- by Kevin Deal
Finding the best volume pedal is a challenge. Getting that right sound is hard enough without incorporating all of the fragile mechanics of putting together the right equipment. Without the best equipment for your music needs, it’ll be even harder to portray your music to your intended audiences as you hear it.
Why Volume Pedals Are So Important?
Volume pedals are an investment not to be taken too lightly. At their cheapest, they can be a moderately costly piece to add to your music set. At their most expensive, they can be foundational pieces that can increase the ability of a musician to play explosively potent sets live.
The Main Takeaway: Volume Pedals are important pieces of any musical setup for those that want to perform live, and can be great for mimicking effects added in studio sessions. The simpler pedals focus on volume, and voice mimicking effects, whilst others can be used to loop.
While volume pedals are used from guitars to pianos to drums, the reason for its use sonically can be diverse. Some musicians use them to offer a more organic sound that mimics the human voice whilst others use it to add crispness, more reverb or other effects. Regardless of the reason for use, choosing the right one for you can be a headache if not done properly.
The amount of effects a volume pedal comes with can be based on both what company you choose as well as what you are willing to spend. For those that need a wider range of control and effects, the required equipment goes beyond just a basic volume pedal. The tension and release can affect the fluidity of your playing style.
Getting The Value & Finding The Best Volume Pedal
This guide will walk you through the definitive 5 best volume pedals that can make the difference between your music reaching the levels you need to stand out, without sounding too washed out.
If the goal it to have the best volume pedal for preserving the exact tone and sonic qualities with each piece of instrumentation, there are only a few strong options that are both affordable and reliable.
Important Point: The goal should be to pick up pieces of equipment that fulfilled a few categories.
- Lifetime Value: Every piece, not only volume pedals need to have a long history of reliability without a loss in durability.
- Quality over Price Or Brand: This means that it is engineered to engineer for a long time without losing control quality.
- Transportability For Touring Or Gig Musicians: It should be durable and easily transportable without taking any damage when on the road or moving between studio sessions.
- Price Point: Without sacrificing quality, keeping within budget will allow you to spend more on other resources for your music. Also, in the worst case, if it’s cost efficient you should be able to relatively easily replace the piece if damaged or stolen.
Volume Pedals are an important part of the full range of effects based tools for producing music. With rapidly increasing use, they are essential pieces of composition for some musicians, and for others are one of the more important components of their set.
Our Top 5 Best Volume Pedal 2017
Reviews Of Our Best Wah Pedal
1. Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics
The Ernie Ball VP Jr is used for volume and sound control. It features 250k Ohm resistance which is used for audio paths and passive instruments. Simple and reliable, the volume pedal could be the best choice for drummers in live bands. With its relatively light weight and cost effective price, it’s no wonder that so many drummers rely on it as their go to volume pedal.
- Excellent Sound Quality – The sound quality might be a good choice for drummers. It plays without noise to the sound
- Versatile - Providing a wide range of uses, Ernie Ball VP creates haunting chords to note expressions. Its versatility might be perfect for those needing a change in their sound
- Good selection of effects – With effects such as Vintage 80’s Rat Pro Distortion and Aqua Puss Delay, the Ernie Ball has variety. The effects could broaden the range and style of any drummer
- Compact Design – Ernie Ball VP is designed for professional drummers. The resistance of the foot pedal allows for precise movements. Due to its small design, it allows the addition of extra foot pedals
- Responsive – The Ernie Ball quickly responds to a user’s input. Allowing a precise and consistent movement throughout a musical piece
- Breaks easily – The Ernie Ball’s main weakness is its durability. Drummers found it less durable than others making it useful for short-term projects only
- Level gauge needed – A level gauge needed to show the degree of pedal depression
- Difficult to use – This product requires expertise to work properly. Beginner drummers might be discouraged to use the Ernie Ball firsthand
2. Ernie Ball MVP, Most Valuable Pedal
The Ernie Ball MVP offers dynamic sound. Adjustable volume control up to 20+ decibel gain leads to a powerful lead levels. Gain levels are also adjusted to the drummer’s needs. With it’s noise cancellation ability, it removes any feedback and virtually any amount of sound diffusion that could cause a lower quality of sound. It can be both loud without losing any of the crispness that is needed for advanced players.
It’s price is one of the better ones on the list. It runs the normal range without needing excessive shipping fees and tends to last long. Most reviewers have added that the durability of the Ernie Ball MVP volume pedal makes it one that can last several raucous tours.
There is the normal amount of wear and tear but it won’t need replacement for a long period of time after purchase. It comes with a warranty for any damage that can be incurred that the pedal is made to resist against. Insurance is always a good thing when it comes to music equipment.
- Sound Quality & Control – Sound quality is its best asset. Ernie Ball comes with an adjustable volume and gain control. This might be useful for the drummer who wants control over their sound
- Noise Free – With noise cancellation technology, it maintains that high quality sound. Ernie ball is great for creating a great sound without the noise
- Solid Build – The Ernie Ball MVP is designed for volume control. Each of its knobs being fully adjustable to the drummer’s needs
- Doesn’t Affect Tone – Don’t worry about high frequency loss with the Ernie Ball MVP. The pedal allows for quick changes in volume without a reduction in tone
- DC Jack position – The DC jack is placed in an awkward position. Making it a challenge for early use
- Volume Ramps – Sometimes, when using the Ernie Ball the volume ramps up. In addition, the volume does not smoothly transfer when changing the setting. The unnecessary volume ramps could cause trouble for live sets
3. Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal - High Impedance
BOSS FV-500H features a rubber pedal for comfortable non-slip action and play. It’s sturdiness and weight works for heavy duty music sessions. Also, the pedal might be a great choice for the experienced drummer.
Its main feature is its ease of use. Customers who use the BOSS Pedal found it simple for a pickup use.
- Requires no Power – BOSS comes with an easy to install system. Making it easy to plug and play instantly. For beginners, this could be an advantage for setting up quickly
- No Tone Suck – BOSS pedal comes with no tone suck, making it easier to perform. It maintains the volume and tone quality of the music being played
- Sturdy & Heavy Duty – The pedal is made from a heavy aluminum casting die. It is a blend of functionality and precision. Usage is recommended for long and extended performances
- Adjustable Stiffness – The stiffness of the pedal is easily adjusted. Allowing ease of movement, the pedal might be a good choice for drummers who want added comfort
- Volume Difficulty – One con is the control of the volume. Sometimes the volume shifts uncontrollably during movement. Making this a volatile pedal for sound control
- Guitar Signal – Even when placed at a minimum volume, you’ll still hear a slight amount of your guitar signal
- Heavy – While it is a sturdy pedal, it takes up a lot of room. Making it a challenge for drummers who are looking for a pedal of compact sizing
4. Dunlop DVP3 Volume(X)
The Dunlop DVP3 allows for volume control and stabilization. A good choice for road tours, the DVP3 has an aggressive non-slip tread. Their patent-pending Band Drive creates smooth ranges of motion and consistent operation.
Equipped with a rocker tension, adjustments to tension is made easy. When using the DVP3, the internal switch enables you to switch from heel-down to toe-down positions. Overall, if you’re looking for a fully customized pedal, this might suit your needs.
- Fully customizable – DVP3 users might be appalled by the customization that it brings. Easily reverse the heel-down and toe down positions
- Tension Adjustment – Easily adjustable settings, the DVP3 might be for the drummer who needs comfort. Tension adjustment
- No Tone Loss – Enjoy a pedal without the annoying tone loss. DVP3 comes with a noise cancellation, tone loss system
- Limited Effects – The effects for the DVP3 have a small range. It is the smallest on this list. While its effects are useful, it does not have as much variety as expected
- Not Sturdy – One disadvantage about the Dunlop DVP3 is its lack of durability. Customers found it easy to break overtime. This could cause trouble for the long-term performer
- Heel Down Issues – The heel down mechanism has a few flaws in switching back at times. It’s a small issue, but makes it harder to turn the volume completely off
5. Mission Engineering VM-PRO Volume Pedal Pro with Buffer - red
A mono pedal with a main input and a single input. Also, there is a second output jack. It serves as a connector of any tuning device. The Mission Engineering VM-PRO is handy for live gigs.
Producing 500K impedance, the pedal is suited for passive electric guitar pickups.
It includes a metal red casing. The durable casing is sturdy; weighing about 3.6 pounds. You can obtain it in different colors. From red, green, metal and black appearances, this is a versatile pedal.
As far as live gigs go, this pedal is a good long tour pedal.
- Performance – The Mission Volume Pedal is accurate and powerful. It can easily stand up with the competitors with its performance. With a linear sweep, the pedal feels like an extension of your foot
- Durability – No maintenance is needed for the Mission Volume Pedal. Its sturdy exterior will last even after seven years of use
- Easy to Use Controls – Controls designed to be effective, the pedal allows for smooth and easy use. Instead of flashy knobs, the Mission Volume Pedal is one simple pedal
- Expensive – Due to the extra features, making it the most expensive on this list
The Mission Engineering VM-PRO Pedal is the clear winner. In comparison to other pedals, it completes the simple goal of performing. It gives a mixture of durable usage and high quality performance. One could be playing on this pedal for several years.
While it cost may not be ideal, it is still within the reasonable range that can be expected for a volume pedal that delivers this level of quality. The difference between it and it’s competitors is apparent from first use.
Other brands lacked in small nuances. For instance, the BOSS pedal is too heavy. This makes it hard to transport quickly or be used when doing shows. The ideal pedal, as mentioned before, should be easily transportable for quick setups, breakdowns, and transitions. The Mission VM-PRO Pedal is better due to its compact design and impeccable performance. However, they can only be used for short term performances.