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#2481588 - 03/29/13 06:53 PM Volume Pedal Suggestions
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
I've been using Ernie Ball volume pedals for ages, but I'm starting to not like the taper of the swell & am looking for something more linear, as well as free from scratchy pot syndrome. What I want to avoid is the sense that the volume is rather suddenly full ON about half or 2/3rds through the pedal's travel. Halfway should be half volume. I've heard that the Morley pedals can be altered for the sort of swell shape you like & being optical won't ever scritch on you. Does anybody here have any Morley experience, pros or cons, recommendations or warnings?
Thanks,
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#2481596 - 03/29/13 08:35 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
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I haven't tried one but these look interesting...

http://www.ehx.com/products/volume-pedal


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#2481598 - 03/29/13 09:21 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: p90jr]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Loc: Los Angeles
How do you attach that EHX to a pedalboard?
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#2481656 - 03/30/13 08:26 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
Guitarzan Offline
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tie it to your feet and then walk around...
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#2481665 - 03/30/13 08:52 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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What is it about the EB's taper that you don't like, Scott?

I see that some of the newer Ernie Ball Volume pedals feature a two-position taper switch to choose from. I have not tried them, though. I have owned a more typical EB Volume pedal, and I liked it. I've just gotta find it! blush crazy

What I have tried- and own, and am delighted with (ESPECIALLY for TEN BUCKS!) is a Rockman RV-1 Volume (Michalik design/Czech republic, nothing to do with Tom Scholz' co. or products), which uses an optical circuit instead of a potentiometer. I have used it to clean-up and kick-up tube-amps for that dynamic "play the amp" approach to varying from clean to mean to scream to "beam me up, Scotty".

It is a very smooth, clean, quiet, transparent, unobtrusive volume-pedal, and it is fairly compact, as well, particularly for a volume-pedal.

They are no longer in production as far as I know; but the good news is that they can be found dirt cheap; I believe their going-rate averaged around $35 when I got mine last Summer for a ten-spot.

_____________ (Here's one wrapped in plastic)

The bad news (that's really not so bad) is that it uses an oddball sized jack for external 9v power-supplies, which is also pin-positive. It wouldn't be too hard to replace the jack and reverse its polarity by one means or 'nother, but I simply used a 9v battery snap-cap adapter with a standard PS jack on the other end, fed through the hole where the oddball jack was, which is now taped-off and secured inside the case.
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#2481667 - 03/30/13 09:09 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
What is it about the EB's taper that you don't like, Scott?


It's not a smooth, straight line from full off to full on. It goes fairly smoothly up to about half volume at the 2/3rds travel point, then steeply climbs to maybe 90% & then goes the rest of the way to full from there. I can tame it by slowing my foot during the last half of pedal travel, but I shouldn't have to. It's seeming to me that maybe the non-linearities of potentiometer manufacturing might be alleviated by using an optical device, where the gate can have any taper you care to design.

Quote:
I see that some of the newer Ernie Ball Volume pedals feature a two-position taper switch to choose from. I have not tried them, though. I have owned a more typical EB Volume pedal, and I liked it. I've just gotta find it! blush crazy


I have that, on an EB Jr pedal. Frankly I don't hear much meaningful difference between the 2 positions. They're different but neither one is linear.

Quote:
What I have tried- and own, and am delighted with (ESPECIALLY for TEN BUCKS!) is a Rockman RV-1 Volume (Michalik design/Czech republic, nothing to do with Tom Scholz' co. or products), which uses an optical circuit instead of a potentiometer. I have used it to clean-up and kick-up tube-amps for that dynamic "play the amp" approach to varying from clean to mean to scream to "beam me up, Scotty".
It is a very smooth, clean, quiet, transparent, unobtrusive volume-pedal, and it is fairly compact, as well, particularly for a volume-pedal.


Compact is a great thing, especially since I have 4 of them on my pedal board.

Quote:
They are no longer in production as far as I know; but the good news is that they can be found dirt cheap; I believe their going-rate averaged around $35 when I got mine last Summer for a ten-spot.

_____________ (Here's one wrapped in plastic)

The bad news (that's really not so bad) is that it uses an oddball sized jack for external 9v power-supplies, which is also pin-positive. It wouldn't be too hard to replace the jack and reverse its polarity by one means or 'nother, but I simply used a 9v battery snap-cap adapter with a standard PS jack on the other end, fed through the hole where the oddball jack was, which is now taped-off and secured inside the case.


Thanks, I'll look around. Where did you find the Rockman, dealer or Craigslist?
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#2481676 - 03/30/13 10:05 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
russclan Offline
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Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 217
Honestly Scott, if you try the Rockman and don't like it, you might consider just replacing the pot in your EB. I think I have the same one (mine's a 6166), and it looks like the pot's shaft is held in place with a set screw in a brass cylinder. Probably not the easiest job in the world, but doesn't look terribly difficult.

The reason I suggest this is because I doubt you'll find a more sturdily built pedal anywhere...they're almost over-engineered, imho.

I'd steer clear of anything with an optical sensor - I'm not a big fan of those. A few months back I bought and subsequently returned a Dunlop 95Q wah, which has one. I liked the idea of not having to push the switch to engage the pedal, but I found that no matter what adjustments I made, I couldn't get rid of an annoying, very audible sound when the optical switch kicked in...and it was not very smooth at all. I can't imagine it being much different with a volume pedal.
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#2481681 - 03/30/13 10:27 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: russclan]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I've been using an Ibanez VL10, for longer than I can remember, and it's never failed me. All-plastic construction, it looks nearly identical to every other plastic Vol/Exp pedal out there, but it works for me. Also doubles as a Pan pedal, which is why I bought it originally.
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#2481690 - 03/30/13 10:49 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Winston Psmith]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
I have taken an Ernie Ball apart. It's a real pain in the ass, but doable. Anybody have a recommendation for a pot that would give a straight, linear ramp to the volume curve? I should add that my volume pedals are between my preamp (Boss GX700 or GT-10) & my multi-FX devices (Boss SE70's & SPX900,) so the pedals are not seeing guitar pup impedances, but a line out.
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#2481694 - 03/30/13 11:24 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Registered: 10/01/08
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I had one of these. Worked like a charm; wish I knew where I last left it. frown
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#2481715 - 03/30/13 12:37 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: hurricane hugo]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
I have the EB where the jacks are on the right side, not the top of the pedal... I bought it because I found it cheap, then my tech guy tells me it's the one Mark Knopfler prefers because of the taper of the pot and they're sought after because you can't get those pots they used in them anymore easily.

It's starting to act up in its old age, but I think that's a jack problem, though I did buy a new string thing to put in it that I forgot about.

here's some links about it, and the second one is how to mod the ones that aren't right... but it sounds like they want to opposite of what you want, Scott?

Old style: great change in the first, small change in the second half of pedal sweep > great for fade-ins, great to adjust volume
New style: small change in the first, great change in the second half of pedal sweep > less intense fade-ins, difficult to adjust volume


http://www.mk-guitar.com/2008/09/10/knopflers-ernie-ball-volume-pedal-and-how-i-use-mine/

http://www.mk-guitar.com/2010/09/07/erni...n-bradley-poti/

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#2481716 - 03/30/13 12:40 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: hurricane hugo]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 4917
Loc: Hwy 49, California
+3 not sure I could find my Ernie Ball right now but it did work fine for me. I bought the one with the pot for active acoustic/electric guitars and I'm sure it will work fine for me if I ever need it again...

I still use a volume pedal on my multi-effects board but have skipped using it while playing. I set my on/off comp clean boost for lead and going back to rhythm. I adjust my volume up and down for the room before I start playing using the pedal as a master volume. If more people come in I bring it up, if there are fewer people in the room I can bring it down...this also helps me avoid making changes using the guitar volume knob(s) after the initial dial-in. You can also zero the volume pedal and avoid speaker pops when unplugging or changing guitars...

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#2481741 - 03/30/13 02:15 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Posts: 21971
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Hey, p90jr- my EB volume pedal is an old side-jack one, as well!

Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
What is it about the EB's taper that you don't like, Scott?


It's not a smooth, straight line from full off to full on. It goes fairly smoothly up to about half volume at the 2/3rds travel point, then steeply climbs to maybe 90% & then goes the rest of the way to full from there. I can tame it by slowing my foot during the last half of pedal travel, but I shouldn't have to. It's seeming to me that maybe the non-linearities of potentiometer manufacturing might be alleviated by using an optical device, where the gate can have any taper you care to design.


This one seems very 'straight' and gradual from zero through to full-on, almost boringly so. grin It might be just what you want, if other specimens are like mine- which they probably consistently are, being optical.

Quote:
I see that some of the newer Ernie Ball Volume pedals feature a two-position taper switch to choose from. I have not tried them, though. I have owned a more typical EB Volume pedal, and I liked it. I've just gotta find it! blush crazy


I have that, on an EB Jr pedal. Frankly I don't hear much meaningful difference between the 2 positions. They're different but neither one is linear.

Quote:
What I have tried- and own, and am delighted with (ESPECIALLY for TEN BUCKS!) is a Rockman RV-1 Volume (Michalik design/Czech republic, nothing to do with Tom Scholz' co. or products)


Thanks, I'll look around. Where did you find the Rockman, dealer or Craigslist?[/quote]

Someone I knew had one, wasn't using it, and I asked him if I could buy it. He'd gotten it used from another individual he knew, for the same or less, himself.
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#2481796 - 03/31/13 12:41 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 5583
My favorite volume pedals are either Goodrich or Hilton pedals. But this is probably overkill for straight up standard electric guitar picking.

Street price on the Hilton will run $270 - $300. Goodrich is about $250-$270. Goodrich does make a $170 pedal. But if you aren't a steel player I don't know if paying this much money for a volume pedal makes sense.


Edited by CEB (03/31/13 12:54 AM)
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#2481797 - 03/31/13 01:11 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: CEB]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 5583
PS maybe check out the Visual Sound Visual Volume.
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#2481845 - 03/31/13 09:58 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: CEB]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: CEB
My favorite volume pedals are either Goodrich or Hilton pedals. But this is probably overkill for straight up standard electric guitar picking.
Street price on the Hilton will run $270 - $300. Goodrich is about $250-$270. Goodrich does make a $170 pedal. But if you aren't a steel player I don't know if paying this much money for a volume pedal makes sense.


I have checked those out on the pedal steel forums. My application is anything but straight up electric guitar picking, it's basically a foot operated effects send matrix. Unfortunately I need four of them on my pedal board, so that rules out those really high end boutique brands.
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#2481851 - 03/31/13 10:14 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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It may not be the same or anything like your use Scott but I have thought about using my EB Volume pedal (probably the reason I'm saving it) in conjunction with my DigiTech looper for my solo stuff. I would record my rhythm guitar to the entire song to use for the lead parts on my looper (which holds up to 99 complete songs). It would be playing the entire time during the song at very low (or monitored) volume so that the audience would not hear it. I would then bring up the volume when I go to a lead part and then lower it back to zero when finished. The idea would be to avoid the awkward sudden start/stop timing when using the looper for real time, and be able to just fade the rhythm away...

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#2481853 - 03/31/13 10:24 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: CEB]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: CEB
PS maybe check out the Visual Sound Visual Volume.


Google is great, & sent me to heated debate about the Visual Sound pedal. Someone was complaining that it popped on at the beginning of the pedal travel, too abruptly to do a good swell from zero to full. A rep from Visual Sound responded:

" ALL volume pots do this. This is always a little bump between "off" and minimal "on". It's the mechanics of how a pot works. If you don't believe me turn your amp way up and check the pot on your guitar.
When a volume pot is "off", it's out of the circuit. YOu'd have the same effect as removeing the pot all together.
When you start to roll the pot up, there is a moment were it inters circuit. This is the bump your hearing. A pot can not be half way in a circuit, it either is or it isn't.
The pots you are used to useing in a volume pedal are called "A" tapers. They have a drastic scoop/sag to thier sweep. It softens the front side (the bump) but makes the last bit have an uncontrolable jump. If you ever used an EB you know what I mean.
Our pot is a custom straight line taper, no scoop/sag. This leads to more control over the entire rock of the pedal. It will take a little be to adjust you foot, because you are not used to have so much control. It's like going from a soft cluch to a fast cluch in a car.
If you are hear this bump, rock the pedal to full. I bet your amp is set really loud for the environment you are testing the pedal in. If you are in a band this loud you would not hear this bump.
Reset you amps volume with the pedal at full and then check. You'll still hear the bump if you are in a quite room, BUT not near as bad. Quite rooms are not fair tests becasue they are not reality. That's why mag. reviews always try the product being reviewed in different live settings.
Like I said the whole feel of the pedal is different from EVERY other volume pedal on the market. You have alot more control than you are used to.
Swells are possible. I do them with the VV. So does Steve Vai, Jimmy ViVino (Conan OBrien Show), Paul Jackson Jr., Chris Rodriquez (session guy that's played with pretty much everybody). This is just a short list of the 1000 Plus VV10 users that use it for swells.
There is a name in the list that may suprise you. Steve Via uses the VV10, not his Morley signature model. That should really tell you something.
One thing you can check it to boosting feature of the pedal. Take the btoom off and see if both of the pots on the circuit board are rolled full COUNTER clock-wise. This is unity gain. Anything above this is boost. It's unlikely, but if they are full on it could make the bump sound louder than it is."

Many typos & grammatical errors, but it sort of tells me I'm not going to be happy with this model.
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#2481856 - 03/31/13 10:38 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
since you have 4 EBs already I say try that Knopfler obsessive's tricks...

firstly, just hook them up BACKWARDS ("in" into the out and vice versa) and see if that gives you the taper you like, and see if you can live with the resulting treble bleed in your application.

if you can't, hunt down the old Allen Bradley pots or maybe bring the pedals on you next trip to Germany and have him mod them for you.

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#2481860 - 03/31/13 11:04 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: p90jr]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: p90jr
since you have 4 EBs already I say try that Knopfler obsessive's tricks...
firstly, just hook them up BACKWARDS ("in" into the out and vice versa) and see if that gives you the taper you like,


Never thought of that. That's an easy one.

Quote:
and see if you can live with the resulting treble bleed in your application.


Since these are on the output of a preamp, not straight from the pickups, treble loss is not an issue. It's a low impedance feeding into a high impedance.
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#2481864 - 03/31/13 11:19 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
hmmm, well if they work backwards and give you the right taper then that's awesome.

I generally look for ways to bleed off treble with Fender guitars (and Vox amps)... even though I have the right taper in mine I may hook it up backwards anyway...

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#2481866 - 03/31/13 11:28 AM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
as far as scratchy pot syndrome, I think some guys very carefully drill a small hole in the pot casing so they can give it a shot of deoxit when it gets scratchy without having to pull the pot and open it up. A pedal steel player I know recommended that to me.

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#2481940 - 03/31/13 08:05 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: p90jr]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 6392
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
There's really only one volume pedal worth buying, and that's the one (or two, if you count their slim line edition) from Hilton Electronics. Designed for Pedal Steel guitarists, the extra detail, travel range, resolution, and robustness (as well as avoidance of parts that wear) also makes it ideal for regular guitar.

They're a bit pricey (slightly over $200), but less than you'd spend replacing a bad one. Nothing else comes close. The Ernie Balls aren't what they used to be. But even at their best, they didn't hold a candle to Hilton's volume pedals. They're easy to find via Google but not in stores or at best-known e-vendors.
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#2482159 - 04/01/13 02:32 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mikhael Offline
Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 6
And so far no one has mentioned the Morley he asked about. I like them okay, but there are a couple of issues I've ran into:
[1] Every now'n'then I'll have a volume drop on my volume/wah that is resolved by stepping on the vol/wah switch twice. BOTH of my vol/wah pedals exhibit that.
[2] The sweep is fine, and easily adjustable via the piece of cardboard (I think it is) that the light passes through. Quality sound, no problems there.
[3] The mechanical action of the pedal can be a little sticky and hard to adjust. You have to tighten the pedal mounting screws just right, to get it to work properly.

So they work decent for me, but I had to futz around with them a bit to get the pedal to function the way I wanted it to.

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#2482429 - 04/02/13 02:00 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Mikhael]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 6392
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
No point at looking at the Morley unless you're near-broke and don't mind buying another volume pedal later. If one is JUST comparing vs. current run Ernie Balls, however, the available adjustments may me a bit more advantageous.

EB makes so many models now though that it's hard to generalize (though I think they pulled back their product line recently and rationalized it to fewer models again, realizing they had confused the marketplace).

As my Morley was not recent, perhaps it is unfair for me to comment on what it did to the tone even when bypassed. I couldn't easily find information on their production runs and models to see when/whether they switched technologies over the past few years. It does seem their optical model is more reliable and transparent (from demos) than recent EB fare, at least.
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#2482536 - 04/02/13 09:58 PM Re: Volume Pedal Suggestions [Re: Scott Fraser]
Terrell Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
I have taken an Ernie Ball apart. It's a real pain in the ass, but doable. Anybody have a recommendation for a pot that would give a straight, linear ramp to the volume curve? I should add that my volume pedals are between my preamp (Boss GX700 or GT-10) & my multi-FX devices (Boss SE70's & SPX900,) so the pedals are not seeing guitar pup impedances, but a line out.


I have an EB stereo pan, I had to take it apart to tune the cross fade. Yes Total PITA!!!!

You're probably not going to like this suggestion, but it will do EXACTLY what you want. Lexicon MRC2 with a Yamaha FC7 that sends CC to the SPX. A Friggin bullet proof rubberized pedal from hell, no pot noise, dial in log slopes, cross fades, reverse, triangle, change patches at the toe or heal, whatever you want...

Flame on...

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