One of the main questions I had before getting my first wireless system was if I can use my pedalboard with it. I was confused as to how it was possible to connect my wireless to my bass while using pedals at the same time. Luckily, the answer is straightforward and easy to do.
So how do you use a wireless guitar system with your pedals? The pedalboard must be hooked up to your amplifier with an instrument cable as you usually have it. The other cable that generally attaches to your instrument is then connected to the receiver of the wireless system. Thus, all pedals are able to be used with your wireless guitar system.
There are 2 units that come with a wireless guitar system;
Transmitter– The part that attaches to your guitar strap, pocket, or belt.
Receiver- Part that is set up on the amp, pedalboard, rackmount, or general vicinity of the stage.
Think of each unit as each end of a regular guitar cable. If you hook up the end of your guitar cable (receiver) to the last input of your pedalboard where you usually plug your regular guitar cable in, then you will pick up the signal of all the pedals on your pedalboard.
The most important part is where and how to connect the receiver of your wireless depending on which type of wireless receiver you have.
There are 4 different types of wireless receivers that all connect to your pedalboard in the same way with minor differences. Details for each receiver type are listed below.
A wireless system with a Pedal Receiver is generally attached directly to your pedalboard just like any other pedal. Where you would usually plug your guitar into your pedalboard, you must connect the wireless with a patch cable. You may need to move some pedals around to make room for your wireless pedal receiver.
Pedal receivers are generally the more convenient wireless systems to use for live performance. The wireless receiver is previously attached to your pedalboard as it’s powered by a DC power supply like the rest of your pedals. These receivers are generally very convenient in which they do not require an extra setup step before your shows. Some pedal wireless receivers also have a built-in tuner as well which saves room on your pedalboard. If you’re interested in a pedal wireless receiver with a built-in tuner, click here.
List of pedal wireless systems
- Shure GLXD16
- Line 6 Relay G30
- Line 6 Relay G50
- Line 6 Relay G70
- Boss Wl-50
- Audio-Technica system 10 ATW-150
- Nady MGT-16R
- Intellitouch Freedom one
Combination Plug Receivers
A Combination Receiver is basically a plug with a quarter-inch attached. You plug the combination receiver directly into your pedalboard where you would usually plug your cable from the instrument in. Most combination receivers/transmitters are charged by micro USB that comes with the system. These systems are generally easy to operate.
Combination plug wireless systems are typically on the more budget-friendly side. These systems are most convenient and primarily used for practice, guitar instructors, or smaller venues.
List of combination plug wireless systems.
- Nux B-2
- Xvive Audio U2
- Boss WL-20L
- Joyo Jw-01
- Donner DWS-1
- Donner DWS-2
- Donner DWS-3
- Neewer Audio Wireless
- Ammoon WS 10
A Table Top receiver is essentially a box or rectangular figure that’s typically put on top of your amplifier or in the general vicinity. To use your effects pedals with a tabletop receiver, you must take the cable from the pedalboard you would usually plug into your guitar and plug it into the wireless receiver on or near your amp.
You would need a cable long enough to reach the receiver that’s near your amp from your pedalboard. Some tabletop receivers are small enough to maneuver a way to squeeze into your pedalboard in which you can use a patch or shorter cable instead.
Tabletop receivers are some of the more common wireless receivers. Unfortunately, they do require an extra setup step before every show in which you place the receiver on the amp and hook it up. Some wireless systems like pedal receivers or rackmounts that are already attached to your amp don’t require an extra setup step besides merely turning them on.
List of tabletop wireless systems
- Line 6 Relay G10
- Shure PGXD 14
- Shure GLXD 14
- Shure BLX14-
- Nady DKW-3 GT-
- Nady U-1100 GT-
Rackmount receivers are typically set up in which the receiver can be placed on top of the amplifier or put in a rackmount. The exact same directions to attaching your pedalboard to a rackmount system are of the tabletop receivers where you run the cable that’s usually hooked up in your guitar to the receiver. Rackmounts are generally put on top off your amp or in the same area so you would need a long cable to reach the rackmount from your pedalboard.
Rackmount Receivers are best for musicians that already use a rackmount or planning on using one in the near future.
List of rackmount wireless systems
- Shure QLXD 14
- Shure GLXD 14R
- Sennheiser EW 172 G4
- Line 6 Relay G90u
- Shure BLX 14R
- Samson AirLine 88
- Sennheiser EW 500 G4
- Line 6 Relay G55
Do Effect Pedals Sound Different With A Wireless Guitar System
Your effect pedals and your instrument’s tone, in general, will not be hurt with a high-grade wireless guitar system. A general rule of thumb for wireless guitar systems, in general, is to purchase a digital system over 350 dollars if you don’t want to hurt your tone or the effects coming from your pedals. Although it is very possible to find many analog systems that will not damage your sound, higher grade analog systems that will not color your tone are a bit more expensive than digital.
Below is a video of me switching between a Mogami cable and the Shure GLXD 16. In this video I am using 3 pedals; Boss Equalizer, Mark Bass Compressor, And a Boss Limiter Enhancer. Try to hear a difference.
What’s The Overall Best Professional Grade Wireless Guitar System For The Price?
Reliability, tone/audio clarity, durability, convenience, and range are the 5 top factors that make or break a wireless guitar system. According to our research and personal experience, the Shure GLXD 16 is the absolute best bang for your buck. See why it’s our Top Pick For Overall Best Wireless Of 2019.
Wireless Guitar Systems On A Budget?
We typically don’t recommend wireless guitar systems under $200 for serious musicians. But if you’re adamant about getting a cheap wireless system for practice, teaching students, smaller gigs, or any other reasons we created a list of The Top 11 Wireless Systems under $200. In that article, we go into detail into each of the 11 systems from tech specs to personal experience.
You are easily able to use your effect pedals with a wireless guitar system, but it is a question most musicians ask before getting their first wireless. Typically a cheaper wireless unit will hurt the tone of your instrument from your effect pedals, but in the end, you get what you pay for.
If you’re skeptical about your first purchase, I don’t blame you at all. Rest assured, when I finally got my first wireless, I couldn’t be happier. I have found many benefits after five years of being free from the leash.
If you’re interested in useful accessories for touring, see our top choices here.