volume pedal explanation. high vs. low impedence vs. passive...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by swicker, Feb 14, 2008.


  1. swicker

    swicker Member

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    i know im a bit slow guys!

    can someone please explain impedence pedals vs. passive pedals...

    i have a high impedence pedal, a low impedence pedal (25 k, which i use through my effects loop), and a passive vintage ernie ball volume pedal (250 k i think, right?)...

    fear not, i dont use all 3 at the same time...haha

    just need it explained to me...i understand high vs. low impedence, but where does passive volume sit? meaning, is passive a whole other thing? or is passive another term for high impedence?

    does high impedence supposedly retain more tone than a passive pedal? is my boss fv-500h volume pedal supposed to retain more true sound than my old school vintage passive ernie ball pedal?

    just need some clarification....thanks guys....
     
  2. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    There has been a number of thread about this, so I'd suggest a search if you want to know more. The short explanation is:

    High impedance/250K/Passive are all ways to describe a volume pedal that is designed to work with the guitar signal directly. You can plug the guitar right into the volume pedal, and it will work (and sound) more or less the same as turning the guitar's volume knob down.

    Low impedance/25K/Active describes a volume pedal that is designed to work with signals coming from some sort of active source - a keyboard, preamp, guitar pedal (buffered/Boss-type) or amp effects loop.

    /Andreas
     
  3. swicker

    swicker Member

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    thanks...so is a high impedence volume pedal the same thing as a passive volume pedal?
     
  4. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    Yes.

    Unless you by passive vs active mean if a volume pedal uses a simple volume pot and require no power (passive) or use some sort of active circuit (some Goodrich, Morley, Visual Volume etc)... but that's another story :D

    /Andreas
     
  5. swicker

    swicker Member

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    awesome...thanks so much...i appreciate the help stinkfoot...

    have a great weekend!
     
  6. Musikman4Christ

    Musikman4Christ Member

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    Hi guys,

    I know this has been asked before and I am really in need of some advice.
    My Ernie Ball 6166 old volume pedal, with the original pot just died. It still works, but if i rock it back and forth, it is so scratchy. So I just ordered a 250k pot and string from amazon, thru music123.

    Well, should I have gotten the 25k pot instead?

    I noticed that my signal is so much clearer and i can actually hear tones from my Strat and lace sensors pickuups that I didnt hear while the EB pedal was hooked up.

    I also tried the churches Volume pedal which is a BOSS FV500L, which I think is the low impedance one, and it didnt suck any tone.

    So here is the thing, I have the Volume Pedal hooked up right after my Jekyll & Hyde (V1 Silver Version) OD pedal, then the output goes to the Volume pedal, from there, I go to a Zoom G1n then to Zoom G3.

    Should I have bought the 25k pot instead if I have it this way? or will the 250k pot work fine after the Overdrive pedal?

    Thanks in advance guys.....
     
  7. engiblogger

    engiblogger Member

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    A high impedance (Hi-Z) signal, like the one coming from a passive guitar (no battery on the guitar) is a weak signal. For the high frequencies to be maintained, a Hi-Z signal must go into a Hi-Z pedal. IMHO this should be buffer or buffered pedal. This is why you should buy a 250K volume pedal or active volume pedal for passive guitars.
    A low impedance signal comes from a guitar with active electronics or a buffered guitar pedal. This signal maintains highs better over long distances and is much more resistant to noise.

    A buffer or buffered pedal replecates the signal as a Lo-Z signal. This means the voltage is the same but there is more current avaliable.

    A 25K and 250K volume pedal are both passive. They do not convert the signal to a Lo-Z signal. over long cable runs this can be problamatic as you will lose your high frequencies.

    My suggestion, plug your guitar directly into a buffer or buffered pedal such as a Boss tuner. This allows the pedals following to have a stronger signal to draw from. later in the chain you can use a 25K volume pedal or active volume pedal to control swells. Don't forget that a passive volume pedal will add impedance to your signal.

    Most Lo-Z pedals have an output impedance of about 1K. this is the case in most boss pedals.
     

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