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User Review

Built Like a Tank. - Reviews Vox V850 Volume

Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
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.