Passive or active volume pedal after buffered pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rotren, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. rotren

    rotren Member

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    My volume pedal is passive. I use it after my gain and swirly pedals (at least one of these has a buffer), but before the delay.

    I have read that an active volume pedal would be "better" in this situation. Is this true, and if so, why?
     
  2. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    Id like to know also...I have an earnie ball jr (passive) and a few boss pedals (buffered) before it...have some true bypass pedals also
     
  3. benjisaynomore

    benjisaynomore Member

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    I just freaking posted a thread on this very issue, it seems so many are confused...running passive volume pedals after active signals. tisk tisk.
     
  4. benjisaynomore

    benjisaynomore Member

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    Difference between PASSIVE AND ACTIVE VOLUME PEDALS...LOOK!
    OKAY, I have seen this in all those "my volume pedal sucks tone" threads.

    I have an EB Jr. Passive Volume Pedal (the 250k model) and my understanding is...it is designed ONLY (or to work optimally) to work with the passive load from your guitars not active pickups.

    Question is...with say the active EB Jr. volume pedal (25k model) does active mean from active pickups only? Or does that include say a signal running through a compressor/buffer before it hits the front end of the pedal?

    For example. So many people say....dude...just put a buffer before your Ernie Ball PASSIVE Volume pedal...I say dude! That wasn't how it was designed to work and thus will probably result in a WORSE tone.

    Am I wrong here? Wouldn't they need an "active" (25k model for example) to put the volume pedal anywhere but FIRST in the signal chain coming from a guitar with passive pickups?

    This has been a confusion for sometime. And based on others' posts I don't think i'm the only one. Can someone clear this up once and for all?

    From my thread I just posted 2 minutes after you :)
     
  5. sabby

    sabby Member

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    To the OP: Just flip-flop the order of your buffer and volume pedal and let your ears tell you if it's an improvement. Maybe that would be an improvement over your pedal's buffers. Trust your ears, otherwise I wouldn't sweat it.

    To bsnm: As I understand it, the only problem with passive volume pedals is that they're basically just a guitar volume pot. Without a buffer between your guitar and the pedal, you basically have a guitar with two volume pots in a line which alters the value of your guitar's pot. To my ears this attenuates the top end, softens the bottom, and clouds the mids. With a buffer in between, the two pots can work independently. Without it, your signal is loaded down.
     
  6. somedude

    somedude Member

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    Technically, you should use EB's 25kohm pedal after buffers. It's meant to work with low impedance signals.... like that of a buffered signal or active pickups (all active pickups are is a passive pickup with a buffer attached to them).

    In reality, it's just a difference in pot values. If your tone sounds good and your happy with the sweep of your pedal then swapping pedals won't really make that big a difference. IMO.
     
  7. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    If your 250k pedal causes high end loss can you swap in a 500k pot to make up the difference?
     
  8. somedude

    somedude Member

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    As mentioned in one of the posts above, using a volume pedal with passive pickups causes the both pots (volume pedal and volume knob on the guitar) to stack their load on the pickups. It's one of the reasons alot of people complain about tone suck with passive volume pedals.

    I remember reading up a bunch of stuff on this a few years ago but I've forgotten most of it, so I can remember the details of how they stack up and what the consequences of certain choices were or their remedies. I was using it after a buffer at the time so I chose the 25kohm model since buffering the pedal seemed to be the best option regarding tone suck since it separated it electrically from the pot in the guitar.

    I just know that there's alot of guys using the 250kohm/500kohm models after buffers and they're quite happy with them.
     
  9. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    A 250K volume pedal (often referred to as "passive", or "high impedance", after the signal they are intended to work with) will work well both straight from the guitar or after a buffered pedal. Some report a more abrupt sweep (more on/off than a linear motion) with a 250K pedal after a buffer, but I haven't noticed that myself.

    A 25K volume pedal (often referred to as "active", or "low impedance", again after the type of signal they are designed for) will not work well at all straight from the guitar - unless you have active pickups, of course. The 25K pedal is designed to sit after a buffer (so the signal feeding it is low impedance). In that position, it will have a slightly smoother/more linear sweep compared to the 250K. However, if you plug the guitar (with passive pickups) straight into it, it will cut a good-sized chunk out of the signal, especially in the treble range.

    Then there are the truly active volume pedals - Morley, Goodrich and Visual Sound (among others) all have such models. These have buffer stages inside, and will therefore work well straight from the guitar, while providing the same smooth sweep as the 25K version does when in its proper environment.

    If I were only allowed to have one (non-buffered) volume pedal, I'd go for the 250K version - that way, I could use it both first in line or after active/buffered pedals. The 25K version is more specialized, and while it may do that job (controlling volume on a low impedance signal) slightly better, that also makes it less versatile, IMO.

    /Andreas
     
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  10. El Gallo Negro

    El Gallo Negro Member

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    I have the 250k EBJr. I use it with passive pickups, and have it in line right after an Ibanez DE7 (which is buffered) and it sounds great. No suckage.
     
  11. rotren

    rotren Member

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    Thanks Andreas, that was a very good answer. :AOK

    I think I will just stick to my old Korg passive volume pedal.
     
  12. KagakuNinja

    KagakuNinja Member

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    I use a fuzzface clone, and an Ernie Ball high impedance vol pedal after the fuzz doesn't give a good sweep (the vol pedal has to be after the fuzz, or I can't do swells). I got a low impedance vol pedal, put a buffer before it, and it works great now. There might be an easier way to do this, but it is what works for me.
     
  13. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    +1

    Pretty much what I would have said but more detail here.
     

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