some guys just need them in the studio, their gear will never move! Some guys have two rigs... one in the practice room and one for shows! Some guitarists don't gig at all and just play for the joy. Why should they have to buy something they will never use?! To sum it up, I would say they are inexpensive, but not cheap. If you compare SIZE for the money, LYT is the winner. No one else offers 32 x 16 AND don't forget the extra room under the tier for power for like $85 bucks!
Ok, I'm busted, I can't lie: I thought it was the coolest looking pedalboard as I started my journey. Honestly they just look soooo good. My friends were like “Dude, where did you get that?” I told them, online at LYT Pedalboards. I love the discreet but cool “LYT” on the back of the supports too. When I pulled it out of the box, I had a moment of en-lyt-enment, and that awsome feeling like not only did I get an awesome product, but everything about it just screams “professional”.
Even though at the beginning of this article I was mostly concerned with function, it's clear that you can get it all: Function, beauty, quality, price. I looked at all kinds of boards at the stores.... and I chose LYT. At first I was nervous buying something I had not held in my hand first, I was even more impressed when it arrived than I thought I would be! Their site says: “taking the industry by storm” I can see why.