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Best guitar volume pedal 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated December 1, 2018
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Willard LawsonHi there, I’m Willard Lawson. After putting in 49+ hours of research and testing, I made a list of the best guitar volume pedal of 2018 and explained their differences and advantages.

I have been writing about technology and entertainment since the early 90s from my secluded home in West Virginia. What I would like you to remember as you browse my website is that I don’t work in the industry so the reviews I have are based on good old fashioned honesty.

Best guitar volume pedal of 2018

Before you spend your money on guitar volume pedal, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon.

I make the search easier for you, by reviewing the best guitar volume pedal on the market. You must have heard that the best guitar volume pedal should allow you to save money, right? Sure, but that’s not the only reason you should consider getting one.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Product
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Style
5 points
4 points
5 points
Size
4 points
5 points
4 points
Performance
5 points
5 points
4 points
Quality
5 points
4 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the guitar volume pedal by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

№1 – Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

 
Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

Pros
Heavy Die Cast Construction
Powered by the Dunlop ECB-03 AC Adapter (not included) and/or 9 volt battery
Dimensions: 10″ x 4″ x 2-1/2″
Cons
For such a price and the level of quality it can’t even have any cons, only pick holes.
 
Total:
4.8

Why did this guitar volume pedal win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!

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Style
5

5star

Size
4

4star

Performance
5

5star

Quality
5

5star

 

 

№2 – Valeton EP-2 Passive Volume Expression Guitar Effects Pedal 2 Performance

 
Valeton EP-2 Passive Volume Expression Guitar Effects Pedal 2 Performance

Pros
Made of hard plastic lightweight casing but very robust and well made. 2 functions in 1 pedal- passive volume and expression pedal
Works without battery or pedal power supply, extensive range with guitar, bass, and other musical instruments
Automatically detects and catchs output source (EXP/Vol) objective
Cons
Expensive more then others and featured a bit less then other in our high-end picks.
It rusts quite easily.
 
Total:
4.5

Why did this guitar volume pedal come in second place?

The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.

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Style
4

4star

Size
5

5star

Performance
5

5star

Quality
4

4star

 

 

№3 – Donner 2 in 1 Viper Mini Passive Volume Expression Guitar Effect Pedal

 
Donner 2 in 1 Viper Mini Passive Volume Expression Guitar Effect Pedal

Pros
1.Analog circuit design, 2 functions in 1 pedal- passive volume and expression pedal.
2.Automatically detects and catchs output source (EXP/Vol) objective.
3.Made of hard plastic lightweight casing but very robust and well made.
Cons
The instructions is difficult to understand.
Require more effort to use.
 
Total:
4.3

Why did this guitar volume pedal take third place?

It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!

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Style
5

5star

Size
4

4star

Performance
4

4star

Quality
4

4star

 

 

guitar volume pedal Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy guitar volume pedal, right? No!

What To Look For In A Volume Pedal

We mentioned that volume pedals can be rather complicated little pieces of gear, and after reading this section hopefully you’ll be convinced (and much more knowledgable)! We’re big fans of lists, so we’ll make a list of what you need to consider and the knowledge you need to arm yourself with.

No tone loss: The dreaded “tone loss” or “tone suck” issue has been known to plague some of the more popular guitar volume pedals out there – even ones that are widely considered to be the best. The Ernie Ball VP Jr. in particular gets a bad rap for this. Your guitar signal, which in itself is a weak signal, can get split into two by a volume pedal that has a dedicated tuner output. In layman’s terms, you take a weak signal and weaken it further by splitting it, which robs the high end of your tone. Not all guitarists seem to be affected, and everyone’s signal chain and tolerance for “imperfections” is different, so your milage may vary. But it’s definitely something to be aware of.

Passive vs. active: A passive volume pedal usually doesn’t require power (through a battery or an adapter). This is convenient and simplifies your setup, but a passive volume pedal is more sensitive and finicky. You have to pay more attention to where you place it in your signal chain (beginning, middle, end) and what instrument you’re using it with. Passive volume pedals, especially ones with a tuner output, can be the cause of the tone loss we mentioned above. For a passive volume pedal, you need to pay attention to its impedance (measured in ohms). In fact, several passive pedals come in two flavors, high and low impedance. An electric guitar like a Tele, Strat, Les Paul, etc has passive pickups, so a passive volume pedal between 250k and 500k ohms will work well with it. An impedance mismatch does not make your volume pedal useless, but can adversely affect your tone. An active volume pedal needs to be powered, and you don’t have to be as careful at where in your signal chain you place it. It’s not susceptible to the “tone suck” issue.

Build quality: This is important for any piece of gear you buy, but particularly something you’ll use as often as a volume pedal. What mechanism is responsible for adjusting the pedal? Do reviewers say it is prone to breaking? Is it easy to fix? In terms of the pedal’s housing, look for one with metal construction from a brand known for building durable gear. The budget volume pedal recommendation we make in this guide is the only one on our list that is housed in plastic, not metal. Whether or not this is ok for you depends on how hard you are on your gear, how heavy your foot is, how frequently you gig, etc.

Stereo vs. mono: This is definitely lower on the list for most people shopping for a volume pedal, but we’ll mention it just in case. Most guitar chains are mono, so that will suffice. If you want a volume pedal you can also use for a stereo instrument like a keyboard, look for one with stereo capability.

Tuner output: Several volume pedals have a tuner output separate from their main output. This is so you can connect your tuner pedal to it, and silently tune, which can be massively handy during a gig in between songs. As we mentioned, be careful if you’re using a tuner output and your volume pedal is passive, as you might be sacrificing some of the high end of your tone.

Adjustability/versatility: Some volume pedals are dead simple – you can rock the pedal back and forth and increase/decrease volume, and that’s it! Some are more versatile, letting you adjust the minimum volume level, the tension/torque of the pedal, the taper (i.e. how the volume curve behaves as you step on the pedal), etc. More features generally means the price increases. This is also where we’ll include the feel of the volume pedal, meaning, if the amount the pedal travels and how it feels under your foot suffices for your needs.

Pro player usage: We as musicians are all unique snowflakes, but sometimes looking at other pedalboards helps our decision making process, particularly when those pedalboards belong to the pro musicians we love. Have a look around Equipboard at your favorite artists’ gear setups, and look at the volume pedals they use. We’ll mention some famous users of the pedals on our best-of list within our reviews.

I am very well pleased with this pedal. It’s modern aesthetic is both visually appealling and rugged. This is a very practical pedal; it’s rubber grip keeps your foot in place, the rubber feet keep the entire device in place, and the pedal has a very wide range of travel. The tension adjustment is nice, and offers a truly personalized feel. I highly reccommend playing with it, because the pedal’s feel is pretty light and sensitive; some might find it difficult to control.The tuner output is cool (I don’t use it though), and the minimum volume know is a nice feature as well (its a great adjustment if you don’t want this pedal to completely kill your signal in the full-back position). I know some have an issue with it’s size (it fits pretty comfortable under my size 1foot), but I feel that it’s size is a strength, and offers you to use the movement of your ankle to control the pedal, rather than chanelling that energy into just a part of your foot. For me, the result is less muscle tension.

Great Pedal But Beware

Beware, the screws that hold the pivot rod to the foot board (of them) shear off if you step too hard while operating it. I believe the screws are of inferior quality cause they shouldn’t break that easily.

Valeton

While a smooth taper and a durable casing are a must-have for gigging musicians, those of us who mostly play in our bedroom and lightly (if ever) gig don’t really need to shell out a bunch of money for the best gear money can buy.

While Valeton may not be a household name, the EP-is worth a solid look for anyone who’s just wanting a basic volume/expression pedal to get the job done. The unit, as implied by the name, pulls double duty as an expression and volume pedal; two tasks which it performs admirably.

Manufacturer: 

Right off the bat, contrary to what you may believe this volume pedal actually isn’t intended for high-gain genres. Rather, when they say high-gain it’s a designation to make it clear that it’s for guitars as opposed to keyboards. It does seem like a bit of an odd choice to give this pedal that particular designation when in reality it would be better suited to passive pickups.

With that out of the way, the Dunlop GCB-80 is incredibly reminiscent of the company’s most well-known product the Crybaby Wah. Because the designs are so similar, the unit shares both the strengths and weaknesses of the design.

Get the Right Pedal For Your Pickups

One of the most important things to know before you buy a volume pedal is that when using a volume pedal you have to match the impedance of your pedal to that of your pickups. If there is an impedance mismatch, it can cause tone loss.

Thankfully, matching impedance between a volume pedal and a guitar pickup is actually pretty simple. All you’ve got to remember is that if you’re using passive pickups you’re going to want a volume pedal in the 250-500K range, and if you’re using active pickups you’re going to want a volume pedal in the 25K – 50K range.

Also, if you want to use your volume pedal in an effects loop (which allows you to control the overall volume without having the pedal color your tone) you’re going to want a low impedance volume pedal.

To tell whether your instrument has active pickups, all you need to do is figure out whether or not 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 passive volume pedal, like passive guitar pickups, does not use a separate power source. Active volume pedals, like active pickups, use an external power source. Passive volume pedals control a signal’s volume like a guitar’s volume switch, while an active volume pedal controls volume with more fidelity.

Basically, think of a passive volume effect as a physical limitation of a signal and an active volume pedal as a circuit. You have more options with what an active volume pedal can achieve, though the extra expense may not be worth it if you aren’t going to take advantage of the extra features.

Expression

Expression and volume pedals are often lumped together, but in reality they’re two distinct pieces of equipment. Basically, expression controls a parameter of an effect while a volume pedal controls volume. Expression includes things like increasing a delay’s repeats, or a chorus pedal’s depth.

However, while the two effects are different you can actually use a volume pedal as an expression pedal if you purchase a TRS insert cable. However, should you choose to go this route you do need a passive volume pedal as opposed to an active one. There are also volume pedals which double as expression pedals.

In summation, do not buy an expression pedal if you want a volume pedal. Also, should you purchase an active volume pedal and a TRS insert cable or a dual function volume/expression pedal you can get a pedal which will perform adequately at both tasks.

Where to Put a Volume Pedal In Your Signal Chain

There are two schools of thought when it comes to volume pedals. Some musicians prefer to have a volume pedal first in their chain (or second if they’re using a compressor), and others want it last. Basically, when a volume pedal is first in the chain it acts like your guitar’s volume; controlling the amount of gain that comes through. When placed last, a volume pedal controls the overall volume as opposed to gain.

Think of it like this, all a volume pedal does is reduce the strength of a signal. A higher signal going into a distortion pedal (which already boosts the signal) will create more distortion. If used after all of your effects, it will boost the entire signal chain.

Minimum Volume Setting

A minimum volume setting allows you to control the amount a volume pedal will reduce a signal. So, as you turn up the minimum volume control the lowest setting of the pedal becomes louder. Likewise, as you turn the minimum volume control down the lowest setting of the pedal becomes quieter.

Methodology

The other classic option is the VOX V847A which is a reissue of the classic 60s V84Some guitarists prefer the Crybaby and some prefer the VOX to get a classic wah tone. Just like the Crybaby, this pedal is incredibly simple without any flexibility or features you will see in the pedals later on.

Distortion

It’s best to start with the most obvious pedal, one you’ve probably heard of already. Distortion! The term “distortion pedal” is actually used quite a bit as an umbrella term to refer to different types of pedals.

Although it’s not really wrong to do this (they all distort the signal of the guitar) I’m going to be a little bit more specific and split the group up into types – distortion, overdrive and fuzz (these second two are discussed below).

Distortion is can be quit a heavy, obvious effect which provides a good amount of sustain & crunch to your sound. Because it heavily distorts the sound, it can sometimes hide the actual tone of the guitar.

However you can still hear the original tone of your guitar and amp in there somewhere. It just makes everything sound much more aggressive.

Overdrive

An overdrive pedal still distorts your sound, and gives it an extra punch, but it’s great at keeping more of the sound of your amplifier & guitar intact. So it sounds a little bit more natural.

It drives or “pushes” your amplifier more subtly than a distortion pedal so it doesn’t sound too heavy or overpowering. Yet it still gives you that beefy, thicker sound.

It’s often used in classic rock and blues but is a versatile pedal which is on the pedal board of millions of guitarists around the world.

Fuzz

Fuzz is the most extreme of the distortion effects and kind of sounds like it’s pushing your amplifier to breaking point. It provides a bass heavy and noisy guitar tone and means that it’s very hard to hear any of your original guitar tone.

However it’s still a very diverse pedal depending on how you use it. It can be used to create very heavy attacking sounds, or add more of a discrete buzz which isn’t too overpowering.

The different pedals are differentiated by the amount of the distortion / saturation they provide. Overdrive has the least, fuzz has the most, and distortion is somewhere in the middle.

Delay

Delay is another effect which does what it says on the tin. It delays your signal by a varying amount and then plays it back. This creates a doubling effect. The pedal will let you define how long the delay is.

Digital pedals can usually delay for longer, but some people think that these digital pedals don’t sound as good as analogue alternatives. Delay pedals are great for creating experimental effects and sounds, but can be subtle too.

Chorus

The chours effect sounds like hundreds of different guitarists playing what you are, but very slightly out of time. The effect also creates a mild wobble type noise.

Overall the sound sound rich, full and thick because of the chorus effect.

It can be used effectively both as a subtle effect or a more obvious experimental effect.

Flanger

Flanger is very similar to chorus, however it can provide a little bit more of an obvious effect.

It’s got more of a wooshing sound which goes up in pitch and then down again. People often say it sounds like a plane flying past.

Unlike the chorus effect it doesn’t sound like there are hundreds of guitarists copying your sound, but still can thicken your tone up.

Phaser

Again the phaser pedal is similar to the flanger and chorus effects. It creates a sweeping sound by creating peaks and troughs in your guitar tone. You can alter the height of these peaks and troughs by manipulating the controls on the pedal.

The phaser also adds a similar, but not as obvious, effect to the guitar tone as the chorus. So it sounds like there are a few guitarists playing the same as you.

Tremolo

Tremolo sounds like your volume is being turned up and down very quickly after you play a note. However the sounds gets blended together nicely so it doesn’t sound too obvious or out of place. Essentially it proves a nice wobble sound.

The controls on the pedal control how big this volume change is, and how quickly it occurs. It’s not too far away from the phaser, flanger and chorus pedals, but still sounds unique when compared to them.

Looper

For worship guitarists, the main use appears to be for volume swells, which is when you strum a chord or play a note and slowly roll up the volume on either your VP or guitar’s volume control for an ambient ‘swelling’ effect. This swelling sound is usually increased with the use of staining effects like overdrive, delay and reverb.

The second most common use of a VP is as a kill switch. While I love the sound of a volume swell, almost 90% of the time, when I’ve used a VP, it’s been to “kill” the sound off my board. This most common at the start and finish of a worship time, but there are also places during the set when a kill switch would be useful. Many guitarists use their tuner like the Boss Tu-or TC Polytune for the same result.

VOLUME SWELLS

If you are using your VP to create ambient volume swells, then I would recommend placing your VP directly after your gain pedals. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you hit the VP with the most intensity possible by having your gain pedals in front rather than behind. The second reason is that you allow time based effects like reverb and delay the chance to trail off naturally instead of being cut off by the VP. This will produce what is commonly considered to be a better sounding swell effect.

KILL SWITCH

Something that is often overlooked in discussions about VP placement is that they are often large, long and bulky. Pedalboards aren’t put together in a vacuum and the size and shape of other pedals play a role in your rigs set up as well.

Now, technically you could put the VP anywhere and it will kill the signal from your guitar to your amp. But, whatever you put after the VP can still send signal to your amp, even if it’s just background noise, it might be very unwanted on a Sunday Morning. So, while I understand if there are space or size reasons why you’d want to put your VP somewhere else in the signal chain, I would advise you put it very last if at all possible. This way you kill any and all possible signal and noise that could go to your amp.

VOLUME CONTROL

If you’re using your VP as a volume control be careful. Remember that your guitars own volume control is still there and no matter what you do with the VP it will still affect how much signal your guitar is sending out. Personally, I would experiment with both the VP’s placement in the signal chain, and the setting of your guitar’s volume control to figure out what’s best for you.

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K potentiometer

Ernie Ball is a company known for its history of making volume pedals that are most sought after by professional guitarists. The VP Jr. P06180 is known as the best guitar volume pedal that is perfect for passive pickups because of its 250k potentiometer. It is a nice, solid and compact volume pedal with a smaller footprint and sandpaper like grit on the pedal surface. It has a micro taper switch right behind the input jack under the footplate that provides you the option to select between two volume swell rates. It also has a tuner output that allows silent tuning when the pedal is in the heel down position which means there will be no sound leak. This Ernie Ball volume pedal is a very versatile and popular pedal that adds an expressive dynamics to your playing.

Fender FVP-1

The Fender FVP-is a passive volume pedal that is ideal for guitars and can control volumes using the passive 250k potentiometer with a high life cycle. The FVP-is a mono pedal meaning there is one in and out jacks along with a tuner jack that allows silent tuning during live performances. This volume pedal is heavy and sturdy but compact. It can be used as an expression pedal also by connecting the out jack to the expression in jack of the desired stomp box. It is a strong and sturdy tank like device made with die-cast aluminium. The sound from the FVP-volume pedal is loud, clear and natural.

What Categories of Volume Pedal to Look Out For

There are a few main things that you need to look out for when choosing your volume pedal. Each different feature will affect the way your pedal works, sounds, and how long it will last before wearing out.

Yes…Made of Pots…

What happens is the Pots get worn out, and then they start to get scratchy and make some pretty irritating noise when you are trying to control your volume.

The upside of the Pots is that they are common. You will find them in almost every volume pedal out there. advantage of the Electro-Optical Circuit is that it doesn’t wear out.

That is because there are no moving parts in it. The Optical Circuit just uses optical technology to read the position you have put the pedal in, rather than an analog connector.

If you choose to have 2

Inputs/Outputs (Stereo), then you have the option of plugging in up to instruments into your pedal. You are probably already aware of the types of possibilities that it opens up for you.

As well, it gives you the opportunity to output your signal to more than one amplifier. If you do this, you now have the ability to create a “stereo” setting, which can be very useful for you if you are playing with different effects.

Some Guitar Volume pedals even give you the option to use your Stereo Guitar Volume Pedal as a pan, to pan the mix of your signal between two amps. Doing this can allow you to make some pretty wicked tones as you shoot your amp sound from one side of the stage to the other.

Sound transparency

Gear returned in mint condition. If you’re looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.

Worth The Trouble

I have taken mine apart and put it back together many times now. It started to squeak at the pivot bar so I sprayed some gun oil in it. The squeak stopped but the feel of it changed to a loose/mushy feel. I completely tore it down, cleaned the parts with alcohol, then greased the friction points with Vaseline to restore the smooth action I wanted. Then the pot started causing a crackling noise in the signal. Sprayed the pot with brake cleaner and fixed it for about weeks then it locked up completely. After replacing the pot, I stretched the spring out of shape and tension was too loose. The string kept coming off so I had to replace the spring. I have tried to find a better pedal but I keep coming back to this one. Nothing else has the same gradual swell I want. Besides, now that I’m an expert on it I can fix just about anything else that may go wrong with it again. It’s been a real pain but I can’t find anything that works better.

Ernie Ball VP Jr.

Although it is not the volume pedal that sits on the peak of the industry, it is still undeniable that the Ernie Ball VP Jr. has the qualities of being a great stompbox.

Obviously, it is a cousin of the Ernie Ball MVP. But it still has different arsenals on its sleeve.

One of the best selling points of this product is its simplicity. You don’t have to burn your head just to learn how this volume pedal work.

Also, the Ernie Ball VP Jr. is the compact and sleek version oof the MVP. It is the real meaning behind its name. However, it doesn’t mean that this one has a poor performance.

Ernie Ball MVP

The closest contender of the Boss FV-500H is the Ernie Ball MVP. The MVP means Most Valuable Pedal, by the way.

Because it claims such title, the Ernie Ball MVP seems to have something to show off. And we tested, it is indeed an excellent unit of a volume pedal.

Because this volume pedal is buffered, it can accommodate passive and active signals. Of course, it also means that you can put this pedal in any location of your signal chain.

Fender FVP-Volume Pedal

If you are looking for another affordable volume pedal, the Fender FVP-is a good choice. Although the brand Fender is not usually akin to pedals, their units are still commendable.

The setup of the Fender FVP-Volume Pedal is pretty basic. It appears as similar to those standard volume pedals you can see on sales garage. However, such simplicity is perfect for those who doesn’t want to complicate their lives.

This particular volume pedal is sensitive to the finest changes in volume. It doesn’t color the sound, nor induce any alterations on the signal.

Dunlop DVPVolume X

Another good volume pedal that you should try is the Dunlop DVPIt can perform well on any applications. It has fantastic construction and interface, too, which makes it a favorite of many guitar players out there.

Specifically, it is the top competitor of the Ernie Ball VP Jr., considering they share almost similar specs.

This product comes with three outputs (Tuner, Expression, and Audio). Therefore, this product provides its users with some freedom of modification. It also uses and audio taper.

This technology enables a slow increase in volume at the start of the rotation then peaks during the later part.

Meanwhile, the overall aesthetics of device is top-notch, too. It has a beautiful appearance that instantly blends with your instrument.

Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound

The battle for the best volume pedal is always dominated by the brands of Dunlop, Ernie Ball, and Morley. However, they are not the only players who seem to stand out in the scene.

An interesting dark horse, the Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound, is a volume pedal is definitely worth your attention.

The Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound is a performing volume pedal. But despite its excellent features, it has a very low price.

The glides for this pedal is pretty smooth. It provides a nice feeling to the feel. Although there are some mechanical grinds that you can hear, that is not exactly a deal breaker that can make you turn off.

What is a Volume Pedal

Before we begin, we should clarify that volume pedals are not limited to guitars alone. There are volume pedals you can use for other electronic instruments such as your synthesizer and keyboard.

However, in this article, we will just limit the product selection to volume pedals for bass and standard guitars.

By operational standards, a volume pedal is a variant of “dynamics” stompboxes. Guitarists use this device to modify the volume of their instruments through the increase and decrease of the audio signal’s aptitude. By concept, it is not that complicated process.

However, once you dissect this product, you will discover that there are a lot of things that operates it. The presence of multiple factors becomes a detriment to what brand of volume pedal you are going to choose.

Moreover, volume pedals have the same appearance as wah pedals. Many beginners always mistook one for the other.

Transparency and Sound

You can consider that a volume pedal is great if it is transparent. Specifically, the device should not induce their character to the sound of your instrument. If you want such kind of pedal, you must choose wahs and overdrives, not volume pedals.

Tone Loss

If you are going to buy a volume pedal, make sure that it doesn’t suffer from “tone loss.” Many pedals are suffering from such kind of detriment.

By nature, the signal is already weak. Once the latter travels to the pedal, it becomes weaker because of the tuner.

Of course, many players won’t notice this. One reason is that the tolerance of our ears for such kind of imperfections varies. However, you should still be aware of this concept.

Passive and Active Volume Pedal

A volume pedal that is passive does not use power coming from an adapter or battery. It is a simple setup that gives you an irreplaceable form convenience, wherever you look at it. But still, passive volume pedals still tend to be finicky and sensitive.

Specifically, you have to pay attention to the location of your signal chain as well as the instrument that you are using. Most of the passive pedals have tuner controls. As we mentioned earlier, this particular part is the culprit for tone loss.

Meanwhile, an active volume pedal requires power to operate. But as compensation, it will free you from any worries of tone loss.

Multi Effects Units

As a beginner you’re probably anxious to try out all of the different effects above and then some. A very costly endeavour to undertake, and where to start!? If you’re taking your first tentative steps into the world of guitar effects then a much more money efficient option is a multi-fx unit.  These will generally contain the majority of the effects listed above, enabling you to sample each one and find out which you like the best. As a bonus, multi-fx units will often contain other useful features such as a built-in metronome and tuner.  You can absolutely use one of these units in place of an amp while you learn the ropes, all you need is a pair of headphones.

Each unit features 100 effects and amp models, of which can be used simultaneously. They have a built-in drum machine (metronome) featuring almost 70 different patterns for you to practice along with at your own speed. An accurate tuner ensures you are always playing at perfect pitch. Another awesome feature is the built-in looper, which allows you to record up to 30 seconds of high quality audio. A headphone jack allows for quiet practice. Unbelievably at this price, both units also include a well-lit LCD screen for easy navigation of the menu system. An auxilliary input on the back allows you to connect a music source, to allow you to jam to your favorite songs.

Both units can be powered with 4xAA batteries. Alternatively they can be powered with a standard 9V PSU (such as this one), or USB mini cable (such as this one).

Check out this excellent overview and demo video from our friends over at GuitarWorld magazine.

Both units include 70 different high quality effects, amp and cab emulators, and the ability to chain of them together in any order. Other key features include a built-in tuner, drum machine, looper with up to 80 seconds of recording. Three large LCD displays with corresponding footswitches and knobs makes it easy to view and edit multiple effects at a glance.

Computer Based Effects

With the advent of technology, a huge selection of stompboxes have saturated the music industry and have made it difficult to choose and even decipher the effects inside the track. I knew you have tried to copy the exact sound of your favorite artist and failed a lot of times. You even bought their signature pedal and found yourself crying in the middle of your practice, frustrated and feeling ripped off.

Other Things to Consider

Zoom G1xon is a great gear for beginners and intermediate musicians. It is lightweight, and will fit the gig bag well. If you are just starting on your musical career, I think this is the best guitar pedal to understand how guitar effects work and how they sound.

You can’t judge it by its price. Hey, it’s cheap. Yeah, we could all agree on that and maybe it cannot live up to the quality of analog stompboxes. But you could use this to learn a few things about almost everything and work your way from there. It’s like having a slice of everything.

TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal

This might be the best looper pedal in its category brought to you by TC Electronics. It is handy and small but fulfills its purpose well above its competitors. This pedal is straightforward, thanks to its simplistic design. With only a single knob for volume and a footswitch for control, it’s hard to go wrong.

A single press activates the looper to start recording a layer up to 300 seconds! That’s almost the whole song’s length. Another click stops recording and starts playback. Your next stomp would signal the device to record an overdub. This is where you might want to adjust the volume to achieve the right balance for your mix and then insert your riff.

Where to Start

From beginners to seasoned professionals, most guitar players will experiment with effects at some point in their musical journey. While learning to play your instrument well should be a top priority, messing around with effects can be a fun way to engage with your instrument and start learning its sound possibilities without a lot of hard practice. There’s a huge variety of stompboxes out there, many with very low price tags that make great gifts and can add a new dimension of fun for beginning players.

Many modern guitar amps also are equipped with multi-effects sections that encourage experimentation. There are also dozens of multi-effects pedals out there that are very affordably priced and offer a complete suite of effects. Most of these amp and effects processors feature presets created by engineers and pro guitarists to sound good at the touch of a button. Many allow you to create your own unique sounds then store them for instant recall. If you’re a typical player, you’ll adopt and abandon dozens of different effects boxes and presets over your playing career as your style and musical tastes evolve and change.

From subtle warmth to all-out crunch, the BOSS DS-serves up the precise helping of distortion you dial in.

With such a vast array of effects available, it can be hard to know where to start. One good way is to find out which effects your favorite players use. Artist interviews can be a great source of such information. Additionally, most players are happy to discuss their gear with fellow musicians. Talk to other guitar players you know, or chat up the guitarists or bassists at the local club before or after their sets.

If you’re ready to dive in, there’s a vast selection of affordable multi-effects pedals to choose from. Or if you’d prefer to try just one or two dedicated stompboxes, distortion and chorus pedals are a great place to start.

The top-selling BOSS CH-Super Chorus gets props for its clean, classic sound and stereo capabilities.

Musicians Friend also offers video and audio clips demonstrating many of the effects we sell. Just click on the Audio or Video tabs and links on product pages to get a better idea of what each effect can do and how well it will fit into your music.

Presets

Whether or not they use modeling technology, most multi-effects units and many single-effect boxes provide you with presets. In a multi-effects processor or onboard an amp, these presets generally involve a complete setup with several effects applied and tweaked to create an overall sound. Usually presets are very easy to access.

Many modern processors have such great presets you’ll never need to get delve any further to create your own. However, almost all units with presets allow you to easily create your own favorite presets. You can start with a factory preset, tweak the sounds to your taste, then save it in your own location to be recalled at the touch of a button while you’re playing.

EQ Effects

EQ or equalization effects work by boosting or cutting specified frequency bands within the sound signal. From treble or high-end sounds such as the sizzling sounds of a riveted cymbal to low-end sources such as the thump of a bass drum or bass guitar, EQ effects don’t change the pitch but rather alter the timbre or quality of the sound. Depending on the application, EQ control can be quite precise or very simple.

Most guitars and basses have one or more tone knobs, which offer a simple form of EQ control. Using these tone knobs adds or cuts the treble frequencies of the instrument’s signal. Most guitar and bass amps also have some tone control available, usually in the form of a 3-band EQ section, allowing you to control bass, mid, and treble frequencies with independent knobs. These knobs boost or cut frequencies when you turn them up or down. Some amps and effects offer more precise control of equalization as we’ll see next.

Refining the Sound

For more control and fine tuning of your sound, you may want to use a parametric or graphic EQ. A parametric EQ allows you to adjust the width of the frequency band that’s being altered and the shape of the curve—how abruptly the boosted or cut area changes to the unmodified area. A graphic EQ divides the frequency ranges into a number of narrow bands which can each be boosted or lowered by sliders, thus giving you a visual or “graphic” representation of how the EQ is being affected. The more bands there are, the more precise your adjustments can be.

EQ can make a tremendous difference in the sound of your instrument. This becomes especially important when playing in a band setting. Your guitar might sound great played alone, but within the sound mix of a full band may need some tweaking. Depending on which instruments are involved, you will need to adjust EQ to help your guitar fit into the overall sound the rest of the band. Using an EQ effects processor can help you dial that sound in more easily and precisely than depending on just your guitar and amp’s EQ controls.

The Wah Pedal

One other effect that depends on EQ modulation is the wah pedal. As you rock forward on the pedal, the sound becomes more trebly. As you rock back, the treble range is muted. In the middle positions, a wah produces a nasal, midrange-heavy tone that is interesting and useful in its own right. Since you can change the wah’s tone constantly while you’re playing, it’s a very dynamic and expressive effect that can become an integral part of your playing. Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitarists to exploit the wah’s capabilities.

There are a broad range of wah-wah pedals available, each with its own distinctive flavor.

Dunlop’s Original Cry Baby produces the wah effects you’ve heard on countless records.

A variation of the wah pedal is the auto wah. Not to be confused with a city in Canada, auto-wah effects do the same things a wah does, but without the foot treadle. Usually, you can adjust the attack time (how fast the tone shifts toward the treble) and the depth of the cycle. Some auto-wahs also let you set a constant up and down motion that’s not triggered by the note. You’ll find auto-wahs included in many multi-effects processors. One of the newer developments in this area is the Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix. While eliminating the moving parts of traditional wahs, it produces amazing male-vocal and vowel-sound effects that harmonize with your guitar’s notes. A fuzz circuit lets you dial in more growl and grit.

Overdrive and Distortion Effects

Originally, distortion of the guitar signal happened accidentally when tube amps were turned up too loud. While distortion was first considered undesirable, players soon came to recognize that a distorted signal increased the amount of sustain they could get out of each note. This essential discovery created a fundamental shift in guitar soloing styles to include extended notes such as those produced by a wind instrument or organ. Used on rhythm guitar parts, distortion thickens up the signal and allows for a much heavier, chunkier sound.

The Ibanez TSTube Screamer adds overdrive warmth to chilly sounding solid-state amps.

Tube amp distortion is created when tubes are overdriven by receiving more juice than they can handle, thus causing the signal break up. Tube-driven amplifiers are still in demand by seasoned players because of the warm, musical tones they create, and some distortion-type effects use actual tubes to replicate that sound. But most distortion effects are produced either through analog solid-state circuitry or digitally.

Pitch-Shift Effects

Pitch shift effects, which includes harmony and octave pedals, are a lot of fun, and add depth and flavor to a guitar player’s sound. The effect works by taking the fundamental note being played on the guitar, and adding another note either above or below the original. Simply adding more notes will often produce odd, off-key notes if you’re not careful. Most modern pitch-shifting effects use advanced technology to make sure the added notes work harmoniously with the original.

The Whammy

The Whammy pedal is truly one-of-a-kind. It gets its name from the slang term for a tremolo arm on a guitar, which allows a player to control the pitch of the strings while playing. In much the same way, The Whammy pedal allows a player to perform radical pitch-shifting in real time by rocking the foot treadle back and forth, sweeping between the intervals set on the pedal. This pedal is a lot of fun and allows guitarists to create the dive-bomb sounds that are associated with JImi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani.

Modulation Effects

Modulation effects duplicate the waveform of the fundamental signal and alter it, then blend the altered signal and the original signal to create the effected sound. This may sound complicated, but whether you realize it or not, many of your favorite guitar sounds probably use a modulation effect in some way.

Time-Based Effects

By and large, time-based effects split the guitar output into two identical signals and momentarily hold one back while allowing the other to play in real time. The two signals are mixed back into one at the output. Usually you can control the length of the delay and the amount of the signal that is affected versus the part that stays “dry” (unaffected). This latter control—found on most effects—is usually called the level control.

Warm-sounding all-analog circuitry, cavernous delay times up to 600ms and lots of control tweakability make the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay a big favorite with fans of old-school delay sounds.

Reverb is a more subtle form of delay that replicates the natural echo effect of various spaces, such as small, medium, or large rooms or concert halls. Many amplifiers have built-in reverb effects, but a lot of guitar players like having a separate reverb pedal for an increased range of programmable options. Some modern reverb stompboxes emulate the sound of vintage reverb devices that used reverberating springs or plates to achieve their effects. Reverb is great tool to add color to a very clean tone, but can quickly make a heavily distorted tone sound muddy.

Echo (also sometimes called long delay) is a natural effect as well, but it is only encountered in large open spaces such as canyons or stadiums. It sounds like when you emit a loud, sharp yelp and a second later you hear the yelp come bouncing faintly back to you from a far wall. This is a particularly fun effect to play around with by yourself. If you set the delay of the echo long enough, you can play against the notes you just played and harmonize with yourself while the rate sets up a kind of beat.

Echo controls usually let you determine the level, the period between playbacks, and the decay—the rate at which succeeding notes become quieter and quieter until they fade out altogether. The period (or time) parameter is often controlled by a single button you push repeatedly in time with the music. This is called tap delay and keeps your echo effect from clashing with the music’s time signature.

Advanced processing gives the BOSS TE-Tera Echo awesomely spacious echo and ambiance effects.

Looping

A looper allows you to record a musical passage or phrase then play that passage back repeatedly. You can then record more loops and layer them, one on top of the other. Most recording and playback functions are foot controlled, and once you’ve created suitable backing tracks, you can can then play over the repeated passages in real time, creating exciting one-man-band sounds never possible before. Many of the more advanced models include built-in rhythms, custom effects, inputs for vocal mics and other instruments, plus MIDI and USB capabilities so that you can use the looper as part of your digital song-creation and recording processes.

While a good looper provides phenomenal musical potential, especially for solo performance, and most are simple to use, looping can be challenging for the novice to master. Experienced musicians will have an easier time creating with them, either in realtime performance or songwriting.

With huge loop storage and location options, you can create amazing layered performances with the DigiTech JamMan Solo XT.

Sound-Conditioning Effects

While most effects pedals can drastically alter your sound, there are some that add more subtle elements to your signal to create a more pleasing sound. They may not be as exciting or fun to play with, but they can be the difference between pretty good and truly great sounds. As your collection of effects grows and opportunities to play with bands increase, some of these will become important additions to your rig.

Gain is the strength of the electronic signal carrying your sound. A standalone gain booster is essentially just a preamp, and can be an effective way to overdrive the preamp section of your amp, creating easier musical-sounding breakup and increasing the amp’s power. A gain booster in a stomp box lets you instantly boost your sound level for solos without altering your fundamental tone.

Many stomp boxes for other effects also include gain controls that instantly bump up your signal when you activate the effect. Watch these controls closely and beware of stompbox gain buildup, which can hit your amp’s preamp section with more juice than it can handle resulting in unpleasant distortion.

Volume Pedal

A volume pedal does the same thing a volume knob on a guitar, but it allows you to control the volume with your foot. It is not a boost, it just allows you to sweep between zero output and the full output capacity of your instrument. Many guitarists use a volume pedal, also sometimes referred to as an expression pedal, to create pedal steel-like swells, where a note or chord is played, then the volume is slowly and smoothly raised. Volume pedals can also be used as a boost effect, by simply playing at less than full volume, then stepping on the pedal to go to full volume momentarily when you need the extra boost. Volume pedals can make a standard electric guitar sound like a pedal steel when used with a well-practiced foot technique.They can also be an important pedal to have in your toolbox when playing in a band with multiple guitars.

The minimum volume control on the Morley Volume Plus creates smooth transitions from lead to rhythm and the pedal lets you produce lush violin-like swells.

Compressors

A compressor affects the dynamics of your guitar or bass signal. By making very quiet signals louder and loud signals quieter, it “compresses” the dynamic range of the signal. This can be very helpful for keeping your quieter passages from getting lost in the rest of the music, and your louder passages from drowning everything else out.

Compressor pedals add a softening effect too, by reducing the front edge of notes and amplifying their tails. This increases sustain by bumping up the signal as the note fades out. Most compressors allow you to control both the thresholds (upper and lower limits) and the knee (the speed with which the signal is raised or lowered). The big appeal for guitarists is the compressor’s ability to simulate the natural compression that tube amps generate when driven at medium to high levels. A good compressor can help thicken up the sound of your guitar and add extra punch to your performance.

The MXR M-10Dyna Comp Compresser adds percussive attack, sustain and smoothes out dynamics using a dead-simple control interface to shape its 100%-analog output.

Limiters

A limiter is basically the upper end of a compressor. It allows you to control the maximum loudness of a signal by cutting it back when it crosses a preset threshold. This allows you to avoid abrupt, loud signals or damaged equipment and ears.

The Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter has the kind of sophisticated control and audio quality usually found in rack-mounted gear—all housed in a rugged stompbox format.

Noise Gates

A noise gate is a very handy device that gets rid of hums and hisses that may become apparent when you’re plugged in but not playing your instrument. Basically a limiter in reverse, the noise gate simply cuts out sounds below a preset level. As long as you’re making music your sound is full on; but as soon as you stop playing, all the noise generated by your effects chain, vintage amp, and/or house wiring is silenced.

The BOSS NS-eliminates noise and hum without messing with your tone.

Bass Guitar Effects

As with guitarists, bass players have a vast selection of effects to choose from. They’re designed specifically to take into account bass dynamics and the challenges that face bassists in crafting a signature sound and sonically meshing with the rest of the band.

The Electro-Harmonix Crying Bass pedal produces wah and fuzz effects that go from smooth funk to rude growls.

You’ll find a full slate of dedicated bass stompbox effects as well as many multi-effects pedals and processors. Like their guitar-friendly cousins, bass effects offer most of the same tone shaping capabilities, including chorus, reverbs, delays, phasers, and tremolos. Because of the bass’s unique sound dynamics that reach deep into the lower frequencies, many bass effects are focused around compression and limiters that help keep a lid on destructive subsonic sound waves that can damage gear. Typically, many guitar effects are not optimal when used with a bass.

Recommended Signal Chain Order

The order shown below is accepted by many pro guitarists and guitar techs as the best way to get a pleasing sound out of your different effects. But this is just a starting point—signal chains are a topic of endless debate, and arriving at the right sequence may involve lots of experimentation.

Guitar wizard Steve Vai offers his solutions to perfect pedal order.

Multi-Effects Pedals and Processors

Multi-effects units are exactly what the name implies—single units that offer many different effects and allow those effects to be used singly or in combinations simultaneously. Most will offer just about all the effect types discussed in this guide and many more. Typically they include dozens if not hundreds of effects presets—combinations of effects and effect parameters designed to achieve specific sounds with the touch of button or footswitch. Most also allow you to also save your presets for instant recall.

With over 100 revered stompbox sounds, the floor-based M1from Line puts a powerful and versatile tone toolbox at your feet.

Multi-effects pedals and processors come in three basic formats: floor-based units equipped with foot-operated pedals and switches, tabletop units with knobs and switches, and rack-mounted units. Most tabletop and rack-mount units offer foot control options in addition to the knobs, switches, and menus accessible from their control panels. Pedals and footswitches are often user-assignable so that you can instantly engage various effects settings and other presets with a single toe tap.

Jam-packed with amp, cab and effects models plus over 300 effects presets, the Line POD offers near endless fodder to tweak your guitar sound.

Beyond effects, some processors offer dozens of other capabilities including recording tools, rhythm track generators, plus sound models based on vintage amps, speaker cabinets, microphones, mic preamps, and much more. Many also have MIDI and USB connectors in addition to XLR and ¼” inputs and outputs, and are designed to work seamlessly with computer and iOS-based recording software and apps.

The Rocktron Xpression rack multi-effects processor has 12killer guitar and bass effects that range from classic to cutting-edge.

With its iOS app and Bluetooth connectivity, the Zoom MS100BT Multistomp offers near limitless effects possibilities.

Often, multi-effects pedals and processors can be more cost-effective than purchasing multiple stompboxes. They also avoid the potential noise and tone-degrading impact of chaining numerous individual pedals together. That said, many guitarists prefer the way certain dedicated pedals sound or operate, and will collect many single-effect stompboxes along the way. If you are looking at purchasing multiple effect units but don’t have any favorites, purchasing a multi-effects processor can be a money-saving alternative.

Advanced multi-effects processors can involve significant learning curves. Their hundreds of sounds and functions may entail diving deep into multi-layered menus to get at what you want. The best units offer intuitive and ergonomic user interfaces that keep the most common functions easily accessible via dedicated knobs and switches. Reading user and pro reviews can help you identify which models offer the greatest ease of use.

Active or Passive

This area is far simpler than some would lead you to believe. If you see a guitar volume pedal labeled as “Passive,” this means it does not need power as it has its own. While more universal than some of our guitar pedals, you may need to think about what other equipment is being used in your signal chain. Passive pedals can cause issues with other components depending on your setup.

Active volume pedals need juice from an external source or in some cases a simple battery. They work in a similar fashion to their Passive brethren but use a buffer to keep the input and output separate: this means things will be nice and steady regardless of which way you choose to wire. The pickups play a part as well, so you will need to also know if you have a humbucker or an active pickup on your axe.

Expression Pedals

When looking for the best guitar volume pedal, you are going to hear the term “Expression Pedal” more often than not. While this normally would not be an issue, it becomes problematic when the word Volume is thrown into the mix. If you see an expression with volume control, here is what you will want to keep in mind.

All volume pedals have an input and output. That means it is essentially an effect unto itself and can be used anywhere in your signal chain which can include all types of tech between your guitar and your amp. Some expression pedals will allow you to control volume and throw in a few extra features, but may not fit into your signal chain as you would like if they only have one input. In other words, check for input and output if you want full volume control.

Like any other device or gadget with technical parts, some volume pedals will come with a few extra features. While it may seem like something you can’t live without, many are designed to complement certain types of setups and will be useless to some consumers. Below are two common features found on volume pedals for guitars along with one that’s a bit more exotic.

Minimal Volume Control – Some guitar pedals will have an extra knob that allows for an extra measure of control. If this is a feature you want, make sure it is foot switchable, or you may end up having to stop to adjust the knob in the middle of a tune.

Tuner Output – As the name suggests, this port allows you to hook your tuner up to your volume pedal. While it sounds like an amazing idea, you can experience tone loss. You will want to listen for any changes with that port active and possibly make some adjustments if you experience any volume loss or unwanted changes in tone.

Gain Control – On a guitar amplifier, you generally have to make adjustments for volume with gain knob and your master volume knob. That means you always adjust the gain before setting your max volume at the last stage. Gain control on a volume pedal is more of a bonus than anything and a bit of a rarity on true volume pedals.

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 Passive Pedal

If you are in the market for something a bit smaller but built for big boosts, you will appreciate the Ernie Ball VP Jr. It lives up to its namesake as it is small measuring only 3.5” x 10” x 3/8” so it is ideal for pedal boards as well. The passive mono volume control has a 250k Ohm resistance and sports Kevlar cables with stainless steel springs. It looks good and is extremely tough under foot.

In addition to its style, this passive pedal has a micro taper switch. It is located under the footplate and offers up two different swell rates. When you go “heel down” you can get tuner output with silent tuning for changes which is handy, to say the least. This particular model is not sealed, but you do get an input, output and a tuner jack for connectivity. This one is also available in two models with 250k or 25k.

Yamaha FCVolume Expression Pedal

Yamaha is not the most well-known name in the guitar world. They do know a thing or two about keyboards however and are known for making top notch audio equipment; this includes pedals for keyboards and guitars including the Yamaha FCvolume expression pad.

The first word to come to mind with this one would be industrial. It is not fancy and has a clean black style with a series of nubs on the top for traction. It is a large pedal but sports spring point adjustment and allows you to adjust the pedal angle as well. If you have ever had a bad foot cramp, you already know how important that can be. It also has a “fortissimo function” which allows you to accent particular parts of your performance on the fly.

Due to its durable nature and the metal connection plate, you can use this for multiple-pedal ganging. It is a bit larger than some on our list as well which means it is friendly to big-footed folks. We just focused on the Volume Expression pedal, but this model has a few variants. There is an assignable sustain pedal, compact sustain pedal and a sustain pedal with half-pedaling as well if you are looking for something to go along with your new Volume pedal.

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Essentials

Strymon knew they had to take reverb to a whole new level. This fusion of science with art has just one goal. To provide you with the most musically inspirational reverb experiences possible. Strymon Big Sky Reverb Effects Pedal Main Features.

Distortion and Overdrive

Distortion effects include Fuzz and Overdrive and create warm buzzing or to recreate the distorted sounds of an overdriven guitar amp. Distortion is a great first choice for starting your collection of guitar effects. An Overdrive effect is also nice to have if you’re amp can’t deliver a good “tube” sound. Today, you can get digital, analog, and some overdrive effects with real 12AXtubes for a truly authentic tube amp sound. See our Distortion Pedal Buyers Guide.

Phrase Looping

Phrase Loopers require a bit of playing experience beyond rank beginner status. They let you record a phrase or passage of music, play it back on command, and play along with it. Using the better units, you can record more and longer passages and record layers of performance on top of them. See our Phrase Looper Pedal Buyers Guide.

EQ Pedals

Anyone with a stereos system is familiar with EQ. EQ boosts or removes certain frequencies and at extreme settings can create unusual effects, such as extra deep bass or an emphasized midrange. Tone controls are the most familiar EQ filters, but you can get very creative with an equalizer and this is where the EQ Pedal comes in. EQ Pedals can also be used to boost your signal by moving up all the faders and hitting the button, but watch out, it will be quite a boost and could damage your speakers. See our EQ Pedal Buyers Guide.

Wah Wah pedals

Wah Wah Pedals work by varying the filtering of frequencies dynamically with your foot to give a Wah Wah or quacking sound to your playing. A Wah Wah pedal is essentially an EQ that can be constantly varied by your foot. Since you need to coordinate the movement of the pedal with your playing, the Wah Wah is not a tool for rank beginners. See our Wah Wah Pedal Buyers Guide.

Overdrive Pedal

The term overdrive refers to when a tube amp is driven past its range to supply a clean tone. This is something we as guitar players have come to love and seek out. A common question is “what is the difference between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz as the terms have become interchangeable?” The short answer is not a lot, just one is more extreme as we go down the line.

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is the industry standard for overdrive pedals. Kicked into legendary status by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Tube Screamer TS80was first released in the late 70’s and now catches a small fortune on the vintage market but fortunately there are reissues and many boutique clones out there. The Tube Screamer is not the only overdrive circuit of course, there are many excellent options, it is just clearly the most famous. What makes the TS so cool is the way it interacts with an already overdriven amplifier. It can add a nice amount of gain, sustain, and tonal shaping options. They do provide a bit of a boost in the mid frequencies that many people love as it helps to cut through a band. The list of TS users is extensive but Stevie Ray is the most notable.

Distortion Pedal

Many distortion pedals can also be used as overdrive pedals simply by reducing the gain, so once again we see how these terms are a little loose. In high gain amps like a Mesa rectifier the amp is taking advantage of gain staging, many pedals do this as well. Gain staging is simply putting one overdriven tone into another and cascading them to produce even more gain or distortion. So in a Mesa, one preamp tube is being run into another to bump up the level of distortion, there can be any number of gain stages. We can also do this by stacking pedals as well, as we will see in the gain staging pedal chain section. Dialing in a good distorted tone can take some time and slight EQ changes can make a big difference.

Fuzz Pedal

You can hear one all over Led Zeppelin’s debut record and all over Jeff Beck’s trademark “Heart Full of Soul” intro riff from the Yardbirds. He also used it extensively on the Jeff Beck Group sessions. Of course the most famous fuzz pedal is the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. This pedal was favored by Jimi Hendrix and set the benchmark for fuzz tones that we are still chasing to this day.

As a lover of fuzz pedals myself I have both kinds and find uses for them, they sound different and excellent. Other famous fuzz users are Eric Johnson, David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, and Stevie Ray Vaughan to name a few. When shopping for a fuzz, try to play as many as you can next to each other, even of the same model. Due to the transistor values the same model pedal can sound and feel very different from pedal to pedal.

Digital Delay Pedal

In the late 70’s digital technology boomed and made its way into the guitar community. It first entered in the form as rack units which were expensive and relatively large. As costs came down and the technology shrank, digital delay pedals were introduced into the market by Boss in 198with the Boss DD-Since then as technology advanced, delay pedals now offer many features in a very small box such as tape echo, analog, reverse delay, modulated delay, and loopers.

The main difference between analog and digital delays is delay time and note clarity. Digital delays can produce multi second delay times whereas the Deluxe Memory Man offered a delay time of 550ms. Digital delay units also introduced the tap tempo function which is extremely useful when using delay as a rhythmic tool. There are many excellent companies producing excellent delay units, certainly a ground breaker was the Line DLwhich is still popular today. Although I love the sound of a true analog delay, the latest offerings from companies like TC Electronics and Strymon offer so many options and analog emulation options it makes it a tough sell to stick with analog delays.

Chorus Pedal

Chorus pedals can provide a nice subtle doubling effect to the guitar or an extreme “watery” effect when maximized. Famous tunes that use chorus is “Come As You Are” (1991) by Nirvana, and “Brass in Pocket” (1979) by The Pretenders. But basically almost any clean guitar sound in the 80’s had some chorus on it! Certain effects are timeless such as overdrive, reverb and delay. Other effects like chorus can evoke certain time periods such as the 80’s so that is something to keep in mind when using an effect.

Wah-Wah Pedal

The wah-wah or just the wah pedal is one of the most iconic-sounding options available for your new pedal board.

This was one of the first effects pedals made. The Dunlop Crybaby Wah was the original, but you can use any wah pedal in your pedal board.

For the most part, you will be using this to add a little funk to your guitar, and for most models, you can simply adjust the knob to remove or add the wah tone to your notes.

Delay Pedal

Copy – This is the standard digital delay effect. If your delay pedal is a digital delay, the echoes of the tone will be exact copies of the original one.

Analog Copy – With this type of delay option, each of the echoes that follow your original tone will get progressively crunchier as they reverberate.

Modulate – This can save you on a chorus pedal, though some like delays and chorus pedals in their pedal board.

Reverse – This produces a counterpoint to your sound by producing a tone that’s the exact opposite of the note or chord you played. This makes for a fuller delay sound.

Wrapping It Up

A pedal board is a great tool for a dedicated electric guitarist. Having the effects so easily accessible with just a quick footswitch adds a ton of versatility to your sound. The Boss BCB-60 Deluxe is definitely my top pick, and I think it will work great for the overwhelming majority of guitarists; professional or amateur.

If you would like a more premium experience, then I have covered a few of those as well. In any situation, I hope that this pedal board guide has provided you with the information you need to find your next board with ease.

Dreadnought

The dreadnought body shape is the most popular for acoustic guitars, with a larger body that lends to more volume and a full, rich sound. Dreadnought guitars are versatile, and though they sound great for strumming, many players use them for fingerpicking as well. These are great for playing with groups, as dreadnoughts tend to be better at cutting through the mix than smaller styles.

As the name suggests, jumbo guitars can be quite large, with bottoms that are more rounded than those found on dreadnought guitars. Having more space in the instrument for sound to resonate translates to more volume, sustain, and bass tones. These are commonly usually used for strumming.

Save Big with Bundles

Acoustic Guitar Bundle which includes essential accessories like picks, strings, and digital tuners at little to no extra cost. That way you save yourself time and hassle and get everything you need to start playing at once. Check out some of our recommended acoustic bundles below.

Acoustic-Electric Guitars

Acoustic-Electric Guitar  with a built-in pickup/preamp system. These allow you to easily plug into an amplifier or PA system like you would with an electric guitar. Pickup/preamp systems on electric acoustic guitars also typically have built-in tuners which is much more convenient than having to buy an external digital tuner.

Aside from being gig-friendly, another benefit of acoustic-electric guitars is that the attached preamps allow you to plug your guitar directly into an audio interface for home recording. This enables you to quickly and easily record your music without having to worry about investing in or setting up microphones.

 

 

 

 

How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the guitar volume pedal by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your guitar volume pedal wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of guitar volume pedal

 

 

Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about guitar volume pedal is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!



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