How To Choose The Best Guitar Volume Pedal For You (Part 2)

Part 1 (of 5) Covered Pots, Electro-Optical Circuitry, Stereo, and Mono Channels in guitar Volume Pedals.

Part 2 of this 5-part series will cover more features that you can choose from when choosing a guitar volume pedal.

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Minimum, Or No Minimum Volume?

Basically, if you have a minimum volume, you can set how low you want your pedal to set the volume to.

Maybe you only want to make your guitar ever go to 20% Volume at one time. Well you would just set the minimum volume, and it would physically make it impossible for you to go to a volume any lower than that.

If you choose no minimum, the low setting on the pedal will always be 0% volume.

It's a bit more complex than a dimmer switch...

So really, it’s up to you. If you like the idea of making your guitar quiet, but not completely off, then I suggest you get a pedal with a minimum volume.

If you don’t really care either way, then just ignore this feature and make your decision based on the other factors I’ve listed here.

Powered Or Non-Powered?

This one has to do with whether or not you have a large supply of 9V batteries by your side!

If you get a guitar volume pedal that requires power, you will either need to feed it 9V Batteries, or you will need a 9V power adapter that plugs in.

Keep in mind that most pedal brands have their own unique adapters, so it is not a one size fits all situation. It will likely cost you $10-$20 for the adapter for the pedal.

And if you are having upwards of 3 or 4 pedals on your board (I have 5+ pedals), you can see how powering all of them at once can become quite a problem.

a picture of tim allen from home improvement

"It Needs MORE POWER!"

To fix that problem, I use the 1-Spot Space Saving Power Adapter. It works with almost any pedal, and the original design comes with 4 plug-ins (So this 1 power adapter can power 4 different pedals at the same time, even though it only uses 1 wall socket).

You can also get extensions for it to power more pedals (Still with only 1 adapter). You can get an extension for 5 extra effects pedals (9 in total) for another $10.

Instead of buying 9 different adapters (Even at the cheap price of $10 per pedal, that’s $90, and many of them can cost $20), you can buy 1 of these baby’s for $30 and can power all of them, with only 1 plug in the wall.

So if you are willing to buy a “1-spot”, or the power adapter for your Guitar Volume pedal, then I would say it is worth it.

In some cases, powered Volume Pedals that have a minimum volume switch might function properly without power, but the minimum volume switch will be disabled until you plug it in.

That is a good function, because then if you just need to use the thing for Volume swells and such, you don’t have to worry about the power to your pedal.

Just keep in mind that if you mix this Power Adapter (The “1-spot”) with AC Power (not DC), you could be risking some hum noises. This is because the electrical frequencies can interfere with each other, which is never a good thing!

But if you are mindful of the AC power, and make sure you always plug in to a surge protector, I think everything will work out just fine for you.

In part 3 we will compare 3 different pedals, and you will be able to decide which pedal suits your playing style the most.

Go Back To Part 1

Go To Part 3

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