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Old 05-09-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
TheLiberation
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Volume pedal choice

Hai, I have a relatively simple question - I'm considering getting a volume pedal (to make my addiction to volume swells easier to maintain, but also for general practical uses). I've never really had a chance to look into them much, and it seems like there's plenty of choices, and while I know what to look for in effect pedals, what are the important things to look at in case of a volume pedal? Do they also do any other things than, you know, set the volume? Also, any particular recommendations? (As usual in my case, looking for something nice and solid, but not necessarily the most expensive space station out there)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
TheStig1214
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If you want to do volume and gain swells (as if you were rolling up the volume one your guitar) you have a lot of choice. Ernie Ball VP Jr is my recommendation. Really solid construction and relatively easy to fix if it goes wrong. If you want to do purely volume swells you will need an active folume pedal (one with a 25 or 50k pot) I don't know many outside the VP Jr 25K.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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I would throw the Boss FV-500H in there as well as another option. I own one. Its a monstrous-sized pedal, but it also has an expression out, and a variable pressure screw (good if you're really heavy or light footed). I love my volume swells, and I also use it to bring down my overall volume when I need to play quieter and "within the band". It has a pretty heavy, and heavy duty metal construction too.

If I had the choice though, I'd most likely go for the higher end Ernie Ball VP (the powered one). It just does so much more than any other volume pedal. But at the same time its almost $200 iirc.
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:10 PM   #4
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I would get a Visual Sound Visual Volume pedal myself.
I have one and I think its great.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VisualVolume

They have now changed their name to Truetone:
http://truetone.com/specialty-pedals/visual-volume/

Doing volume swells on it takes a bit of practice though, but not to much.

Personally, i think you should give it some serious consideration.
The LEDS really make it easier to use and to set specific volume levels consistently.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:36 AM   #5
PedalFreak94
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Hi there!

I own the Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal and I really like it.
It's sturdy, built like a tank and offers a couple of great features!
For example - being able to connect your tuner to the 'Tuner Out' and also being able to set the desired volume with the little 'minimum volume' knob!
Maybe the FV-500H is a bit big in its size, but it's quality, for sure!
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:40 AM   #6
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That is, I'd also like to use it to control the gain, so essentially I'd like it to behave similarly to the volume knob.

Thanks a lot for the suggestions so far, I'll take a look I did encounter the Ernie Ball and the Boss already when looking around.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig1214
If you want to do purely volume swells you will need an active folume pedal (one with a 25 or 50k pot) I don't know many outside the VP Jr 25K.
This is incorrect advice.

It's unlikely that you need or even want a pedal with a 25K-50K pot. The main reason you would need one is if you are putting it in an amp's FX loop that has a low impedance return.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
TheStig1214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fly135
This is incorrect advice.

It's unlikely that you need or even want a pedal with a 25K-50K pot. The main reason you would need one is if you are putting it in an amp's FX loop that has a low impedance return.


Except it's not incorrect advice?

If you want to do purely volume swells with no gain swells (as in not act like a volume knob) you need to put the volume pedal in the FX loop, in which case you will need a 25/50k volume pedal. There are actually quite a few situations you would need one in front of the amp too, that's why they exist, namely if you have active pickups or are using a buffer in front of the volume pedal.

Do some research before calling someone out for bad advice.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:45 PM   #9
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Your advise is bad and I know what I'm talking about. I said if the pedal is put in the loop and the loop return is low impedance then you need the 25K pedal. Your advice was generic and misleading. Some people might put the pedal after distortion stomps and before an amp. In that case your advice could be a tone sucking disaster. You don't need low impedance pot after active pickups. That is also misleading.

A low impedance pedal will work fine after a buffered pedal or active pickups. But it provides no real advantage in that case. The advantage is specifically when placed before a low impedance input.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fly135
Your advise is bad and I know what I'm talking about. I said if the pedal is put in the loop and the loop return is low impedance then you need the 25K pedal. Your advice was generic and misleading. Some people might put the pedal after distortion stomps and before an amp. In that case your advice could be a tone sucking disaster. You don't need low impedance pot after active pickups. That is also misleading.

A low impedance pedal will work fine after a buffered pedal or active pickups. But it provides no real advantage in that case. The advantage is specifically when placed before a low impedance input.




So I wasn't wrong.... I was just trying to establish what TS needed before going into 100% detail. You're making it sound like I'm flat out wrong and so dumb I shouldn't be reproducing.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:14 AM   #11
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The point being... you are better off with a high impedance pedal except when putting it in a low impedance loop. That is a lot different than "If you want to do purely volume swells you will need an active volume pedal ". If that doesn't make sense to you then get a lesson in logic. I don't care if you reproduce.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:59 PM   #12
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Guys, please... peace, love & flowers. (Although the last sentences of each of the last two posts are my favourites this week. )

But wait, because I seriously know nearly nothing about volume pedals: does this mean pickups should be taken into account when picking one? I have one guitar with actives and one with passives, and preferably I'd like the pedal to work more or less like a volume knob (so volume + gain control) with both.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
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No pickups do not need to be taken into account (edit: at least not as a primary consideration). What you need to take into account is the electrical principals involved. A buffered pedal or an active pickup can drive a low impedance pedal (what Dunlop calls an "active" pedal even though it's not active as in powered). However your passive pickups will not drive a low impedance pedal effectively.

When putting a volume pedal in front of an amp there is no advantage to using a low impedance pedal. There is an advantage to using a high impedance pedal because it can go anywhere in a pedal chain with no ill effects as opposed to a low impedance, which can seriously degrade your tone. If you intend to use the pedal in an amp loop then it's likely the low impedance pedal will be the better choice. Most loops are low impedance and will effect the sweep of a high impedance pedal. I.E. the volume will drop off very quickly instead of being more linear across the sweep.

So your decision is really dependent on where you expect to use the pedal. In most cases where you intend to move it around in your pedal chain the high impedance pedal is a sure choice because it ensures a minimum of tone suck.

So if there is any one general rule it would be.... "Amp loop low impedance pedal, Pedal chain high impedance pedal". In addition there are true active volume pedals that are powered and buffered. These pedals are generally good no matter where you put them, but probably a lot more expensive. And they will likely eliminate any tone loss that can occur even with a high impedance pedal.

Like this one....

http://missionengineering.com/?product=vm-pro-pz
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:35 PM   #14
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+1 for the Boss. I have the 300H, also a massive tank of a pedal, stereo ins and outs, tuner out, minimum volume control, doubles as a self defense weapon in Zombie hordes. I don't know how old mine is but I'd guess its from around the 1850's and the behemoth works smooth and perfectly, gotta love Boss! Millennia after the extinction of the human race, aliens are gonna come across Earth and all they're gonna find is a bunch of cockroaches living in old Boss pedals...and Keith Richards, of course.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #15
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I'd just like to add that if you buy any pedal used, and it makes scratching noises in its sweep, just open it up and spray electrical contact cleaner onto the pot inside. I had this problem with my FV500H and it perfectly.

I doubt this would work for an optical based pedal like a Morley volume pedal though.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:52 AM   #16
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I use my volume pedal on the pedal board last in line but before the amp. No problems. It's a very old Schaller, you'll be very lucky to find one...

The Morleys are good, they make several models and some include wah and power booster. The orignal big silver box ones are great, some of the newer ones do a little research.

The Morley uses a light bulb or LED instead of a pot, mine was the older silver one, with power boost and it was great until it finally fried the circuit board. it fried a capacitor in just the right place to kill the whole unit. If I had known a little about capacitors, I could have replaced it quite easily and it would still be working 30 years later.

My current one works on a pot same as many others, great for swells or just controlling volume level. I've been using it around 20 years I guess. It does nothing but volume control. The advantages are it lets me control volume with my foot, I never have to stop playing to change volume, and it doesn't lose treble when I lower the volume like the volume knob on the guitar does. That's because I'm still using full output of the pickups, the volume knob never has a chance to cut the treble, like volume knobs do.

I've never tried it in the effects loop, I Have no idea how it would work, I've always used it inline. I've used it with nothing but guitar an d amp, and with the entire pedal board, never had any problems. Be aware, it takes a little time to get accustomed to it. I first tried a volume pedal sitting in with a friend's band using his rig, I hated it. Touchy thing, a little adjustment made a big difference. He told me use one for a month and you'll never play without it again. Another friend gave me the Morley, I used it a while and found out he was right, I never play without it. I even bring it and an extra cable with me if I go to an open mic or to sit in with a band.

Dunlop made a good volume pedal a while back, not sure if they still do. Morley would be my choice if I were to buy a new one right now. I really like their light operated models. My Schaller has been great but I doubt if you could ever find one...
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #17
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Just wanted to thank everyone again for the advice. I've decided on the Boss FV500H, "indestructible" and "built like a tank" seems to be a general consensus, and the features look very promising relative to price. It also looks pretty cool. The size scares me a little, but it's not the most important thing.

Just waiting for it to be available as apparently it's out of stock in the store I want to order it from.
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