The first thing that struck me when I received my Gator G-TOUR PEDALBOARD-LGW pedal board was the heft of the construction in the enclosure. The case is built like a tank and weighs in like a tank as well. Opening up the case and pulling out the board, I was impressed with the build quality and weight of the board itself. While small in size and exceedingly simple in design, the board is very sturdy both in its build, its materials and in its simplicity.
The case is ridiculously well built, with balled corners, recessed twist latches, spring-loaded handles on all four sides, and rivets everywhere ensuring that this case will endure any road abuses that it is given. The case also has wheels on one end, proving to be fairly unusable to me, but Im sure that somebody whos a bit shorter in stature would find them to be quite useful. If I had any complaint about the case itself it would be that I prefer to have recessed handles rather than surface-mounted handles, and I would also prefer a set of hinges on the back side over a second set of latches.
This brings us to the pedal board itself. As I mentioned earlier, the pedal board is made to very high standards in build quality and construction choices, and the end product is a board that, like the case, is going to endure any road abuses that it is given. The board basically consists of four things: the plywood board itself, the aluminum framing that runs the circumference of the board, a handle on either end, and rubber feet under each corner of the board. There simply isnt anything here thats going to fall apart or even degrade over time; there are no moving parts, and there is no extraneous construction.
While this simplicity certainly helps with the sturdiness and durability of the board, it also unfortunately makes the board fall a bit short in what Im looking for out of a pedal board. The board lays very flat to the ground. I personally prefer a pedal board with an angle that rises off the ground. While the Gator G-TOUR PEDALBOARD-LGW pedal board does rise in the back, it is very insignificant. Part of the reason I prefer this rise is so that I can put power supplies and cabling under the board, and that simply is not possible here. I was hoping to replace the rear rubber feet with something taller to offer at least a bit more of a rise, but because the feat are affixed with rivets rather than screws or bolts this is an endeavor that I will not be taking on. Much along the same lines, I wouldve preferred that there were holes or cutouts in the board for cables to be routed through. Fortunately this is an easy fix for the end user, but it does seem that the pedal board is built with the intention of having everything occurring on top of the board, and for many users (myself included), the preferred location for things that are not pedals is under the board as opposed to on it.
Ultimately, what Im left with is an incredible case with an incredible board that is very solid in its simplicity, but that is also hindered by design choices that do not completely mix with my own preferences. Despite this dissonance the board serves its purpose in my rig very well, and has a place in my rig that it will be keeping. I may be augmenting the board at some point in the future in order to raise up the back end and to get my cables concealed under the board, but even without doing any augmentations I will be very happy using the board as it is.
Reviewed by Alex Bissen
Bassist for Fallen Empire.