For 14 years, the famous BOSS fv-300 served as an industry-standard volume pedal. The tradition continued with the fv-50 series, but today the bar has been raised with boss’s FV-500H (mono, high-impedance, INST. Level) and fv-500l (stereo, low-impedance) pedals. These tank-tough die cast pedals...
This is the third of these pedals I have bought. I bought a second for myself as an extra, and the third one for a friend. I mainly use mine for playing guitar, changing between rhythm and lead volume. I first sought out this product because the minimum volume adjustment is so effective. I can set it where full heel position is rhythm, and full toe is lead. I then don't have to feel around to find one or the other, which is helpful because I usually sing as well as play. I prefer using a volume pedal for rhythm/lead volume changes rather than an A/B footswitch, because having the volume taper is more natural to the ear, even if it's done quickly. Also, if I play a song where I need to have louder-than-normal rhythm, I have that option, which I would not with an A/B setup.I have really liked this product for a several years, but there's a couple of features that keeps it from being a 5-star for me. One, the volume change is not linear across the travel of the pedal (I'm talking about when the minimum volume is not engaged). As with the majority of other volume pedals I've tried, most of the volume differential is in the last 10% of the travel. This is absolutely not my preference, and I don't understand why other people want it (surely other people want that, or manufacturers wouldn't consistently design their products this way). The only pedal I've tried with linear travel was an old Goodrich. It felt so good and natural, but, it didn't have a minimum volume adjustment.The other problem is the "axle" rod that joins the foot pedal to the base. On my first FV-500L, the screws broke that hold it in. The problem, I believe, is that the rod is designed with one side of the ends flattened (see picture), which allows a gap between the rod and the side of the round hole the rod fits through, causing extra stress on the screws. With my first pedal, I ordered replacement parts from Roland/Boss, and I reinstalled with the screws through the non-flattened side. The last two FV-500L's I got, I opened immediately to see if they were installed with the flat side/gap. They were, and I switched them around. So far, none of them have failed, including my original one I fixed with the replacement parts.Even though this has been a long review, my problems with this pedal are very minimal. It's done what I've needed it to do for several years, and I'm not aware of another volume pedal that has the features I need. I highly recommend it.
This is an extremely good volume pedal. I have not had a lot of experience with volume pedals, but I will try to break down each set of criteria in order to convey the quality of the product.CONSTRUCTION: Very well built, very solid pedal. It is huge though, bigger than my full tone wah pedal in every dimension. The part that moves the pot inside is also a metal blade, unlike other pedals that use either a rubber band or string to apply tension to the interior pot.TONE: There is very minimal tone loss. With the volume pedal, my signal is going through the volume pedal and a couple true bypass pedals (compressor, wah, and OD) When I hooked my guitar up directly to the amp, there was very minimal high end reduction. It basically sounds like you added a tone knob and turned it down to 8-9 instead of 10. Now, this could be the pedal, or it could also be the lengths of cable going into the pedal and then into the amp being shortened by half when I disconnect the pedals. That's being said however.... It was not enough loss to have me change any of my settings besides maybe my tone knob on the guitar I cranked up a tiny bit. In other words... if you are a tone hound and small things will drive you nuts, maybe a volume pedal isn't for you (inherent in the design of a volume pedal there will almost always be tone loss as a volume pedal IS a potentiometer which has resistance, no matter what you do).FEEL/USAGEOthers have commented that there is a cliff, this is true. BUT something to keep in mind about potentiometers again.... they usually work as AUDIO tapers, what this means, is that it tapers your signal on a LOGARITHMIC scale, not a linear scale. Using a logarithmic scale, a volume pot at roughly volume 5 wont be giving you 50% volume, but instead will give you 10% (logarithmic scaling is NOT 1:1). So again, inherent in the design of something that has an audio taper, is that is operates on a logarithmic scale, which means, that as you keep decreasing the volume, the effect becomes more drastic as you roll more off..... I.E once the volume starts dropping... it REALLY starts dropping.THE TAKE AWAYeven with some minor problems, this pedal is very handy. I play a lot of musicals and frequently I am being used as a percussionist, which in todays world means using a great deal of electronics. A volume pedals lets me adjust my electronic signal without having to drop to the floor to hit the mixer knob when a sound is too loud or too quiet. This pedal is also handy on the guitar, and even if you never wanted volume, it can be used as an expression pedal for another effect of some type. Overall, this is a very versatile piece of equipment and can be JUST the thing you need if you find yourself having to adjust volumes of electronic equipment on the fly and need an easy way to swell, diminish, or just adjust the output level.
I'm not sure were to start with this thing... except to say that I've noticed zero tone loss, and there is a bit of a "cliff" to it (rather like the master volume on a Fender Amp, and it'll take some doing to get used to using. But that's why we have band practice, right? :-)This pedal is a beast. Seriously. It's huge. Yeah, I glanced at the specs, and thought to myself: "so it's about the size of my wah pedal." Nope. Bigger. A LOT bigger. To the point that my talk box and amp switch pedal are both hanging off my pedal board a bit (but they fit! lol). So in addition to the learning curve on the volume pedal, I have to remember my new board layout. I'll probably just make a new, bigger, board, but for now, this works.
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