Since the first time that I have tried them, I have been a great fan of guitar pedals, and since I have collected a vast number of them that have helped me produce beautiful sounds. Even in the most complex pedalboards, there is a pedal that won’t really affect your sound significantly but it is essential for the overall performance, volume pedals. Unlike Distortion Pedals or Looper Pedals, they don’t play with the tone too much.
When I first heard about them I wasn’t really impressed and didn’t consider them a necessity. However, after a friend lent me one I found out that it was pretty much excellent overall, the convenience just makes the whole performance smoother, as you won’t really need to take your hands off the guitar. If you are wondering for the best of them though, that is another case.
Today we are going to talk about how you can find the best volume pedals in the market. I have written this guide based on my experience with various pedals, expert consultation, research, and buyer feedback. You will see here the top picks that are pretty much fail-safe and will deliver you the best value for your price. After that, we will take a look at the factors that determine if a pedal is good or not, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions. So, without further ado, let’s get on with it.
The 5 Best Volume Pedals
First up we are going to speak about the top picks. These products listed here are all handpicked by me personally. I have picked these as a result of countless hours of research, personal experience, vigorous testing, expert consultation, popularity and buyer feedback. These are all fail-safe choices that will deliver you performance, accuracy, speed and excellent value for your money. You won’t be disappointed in these. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
5. Ernie Ball MVP
We are going to start this list strong with a volume pedal coming from Ernie Ball, the MVP. This pedal is a certified one that will deliver great performance for a wide range of users. It is a two-in-one volume and expression pedal that can also be connected to a tuner pedal for silent tuning. I should mention that it is a little expensive for what it offers, but if you can afford it then it is worth it.
However, I also think that if you buy this pedal you won’t have to upgrade anytime soon, it is just so good at what it does. It delivers excellent quality for its price and it is super durable in its body delivering great sturdiness. It is also extremely easy to use and get around it as it doesn’t have complicated controls.
It works anywhere, wherever you place it in the signal chain, and it is a high-quality tool that will deliver you great volume performance. You won’t be disappointed with this one at all.
4. Hotone Soul Press
Moving on I have a guitar pedal that will deliver a great performance for those that are looking for a bit of extra and more features, the Hotone Soul Press. To be correct this is a three in one pedal that delivers plenty for its price and is definitely capable of all of its functions.
Right from the unboxing, this device looks extremely attractive with a red paint job on its super durable and sturdy body that will be able to take plenty of abuse during touring and while practicing. It is also a pretty small device compared to most other volume pedals in the market as it measures 2.9×1.7×1.7-inches in total.
One of my favorite things about this pedal is that it features an active volume mode that will deliver a lossless tone with zero loss in quality.
This thing has plenty of features and it has three modes that you can take advantage of Wah, volume and expressions. While I don’t recommend getting both the wah and volume in the same package due to both the wah and the volume being used extremely frequently, so it can take a toll on the pedal itself after some time and affect its durability.
3. Dunlop DVP 4
Coming up next we have a pretty capable yet a little compact volume pedal coming in, the Dunlop DVP 4. This volume pedal has been in the market for a long time now and it has proved itself as a truly professional tool, and I can comfortably recommend it to everyone.
The biggest selling point of the Dunlop DVP 4 is that it is extremely compact, well compared to most volume pedals at least. Also, it is about half the size of its predecessor the DVP3. This is the perfect choice for those that don’t want a volume pedal that is huge but still want a reliable and durable device that will deliver you years of touring than this is it.
I should mention that the Dunlop DVP 4 is a mono device, which is good for the majority of users and it also has an AUX plug that can activate the expression function of the device for more advanced users. The controls are super basic and you won’t have to worry about anything except the pedal itself and the minimum control feature which is necessary for my opinion.
2. Ernie Ball VP Jr
If you have played the guitar you probably already know the Ernie Ball brand which delivers one of the best guitar equipment. This time around we will take a look at the Ernie Ball VP Jr. volume pedal which has justified itself as one of the best in the market without any competition. Let’s take a closer look.
I have to say that the Ernie Ball VP Jr. is one of the most well-built guitar volume pedals in the market, coming in with a die-cast metal body with plenty of support in the bottom to prevent it from sliding. On top of that, it has a 250k potentiometer that delivers a great range and smoothness. It also provides a tuner input for silent tuning. Before moving on I should mention that the Ernie Ball VP Jr. is a passive pedal meaning that it doesn’t require batteries or power adapters to work.
The components used in the Ernie Ball VP Jr. are pretty much excellent and work properly all the time. I should also state that the potentiometer in this beast is pretty accurate and delivers a great response. The performance is pretty good overall and it controls the volume superbly, no weak points, a must consider.
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1. BOSS FV-500H
Coming to the top of the list we have one of the best volume pedals in the market, coming from one of the most trusted brands in the market, Boss and the FV-500H. If you have been following us you know that we rate Boss pedals very highly, and this volume pedal really delivers strength, durability, reliability and all the necessary things to make things easier for you.
I have to say that the BOSS FV-500H is definitely built like a tank and will take plenty of abuse before giving up. It is built from a heavy-duty aluminum body that makes it the most durable pedal I have ever seen. While it looks like heavy machinery it is definitely very easy and accurate in operation. I should mention that it is a mono device that has one in and one out plug.
On top of that this pedal has the expression out plug that makes it easier for you to control the level of an effect. Like most of the volume pedals in the market, it is extremely easy to operate and it also has my favorite feature the minimum volume knob. It is extremely smooth in operation and will deliver plenty of desirable qualities to your playing, the best overall.
What is a Guitar Volume Pedal?
A guitar volume pedal is pretty basic in terms of function and the name is pretty self-explanatory. It controls the output volume of your guitar basically speaking. However, there are some models that can be combined with the expression function so you can control the volume of a pedal that you have connected it with. While I like having a separate wah pedal, some users appreciate having a wah effect on the volume pedal, but then again it is not as frequent as the others.
Things You Should Know Before Buying A Volume Pedal
You should know that a guitar volume pedal is a pretty simple device overall compared to most pedals and effects on the market. However, then again you should be careful before buying one since there are good and bad models. The most important thing that you have to look out for when you are buying a volume pedal is its durability. The volume pedal is definitely you will use more frequently, a close second only to the wah pedal. However, most of the models in the market are super strong and will take on the abuse, and I would suggest not opting for the cheapest model in the market since it can be a gamble.
After the durability, you need to check whether you want a mono or stereo pedal. As you already know mono pedals have one in and one out plugs which is more than enough for the wide majority of guitarists in the market. On the other hand, stereo pedals have two in and two out plugs which allows you to plug in two instruments and make use of a stereo rig.
You will also have to determine if you want just a volume pedal or one that also has expression features in it. As I explained earlier expression jacks can become pretty handy if you want to control a distinct effect more carefully, but then again it is not the most useful feature for most of us.
When it comes to special features, volume pedals can be packed with some interesting ones that can make your job easier and add to the overall experience. One of the most useful ones is the minimum volume feature that gives you the ability to set the amount of the volume that the pedal will pump out when it is set in the lowest value. I consider this feature essential since you won’t mute the instrument accidentally and pretty much every guitarist looks out for that feature, so I would suggest you to do as well.
Another feature that may be pretty useful to most of us is the adjustable flexibility of the pedal itself. If the pedal has that feature you will be able to adjust how hard you need to stomp on it to move it, so you can get the best and most personalized experience. In the end, I need to mention that some guitarists also check out if the volume pedal has a tuner plug. Personally, I don’t like that setup however, if you want it, it is nice to have, but not necessarily.
Volume pedals are different from octave pedals or delay pedals, since they are made for different purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where should I put my volume pedal in the effects chain?
There are millions of probable setups when it comes to the arrangement of the pedals in the pedalboard. There are complex setups that are personalized for the preference of the guitarists. But when it comes to a volume pedal, most frequently they are placed at the beginning of the signal chain. Simply connect your instrument directly from the cable to your instrument and then everything else after that. When you do that the volume pedal will act the same as the volume knob of the instrument itself and you will be also controlling the volume of all the effects that come after it. Like I said this is optimal for most, but there is a guitarist that prefers different setups, and after all, everyone has a different style.
Should I opt for a new or used pedal?
The answer to this question, in my opinion, is pretty simple. I have always been the advocate of buying the best product for the money, however, when it comes to pedals and especially volume pedals it is important to buy a new one. Volume pedals are most of the time pretty affordable and quality models will be by your side for a long time. On top of that with a new device you get a warranty and safety, you know what you are getting. I know that finding an awesome second-hand deal can't be beaten however if you want a pedal that will pass the test of time and will be reliable a new one will do you better justice.
To conclude I would like to state that all of you are pretty ready to go buy yourselves a brand new volume pedal for your effects chain. You will definitely get the one that delivers perfect value for the price and will fit your needs. Don’t forget to check our top picks which are fail-safe options that have stood the test of time. Until next time my fellow guitarists!