In this EBII Pedalboard System review, I’ll explain the differences between this board and conventional setups and how the EBII can help you reconfigure the audio signal flow through your pedals with minimum hassle.
Anyone who has used a pedalboard has had the frustrating experience of replacing or rearranging their pedals, which means un-attaching them from the board and re-attaching them, along with their patch cord and power cables. It can be time-consuming and annoying, especially if you have a large board!
A company called Rare Earth Music decided to change all that with their magnetic pedalboard systems. They have a unique product that makes reconfiguring your pedalboard an effortless and painless process! Read on to learn more!
What Is The Earthboard EBII Pedalboard?
The Earthboard EBII is Rare Earth Music’s second-generation pedalboard. It is a double-row board. It is the only pedalboard design that uses magnets to attach and power your pedals.
The EBII Pedalboard can hold up to 11 pedals plus the battery pack or 12 pedals using a power adaptor or the battery pack plugged into the side of the board.
Dimensions: L: 20″ W: 12.5″ H: approx. 5″ (at the highest point).
Weight: Approximately 9 pounds fully assembled (EBII + Gravity Boots).
Who Is The EBII For?
This pedalboard is for guitar players who use multiple effects pedals and like to reconfigure their board frequently. Think about it.
What if you decide you want to swap the positions of your overdrive pedal and distortion booster to get a different sound when you use either one of them with your phaser? What would you give to be able to simply disconnect the audio patch cords and lift them right off the board?
Most guitar players eventually accumulate a lot more pedals than their board can simultaneously accommodate. As a result, they end up sitting around collecting dust because it is too much of a hassle to make the switch. The EBII is the solution to this problem.
How The EBII Pedalboard System Works
Each effects pedal attaches to a small board called a “gravity boot,” which contains the circuitry required to power the pedal through four rare earth magnets that attach to a set of electrically charged (low voltage) zinc-coated steel rails.
The gravity boot brings power into the pedal using a cable called a “gravity tether.” This design makes each pedal a self-contained unit that can be magnetically attached anywhere on the board.
Here is a video from Earthboard that demonstrates how their pedalboard works using their 2020M Pro model.
Features And Benefits
New Features Of The EBII (Second-Generation) Pedalboard
- New wedge-shaped design
- Lighter than the first-generation model
- Improved illumination
- Integrated battery port – allows the battery to be plugged into the left side of the board to make room for an extra pedal
- Two Power Ports on each side – have three separate functions:
- Connects the 3Amp AC adaptor (the “Power Station”) to the pedalboard
- Each port can power an additional pedal on the floor via a “lifeline tether” (connector)
- Each port can connect to and power another EBII pedalboard via a lifeline tether (three pedalboards on a single battery)
- Cross Board Patch Cable – runs along the inside of the pedalboard and connects the top and bottom rows of pedals
What You Get With The EBII Pedalboard System
- 9 Gravity Boots (holds 8 pedals and the battery)
- 8 Gravity Boot Tethers (connecting cables to bring power from the gravity boots to the pedals)
- 1 Battery Tether (brings power to the pedalboard)
- 9-Volt rechargeable battery pack with a USB charging cable (upgrade to the optional XL Battery for $50)
AC “Power Station” 3 Amp adaptor($25) and Lifeline Tether ($20) are sold separately
“ISO Boots” are available ($35 each) to power 12, 15, and 18 Volt “special need” pedals
A “semi-hard” EBII carrying case is available for $250.
The EBII Pedalboard System comes with everything you need to add up to 9 pedals (with the battery plugged into the side battery port). In addition, its compact size (L: 20″ W: 12.5″ H: approx. 5″ at highest point) and lightweight design (EBII + Gravity Boots: 9 lbs) make it easy to transport.
What Is The EBII-SR?
The Earthboard EBII-SR is the single row version of the EB-II.
It is a more compact and affordable version of the EBII.
It has all the features of the original Earthboard plus 2 Battery Port Input Jacks, 2 Power Port Input/Output Jacks, and built-in Blue LED lights.
The Earthboard EBII-SR comes with:
- 5 Gravity Boots (holds 4 pedals and the battery)
- 4 Gravity Boot Tethers
- 1 Battery Tether
- 9-Volt rechargeable battery pack with a USB charging cable (upgrade to the optional XL Battery for $50)
Dimensions: L: 20″ W: 7″ H: approx. 4″ (at the highest point).
Weight: Approximately 6 pounds fully assembled (EBII + Gravity Boots).
A soft case for the EBII-SR is available: $130
What I like About The Earthboard EBII
Quick And Easy Setup
The EBII Pedalboard System is straightforward to set up. It can be completely assembled with 12 pedals in under 30 minutes.
The magnetic gravity boots make reconfiguring the order of the pedals or swapping one out for another easy and quick enough to do during a live gig.
If you want to switch out a pedal, detach it from the gravity boot and grab another one (with pre-attached Velcro) to re-attach in its place. You can buy additional gravity boots ($25 each) for all your pedals to make the process even quicker if you have the money.
Pedalboard Frame Lighting
The EBII Pedalboard System has very cool LED lighting. When power is supplied to the board, the frame emits a blue light that helps you see your pedals in the dark and illuminates the Earthboard logo.
The lighting makes the pedalboard look very professional and indicates that the board is properly powered.
A remote-controlled “multi-colored” frame is available if you want to really make your pedalboard look amazing.
The EBII pedalboard is handmade from “aircraft-grade” aluminum with zinc-coated rails. It has four sturdy rubber feet to keep it from slipping during use and electrically isolate it from the floor.
This frame should easily hold up to the day-to-day abuse of even the most aggressive pedal stompers.
The EBII pedalboard will easily accommodate pedals of any size and shape, using a “dummy boot” ($22) to help anchor your larger-size pedals to the board.
For those guitarists that want to install their pedals more permanently to the board, the gravity boots come with pre-drilled holes to secure each pedal with 3 zip ties. As a word of caution, be sure to follow the setup instructions to avoid damaging the velcro pad on the gravity boot.
If you have a pedal that needs to be electrically isolated from the other pedals on your board or has special voltage requirements, you can purchase an “Iso Boot.” They come in 12, 15, and 18 Volt configurations.
If you require a different voltage, you can contact the company directly for a custom-designed iso boot.
Made In The USA
All Earthboard products are made with pride in the USA, and the company is veteran-owned. I am a big fan of American-made products. As an American, I’m always eager to support our Vets, who have given so much to our country!
A little research into customer reviews and testimonials verifies that the customer service at Rare Earth Music is top-notch. Questions and product issues are addressed quickly, courteously, and expertly. This is important to me, especially when investing in a high-end piece of equipment.
Rare Earth Music exhibited its Earthboard products at the 2019 NAMM show, and the results were very favorable.
They won a 2019 Guitar Player’s Best New Gear Award and a 2019 Music Inc. Editor’s choice award!
Potential Problems With The Earthboard EBII
Overall, this is a high-quality pedalboard with a revolutionary pedal attachment system. There’s really not much to dislike about the board.
The pedalboard of this quality and function is predictably pricey, which can put it out of the reach of many, if not most non-professional guitar players.
The EBII-SR is a single-rale pedalboard that can be a more affordable alternative with the same excellent quality. You can always buy an EBII later on and connect it to the EBII-SR.
There have been some reports of the power supply being noisy during pedalboard power-up. This may be related to poor electrical grounding.
Users have commented that they would like a selection of different size Gravity boots for larger pedals. Rare Earth Music does sell a “dummy boot” ($22 each) to accommodate your extra-wide stompboxes. However, it is strictly for structural support, so it does not have the circuitry for a power connector.
A fully discharged battery typically takes about 4 to 6 hours to recharge, so you will need to remember to keep it charged or purchase a second battery or AC power adaptor.
The EBII battery is better built than most pedalboard batteries I’ve seen, so it is not specifically a problem, just something to be aware of. In addition, it comes with a battery level indicator to help you recognize when you are in danger of running out of juice.
Read All The Setup Directions Carefully
There are certain procedures that must be followed when setting up your EBII Pedalboard System.
For example, when attaching an ISO Boot or Gravity Boot to the pedalboard rales, be sure to place the red feet on the rail with the red dot to avoid damaging the boots’ circuitry. DC power has fixed polarity, so this is an issue to be considered with any pedalboard setup.
Final Thoughts On The EBII Pedalboard System
The EBII pedalboard system is a truly revolutionary design and the world’s only magnetic attachment and power delivery unit. Setup could not be easier; just add the pedals and audio patch cables
It may very well be the most uncluttered pedalboard available without the usual daisy chain of power cords!
The modular design of the EBII allows you to focus on your music, not your pedalboard configuration.
If you’re in the market for a low-cost pedalboard, then the EBII may not be for you, but I recommend you check it out to see if you can justify the price tag. The quality and functionality of this unit may have you pulling out your credit card.
For more information on pedals see What Is A Guitar Stomp Box – Attractive, Little, Tantalizing.
Tell Me What You Think
Please leave me a comment below if you enjoyed this EBII Pedalboard system review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own personal review.
- Have you seen the EBII Pedalboard, or do you own one?
- What do you think of this pedalboard?
- Do you think it’s worth the investment?
- Do you own a different pedalboard? Which one? Do you think it’s better than the EBII & why?
- Would you buy this pedalboard after reading the review?
As always, I will be happy to help you, just ask. ?