NEXI Alternative Starter Pedalboard REVIEW

Pedalboards are great; the modular concept makes things flexible. However, running signal and power cables means re-doing things every time the player wants to make a change, and now it’s not so modular. NEXI figured out a way to make a truly modular pedalboard.

Included in this starter pack is a pedalboard, Phaser, Overdrive and Tremolo Pedals. NEXI also let us try out their wah pedal and Dutch Screamer. They’re not included in this package, but it shows how it’s truly a modular system. The pedalboard has eight spots for pedal placement.

Simply pull off the cover plate where you want to place a pedal, and the underside of the individual pedals have a connection that mates up with the board. Super easy, truly plug and play. It’s a decent size board, coming in at 18” wide and 14.5” deep, set at an angle. On the side are instrument signal and outputs, as well as a connection to an amplifier’s channel switcher. There are two USB ports on the side as well for charging a smartphone or tablet. Each connection also has a rubberish cover, and it makes the overall unit water (or drink) proof. Built into the board are also buttons to engage an onboard tuner, a boost or to engage the amp channel switch.

Each individual pedal’s button is quite large, and the edge of the controls light up when engaged which make reading the knobs easy in low light situations. They’re true bypass, meaning it keeps the individual pedals from coloring the others when engaged.

The Dutch Screamer is true to the name it evokes, featuring that classic TS style drive. Drop the gain and increase the volume and it’s a nice colored boost. Connected to a tube amp, and it gets snarly, but maintains articulation. The Overdrive really captures that nice medium gain drive tones, great for classic rhythm sounds, and sweet sounding lead tones. The Tremolo is really, really nice. It’s simple, with a volume control. Most classic tremolos don’t have this feature and maintaining a consistent volume with this effect really makes a big difference. The Phaser pedal again is simple — one knob, like the classic “orange box.” Their wah not only feels nice and smooth, but hits that very familiar range of tonal sweep. The tuner’s display sits at the top of the board and is super bright and easy to read. This display also indicates the channel switch situation. The on-board boost is really nice and smooth, no crazy coloration, just enough to poke over a mix.

The overall sound was hyper clean with no odd noise or signal loss issues. Even stacking the Dutch Screamer and Overdrive to work together kept things clean, signal wise, even with the wah engaged. No howling hiss or other interference issues.

With the pedals NEXI Supplied us, we still had two open slots. There are delay, analog chorus, a looper and fuzz units made by NEXI, available separately. A plethora of distortions and drives, like ’70s overdrive and metal distortion are also offered. It really can be tailored to whatever type of music suits your fancy. Now let’s say you’re a player who has a traditional pedal that you can’t live without, NEXI does sell an adapter that can incorporate non-NEXI pedals into their system. A nice touch.

With this system there are no logistical issues of having to buy a pedalboard, power supply and cables, and then deal with signal and power issues. This is a great, simple and functional solution. The only downside is if a player has already invested money and worked out their specific pedals, power and signal cable situations on their pedalboards this might just be a lateral move at best. But for players who want floor based effects with convenience, and don’t have the usual “pedalboard obsession” this could give everything a pedalboard can offer, without the headaches.

PROS:

modular, flexible, excellent sound quality

CONS:

pedal nerds who’ve invested heavily already might not be interested

STREET PRICE:

$399

Like this? Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *