What Does a Volume Pedal Do That a Guitar Volume Can't?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Josh O, Nov 21, 2005.


  1. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    May be a dumb question but what benefit does a volume pedal give over the guitar's volume knob? What's a better pedal, EB or Goodrich?
     
  2. Jim Martin

    Jim Martin Member

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    I find it easier to do swells with a pedal than using my pinky. And if you want you can put the volume pedal after your overdrives, so you can get the same distorted tone quieter when you lower the volume (versus a less distorted tone when you lower the volume going into the pedals).
     
  3. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    My distortion comes from my amp, would you say that a volume pedal is more effective in cleaning up a distorted amp than the guitar volume knob? I heard a sound clip of someone playing a VHT Deliverance head that was heavily distorted and he used a Goodrich volume pedal that seemed to clean up the amp to a clean sound.
     
  4. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    Pinky swells are really the best-sounding ones, IMO. But to those of us without the skills, the pedal is where its at.

    If you're getting all your dirt from the amp, there will be little difference in the sound produced by either method.

    But obviously in a chain of effects, the placement of a volume pedal makes all the difference in the world.
     
  5. Jim Martin

    Jim Martin Member

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    I don't think the volume pedal would be any better than the volume on the guitar, in that case. With the possible exception that if you don't have a capacitor in your guitar the tone gets muddier as you roll back the volume.

    Usually that cleaning up effect works better if the distortion is coming from power tubes (versus the preamp).
     
  6. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    About the only thing a Volume pedal gives you vs your pinky is ease of use in that you have both hands free. Where it gets placed on a board can be a whole nuther discussion. I place mine right b4 my delay, the delay being the last effect. But where is very dependant on the rig.
     
  7. OOG

    OOG Member

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    no comparison
    Goodrich
     
  8. Jim Martin

    Jim Martin Member

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    I also like the Goodrich - even the passive one. I replaced my EB with it. Taper seems better, travel seems smoother.
     
  9. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Nothing.


    With enough drilling at volume pot use, you can ditch the volume pedal, one less thing poluting your signal chain.
     
  10. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi,

    I hate to be contrary but I find the use of the guitar volume to be be very different from a volume pedal. And I use both extensively but with different purpose.

    A change of the guitar volume doesn't only mean a change of the gain sent to the amp and a resulting loss of distorsion/overdrive charachter in the amp. It also changes the tonality of the signal sent to the amp. In my world this makes the guitar a very much more flexible instrument.

    The volume pedal changes the gain sent to the amp but does not affect guitar tone and thus gives a different sound. When I want to do swells I use v-pedal since it gives me better control. When I do my admittedly poor Carlton imitations I also use v-pedal.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  11. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Some of the advantages of a volume pedal...

    - More flexibility... as some have mentioned, you can set the vol pedal in several places and it will do different things in them...
    after distortion is sort of a distortion master volume but doesn't lose the gain/dist as you turn it down.

    Right from the guitar, into the vol-pedal, you have a hands-free (which, by the way is not so small a thing as implied. In a fast song, in a fast solo you come in...find out the volume is too low, or high...you got NO options. That "pinky" thing only works on strats (or BEST works on strats) but not on say a ES-335...
    and even that isn't workable in a fast solo...this is where a vol pedal shines....you can ease on up or down, listening the whole time until your volume is just right...)

    You can also use a combination (I like this best) and for one example, you could set your guitar volume pot according to what kind of distortion you want full steam ahead...then go into the vol pedal and use it to control the amount of gain up to the ceiling you set with the guitar vol pot. Which you can raise as the night wears on.

    It's great for swells and violining. Also for that sound of a guitar coming from a ways away while soloing, getting gradually louder.

    ALSO it's great for expression!!! You got a solo, you want it to start a little higher than your rythm volume, cool...but as you are playing, say it is a kind of solo where you get more intense as the solo goes on, you leave headroom and ever so slightly crank the volume up a little more as you go.

    I personally love the EB vol pedals. They have a great little switch in SOME (not all...you have to check if it has it before buying) models that lets you decide the taper of the vol pot. One way it is a quicker gradiation from hell position to like 1/3 depressed that gives the biggest jump in volume...more gradual after. On the other position, it is the opposite...so when you start at heel position...it gets slighty louder, slightly louder, louder, and then about the last 3rd of travel is the "hump" where pedal travel makes more of a difference in volume.

    Another nice thing is they have a tuner out jack...so no matter what kind of tuner you have (i.e. if it is a type even that doesn't mute the output when you turn it on) you can always rock the vol to heel position, tune in silence, and then up again..

    I love volume pedals. They are really seen as "unsexy" pedals...almost not seen as an effect at all, but they really do HAVE an effect on the setup. I always use mine when playing with others.
     
  12. pepe

    pepe Member

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    i want to say hello to everybody,sice i am a new member and
    this is my first post.
    i would like to add another big YES for the volume pedal.
    The main reason for me is- i want to do volume swells and use
    the tremolo bar at the same time. Even on a strat (wich is my main guitar) i cant imagine to do this with my pinky.

    pepe
     
  13. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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  14. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Member

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    excellent post.... :RoCkIn
     
  15. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I put the volume pedal in the loop. That retains preamp distortion and acts pretty much as a foot controllable master volume. Can't do that with a guitar.
     
  16. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    splatt,
    Sorry to interrupt, but I sent you a PM on an unrelated topic.

    Jerrod
     
  17. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Both are valid. They produce different results.
    A mate of mine produced a veritable String Quartette in the studio with a Les Paul, Marshall, a Boost and a volume pedal (cheapo sixties one). I don't think he could have done it so easily and quickly with just the knob on the Lester - although he was very good with a Strat knob.

    I believe that Nils Lofgren even uses a pedal sometimes...........

    Best, Pete.
     
  18. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    I know Steve Howe is a big, EB I think, volume pedal user, even during the days they sucked tone worse than they do now. I myself have an old EB and a new EB Jr. The old one was awful with tone suck, but the new one is much better. Perfect? No, but the tradeoff is still worth it for me. When the money comes I will try some others to see if they are better, but they are still very useful for me.
     
  19. EchoGecko

    EchoGecko Member

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    The issue with volume pedal tone suckage is having two volume pots in series with one another. I agree that you cannot use the knob nearly as easily or effectively as a pedal, and I personally think there are more important things to practice than mastering the volume knob with full right hand already in use. I dunno if potless pedals like the Goodrich solve the tone suckage issue, but if you wanna use a potted pedal but you think you're losing some tone, why not just install a true bypass switch on your guitars volume pot? That way, the only volume pot in your signal chain will be that of the pedal, and you'd have no more suckage than if were using only the guitar's volume pot. It would just be a little toggle switch like you'd use for coil tapping, etc...or maybe there would be a way to do it using a push/pull pot.
     
  20. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Definetely wasn't you was it ;)

    Wow what a debate. So splatt, do you think the active Goodrich will do a better job cleaning up my completely overdriven Matamp than my guitar volume? Was that Deliverance dimed in that sampl you recorded because if it was and you got that clean just by rolling back on the Goodrich, I'm sold.
     

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