Which Volume Pedal for a smooth/linear taper?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by JimEff, May 31, 2015.

  1. JimEff

    JimEff Member

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    I use a volume pedal as a master volume at the end of my chain, I don't use it for volume swells. Why do all volume pedals have such a hurky-jerky taper? I currently have an Ernie Ball VP Jr, it works, but meh, not that great (plus it's freakin huge). Any pedals out there that will *gradually* adjust my volume?
     
  2. Cb

    Cb Member

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    I have the same problem with most volume pedals. I don't use them for swells, I run them after my OD pedals to control the overall volume of my rig. I had a BIG EB stereo volume pedal with a minimum volume pot on the side, and if I set it for ~50% volume at heel down, 100% toe down, the taper was ideal...it just came up evenly without the "80% of the action in the last 20% of the travel" deal.

    Sometime back I had TGP'er walterw modify a 25k EB Jr to add a minimum volume pot in place of the tuner-out jack. It works like a charm...I set the pot for ~50% heel down, and the volume rolls in very gradually.

    I'm pretty sure EB is now making an active version of the EB Jr with a min volume pot...I suspect it might work the same way.

    I might try the new much smaller Boss volume pedal when my walterw-modded EB Jr string breaks or the pot turns scratchy. If the end of the sweep on the Boss is too sudden I'll probably bug walterw again...
     
  3. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the Hilton volume pedal..


     
  4. Catch

    Catch Analog>Digital Converter

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  5. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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  6. Catch

    Catch Analog>Digital Converter

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    I've not tried the Hilton...bought the Fractal after frustration with EB after EB and then Mission.

    I love the travel and transparency of the EV1. If it breaks I will buy a Hilton. The only one left after that will be the Telonics....
     
  7. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Are all the pedals upstream true bypass or are any of them buffered? The reason I ask is that any are buffered, then a reduced resistance on the volume pedal is less likely to cause treble loss. You could experiment with adding tapering resistors
     
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  8. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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    How much is the Telonics ?? Looks great!!
     
  9. smitty.west

    smitty.west Senior Member

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    I use this one, but the off-point/volume knob on the side drives me nuts. Constantly having to check where it's at. Wish it didn't have it.
     
  10. Catch

    Catch Analog>Digital Converter

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    It's around $500 I think...maybe more.

    The Fractal is passive and has 100K pot if I remember correctly.
     
  11. Glitch Magnet

    Glitch Magnet Member

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  12. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    After a buffer, either from buffered pedals, an amp's effects loop, or a discrete buffer, you either need an active volume pedal, or a pedal with a low value pot. If you were using a volume pedal with a 25K pot instead of the 250K of the EB VPjr, the curve would be more accurate. Active volume pedals get rid of pot loading effects, as well.

    That said, the Hilton is really great. No pot to get scratchy, no string to break, no gears.
     
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  13. JimEff

    JimEff Member

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    I thought the 25K models were for active pickups. Looks like Hilton is the way to go but it's pricey and big.
     
  14. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    They are for lower impedance sources, such as active pickups, and buffered pedals.

    It's not really bigger than a normal Ernie Ball volume pedal, fwiw.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    glad it's working out!

    for those playing along at home, in addition to the minimum volume thing the other trick that seems to work is slapping a 10kΩ resistor across the two "hot" lugs of the 25k pot, that flattens the sweep nicely so you don't get the big drop from full-up; (edit: like @Whiskeyrebel mentioned)

    i tried a 6kΩ, but that seemed to push things too far in the other direction, to where the sound jumped up too fast from "off".
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
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  16. JimEff

    JimEff Member

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    OP here. I'm confused. I do NOT have active pickups. Are you saying that I should still be using the 25K model to get the gradual sweep?
     
  17. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    If you are placing the volume pedal after buffered effects, or in an amp's effects loop, yes. Even if you don't have a buffered pedal, or a stand-alone buffer, any pedal that is engaged will be low impedance (e.g. act as a buffer.)

    Basically, if you are placing the volume pedal right after a passive guitar, you will want a high
    impedance pot value. In most other cases you will want an active volume pedal, or a low value pot in your V.P.
     
  18. JimEff

    JimEff Member

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    OK...sorry to beat a dead horse...so I have passive pickups and I put the VP at the end of my chain after my overdrive pedal. So I should've bought the 25K model (Ernie Ball 6181) instead of the 250K model (Ernie Ball 6180)? If so, then I guess that's my problem. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  19. midwayfair

    midwayfair Member

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    A smaller treadle will likely exacerbate your issue with finding the taper unsatisfactory. Same way that a bigger knob makes a pot easier to adjust. This is regardless of the actual taper of any electronics or passives involved in the pedal, it's just basic physics.

    EDIT: The 250K can be used with active or passive electronics. If there's another pedal on in front of it or a buffer, it will perform marginally better than if it's just after your guitar. Contrary to popular myth (which is repeated in the post below this), having a buffer in front of the 250K will not make it worse. The 25K, though, MUST have a buffer or other active circuitry between it in the guitar, or it will sound like crap. If you have the 250K, there is a small toggle in any version made in the 2000s or later that will alter the taper from linear to something more like an audio taper.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yep, as long as there's always at least one buffered or "always on" pedal in front of it.

    ideally, you want a buffered stompbox right in front of the volume pedal, so that no matter what else you kick on or off, the volume pedal is always getting fed the same buffered signal by that box; if you have a buffer up front, then some true bypass stuff, and then the volume pedal, you might get a thing where kicking on the stompboxes in between causes the volume pedal to change level, because it's now getting a different "impedance" signal from the in-between box.
     

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