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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Question about volume pedal



May 11th, 2016 09:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I play a Fender Hotrod Deluxe amp. It is a very loud amp, so i bought an Ernie Ball volume pedal to use with it. In order to not sacrifice the tone from my amp or guitar while using the volume pedal, is it best to keep the volume levels on the amp loud, or not so loud?

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
May 11th, 2016 09:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

The volume pedal replaces your guitars volume.

Ideally you set the amp at its sweet spot for your ears

And then you control how much signal from the guitar you want going to it from the pedal.

btw tone is subjective if you find the pedals sucking tone you may have to invest in an EQ pedal or find a better more transparent pedal

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
May 11th, 2016 11:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi musicfusion and welcome!

Just want to ask what is your end goal?
Are you trying to quieten down the amp for home playing, or do you gig/play with a band?

If it's the home playing scenario, there's really no good way to tame a HRD to that level without a huge compromise in tone. At least not with a volume pedal imo.

A good attenuator is another story, but for that kind of money you might be better off just buying another, smaller, amp for home practice.

I used to have a Blues Deluxe (basically same amp) it was great sounding amp for gigs, but just too much for playing at home.
In some band situations I could get a nice sound even at "lower" volumes, but again that was still loud by "home" standards.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
May 12th, 2016 01:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Even without an attenuator or starve box, never had a problem with the HRD at home volumes, even conversational ones.

If you want to lower the volume without spending a dime, first step would be to plug into the second input!

Contributing Member


May 13th, 2016 08:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another option is a compressor. I have an Xotic Effects SP compressor that's great for lowering amp volume - just roll back the level on the pedal.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

May 13th, 2016 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yet another option is to play your amp through a small speaker (6" or so) in a little speaker box.

Make sure it's rated for the amp (wattage and Ohms impedance).


62 Strat Man

May 17th, 2016 03:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Volume pedals suck tone. If the amp has a master volume crank it to 8 and turn the pre volume way down. This will make the power tubes drive hard and tone great. I do this with a blues Jr

(This message was last edited by cedarchoper58 at 05:35 PM, May 17th, 2016)

Benson Fan

Los Angeles, CA USA

May 21st, 2016 12:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

I set my amp for the maximum volume I think I will need. I set the guitar volume at maximum, and use the pedal on my multi-effects pedal to adjust my volume. All of my effects are in front of the volume pedal. In this set up, the pedal only changes the volume, not the tone. The guitar volume knob can have a big effect on the tone. Clean tones tend to sound better at full volume, and you will also get more overdrive/distortion with dirty effects.


S.F. Bay Area

May 22nd, 2016 10:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you use the volume pedal in the effects loop of the Deluxe you should not only be able to control the overall volume but by-pass the "tone suckage" also.

In addition you should look into changing the type of volume pot ( I always get confused about linear taper vs. audio taper pots) that comes stock. The stock pot goes from "0-to-60", volume-wise, in an instant. The other type of pot has a much smooth taper with gradation to full volume.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
May 24th, 2016 01:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Depends on what version of HRD, the new versions have a more graduated pot allegedly.

Contributing Member


stigg "Geezer, and still lov'in it"!
May 30th, 2016 10:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had that issue a few years back and solved it with a Morley volume only pedal. It is light actuated so no tone is lost. I found it to be a bit cranky and stopped using it.


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Jun 14th, 2016 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

one more option. A 'tube driver" or similar pedal to get the front end punch that you want and bring the amp volume down to where it needs to be.
Personally, I like the v pedal in the effects loop idea. Gotta try that one.

Contributing Member


The floor is getting farther away...
Aug 6th, 2016 08:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have the volume pedal behind the OD pedals but in front of the delays/modulations/verbs. It prevents the tone suckage problem if you otherwise put the VP in front of the drive pedals. I too leave my guitar's volume all the way up as it will typically run some amount of high end off even with resistors/caps on them. (But I do use the guitar's volume if I want to roll back the overdrive a bit and some brightness.) The volume pedal in front of the delays/etc allow them to trail off even if I cut the volume pedal back.

Contributing Member

Las Vegas, Nevada

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
Dec 2nd, 2016 04:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

I always get confused about linear taper vs. audio taper pots

That's a logical conundrum that I always had, as well.

It was one of the reasons I quit using Ernie Ball volume pedals with pots (NTTAWWT .. just personal preference) and spent the $$$ for a Hilton volume pedal which is infrared actuated.Plus,there are no moving parts to wear out in the Hilton.

All that said (and to give "equal time lol) I do have two Ernie Ball Pedals that I've carried around in case of an emergency (which, has never occurred).

As it was explained to me ... someone can correct me if this isn't accurate (Mr.Peegoo to the courtesy phone lol) a linear pot is one where the resistance that's responsible for decreasing the signal is uniform throughout the pot's taper.

That SEEMS to be what we would want EXCEPT that the human ear doesn't hear linearly but instead logarithmically. Probably why "audio taper" and "logarithmic taper" are synonymous, I'm guessing?

The takeaway is (once again, in my limited understanding of the situation) that if you want a pedal that sounds equally graduated, linear isn't the way to go unless there is also ome kind of buffering going on in the circuitry.

(This message was last edited by JDC at 06:14 PM, Dec 2nd, 2016)

Contributing Member

Don't stumble over

something behind you
Dec 3rd, 2016 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Spot on.

Human nearing is non-linear in how it senses both frequency and volume. We are very good at detecting differences in volume when things are quiet. As things get louder, it becomes more difficult for us to differentiate between volume levels. That's why an "audio" (logarithmic) taper pot works best for a volume control on a guitar.

In the audio pot response curve, notice how there's less change in signal output (resistance) between knob positions 1 and 5, when compared to the linear pot's response curve

Here's a pic of how the resistive tracks attenuate signal in linear and audio/log pot types.

right here.



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 19th, 2016 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

But wouldn't the volume pedal through the effects loop be the best resolve for what the original poster needs? It would be the same as if using attenuation without affecting your tone.
This way you can set all your max volumes and adjust from there?
It sounds like a better idea to me.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Question about volume pedal

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