Whichever volume-pedal you go with, try your fuzzes after it and before it; some fuzzes and other 'vintage-style' pedals don't work well with some volume-pedals in front of their inputs, particularly active, powered volume-pedals. Experiment!
Also, volume-swells before echo and reverb can be really, REALLY cool.
You can also make seagull sounds that way. Lots of potential, lots of fun!
Now, I have
tried- and own, and have been completely delighted with for a good decade now (ESPECIALLY for TEN BUCKS used!)
an old 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's my favorite volume-pedal and unless I find a need for a passive volume-pedal, I don't imagine ever looking for another.Note- optical based designs will NOT get scratchy or static-y the way designs with potentiometers, "pots", can, do, and will...
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 one Summer years ago for a ten-spot. I believe that George Dennis is the current incarnation of the brand and should be of very high quality... _____________ (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.
$150 is a little high for a Volume Pedal,, but Xotic makes very good gear. Boss and Ernie Ball also make good Volume Pedals, with metal enclosures, for slightly less, and they're more likely to be available at your nearest GC.
Quick word of warning: place your Volume Pedal after your Compressor in the signal chain, otherwise, the Compressor will try to boost any little noise that it hears from the Volume Pedal. Imagine pressing down on your Volume Pedal, and hearing a "creaky door" sound that belongs in a horror movie.
Ya make that sound like a bad thing, Winston
Might be fun!
Couple of optimum placements for a Volume Pedal -
First up, right after your Guitar, before any other effects. Good for overall Volume control, and "Swell" effects. (Pull back on the Volume Pedal, hit a note, then push down.)
Second is right before your Delay and Reverb effects, but after your Modulation effects. This is nice for the end of a tune, or even a lead riff, where the Guitar signal dies back, but the echoes trail off.
Third, between your effects and your Amp. In this position, it works for overall Volume, but it also doubles as an emergency Shut-Up! control, in case of feedback or runaway effects.
As usual and to be expected, all very, very solid, useful, and insightful observations, Sir.