#1
Im looking into buying a volume pedal but im a bit confused into what the difference an Active & Passive vol pedal will do to my set up.

I use a mixture of active and passive pick ups on my guitars. (if that makes any difference)
Also some advice on placement on my pedal board?

Set up:
Custom Fender Tele -> Boss Tuner -> Maxon OD9 -> Boss Noise suppressor -> Mesa Triple Rec

FX Loop: Line 6 DL4

Please Help!!!
Thanks!
GEAR:
Mesa Boogie Triple Rec
Orange 4x12 in WHITE!
Gibson USA SG Tobacco Sunburst
Custom Fender Tele with EMG Mod
EC 1000 WHITE
Maxon OD9
Line 6 DL4
ISP Decimator
Boss TU-2
MY BAND:
http://www.myspace.com/thisdistanceuk
#3
The volume knob on your guitar doesn't work in the same way a volume pedal works, depending on where you put it in the chain, whether it be BEFORE your dirt, AFTER your dirt, or in your FX loop.

I'm curious about this question too. It has always interested me (and confused me).
#5
Quote by zakarai
Aren't volume pedals kinda pointless? :S


I just want to do volume swells n stuff easily n a vol pedal does just that!

Anyone have any advice?
GEAR:
Mesa Boogie Triple Rec
Orange 4x12 in WHITE!
Gibson USA SG Tobacco Sunburst
Custom Fender Tele with EMG Mod
EC 1000 WHITE
Maxon OD9
Line 6 DL4
ISP Decimator
Boss TU-2
MY BAND:
http://www.myspace.com/thisdistanceuk
#6
I assume you're talking about volume pedals designed for active and passive pickups? There are active volume pedals, but passive ones are far more common. For our purposes, I'll use the terminology "powered" and "unpowered".

An unpowered volume pedal is just a volume pot in a pedal. It's just designed to give you easy and hands-free control of the volume your guitar puts out. They're generally best placed first in the signal chain, though you can put them after OD pedals to control gain and volume at the same time, or in the effects loop to work as a master volume pedal. The sweep is often not as smooth in those applications, but it will work well. Unpowered volume pedals come in two kinds, with different pot values. One's a 500K for use with passive pickups, and the other is 25K for use with actives, or in the effects loop. Both will work with the other application but you'll notice a tone change and possibly some volume loss depending on which you're using.

Powered volume pedals, properly called "active," are essentially a clean boost pedal in a volume pedal enclosure for foot control. They won't have tone loss and they will work with both types of pickups, but the downside is that they may interfere with fuzz or OD pedals depending on the impedance sensitivity.
#7
You want a passive pedal. Read my blog to see why.

That Boss tuner may be a buffer. Best to place the volume pedal after the tuner. Even passive pedals load the pups. If you want swells with no affect on distortion from the pedals then put the Vol pedal at the end of the chain.
Last edited by fly135 at Jul 27, 2010,
#8
I have the Morley Little Alligator. I really like it. Some people might say the taper is kinda weird at first, but I have no complaints. I recommend putting it (or any volume pedal) in your effects loop. After modulation effects, but before time based effects like delay/reverb.
Guitars:
Ibanez JS1200
PRS SE EG S/S/H
Effects:
Dunlop Crybaby 535q
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
Morley Little Alligator
Boss DD-6
Amp:
Carvin V3m
Carvin 212 cab
#9
Im still a bit confused!

So if I want to use a mixture of passive and active pickups in different guitars what volume pedal should i get?
I dont want vol drops and tone loss!
GEAR:
Mesa Boogie Triple Rec
Orange 4x12 in WHITE!
Gibson USA SG Tobacco Sunburst
Custom Fender Tele with EMG Mod
EC 1000 WHITE
Maxon OD9
Line 6 DL4
ISP Decimator
Boss TU-2
MY BAND:
http://www.myspace.com/thisdistanceuk
#11
If I am correct, what pickups you use should have no effect on whether your volume pedal should be passive or active. You should be able to use any guitar with any volume pedal.
Guitars:
Ibanez JS1200
PRS SE EG S/S/H
Effects:
Dunlop Crybaby 535q
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
Morley Little Alligator
Boss DD-6
Amp:
Carvin V3m
Carvin 212 cab
#12
You are not correct. There are two distinct requirements....

1) If you have passive pups then you must have a passive pedal after it.

2) If you have a low impedance input, then you must have an active pedal before it, if you want a decent sweep.

Passive means high resistance pot (i.e. ~250K)
Active means low resistance pot (i.e. ~25K)

Lastly, even a 250K pot is a tone sucker on passive pups.
#13
Huh, okay...

So what the OP wants is an active/powered volume pedal. Right?
Guitars:
Ibanez JS1200
PRS SE EG S/S/H
Effects:
Dunlop Crybaby 535q
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
Morley Little Alligator
Boss DD-6
Amp:
Carvin V3m
Carvin 212 cab
#14
fly135 your half making this confusing!! :P

as I understand it powered volume pedals are pretty uncommon and not as widely used.

the distinction is between high and low impedance volume pedals. Generally 250K(Low) and 25K(high)

As I understand it you use a low impedance pedal before an amp and you use a high impedance pedal in an FX loop.

this my be oversimplifying it I dont know!
#15
I made it very clear that what I was talking about is a variation in pot resistance. I didn't invent the active vs passive terminology wrt volume pedals. So don't blame me for people confusing active with powered. I even defined the terminology in my post.

And your understanding is incorrect. You are not simplifying, you are mistaken. I wrote a blog explaining the technical details. It's in my profile. Generally speaking... if you don't know then you need a passive (i.e. 250K) pedal.
#16
There are some conflicting ideas here.

It's not that you need an active (powered) volume pedal for active pick-ups. It's that you need the correct impedance, either 25K or 500K.

Is that right?
#17
First of all the term active has been basterdized to mean "in an active/buffered/low impedance circuit". If you read the two requirements I posted above, you will begin to understand the decision process. You do not need an active (i.e. 25K ohm) pedal if you have active pups.
#18
I didn't mean any offence by my comment by the way. Just to clear that up.

Okay, to hi-jack the thread here a second (forgive me TS)... I only use passive pick-ups. What volume pedal should I buy? I want to use it for volume swells at the end of the chain, where everything is affected?

Hi-jacking over.
#19
You need a passive pedal. You could get away with an active pedal if you have a strong buffer in your chain, but you should still get a passive pedal. Passive pedals are useful in more situations than an active pedal.
I took no offense. It's just that no matter how many times you define "active and passive" wrt to volume pedals (I.E. low vs high resistance pots), people keep confusing it with the typical meaning of active and passive. I.E. powered vs not powered.

The only situation that comes to mind (for our purposes) where you need an active pedal is if you are putting it in the loop of an amp that has rack level signals. Even more important is the input impedance of the loop return. The lower the input impedance, the better the sweep using an active pedal.

You would also "best be served" by an active pedal in any circuit using line level signals. Even then a passive pedal will work without signal degradation.

Bottom line is that passive pedals will always work without signal degradation. Active pedals will not always work without signal degradation.
#20
In my Soldano, for instance, which has a signal boost with stomp boxes (it was designed for rack units), could I use a volume pedal to reduce the signal sent to the effects pedals?
#21
You could but then you'd need to boost the signal coming out of the stomp boxes. Even if the signal was high enough, the input impedance of the return may be too low and cause degradation of the signal coming from the stomp boxes.
#22
Btw could anyone recommend a good volume pedal for MY needs?

Thanks!
GEAR:
Mesa Boogie Triple Rec
Orange 4x12 in WHITE!
Gibson USA SG Tobacco Sunburst
Custom Fender Tele with EMG Mod
EC 1000 WHITE
Maxon OD9
Line 6 DL4
ISP Decimator
Boss TU-2
MY BAND:
http://www.myspace.com/thisdistanceuk
#23
Ernie Ball pedals are good and built like a tank. I have one. Morley makes powered pedals that use optical components and eliminate the typical aging pot problems. Also since the Morley pedals are electronic they avoid all the issues raised in this thread. I believe they also have a high input impedance and don't load the pups. But they are a bit bulky if you are trying to conserve board space.