Some guitarists might overlook the importance and benefits of a volume pedal. Although volume pedals only bring subtle touches and changes to the signal chain, these pedals actually offer a lot more flexibility which is crucial when it comes to the type of music you play.
Plus, one of the best things about having a volume pedal is that you can control the volume more easily and with a lot more accuracy. Who wouldn’t want that, especially if you want full control over your output? Below are seven of the best volume pedals that are currently getting lots of attention.
7 Best Volume Pedals for 2021
- Boss FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal
- Dunlop DVP4 Volume X MINI Pedal
- Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects Pedal
- Yamaha FC7 Volume Expression Pedal
- Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K
- Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Optical Volume Pedal
- SONICAKE Wah/Volume Guitar Pedals
Following the popular FV-300, BOSS comes up with its descendant which also equally amazing. The FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal is one of the top-performing pedals in the market today. It is a high impedance pedal that functions as a mono volume pedal that has a plug-and-play system, making it perfect for beginners to use instantly.
The FV-500H has a heavy-duty die-cast body made to last the toughest times. This volume pedal offer a new stylish design and comfortable, smooth action. It also features an expression pedal function that suits well with expression-compatible amps, effects, and even synthesizers.
- No tone loss
- Sturdy and heavy-duty Construction
- Adjustable stiffness of the pedal
- Hard to control volume Heavy
Leave it to the Dunlop DVP4 Volume X to control your volume and FX parameters flawlessly. The DVP4 does its job half the size paired with a very durable build and lightweight casing. Perfect for players that always travel and have an on-the-go lifestyle, the DVP4 is travel-friendly and has a rubber base plate.
The DVP4 also owns a rocker tension that is fully adjustable, enabling players to have maximum comfortability. The AUX output combines tuner and expression functionality into one jack that can be toggled with a switch inside the pedal.
It also features a patented Low Friction Band-Drive which allows for a smooth range of motion and Consistent performance.
- Compact size
- Rubber base plate
- Very smooth volume taper
- Its color and size might make it less visible on dark stages
- Relatively pricey
It also has a built-in expression pedal, perfect for increasing overdrive, changing volume, or adding wah or filtering to get that sweet sound out of your guitar solos.
The Zoom G1Xon is an expression pedal that does not only improve your volume, distortion, compression, reverb, and more, but it also enables you to use up to 5 of them simultaneously, chained together in any order you like. It possesses flexibility, giving your performances great, complex effects that can all be found in G1Xon.
- Great sound quality
- Great value for the price
- Some pre-sets have a humming sound
- Made of plastic
Adjust your volume the most affordable way with the Yamaha FC7. Best used in combination with keyboards, the FC7 is designed for various play styles and is also compatible with the DG series amplifiers. It has an adjustable pedal for your comfort and has a spring point adjustment for better tactile feedback.
The FC7 boasts its Fortissimo function which adds more flavour and accents to your guitar tone. It does not only adjust the volume, but also customizes the effects of your instrument. The FC7 is built to withstand some tough times and heavy use.
- Incredibly accurate
- Highly functional Fortissimo function
- Might be a little difficult to use
Best used for live bands and performances, the Ernie Ball VP Jr. features a 250k Ohm resistant potentiometer that’s suitable for audio paths of passive instruments. The Ernie Ball Jr. is a lightweight pedal that is a must-have for drummers. It also features a micro taper switch which provides two distinct volume swell rates.
The Ernie Ball Jr.’s potentiometer comes with a durable Kevlar cable which is attached by stainless steel springs and transmits pedal travel to the controls. It also comes with a wide selection of effects such as Vintage 80’s Rat Pro Distortion and Aqua Puss Delay.
The Ernie Ball Jr. is highly responsive which also means precise and Consistent movement throughout a musical piece.
- Highly responsive
- Numerous effects
- Less durable
- Needs level gauge
With fun and the quirky name comes an equally fun set of features. You should seriously Consider the Morley PLA Steve Vai Little Alligator Volume Pedal as it has a high quality, visually appealing design, and is very reliable. The Little Alligator features electro-optical circuitry and a minimum volume knob.
With the Little Alligator, you won’t have a hard time changing its battery since it has easy access with LED indication. It also features a smooth linear taper and offers its Consumers a 2-year warranty. Talk about getting your money’s worth!
- Easy to use
- Has electro-optical circuitry
- No tuner output jack
- Takes up a lot of space in pedal board
What’s better than a volume pedal? A volume pedal also serves as a wah pedal, and the Sonicake VolWah has the best of both worlds. The VolWah is an active pedal that’s both a volume and wah pedal and works well with instruments using passive and active pickups.
It can give you the classic, vintage-style Cry Baby sound and also has the ability in giving your performance the right volume that you need. The VolWah has a small ad compact size that can fit in most pedalboards. It is made of hard plastic which is also lightweight but highly robust and well-built.
- Compact and small
- Pedal functionality
- Can’t control the volume and wah sound simultaneously
- Active pedals can be less convenient than passive pedals
Factors to Consider When Buying a Volume Pedal
For beginners or players who just want some added information, buying a volume pedal might get confusing. It’s easy to pick the first model that seemed like a good deal or even the cheapest one. To avoid this, there are things to consider first before choosing the right one for you.
Match It with Your Pickups
One of the first things you should consider before choosing the best volume pedal for you is to consider your pickups. It is important that you match the impedance of potential volume pedal to that of your pickups. Otherwise, you might experience losing tone.
Fortunately for you, it’s actually very simple. According to Mission Engineering, a passive volume pedal in the 250K-500K range will be best suited with passive pickups. If you have active pickups you’ll need a passive volume pedal in the 25K – 50K range.
To determine whether you have an active pickup, check if your guitar needs a battery. Guitars that do have a black panel on either the back or side which, if popped open, reveals a battery enclosure.
Passive vs. Active Volume Pedals
A volume pedal has two main types—passive and active. The difference between the two is the power source.
A passive volume pedal, like passive guitar pickups, does not use a separate power source. On the other hand, active volume pedals, like active pickups, use an external power source.
As written in an Andertons article, “Passive volume pedals tend to be cheaper however they don’t serve the same purpose as an active volume pedal.” Active volume pedals might give you more options, but the extra expense may not be worth it if you aren’t going to take advantage of the extra features.
If you’re out there looking for the best volume pedal, stop your search, and get the Boss FV-500H Foot Volume Pedal. This high impedance volume pedal functions as a mono volume pedal that has a plug-and-play system, making it perfect for beginners to use instantly.
It also features an expression pedal function and has a robust die-cast chassis that can withstand heavy use and tough times.