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Review Volume Pedal for Guitar/Bass

Fender Classics Re-issue Pedals: The Test

Classics Live Again Though not as well known for their pedals as they are for their guitars and basses, Fender has been making classic pedals for more than 50 years. Following the recent re-issue of the Fender Blender Custom pedal, Fender decided to launch a range of new classic-inspired stompboxes with some vintage tones and looks. Let’s take a closer look…. read more…

User reviews on Volume Pedal for Guitar/Bass products

Built Like a Tank. (Vox - V850 Volume)

By azraik, 03/04/2015
Overview

It's really a shame that this pedal is out of production, because it's an amazing piece of work. the VOX V850 is a passive volume pedal (no power/battery required) that does exactly what it's supposed to: it increases and decreases the natural signal from your guitar (or other electric instrument). It was built with (almost) all-metal construction in the USA, features a sturdy 250k internal potentiometer, and it's the heaviest pedal I've ever held in my hands.

My Experience

I bought this volume pedal after extensive research of passive/active volume pedals. At the time, I was putting together a rig for a 3 month summer tour with a traveling band. I needed something that would fit the budget of a college student (myself), stand up to road wear, and not sacrifice the sound of my guitar setup. I discovered the V850, and after a few weeks I was finally able to snag one on eBay for a decent price. I've been using the pedal ever since, and it has performed very well for me.

Pros and Cons

The V850 was the first volume pedal I have ever purchased, and it may be the last. This thing is truly built like a tank, even down the actual configuration of the electronics.

To use the example of a comparable product, the Ernie Ball VP Jr. Passive Volume pedal is another popular passive volume pedal that I have seen many guitarists use for their rigs. I believe it is actually lighter the V850 in weight, and it does include a convenient bypass loop for a tuner. The drawback to the VP Jr. is that the internal 'audio taper' potentiometer is controlled by a 'string' that is suspended to the top surface of the pedal. I have read many reviews where musicians express their frustration of this string breaking during live performances and leaving their pedal utterly useless (until they can get the string replaced).

In contrast to the VP Jr., the VOX V850 uses a durable plastic gear system around the internal potentiometer, which moves seamlessly with the top surface of the pedal. This not only makes the V850 more durable, but it also keeps the mechanics and handling of the pedal consistent from use to use.

Bottom-Line

My VOX V850 has stuck with me for over 4 years, and I haven't regretted buying it, even in used condition. The pedal can be inconvenient due to its heavy weight, but I think it makes up for weight in durability and sound quality.
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A strong volume pedal for precise volume control (Boss - FV-500L Foot Volume)

By ecceccecc, 13/06/2015
This is one of the most reliable volume pedals that I know. I use it with my current clonewheel (Tokai TX-5 Classic, made in Brazil) and, you know, it's an essential item for that kind of instrument (well, the classic B3 has volume pedal, no?). The volume control is very precise and smooth - you can even determine how much volume will be controlled. There's a knob on it's left side with a 0 to 10 setting - I keep it on 0 so I can go from mute to full sound.
One of the coolest things about this pedal is that it doesn't require any kind of power source to work - at least if you're using it with keyboards. Just plug the cables, et voilà. Simple as 1+1=2. Did I told about "2"? Yep. It's a stereo pedal, btw.
The only minor thing is that there's a bit of background noise - remember: this is an analog pedal - but if you're using it as a part of your gig keyboard setup on a stage with a huge PA, that's not a problem at all. That little noise may be actually a "charm" while using the pedal with a clonewheel ;-)
So if you want a cool analog volume pedal for your keyboard - and guitar, bass, no matter what kind of instrument - needs, this is the one.
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VM-PRO is Beyond typical Volume Pedals with Loaded Features (Mission Engineering - VM-PRO)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 15/05/2018
SOUND:
Volume pedals are fairly straight forward, although the quality of a volume pedal’s electronics will make a difference in what you hear when using it. The YouTube video below goes through various features of Mission Engineering’s VM-PRO, which is not like any other volume pedal out there, making it far more diverse and complete for a wider audience of gear heads:



I’m covering all the features in the Overall Impressions of this review, but suffice to say that the ability to tweak the VM-PRO makes a considerable difference when comparing to typical volume pedals. As the video demonstrates, the BUFFER in the VM-PRO produces a higher quality and truer sound in your tone. As well, you can adjust the VM-PRO to work with Active pickups, which tend to push volume pedals too hard (and high-gain amps/pedals produce a rougher edge to the tone). As with other volume pedals, you can have the VM-PRO roll off the highs and get a little darker as volume fades – or you can add ‘SPARKLE’ (keep the highs in). Not all volume pedals work well with vintage-style fuzzes, but with the VM-PRO you can flip a switch so that it drives a little harder and with a higher impedance. Nor do you don’t have to have zero sound when rolling off the volume – there’s a set screw that allows you to adjust just how much comes through in the heel-down positions, to the point of having a lot come through to produce your regular volume, followed by a BOOST for lead in the toe down position. Finally, there’s an option of a separate Tuner out, to keep that pedal out of the chain and to prevent more tone sucking.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
Beyond a typical and simple volume pedal, I’m impressed with Mission Engineering’s VM-PRO. It provides several options, which I’ll address here, that typically are not found on lesser volume pedals. This model is a bit pricier, but you get a lot more for your dollar – and likely a lot less frustration if working with active pickups, fuzz pedals or dislike how volume pedals typically roll off the highs when decreasing volume. The first bonus on this pedal is the built-in buffer, which stays on all the time. Anyone with a long line of true-bypass pedals or long cable runs knows the value of a Buffer, which controls the input and output of the signal for a truer tone. A simple buffer can cost $100 or more, and so now you have it in the VM-PRO (and it works well with other buffers).

The three dip-switch options inside adds to your customization. The VM-PRO is set for passive pickups, but you can switch the pedal over to better accept active pickups, an important feature since active pickups can overdrive a volume pedal and produce unwanted distortion at full volume. Next, volume pedals always remove the ‘highs’ as you roll off on the volume, and sometimes that is a good thing if you want a darker sound or feel to the tone when doing so. However, the VM-PRO allows you to add in some ‘Sparkle’ by keeping the highs as you roll off on the volume (making it a truer volume controller by not altering the tone). Third, vintage and vintage-style fuzz pedals require a high impedance output from a guitar and most volume pedals will not accommodate this need (which means less of a ‘kick’ in your fuzz tone). Conversely, if you’re an avid fuzz user then all you have to do is flip on the third dip-switch to support the best fuzz tone possible.

There still are more features. A cool one is the trim-pot adjustment screw (also under the hood of the VM-PRO). Usually a volume pedal will roll off the sound completely – going from 100% signal to no signal (with heel down). The VM-PRO allows you to adjust this, so that maybe a little bit of signal still is audible, or perhaps a moderate amount of signal is to your liking. In effect, what you can do is adjust the trim-pot so that 80% of your signal can be heard with heel down and then 100% with toe down, allowing you to use the VM-PRO as a boost.

Finally, with the inclusion of an adapter (available through Mission Engineering) you can have a separate tuner out, which is useful if you want to keep your tuner out of the signal chain (since tuners can be tone suckers).

EASE OF USE:
A volume pedal works in a particular manner… as the heel goes down volume decreases, and as toe goes down volume increases. Pretty straight-forward. How you want to control volume output can vary depending if you have the VM-PRO in front of or at the end of the chain (just before the amp/cab). If you have it at the front you take advantage of the built-in Buffer for superior and truer sound; as well, when you roll off the volume the delay/echo and reverb still are heard, but will decrease according to their settings. Conversely, if the VM-PRO (or any volume pedal) is placed at the end of the chain you reduce any echo/delay and/or reverb as you roll off the volume. (NOTE: If you suddenly drop the heel to complete silence, any delay/reverb is cut off suddenly as well.)

Next, the use of the special features of the VM-PRO is not so straight forward as selecting what you want. If you like to swap guitars in the middle of a set, going from passive pickups to active pickups you will need to choose what dip-switch setting you want since you would have to unscrew the rubber feet to gain access to the electronics. Do you get sufficient quality of tone if set on passive or active? The same is true whether you want the ‘Sparkle’ or if using a vintage-style fuzz pedal – you need to decide what works best on average. Adjusting the volume on the trim-pot poses similar issues. You can have no sound or just a bit of sound with the heel down, which is how most people use a volume pedal. Conversely, if you want to have the pedal act as a Boost, then you set the trim-pot accordingly. However, in doing so you cannot roll off the volume completely (although using the guitar’s volume knob would work as an adjunct).

Perhaps if these options were available as switches on the side of the VM-PRO it would be best, but then again that may just complicate the design and likely spike production costs. Nonetheless, the fact that these options are available make the VM-PRO far more versatile than standard volume pedals (even a simple buffer will cost as much as half this pedal’s worth).

RELIABILITY & DURABILITY:
Mission Engineering’s VM-PRO is very study with a good weight to it. Both the base and foot pedal are steel, with my particular version having a carbon fiber finish (also available in solid black, vintage white and red). The top of the foot pedal is rubber, which increases grip and stability when in use, and is easy to clean (I also have a Mission Engineering expression pedal and was able to clean some dirt off it easily with some mild soap and a damp cloth).

Movement of the foot pedal is smooth and solid, set up at the factory with just the right amount of tension (although you can adjust this with the Allen Key provided). The quality of the pedal’s moving parts indicates clearly that it was built to last, which it needs to because of regular up and down movement. Pots always wear, depending on how much you use them, and so it’s difficult to say how long the pot in this particular VM-PRO will last. Regardless, it is quiet without any crackling or other extraneous noises.

The cable input, output and power input are located on the sides, which are typical of a rocker-type pedal (e.g., wah, volume, expression). Lastly, do note that the VM-PRO can operate on a 9v battery if you don’t want to use an electrical power source, and consumes only 1mA of power – and so a battery will last a very long time (but do unplug from the guitar input when not in use to avoid draining the battery). If using a power source, it will handle anything from 9v to 18v, making it versatile in that aspect as well.
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News Volume Pedal for Guitar/Bass

[MUSIKMESSE] Vox introduces V860

Published on 04/06/16
Vox presents the V860, an aluminium, handwired volume pedal.

Source Audio is shipping Reflex

Published on 07/17/15

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Dunlop DVP4 Volume X Mini

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Dunlop DVP4 Volume X Mini

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