the best volume pedals

The Best Volume Pedals

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As you build out your pedalboard, you may be thinking it is time to try out a volume pedal.

 

Whether you’re wanting to create epic ambient swells by pairing a volume pedal with your favorite delay pedals and reverb pedals or you’re just looking for a hands-free way to control your guitar’s volume – a volume pedal is an incredible tool to have in your arsenal. 


So what volume pedal do you choose for your swells?

Here’s a list of some of our favorite volume pedals on the market today. 

 

The Best Volume Pedals

 

Jim Dunlop – Volume X Mini (DVP4)

Dunlop DVP4
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My personal favorite volume pedal is the DVP4 from Jim Dunlop. Not only does this volume pedal work exactly as it is intended, but it is built like a tank and is much smaller than most other volume pedals available today. This makes it a great choice if you are looking for a reliable volume pedal that doesn’t take up much space on your pedalboard. 

 

The DVP4 can also be used as an expression pedal. To access this feature, there is a small dipswitch inside of the pedal that you can switch to convert the “tuner out” jack to an “expression out” jack. Super convenient if you’re also in need of an expression pedal! 

 

Features:

  • High quality, rugged construction
  • Small enclosure, doesn’t take up much space
  • Passive, does not require power
  • Can be used as an expression pedal
  • Independent “tuner/expression out” jack

 

Ernie Ball – VP Jr.

VP JR Volume Pedal

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This list wouldn’t be complete without the VP Jr. from Ernie Ball. It is an icon in the guitar pedal world and is a top contender for the best volume pedal for any guitar player’s pedalboard. There is a reason the VP Jr. can be spotted on pedalboards all over the world – it just… works. And it works incredibly well. 

 

The VP Jr. offers a smooth volume taper and you can switch between two separate volume swell rates to fully customize the volume pedal for your own playing style. This is one of the best choices for a full-size volume pedal.

 

Features:

  • Switchable swell rates
  • Reliable build quality
  • Independent “tuner out” jack
  • Passive, does not require power

 

Lehle – Mono Volume

lehle mono volume

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Next up is the Mono Volume from Lehle. Definitely the most expensive volume pedal in this list, but the high price tag can be attributed to incredible construction, design, and overall quality. This truly is the Rolls Royce of volume pedals. 

 

The Lehle Mono Volume offers an onboard “gain” control that offers an additional +10dB of volume, which can drastically change the way that this volume pedal works alongside your overdrive and distortion pedals or guitar amp. 

 

Features:

  • The build is high quality
  • Offers +10dB of additional volume gain
  • Independent “Direct Out” jack for a tuner
  • Requires 9-15 V DC power

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BOSS – FV-500H

BOSS FV500H

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The BOSS FV-500H is another incredible choice for a volume pedal. It is quite similar to the Dunlop DVP4 mentioned above but in a more traditional size. The FV-500H is built like a tank with its rugged diecast exterior and offers a smooth volume sweeping action. This volume pedal also features an “expression out” jack that allows it to be used as an expression pedal as well as a volume pedal. 

 

Features:

  • Rugged, diecast aluminum construction
  • Independent “Expression Out” jack to use as an expression pedal

 

Mission Engineering – VM-PRO

MI VMPRO

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Next is the VM-PRO from Mission Engineering. This is kind of like the Swiss Army Knife of volume pedals. The VM-PRO has buffers built into it that help combat the dreaded tone suck that some volume pedals produce. This volume pedal also has selectable output impedance settings that you can adjust to ensure it works perfectly for any pedals you have on your pedalboard – even vintage fuzz pedals, which notoriously don’t play well with volume pedals.

 

The VM-PRO also has a neat feature called Sparkle Switch that helps restore some of your instrument’s high end that can sometimes be lost when rolling back the volume. 

 

Features:

  • High-quality construction
  • Selectable output impedance
  • Unique “Sparkle” switch to bring back high frequencies
  • Isolated “Tuner Out” jack
  • Requires 9V-18V to use

 

SONICAKE – Vexpress

vexpress

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Lastly is the incredibly budget-friendly Vexpress volume pedal from SONICAKE. While this is surely not the highest quality volume pedal on the list, it works quite well and it is definitely a solid option for anyone on a tight budget. 

 

Despite it being cheap, it actually has two features – it can be used as a traditional volume pedal or an expression pedal! Making it an awesome choice for anyone that is thinking about trying out a volume or expression pedal for themselves. 

 

Features:

  • Highly affordable
  • Very small construction
  • Can be used as a volume or expression pedal
  • Passive, does not require power

 

Do you have G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)? Check out our other guitar pedal shopping guides for more top guitar pedal picks!