EX-50 Mini Expression Pedal review by AMT Electronics

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  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1 vote)
AMT Electronics: EX-50 Mini Expression Pedal

Price paid: € 95

Purchased from: Thomann

Ease of Use — 10
Well it's an expression pedal so under Ease of Use, I probably have to say if you are completely stumped by this you might need to step away from the plug sockets until someone can look after you. But then this section requires minimum of 500 characters so I best think of something less snarky. For the fact that the controls are recessed, the jacks are high quality and retain cables no problem, the fact that it's so tiny and easy to fit on even the snuggest overcrowded board makes life a lot easier - so I'll score it well here.

Sound — 8
This is an expression pedal so it probably shouldn't generate any sound of it's own. I bought this as I have a lot of FX with expression inputs. I ended up with about 5 expression pedals to one side of my main board which although looked insane and made me feel like I was driving a steam-punk train - was basically a total waste of pedalboard real-estate and added a lot of bulk to my rig that isn't needed. Although I love big footpedals for wah and volume controls, using a Boss FV500 just as an expression controller for one other pedal (and maybe only on one or two songs at a gig) is too much unless you're trying to win a "who has the most pedals in a row" contest. 

I stumbled across these mini AMT pedals by accident. I'd seen the manufacturer before but hadn't really looked at their line-up. But the idea of an expression pedal that is about the size of a deck of cards in terms of footprint was very appealing. I could line up a whole bunch of these for one-off uses in less space than 2 of the Boss FV500's.

The travel of the pedal takes some getting used to. I don't think it's that it inherently has a tiny sweep or anything, just that being so small you have to be a bit more delicate with swelling it up and down. In terms of sound, it seems to cover the same sort of travel as most standard expression pedals. It's non-adjustable but for the ultra-compact size that's acceptable.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Out of the box it seems very sturdy and well put together. Very much like a standard mini Boss pedal in size and construction, except it's got the rocker footplate on it. Quite heavy for it's tiny size but then it's a sheet metal box so understandable. The rubber footplate and underside feet are chunky and look to be standing up to abuse. I had to take the feet off the bottom to fix to the pedalboard and it doesn't seem to come prepared for that as it has screws that stick out past the baseplate - but a fairly minor quibble.

The expression pedal uses a fairly standard 50kOhm Potentiometer but you can solder in a different one as needed. The rocker was a bit squeaky out of the box but a little machine lubricant sorted it out. The jack outputs are chunky and well made and there's no sign of the pedal falling apart.

Overall Impression — 9
Micro-pedals are all the rage and finally you have a proper attempt at a micro-expression pedal. Overall this is a just an incredibly clever and pedalboard friendly little option. I probably wouldn't want to use this ultra-mini style as a wah or volume pedal as given it's size swells and super accurate control might be a bit hard with anything other than really small feet! But for expression pedal use - speeding up synths/controlling delay echoes etc - where you might not need to use it every minute of every song - this is a godsend for overcramped pedalboards. I'd normally choose more expensive pedals as I tend to equate price with quality (I know, proven wrong so often) but this is a reasonable price considering the options and perfect for it's own advertised niche - a high quality expression pedal that is as small as a Boss pedal.

The dual outputs make it even more functional, you have TRS and TS, so you can go into normal TRS required gear, or work with Line 6 which only accepts TS. You can use both simultaneously, so if you want two pedals controlling from this, no problem. Most of the dual output expression pedals are the more expensive Pigtronix/Mission Engineering price-bracket so that's very handy. It has an invert switch so you can reverse the sweep of the pedal - didn't need this myself but I know some people with unusual pedal setups who ask for this, so I guess it's going to really appeal to you guys. If I had to be really picky I might hope there was some way to tighten or loosen the pedal feel more like the Dunlop pedals but really that's just trying to find fault and it really doesn't present an issue.

I wouldn't suggest this if you need the absolute finest level of control over your expression output or if you have giant feet clad in boots at gigs. But if you need to control one or two of your pedals and are fast running out of precious space on your board - rather than buying the next bigger custom board and starting again, just fit one of these on. It's less hassle.

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