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Guitars & Accessories

Best Guitar Volume Pedal

While the guitar volume pedal may not necessarily be as flashy as some of the other effects pedals the average guitarist might find at his or her feet, it certainly plays a useful (and often integral) role. This pedal offers players a way to easily adjust the output of their instrument without having to adjust the master volume knob on the guitar itself. But beyond that utility-like function, the guitar volume pedal can also be used in more creative ways, providing swelling sound effects. When combined with other effect pedals in the rig, some truly interesting and captivating sounds can be produced. These are the best guitar volume pedals, with each item here designed to be particularly rugged to prevent from breaking during heavy use, can be used to reduce overall volume to 0dB or a higher volume rate as its base minimum, and they're all built to leave your tone unaffected wherever you place it in your effects rig.

Morley PVO PLUS Optical Volume Pedal

When compared to other guitar volume pedals on the market, Morley’s PVO+ offers some distinct traits that truly set it apart from the rest of the pack. The Electro-Optical technology in this unit makes this thing a silent killer; without any pots to wear out, this thing has one less component that could eventually deteriorate, and it will remain very quiet during use. The audio taper in this pedal is adjustable, which allows you to get very specific in how you want to implement your volume effects. A foot-switchable mini volume knob allows you to quickly jump between lead and rhythm settings, offering you a quick “preset” of sorts to get instant results with your guitar. Speaking of which, this pedal isn't just limited to guitar and can be applied to other instruments such as keys, bass, and anything else that you want to control the volume of.

Ernie Ball MVP Volume Pedal

When you need to get a job done with one of the heavy-hitters, it’s best to call on the MVP of your team and that’s exactly what Ernie Ball must have had in mind when they named their guitar volume pedal. The MVP provides the boost that players turn to guitar volume pedals for, but without taking away any of the high-end frequencies of your tone. The heel position of the pedal can be set anywhere from 0-50 percent of volume, giving players the option to get really silent, or to set the volume floor at half the decibels of the loudest signal. The toe position of this pedal can be 100 percent volume or up to 20dB gain for when you really want to make your guitar scream. The build of this pedal is rugged enough to handle the heavy use that this type of effect will get in your average set, while remaining smooth so that the volume changes in your signal can be fluid and natural sounding.

Dunlop High Gain Volume Pedal

Jim Dunlop has brought the high level of quality and performance that guitarists associate with all of their other effects pedals to the GCB-80 High Gain volume pedal. Because guitarists will often give this pedal much more use in a performance than other effects pedals, the GCB-80 is built to last, housed inside a heavy die-cast shell. The passive design of this pedal allows you to use it without having to provide a power input which makes it easy to just plug in and play. Despite its rugged build, this pedal still provides a delicately intricate volume adjustment, thanks to its 1 million cycle taper potentiometer. Whether you’re looking to use a volume pedal to create otherworldly swells or just want an easy and seamless way to adjust your instrument’s volume, this pedal is top notch.

Boss FV-500H/-500L Stereo Volume Pedal

The look of the BOSS FV-500L may be one of the first elements that makes this guitar volume pedal stick out from the rest, but that’s not the only noteworthy factor that this unit brings to the table. This pedal features a stereo output, which allows you to connect it to your output source in a variety of ways. This pedal also can act as an expression pedal with certain amps, effects, and more. Because it’s a BOSS, it’s built to withstand nuclear war – well, maybe not that far, but you certainly won’t have to worry about doing any damage to the unit through regular active use. It’s heavy-duty aluminum die cast body also features pedal rubber on its surface, allowing players to get a comfortable grip on the unit with their foot and maintain that grasp throughout a performance.

Electro Harmonix Volume Pedal Precision

One look at Electro-Harmonix’s Next Step volume pedal might leave you scratching your head and wondering if perhaps a part of the unit is missing. But fret not, you’re looking at the whole thing, it’s just that this pedal has no moving parts to wear out. A single contained piece represents the entirety of this effects pedal, eschewing any of the risk of damage that other more traditional models might offer. Despite its stripped down build, it is still durable enough to take on the road without having to worry about any risks. A bypass volume control also eliminates the need for a different worry, your tone will remain unaffected running through this pedal.

Sean Kramer
I'm a guitarist/music producer with 18 years of experience playing on-stage, in the studio, and everywhere in between. I have toured and recorded on projects both independent and major, in styles such as rock, pop, funk, hip hop, electronic, and more. My axe of choice is probably always going to be the Fender Stratocaster, but I've been known to pick up other guitars when the music calls for it. I'm a big fan of using a multitude of effects (both hardware and software-driven) to manipulate the sound and atmosphere of an instrument. In addition to playing on records, I have also contributed to the score/soundtrack for shows and spots on MTV and ESPN, as well as for a variety of independent films, web series, and television shows.
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