#1
Hey guys, looking at volume pedals to round up my collection. I don't mind paying a bit more for something premium. It will be going through a Midi-14 true bypass if that makes a difference. I have heard volume pedals can affect tone but I don't know if that means while they are inactive(like a non-true bypass wah turned off would affect tone) or whilst they are active(color the signal of the guitar compared to not having a volume pedal at all). Need some help with this, I want to maintain my tone as much as I can. Any ideas, suggestions etc would be greatly appreciated.
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#2
dunlop makes a couple that are nice, the morley lil alligator is nice too. I also had the morley optical volume and it wasnt great, after a few months the sweep went from almost all the way off to full volume with no in between. Not a fan of the eb vp jr either.
#3
Quote by rokket2005
dunlop makes a couple that are nice, the morley lil alligator is nice too. I also had the morley optical volume and it wasnt great, after a few months the sweep went from almost all the way off to full volume with no in between. Not a fan of the eb vp jr either.

You know that that would have been so simple to fix, man. Either the LED had moved or the little plastic window did.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#4
As far as active volume pedals go, Goodrich and Hilton are the two go-to brands. They're pricey to say the least.

JHS does a mod for the EB Jr. that makes it active I believe. Not sure how much though...
#5
Quote by Cathbard
You know that that would have been so simple to fix, man. Either the LED had moved or the little plastic window did.

I still have it,, its just not on my board anymore, and i dont need a volume pedal for anything really. I suppose i could pull it apart and see if I can fix it.
#6
Worth a look. There's not a lot to them.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Quote by josephde
As far as active volume pedals go, Goodrich and Hilton are the two go-to brands. They're pricey to say the least.

JHS does a mod for the EB Jr. that makes it active I believe. Not sure how much though...

Haven't tried it but the Visualsound Visual Volume looks pretty good. Another bonus has a bar of LEDs so you can see where its set from far away.
#8
I'm a bit new to volume pedals but what exactly does an 'active' volume pedal mean? Is it better for maintaining tone?
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#9
Quote by Megadeth09
I'm a bit new to volume pedals but what exactly does an 'active' volume pedal mean? Is it better for maintaining tone?

Active means that your signal goes through amplifying/buffing stages, in a passive pedal your signal would only go through a pot (and possibly a capacitor/resistor or two.)

Whether it's better or not is down to opinion. I personally prefer a passive with true bypass when I'm not using it. An active pedal will generally sound better when not being used but I've haven't found many where I like the sweep.

Goodrich and Hilton are the best if you can afford them, otherwise I'd gut an old wah wah and shove a good quality pot in there (Bourns make good ones) and make it true bypass.

For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#10
If a passive pedal(with or without true bypass) went through the Midi-14, I don't think it would interfere with the signal at all as the Midi-14 is a true bypass looper. I'm guessing a bypass volume pedal would sound closer in tone as it's not buffered at all? What are the disadvantages of a bypass pedal(given it is true bypass)?
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#11
Quote by Megadeth09
If a passive pedal(with or without true bypass) went through the Midi-14, I don't think it would interfere with the signal at all as the Midi-14 is a true bypass looper. I'm guessing a bypass volume pedal would sound closer in tone as it's not buffered at all? What are the disadvantages of a bypass pedal(given it is true bypass)?

If you've got a TB looper having switching on the volume pedal is irrelevant, unless you decide to take it out of the loop for some reason.

A well designed buffer won't change your tone much. A passive pedal is essentially like adding another volume pot to your guitar, you will lose a bit of top end but when you're doing swells you'll unlikely notice. If you're the kind of person that uses a volume pedal to simply set a rhythm and lead volume then an active pedal might suit you well, if you are somebody that uses a volume pedal as an effect (think Allan Holdsworth, early Bill Frisell, Jeff Beck etc.) then I personally think that passives give you a better control over the sweep.

I'm also assuming you're chucking the pedal in front of your amp and first in your chain. If you're using the pedal in an FX loop or after an OD/Dist that's always on then an active will probably work best in my experience but I never use a volume pedal this way given a choice.

For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#12
+1 Goodrich. A buddy of mine suggested it to me. He pretty much made it sound like he was done looking for volume pedals forever after that one.
ΦΚΣ


Life is short. PLAY LOUD!
#13
Hmmm I'm stuck. Passive or active, laser or pot... I wish to maintain tone as much as I can the way a volume pedal works probably prohibits that?
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#14
Quote by Megadeth09
Hmmm I'm stuck. Passive or active, laser or pot... I wish to maintain tone as much as I can the way a volume pedal works probably prohibits that?

How are you going to use the pedal?
For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#15
Quote by power freak
How are you going to use the pedal?


Most likely for lead swells and even incorporating it into metal rhythm. Not just as a lead/rhythm volume set as I can use my Midi-14 to set volumes between patches. You seem to know heaps about volume pedals, what do you think? Thanks in advance by the way
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#16
Lasers? They just use an LED for the light source. A little moving plastic window changes how much of that light falls onto an LDR (light dependent resistor).
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Quote by Cathbard
Lasers? They just use an LED for the light source. A little moving plastic window changes how much of that light falls onto an LDR (light dependent resistor).

Truth. I have been looking into optical compressors, I'm assuming the technology is the same.

Why would someone make an optical volume anyways? That's just kinda silly.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#18
Same reason you'd make an optical wah - they don't wear out and go scratchy.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#19
Quote by Cathbard
Lasers? They just use an LED for the light source. A little moving plastic window changes how much of that light falls onto an LDR (light dependent resistor).


Didn't know the exact terminology
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#20
That's cool. You obviously didn't know how they actually worked so I thought I'd clear it up for you.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#21
Quote by Cathbard
Same reason you'd make an optical wah - they don't wear out and go scratchy.

Oh, yeah I suppose huh.

I wouldn't use it enough to do that anyways. Volume pedals are good for one thing; whale sounds.

WTF do you do with a wah, anyways? Set it half-way and shred?
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#22
Voodoo Chile of course.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#24
The legend is that he'd stash a couple of acid blotters under his headband so by the end of the gig he was tripping off his dial. As you know, LSD can be absorbed through the skin.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#25
Yeah he's nuts.

It's pretty easy to keep your cool on that stuff. I would much rather listen to someone play who is tripping face, than someone who is drunk. Drunk people are dumb.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
Last edited by DeathByDestroyr at Apr 9, 2012,
#26
That's the one drug that destroys my playing. I can be shitfaced on an outrageous cocktail of substances but throw in a few beers, even on their own, and I turn into an incompetent douche. Can't play drunk to save my life.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
Quote by Megadeth09
Most likely for lead swells and even incorporating it into metal rhythm. Not just as a lead/rhythm volume set as I can use my Midi-14 to set volumes between patches. You seem to know heaps about volume pedals, what do you think? Thanks in advance by the way

I'd go for a passive then personally.. I tend to find most actives have have an odd sweep, as you've got your looper you needn't worry about tone suck when not in use so you don't need the major selling point of an active.

As for pot vs. optical: the choice is up to you.. As stated above you don't need to worry about an optical "wearing out", you can also easily play around with the sweep by cutting out new shapes in the cardboard or angling the ldr/led differently (this will make more sense when you have a look inside one.) Personally I just stick to pots as I've found no reason to change.

As for models: Goodrich and Hilton are the best quality and have prices to reflect that (they make both pot and optical designs.) At the lower end of the market: I'd avoid EB as their idiotic design just causes you problems and they seem to have programmed in the ability for the pedal to **** up at the worst possible time. Morley pedals are OK, but I tend to find you need to dick around with the sweep for a while to get it sounding right and it is quite fiddly (but not difficult.) The new Boss ones are said to be OK but I haven't played one before. I had an old vox one for a while which was quite good but I don't think you can get them anymore.

Tbh though, you can always buy an old crybaby, gut it and chuck in a top quality pot if you are handy with a soldering iron.




EDIT: I've heard good things about the George Dennis also
For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
Last edited by power freak at Apr 9, 2012,
#28
Quote by power freak
I'd go for a passive then personally.. I tend to find most actives have have an odd sweep, as you've got your looper you needn't worry about tone suck when not in use so you don't need the major selling point of an active.

As for pot vs. optical: the choice is up to you.. As stated above you don't need to worry about an optical "wearing out", you can also easily play around with the sweep by cutting out new shapes in the cardboard or angling the ldr/led differently (this will make more sense when you have a look inside one.) Personally I just stick to pots as I've found no reason to change.

As for models: Goodrich and Hilton are the best quality and have prices to reflect that (they make both pot and optical designs.) At the lower end of the market: I'd avoid EB as their idiotic design just causes you problems and they seem to have programmed in the ability for the pedal to **** up at the worst possible time. Morley pedals are OK, but I tend to find you need to dick around with the sweep for a while to get it sounding right and it is quite fiddly (but not difficult.) The new Boss ones are said to be OK but I haven't played one before. I had an old vox one for a while which was quite good but I don't think you can get them anymore.

Tbh though, you can always buy an old crybaby, gut it and chuck in a top quality pot if you are handy with a soldering iron.




EDIT: I've heard good things about the George Dennis also


Too cool. To be honest I might end up going for a pot design but will do some more research on the differences in sound(if any) between them. Do the maintain tone any differently? Not fussed on cost really. I do know that volume pedals draw alot of power so I'll probably just use an individual power supply for it. Anything else I should know about volume pedals?
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
#29
Quote by Megadeth09
Too cool. To be honest I might end up going for a pot design but will do some more research on the differences in sound(if any) between them. Do the maintain tone any differently? Not fussed on cost really. I do know that volume pedals draw alot of power so I'll probably just use an individual power supply for it. Anything else I should know about volume pedals?

There's no difference in sound really.

The power draw thing depends on the pedal, most don't draw excessive amounts.. You'll only be powering handful of components (at most) anyway.

The only other thing that may concern you is how comfortable the pedal is to play, but tbh as guitar players it doesn't really matter in my experience. I've never found any pedal that I couldn't get used to after enough time with it... If you're using it for pedal steel however it's a different kettle of fish.

Oh and if money truly is no object then go Telonics, it is said to be the best pedal available. I feel a little funny recommending a volume pedal that retails at $500 though. (I haven't had the fortune of playing this one though but I'm kind of glad, I don't want to like it and have to fork out that much!)


For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#30
Do the features and sound of the Telonics justify the price though? I've been told that a passive pedal will affect the tone somehow and would need a buffer in front?

I'm actually thinking of getting the THRU-TONE mod for the EB as it has both active and passive options with adjustable impedance for the buffer. What do you think? My main aim is to maintain the tone of my precious amplifier whilst having controllable volume
Gear:

ESP Horizon NT II
ESP Horizon NT 7
ESP Horizon FR II
Last edited by Megadeth09 at Apr 11, 2012,