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Your thoughts on volume pedals
Old 24th June 2013
  #1
Your thoughts on volume pedals

My pedalboard has been in a state on constant flux over the last few years, partly due to the stylistic range of music I'm involved with but also because I kept searching for the 'perfect' setup i.e retaining the tone while still be flexible.... Fellow Pedalslutz, you know the drift!

Anyway, lately I experienced problems with level drops and 'strange' behaviour from distortion pedals, etc that had me scratching my head. Some of it got resolved or at least analyzed: The AnalogMan Bicomprossor was a big part of my sound for a while but I gave up on it for live use due to inconsistency even when using buffers and low compressions settings. Am I crazy? Is the problem elsewhere?

Well, I just spotted this from AnalogMan and it explains it:

Analog Man Compressor Pedal Page (Scroll down to REV 4 CIRCUIT)

But I digress: For most of my gigs, I got used to have a volume pedal on my board, set after the distortion (mainly a AnalogMan Boss DS-1, sometimes an added fuzz) and before the delay(s). I could write a book about my experiences and troubles with delay pedals but that's for another time.

I used Ernie Ball VPs for a long time, finding that the Jr. version was way inferior as opposed to the standard one which I got back to. But about a year ago I switched to a Roland FV-500-H which I thought was more transparent sounding and sturdier built.

Well, I just started to realize that this could be the problem. Does anybody have thoughts how different volume pedals impact the chain? I noticed that Mike Landau is using the keyboard version of the Roland pedal and I wonder if that has to do with impedance? I'm pretty untechnical about this stuff but I took great care testing different pedal setups, cables and buffers (mostly I keep a Z.Vex Super-Hard-On engaged as my first pedal).

Might going back to an Ernie Ball solve the problem? I'm actually thinking about losing the volume pedal permanently but again, I was just amazed about these level problems which I didn't experience before.

Here's another point: I use the volume and tone controls on my Tele and Strat quite a bit. Actually part of the reason for using a volume pedal is the option of having a more distorted and sustaining (rhythm) sound and that's why I place the pedal after the distortion pedals. So basically there are two volume potis at work. This seems like a normal setup to me and I used this for years but I wonder if this is a factor in the 'misbehaviour' of the Roland pedal?

I know this is a broad subject but I'd appreciate any feedback, thanks!
Old 24th June 2013
  #2
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Silent Sound's Avatar
My personal experience with volume pedals tells me to avoid using them if at all possible. They really only work immediately after your guitar and before any effects, and if you don't have a problem using the volume knob on your guitar, then I would just avoid using them all together. I've used a bunch over the years, and have to say they all pretty much sound the same to me, assuming you match the correct values (i.e. don't use a 25K Ohm pedal with passive humbuckers).

So I've got my volume pedals in a box in the attic now because I switched over to a system where I set the volume for individual overdrive/boost pedals, and leave them on all the time, and then use a looper pedal to switch over to the pedal that I want to use. So I'll have a pedal with a loud overdrive and another pedal with a quiet fuzz and a third with a mild grind, and then just switch to which of those that I'm wanting to use via the looper. Now I just hit one switch versus having to try to nail the exact volume I want by rocking my foot. I just found most of those volume pedals to be too hard to get the exact volume I was looking for anyway.

Anyway, you might be on to something with the impedance thing. Pedals will change the impedance of the signal, and what might work right after the guitar, may not work after a pedal. All though, with as many different pedals as their are, you'd probably have to run some experiments to find out which is best in between any two given pedals. Sorry I can't be of more help. My solution to your problem was to avoid dealing with it. So I can understand how that wouldn't work for everyone.
Old 24th June 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
My personal experience with volume pedals tells me to avoid using them if at all possible. They really only work immediately after your guitar and before any effects, and if you don't have a problem using the volume knob on your guitar, then I would just avoid using them all together. I've used a bunch over the years, and have to say they all pretty much sound the same to me, assuming you match the correct values (i.e. don't use a 25K Ohm pedal with passive humbuckers).

So I've got my volume pedals in a box in the attic now because I switched over to a system where I set the volume for individual overdrive/boost pedals, and leave them on all the time, and then use a looper pedal to switch over to the pedal that I want to use. So I'll have a pedal with a loud overdrive and another pedal with a quiet fuzz and a third with a mild grind, and then just switch to which of those that I'm wanting to use via the looper. Now I just hit one switch versus having to try to nail the exact volume I want by rocking my foot. I just found most of those volume pedals to be too hard to get the exact volume I was looking for anyway.

Anyway, you might be on to something with the impedance thing. Pedals will change the impedance of the signal, and what might work right after the guitar, may not work after a pedal. All though, with as many different pedals as their are, you'd probably have to run some experiments to find out which is best in between any two given pedals. Sorry I can't be of more help. My solution to your problem was to avoid dealing with it. So I can understand how that wouldn't work for everyone.
Thanks, this is very helpful!

I think that I will indeed avoid the volume pedal altogether! I played my Strat much more lately and of course it's even easier to access the volume knob there vs. a Tele. And I agree about the difficulty to set exact levels with a volume pedal. I always felt that using a volume pedal will reduce the dynamics somewhat, with the Ernie Ball and Roland pedals it seemed that at least the high end would not be affected to much but it seems paradoxical to use a pedal to control dynamics that actually affects them. It's subtle but I became extremely sensitive to this stuff over the years and it's a also one reason why I had so much trouble finding the right delay pedals. Most seemed to affect the dry sound somewhat, buffer or not.

Depending on how my 'Delay Odyseey' ends, I might still be using an expression pedal. One thing I always had trouble with when doing say atmospheric delay swells was accessing both the volume and expression pedals (the latter set to 'Feedback' which is the way I mostly work). In fact it might be much easier sticking to the guitar volume.

Also, most of the big pedalboards used by famous players have multiple volume pedals. I often wondered how this actually works especially once that you sing on stage as well. I just must realize that I play best when I have as little stuff to deal with as possible pedalwise so that's a major consideration.

At the moment, using a Xotic RC Booster for both clean solos and boosting distortion pedals might be the route I'm going.
Old 24th June 2013
  #4
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ears2thesky's Avatar
Years ago I solved my issues with volume pedals by mounting a preamp circuit (DOD BI-FET) in the pedal enclosure (it was the large Roland style with plenty of interior room). I've also changed the pot to a 1 mega Ohm pot over the stock 250k in many volume pedals with positive effect.

I only use a volume pedal for swells in conjunction with delays, so it's not needed full-time. I am intending to put a true bypass switching circuit into one with a 1meg pot just before the delays. I'll kick it on when I want to do the swell thing and then back off when done with that effect. The other thing I'm doing to mitigate any negative side effects of the volume pedal is to put it in a true bypass loop along with the delays and reverb, so that all of it is out of the signal when not used.

As far as subtle level differences during the show: I'd never use a pedal for those--I generally set them at the effect or with the guitar volume.

You should check out this site for lots of cool info on pedal design stuff and DIY projects.

Guitar Effects Pedals, Schematics, Stompboxes & Electronic Projects
Old 24th June 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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Silent Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
It's subtle but I became extremely sensitive to this stuff over the years and it's a also one reason why I had so much trouble finding the right delay pedals. Most seemed to affect the dry sound somewhat, buffer or not.
Have you tried the TC Electronics Flashback X4 yet? It's got some things that I don't like about it, so I'm not going to say it's perfect, but it does do a pretty good job of passing the dry signal straight through without effecting the tone too much. In fact, to my ear it's pretty much transparent, even when it's engaged. For the price, it's worth a shot if you haven't tried one yet.
Old 24th June 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
Have you tried the TC Electronics Flashback X4 yet? It's got some things that I don't like about it, so I'm not going to say it's perfect, but it does do a pretty good job of passing the dry signal straight through without effecting the tone too much. In fact, to my ear it's pretty much transparent, even when it's engaged. For the price, it's worth a shot if you haven't tried one yet.
Haven't tried that one but very many other pedals. I guess I bought (and in most cases) sold about 20 delays over the last few years.

Strangely enough, the affordable EHX Deluxe Memory Boy was one of the best sounding delays and I thought that it didn't change the dry sound at all. But mine broke down twice (that happened often with EHX pedals in my case) and finally I bought a new one: My impression is that the sound is different due to the unpredictable nature of the bucket brigade chips...but the jury is still out.

Another recent fave has been the MXR Carbon Copy, again a rather affordable pedal that is just amazing.

I also been using a WEM Copicat which I think is an amazing sounding box - you can't beat real tape delay not matter what anybody says! Due to the preamp the Copicat changes the sound - adding a certain sparkle and IMO more dynamics but also a bit of thinness so I'm still undecided if I want that as a permanent part of my setup.

But since the volume pedal seemed to affect everything in a negative way, I will definitely try the Copicat again in a volume pedal-less setup.


I'm still interested in more opinions about volume pedals, so keep 'em coming. Thanks!
Old 25th June 2013
  #7
I think they suck tone, pure and simple. Cool for swells/violin type stuff in the studio, but not for live.
Old 26th June 2013
  #8
I think that volume pedals are not made for subtle changes of volume but for swells. They are too inaccurate for trying to set levels. I don't think a decent one will suck tone in itself, but it will (obviously!) change the input level to your amp and (especially with a low output guitar) this will affect tone as well as volume. As far as impedance is concerned this affects how quickly it swells in. What I mean is if you use a Gtr volume pedal on a keyboard it will jump to loud pretty fast without much in between. When it's on full volume there is no difference in loudness or tone between a low and high impedance pedal.
Old 26th June 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

.
I really wish there were a volume pedal that had a (standard plate voltage) 12ax7 tube as the input amp (before the gain change).

There's something very special about a guitar pickup directly connected to that thing (and there's really no way to fake it).
.
Old 26th June 2013
  #10
I use a volume pedal (Little Alligator) right after my guitar in the chain, I use it just like I would use the guitar volume knob for times when I cannot grab the volume knob because of what I am playing or the timing...I have had no problems with this setup...
Old 26th June 2013
  #11
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Just for when my hands are full....

I just put a pot in a minibox, with a switch to bypass it and an LED to remind me that it's bypassed. I tried volume pedals but they were too distracting. Plus I'd tip over all the time.
Old 26th June 2013
  #12
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

I use the Dunlop passive volume first in the chain. It's a 250ohm pot, same as a strat volume knob. I use it for swells. For overall volume control, I have a Keeley Katana last in the chain. It is a high quality preamp w/ a rubber volume knob on the side that can be manipulated with your foot.
Old 26th June 2013
  #13
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Thoughts? They're harder to use right than they would appear.
Old 26th June 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Famous Yard View Post
I think that volume pedals are not made for subtle changes of volume but for swells. They are too inaccurate for trying to set levels.
I think you are very right!

Like I said I use the volume and tone controls on my guitars a lot but actually it's more for tonal variety that actual volume control.

In other words, say a Tele will usually clean up nicely when rolling back the volume but since the tone becomes thinner and cleaner it also will be less compressed and therefore better cutting through a band arrangement.

I think the only real way to change the volume is by touch. A scary concept I do admit but hey, that's what them old school guys did! I mean listen to Page or Bloomfield, it's ALL about touch......
Old 27th June 2013
  #15
I'm amazed by how many really sh!tty volume pedals are on the market and get purchased by unwitting musicians. There are very few volume pedals worth buying.

The original Ernie Ball (open frame, uses a radio cord to move the pot) isn't bad, was the best you could get for a long time. Dunno if they still make it. Haven't tried the Junior but it doesn't look as good to me.

The Morley, which is an active light-beam pedal. It's OK if you like Morley pedals, doesn't have a pot to get scratchy, kinda weird pedal action, sometimes gets droopy when it gets old.

And the brand the majority of pedal steel players use, the Goodrich.

Goodrich pedals are also radio cord pedals and give you the full travel of the pot. They are available in both high and lowboy profiles and in both passive 500K and buffered active configurations. The pot is guaranteed for 1 million cycles. They're not cheap but they beat everything else I've seen.

Smooth, they stay where you put 'em, the high profile version is great for fine adjustments.

I'd beware of geared volume pedals - I've never seen one that gives you full rotation of the pot which means if it's set up to give you full off then it never really turns up all the way and WILL affect your sound. And geared pedals have other problems, like the mechanism getting loose and droopy with age. They're also not as smooth as radio cord pedals.
Old 27th June 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
I think you are very right!

Like I said I use the volume and tone controls on my guitars a lot but actually it's more for tonal variety that actual volume control.

In other words, say a Tele will usually clean up nicely when rolling back the volume but since the tone becomes thinner and cleaner it also will be less compressed and therefore better cutting through a band arrangement.

I think the only real way to change the volume is by touch. A scary concept I do admit but hey, that's what them old school guys did! I mean listen to Page or Bloomfield, it's ALL about touch......
If you're using overdrive then you're dead right. On How The West Was Won you can hear page playing with the Gtr volume all the time and he interacts with his sound in a much better way than if he had two preset channels. Really nice control of his tone. That's what a few hundred loud gigs will teach you.
Old 27th June 2013
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I'm amazed by how many really sh!tty volume pedals are on the market and get purchased by unwitting musicians. There are very few volume pedals worth buying.

The original Ernie Ball (open frame, uses a radio cord to move the pot) isn't bad, was the best you could get for a long time. Dunno if they still make it. Haven't tried the Junior but it doesn't look as good to me.

The Morley, which is an active light-beam pedal. It's OK if you like Morley pedals, doesn't have a pot to get scratchy, kinda weird pedal action, sometimes gets droopy when it gets old.

And the brand the majority of pedal steel players use, the Goodrich.

Goodrich pedals are also radio cord pedals and give you the full travel of the pot. They are available in both high and lowboy profiles and in both passive 500K and buffered active configurations. The pot is guaranteed for 1 million cycles. They're not cheap but they beat everything else I've seen.

Smooth, they stay where you put 'em, the high profile version is great for fine adjustments.

I'd beware of geared volume pedals - I've never seen one that gives you full rotation of the pot which means if it's set up to give you full off then it never really turns up all the way and WILL affect your sound. And geared pedals have other problems, like the mechanism getting loose and droopy with age. They're also not as smooth as radio cord pedals.
Mr Eppstein speaks wise words. Cheap geared pedals always break or go crackly (or both). Waste of money. Ernie ball is good. I have the junior and it seems good too. The Morley will never go crackly and is well built but has a weird on/off travel that I didn't like. I haven't seen the Goodrich here in the UK. I'll check them out. Even the Ernie Ball pedals are really expensive here. ยฃ150-170 for the big one and ยฃ100 for the junior.
Old 28th June 2013 | Show parent
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
Have you tried the TC Electronics Flashback X4 yet? It's got some things that I don't like about it, so I'm not going to say it's perfect, but it does do a pretty good job of passing the dry signal straight through without effecting the tone too much. In fact, to my ear it's pretty much transparent, even when it's engaged. For the price, it's worth a shot if you haven't tried one yet.
FWIW, I just ordered the blue EHX Deluxe Memory Man w/Tap Tempo (1100ms) again.

Bought it about a year ago and sold it again....... there you go. But I think it will be great with my new volume pedal-free setup. The EHX Deluxe Memory Boy is very good but I need something for more Edge/Gilmourish sounds and the cleaner and longer delay of the blue MM is perfect for that - yet still 100% analog. I will keep the Memory Boy though!

The TC X4 looks good and I was impressed by the clips I heard on YouTube. But I won't go for a multi-effect pedal, also the looper seems unnecessary as I use an original Boomerang for that. I owned the Empress Super-Delay a few years ago and had nothing but problems with it so I try to stay away from pedals that try to doo too much though I'm sure that the TC is more reliable than the Empress.

The plan at the moment is to have my WEM Copicat for slapback (and as a preamp stage), the MXR Carbon Copy for subtle enhancements and the Memory Man for rhythmic delays and more pronounced atmospherics.

For some jobs it doesn't make sense to carry the Copicat so I might use the Carbon Copy for slap then. All these delays are great in their own way but very different sounding from each other.....

Old 1st July 2013
  #19
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uptheoctave's Avatar
Hi Andi,

How is Basel?
I am using Mission Engineering expression/volume pedals at the moment and very happy with them.
I stopped using EB pedals as I was always replacing the string.
The Missions look/feel like a Crybaby- short throw so you have to be accurate with them.
Old 2nd July 2013
  #20
Gear Addict
 

John is very right, Goodrich pedals is the way to go if you want a new one ....
best vintage one for guitar is the Mutron wah volume from the 70s.... sounds great, volume and wah can be switched on / off independently ( and can be used together!), has an adjustable great sounding boost ... but big & heavy, ac-powered, and expensive these days ... has been used by everyone from Santana to Jerry Garcia to Thurston Moore to Miles Davis etc etc
Old 2nd July 2013 | Show parent
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptheoctave View Post
Hi Andi,

How is Basel?
I am using Mission Engineering expression/volume pedals at the moment and very happy with them.
I stopped using EB pedals as I was always replacing the string.
The Missions look/feel like a Crybaby- short throw so you have to be accurate with them.
Hi James,

Alles klar hier in Basel! In the studio I mainly worked on my own stuff lately and hope to have it released soon...

I tried a few rehearsals without the volume pedal and realized that I can't do it....at least not for the projects where I do a lot of atmospheric/swell stuff, etc.

So I've been experimenting a bit and it seems that if a keep the Xotic SP Compressor on all the time (set to 'Lo' and the Blend to about 40% wet) along with my usual ZVex Super-Hard On first in the chain...well, it works really well like that.

I 'm currently using the Boss FV-500-H and I plan to order the Low Impedance version just to check it out. I read so many conflicting reports about which version to use that the only way to do it is by testing it with my specific setup.

Also, the Memory Man Deluxe w/Tap Tempo arrived today. Maybe I'm crazy but I like it better than the previous one I had. With those rare Panasonic chips, I'm pretty sure that there is some variation going. The first one I had seemed to really exaggerate the first repeat of the delays. I don't hear it with this version now, in fact I was pretty blown away both by the transparence and vibe of it. So hopefully it's a keeper.... It's been my experience that Electro-Harmonix pedals vary quite a bit, I think that my current Deluxe Memory Man sounds different than the first one I had until it broke down. No necessarily better or worse - just different.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions here, I carry on with my elusive search for the perfect pedalboard setup!
Old 20th August 2013
  #22
Just a little update: I finally bought a Boss FV-500-L volume pedal, this is the low impedance version and I tried it on several gigs replacing my FV-500-H.

I used a Z.Vex SHO and a Xotic SP Compressor as the first two pedals and both stay on all the time. The volume pedal was placed after the distortion boxes (currently a Xotic AC Booster and an Analog Man Boss DS-1) and before the delays.

There is a HUGE difference when using the Low-Impedance version, mainly more clarity and control but I'm not sure if I like it. I had the feeling that the sound got too trebly especially when using distortion.

So the verdict is pretty clear: NO MORE VOLUME PEDALS for me, at least not in a live setup.

Another reason is sheer pedal board real estate. I sometimes use a Colorsound Wah, I absolutely love the sound of it but you need to put it in a looper as it kills the high-end otherwise. A small MXR Loop Box works fine but with the Wah, an expression pedal for the Memory Man and the Boss volume pedal it would just be too trouble for me.

Also, adjusting 'swells' by operating both the expression pedal (controlling the MM's feedback) and the volume pedal itself is confusing.
Old 20th August 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Just a little update: I finally bought a Boss FV-500-L volume pedal, this is the low impedance version and I tried it on several gigs replacing my FV-500-H.

I used a Z.Vex SHO and a Xotic SP Compressor as the first two pedals and both stay on all the time. The volume pedal was placed after the distortion boxes (currently a Xotic AC Booster and an Analog Man Boss DS-1) and before the delays.

There is a HUGE difference when using the Low-Impedance version, mainly more clarity and control but I'm not sure if I like it. I had the feeling that the sound got too trebly especially when using distortion.

So the verdict is pretty clear: NO MORE VOLUME PEDALS for me, at least not in a live setup.

Another reason is sheer pedal board real estate. I sometimes use a Colorsound Wah, I absolutely love the sound of it but you need to put it in a looper as it kills the high-end otherwise. A small MXR Loop Box works fine but with the Wah, an expression pedal for the Memory Man and the Boss volume pedal it would just be too trouble for me.

Also, adjusting 'swells' by operating both the expression pedal (controlling the MM's feedback) and the volume pedal itself is confusing.
If you're looking for compact volume control, look at the Keeley Katana. It's a small pedal size, with the volume knob on the side. I put a rubber knob cover (dunlop) on it and can control it with my foot. You can't do volume swells, but you can adjust it to alter gain characteristics of your board. The knob is also a push/pull switch that adds a mid boost and a bit of drive if needed. It has like 20dB of boost for slamming the front end of an amp too.
Old 20th August 2013 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
If you're looking for compact volume control, look at the Keeley Katana. It's a small pedal size, with the volume knob on the side. I put a rubber knob cover (dunlop) on it and can control it with my foot. You can't do volume swells, but you can adjust it to alter gain characteristics of your board. The knob is also a push/pull switch that adds a mid boost and a bit of drive if needed. It has like 20dB of boost for slamming the front end of an amp too.
Thanks for the tip but I'm really happy with both the Z.Vex SHO and the Xotic Boosters for gain staging:

The SHO stays on all the time with just a tad of boost but mainly acting as a buffer. Once I got used to it I coudn't live without it anymore.

The Xotic RC Booster is by far the best clean boost I ever used. Really, really good without any thinning out of the sound. It's just perfect for clean solos.

The Xotic AC Booster is my latest addition and a real revelation. very dynamic and full sounding, kinda a Tube Screamer without the boxiness.
Old 20th August 2013
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

If you want better access to your volume knob on your tele, you could always do a Bill Kirchen mod. You just remove the control plate, take off the pots and switch, spin the plate around and reassemble with the volume knob forward followed by the tone knob and selector switch in the rear. It doesn't cost you anything but the time to do it.
Old 20th August 2013 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebakanezer View Post
If you want better access to your volume knob on your tele, you could always do a Bill Kirchen mod. You just remove the control plate, take off the pots and switch, spin the plate around and reassemble with the volume knob forward followed by the tone knob and selector switch in the rear. It doesn't cost you anything but the time to do it.
Hah! What a great idea, never would have thought of this in a million years.... Thanks, I might do this as I definitely prefer the accessability of the volume knob on a Strat.


Old 20th August 2013
  #27
I've been using a Goodrich for sometime. Sounds great. It's buffered and I don't notice too much of a change in tone (I'm very picky about such things). The best volume pedal I've used. Sometimes I put it in a true bypass loop when I have a lot of pedals running. I use it for ambient swells. Otherwise I use my volume knob.

The older Ernie Balls are def. better then the new ones. I also have one as a backup. Effects tone a little more then the Goodrich but still pretty good.

I've been able to successfully place the goodrich in various spots in the signal chain. I don't put it before a fuzz tho. Otherwise all is good.
Old 20th August 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 

We discussing quality volume pedals, don't leave off the list SCHALLER... a German engineered pedal from the 70s.... still not expensive if you can find one and quiet as a mouse in use. I also like the slope of the volume curve, gives your foot expert control over the swells. I also find that with other pedals (distortion as an example) that you need to put the pedal LAST in the chain so that you don't underdrive the overdrive pedals (sorta like an oxymoron or am I just a moron?).

Anyway, my 2 cents.

Jim
Old 21st August 2013 | Show parent
  #29
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by litepipe View Post
I've been using a Goodrich for sometime.
[...]
Goodrich has a great rep among pedal-steel players.

...And they should certainly know a thing or two about volume pedals!
.
Old 21st August 2013
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 

I never learned to use the vol knob very well, so I tend to use the EB vol more. I find when I'm using the vol pedal to adjust gain down that it's better for me to keep my heel on the floor and gently press the rear of the treadle with my toe to set my level. Gives me more control without much slipping up or down as I step off the pedal. You can lift with the toe, too. Typically, though, I use a couple of different drives and a boost to give me dirt flavors and volume. It's also useful since it has an extra output for a tuner. Keeps the tuner out of the chain.
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