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Audiophiles

Best Volume Pedals 2022

When you press down on the volume pedal, it increases the output of your guitar, and when you let up, it decreases it.

We believed it would be simple to locate the best volume pedals when we started out to do so. After all, guitar volume pedal doesn’t have their own distinct sound. They just modulate the volume using a very simple method. Well, it turns out that a volume pedal is MUCH more than meets the eye. There’s a lot of lingo when it comes to volume pedals, which can be perplexing for novices. To mention a few: potentiometer, passive, active, high impedance, low impedance, signal chain, buffer, optical, mechanical, tone suck…

If you’re a novice searching for your first volume pedal, an experienced guitarist seeking for a new volume pedal, or just want to put our expertise of volume (and expression) pedals to the test, read on! We spent countless hours researching, polling experts, and playing with a variety of pedals to help you navigate and understand what to look for in a volume pedal, and to tell you which ones we – and many other musicians around the web – believe are the best.

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics

The Ernie Ball VP Jr 25K the Best Volume Pedals. It has volume controls with a 25K ohm resistance potentiometer that’s specifically built for active pickup guitars and basses. Everything about the rocking mechanism is standard, with stainless steel pivot shafts, Kevlar cable, and springs. This tried-and-true design provides dependability and makes maintenance and repair easier if necessary.

The active volume pedal also has a tuner output which removes your tuner from the signal chain, reducing the overall length of your chain. This is a big selling factor for people who believe their tuner is affecting their tone negatively.

A micro taper switch is located on the front side, near your heel, and it allows you to choose between two different volume swell speeds, one of which is more linear and the other more geometric (both logarithmic still of course). You’ll notice a tuner output, which means you can tune on the fly with your tuner in parallel instead of serial if you utilise the pedal early in your signal chain.

One of the best things about Ernie Ball Volume Pedal is that it’s small and tiny in comparison to other volume pedals, hence the Jr. in the name. It’s around 3.5 inches broad and 10 inches long, so it’s perfect for smaller pedalboard setups or if you’re simply out of space. It’s also a little lighter than the other volume pedals we looked at with battery enclosure. The VP Jr.’s build, like that of its big brother, the Ernie Ball MVP, is nice and strong, and the chassis appears like it could take a battering and come out uninjured. It also has a pleasing aesthetic. The pedal surface has a sandpaper-like grit that prevents your foot from slipping when operating it.

Before we proceed any further, you should be aware that the VP Jr. is available in two variants, and you must select the correct one for your setup. VP Jr. model 6180, for example, has a high-impedance 250k ohm potentiometer that is ideal for passive instruments (as an example, your standard electric guitar pickups are passive).

The Ernie Ball VP Jr. model 6181, which has a low-impedance 25k ohm pot and is suitable for active instruments, is the other option. This is also a passive volume pedal, which means it doesn’t need to be power source to work. Just remember that if you choose the Ernie Ball VP Jr. model 6181 25k, you should use it after a buffered, always-on pedal like a Boss tuner to match the volume pedal’s impedance.

There isn’t much extra here as guitar volume pedals go, as with practically all volume pedals. They only have one task to complete, and the game is to ensure that it is completed correctly. This one does, and it can help you save a lot of money. This is the Best Volume Pedal in 2022.

Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal

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Boss FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal - High Impedance
  • High-impedance Volume/Expression Pedal for Guitar or Other High-Impedance Instruments

It’s not often that you find a clear leader in a category, but Boss did it with their Boss FV-500H volume pedal for guitars. With a heavy-duty aluminium chassis, this machine is constructed like a tank.

The FV500H is a high-impedance pedal, as the name suggests. This indicates that passive pickups will be the best option. The pedal has an expression output, thus it may be used as both a volume changes, volume curve and an expression pedal (this can also be done simultaneously).

The FV-500H also has a tuner output, allowing you to maintain a tuner on your board without causing a signal chain bottleneck.

Last but not least, the FV-500H has a minimum volume and torque control. The minimum volume setting determines the lowest volume your volume pedal will produce, while the torque control determines the amount of force required to operate the pedal. It’s worth noting that the FV-500L (a low impedance version of this pedal) works nicely with active pickups. Bottom line, Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal is the Best Volume Pedals in 2022.

Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Optical Volume Pedal

Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Optical Volume Pedal
  • Electro optical circuitry no pots to wear out
  • Consistently smooth linear taper is set to Steve's painstaking specifications
  • Designed for use in effects loop send and return or in front amp input

Morley collaborated with famed guitarist Steve Vai for this Volume Pedal. When it comes to volume pedals, their wah is the greatest in the game, and the Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator is a close second. They haven’t scrimped on anything. The electro-optical potentiometer is just as accurate as any other type, but it doesn’t produce any noise. A minimum volume knob is also included to control the audio taper’s range.

But that’s all there is to it. A dual volume and expression pedal and a tuner output aren’t included. There are no audio taper options available. You’re using a taper that was custom-made to Steve Vai’s specs. And that’s about as safe an environment as you can get.

You won’t go wrong whether you’re playing acoustic-electric guitar, electric guitar, or anything else with a mono signal. It’s made to be extremely solid and durable, with a wider bottom to prevent it from tipping over.

The noiseless operation and finely constructed audio taper are the main draws, with no additional emphasis placed on providing the greatest volume pedal possible. Rather than a jack of all trades, you’ll get a master of one. This is the Best Volume Pedal for Guitar in 2022.

Dunlop DVP4 Volume X MINI Pedal

Dunlop Volume X Mini Pedal
  • Controls volume levels and FX parameters
  • Half the size of the DVP3
  • Low Friction Band-Drive for smooth, durable

Allow the Dunlop DVP4 Volume X to flawlessly regulate your volume and FX parameters. The DVP4 is half the size of the DVP3 and has an extremely sturdy and lightweight shell. The DVP4 is travel-friendly and includes a rubber base plate, making it ideal for players who are constantly on the move. The DVP4 also has a completely adjustable rocker tension, allowing guitar players to get the most out of their volume change. The AUX output combines tuner and expression functions into a single jack that can be toggled using a switch on the inside of the pedal.

It also has an unique Low Friction Band-Drive that provides a smooth range of motion and reliable performance. The volume effect is slightly smaller, measuring 6 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches and weighing 1.3 pounds. It has an attractive black casing that is robust, dependable, and capable of grasping the player’s foot firmly. This is a mono pedal with a single input and output, as well as an AUX jack for switching to expression mode mode. It’s also worth noting that the rocker tension is completely adjustable.

Boss FV-500L Volume Pedal

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Boss FV-500L Foot Volume Pedal - Low Impedance
  • Low-impedance Volume/Expression Pedal f Keyboard Instruments

As previously noted, the Boss FV-500L and FV-500H are fairly similar in build quality. The key difference between the two is that this one has a low-impedance pedal, making it perfect for active pickup instruments.

It’s a passive volume pedal that also works as an expression controller, and it has a torque adjustment that enables you determine how much force is required to rock the pedal during volume swell rates.

Many Boss pedals have the advantage of being one of the few generally available (and affordable) pieces of gear that can withstand continuous operation, which is especially significant for gear with moving elements like volume pedals. There are numerous evaluations that support its durability and dependability, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

It also has a tuner output, which allows you to connect a tuner that has minimum impact on your signal chain. There’s also a minimum volume control.

Ernie Ball MVP Most Valuable Pedal

Ernie Ball MVP Most Valuable Pedal (P06182)
  • Minimum volume control
  • Gain boost
  • Works with any signal anywhere in the signal chain

The Most Valuable Pedal by Ernie Ball has a wonderfully smooth foot sweep. It’s the best volume pedal for precise volume control without sacrificing high-frequency content throughout the volume sweep.

Ernie Ball’s volume pedal is popular among users because it is simple and effective. It’s basically the ideal device for turning up the gain on your guitar without distorting the sound. The pedal has a volume expression, which makes making massive volume sweeps with this gadget a breeze.

The lack of a genuine bypass switch was the lone complaint from users, but most didn’t have any issues with the pedal when it wasn’t in use. The pedal is mostly straightforward – it’s just a volume pedal with a few extra features. There’s a tuner out jack for use during performances, but that’s it. Just keep in mind that the minimum and maximum gain switches aren’t labelled, so finding the volume range you want may need some trial and error.

Both active and passive electronics are supported by Ernie Ball’s MVP. It has a minimum volume knob and a robust gain circuit with a clean boost of +20 dB. There’s also a tuner output, which lets us turn down the volume and tune quietly while separating the tuner from the main signal chain. The pedal features a compact, durable design that will survive the test of time, which is especially necessary given the treadle’s movement.

Ernie Ball took everything that was wonderful about the VP Jr. volume pedal, addressed the flaws, and created the Ernie Ball MVP, a fantastic product. It’s quite adaptable for something as simple as a volume pedal. It’s buffered, so you can use it with active or passive pickups and place it anywhere in your effects chain, which is our favourite feature. That way, you may concentrate on selecting your ideal tone rather than worrying about impedance and jargon. A huge plus is the separated tuner output. The Ernie Ball MVP isn’t cheap, but we think it’s priced decently, roughly on pace with the Boss FV-500H.

SONICAKE VolWah Active Volume & Wah Pedal

SONICAKE VolWah Active Volume & Wah Pedal
  • 100% Analog Volume/Wah 2 in 1 Pedal with a lightweight casing but yet truly Robust and Well-Built
  • Active Volume Control can keep away from Impedance Mismatch Troubles
  • Style Vintage Wah Sound

Is there anything better than a volume pedal? The Sonicake VolWah is a volume pedal that also functions as a wah pedal, giving you the best of both worlds. The VolWah is an active pedal that functions as both a volume and a wah pedal and is compatible with both passive and active pickups.

It can produce a classic, vintage-style Cry Baby sound while also ensuring that your performance is at the appropriate volume. The VolWah is compact and small enough to fit on most pedalboards. It’s composed of hard plastic, which is lightweight yet extremely durable and well-crafted.

If you’re running out of room on your pedal board, this compact and lightweight pedal is the way to go. Furthermore, the pedal combines active volume control with a classic crybaby-style wah effect in one pedal. As a result, you save space by not using a separate wah pedal. Users were also blown away by the wah effect, with several recommending it even if they didn’t need the volume control. You can’t use both the volume control and the wah effect at the same time, though.

Instead, a switch on the side of the pedal allows you to convert between the two modes. A pair of LED lights indicate which mode is active at any one time. Users also complained that the volume control wasn’t as good as it was on some of the other pedals we tested — for example, making smooth volume swells with this pedal is tough. The pedal itself is made of strong plastic and is relatively small. This raises some concerns about the pedal’s durability, but customers indicate that it is surprisingly well-built and stands up to heavy use. It’s also incredibly convenient to travel with due to its small size and light weight.

Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Optical Volume Pedal

Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Optical Volume Pedal
  • Electro optical circuitry no pots to wear out
  • Consistently smooth linear taper is set to Steve's painstaking specifications
  • Designed for use in effects loop send and return or in front amp input

One of the highest-quality volume pedals we’ve seen is Morley’s active pedal. To begin with, it is constructed of cold-rolled steel and is incredibly sturdy. The base is slightly wider than the pedal, which some users dislike because it makes the pedal appear larger on the board. However, it is still tiny enough that most users will not notice.

The utilization of electro optical technology is what really sets this volume pedal apart. That means the ports will almost never wear out, which is a worry with other commonly used volume pedals. It also has an onboard battery so you don’t have to worry about plugging the pedal in, and the battery is easily accessible for charging the pedal.

This pedal’s sweep is more linear than many of the other options we looked at. Keep in mind, though, that the torque on the pedal is uncontrollable. Users also praised the pedal’s inclusion of a minimum volume knob, which comes in helpful when using the pedal for large volume sweeps.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Volume Pedals?

The output amplitude of a guitar (or other instrument) signal is controlled by volume expression pedals, which are treadle lever-type foot pedals. Volume pedals are typically set to maximum volume in the toe-down position and to minimum volume (mute) in the heel-down position. These poles can often be exchanged to obtain the opposite result.

Volume pedals do not add any gain (amplitude) to the signal in general. Instead, as the pedal is “turned” down, they will attenuate the input signal, allowing the full signal level to pass when set to the maximum level. Volume pedals control the dynamics of an audio signal and complement other dynamics pedals at the start of the signal chain. If the pedalboard has multiple noisy pedals, however, a volume control pedal at or at the end of the pedal chain may be preferable.

Where to put a Volume Pedal in my signal chain?

When it comes to volume pedals, there are two schools of thinking. Some artists like to use their volume pedal first (or second if they’re using a compressor), while others prefer to use it last. When a volume pedal is first in the chain, it controls the amount of gain that comes through by acting like your guitar’s volume. A volume pedal, when placed last, regulates total loudness rather than gain.

Consider it this way: a volume pedal just reduces the signal’s power. More distortion will be produced by a greater signal entering into a distortion pedal (which already raises the signal). It will increase the entire signal chain if used after all of your effects. If you’re still unsure, start with the most common method of placing the volume pedal first in your chain and tweak as you acquire expertise.