Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best sustain pedal 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best sustain pedal of 2018
The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product. I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references.
Not all sustain pedal are created equal though. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this sustain pedal win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
№2 – Mugig Sustain Pedal
Why did this sustain pedal come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this sustain pedal take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
sustain pedal Buyer’s Guide
It’s good for weeks
It’s best to start with the most obvious pedal, one you’ve probably heard of already. Distortion! The term “distortion pedal” is actually used quite a bit as an umbrella term to refer to different types of pedals.
Although it’s not really wrong to do this (they all distort the signal of the guitar) I’m going to be a little bit more specific and split the group up into types – distortion, overdrive and fuzz (these second two are discussed below).
Distortion is can be quit a heavy, obvious effect which provides a good amount of sustain & crunch to your sound. Because it heavily distorts the sound, it can sometimes hide the actual tone of the guitar.
However you can still hear the original tone of your guitar and amp in there somewhere. It just makes everything sound much more aggressive.
An overdrive pedal still distorts your sound, and gives it an extra punch, but it’s great at keeping more of the sound of your amplifier & guitar intact. So it sounds a little bit more natural.
It drives or “pushes” your amplifier more subtly than a distortion pedal so it doesn’t sound too heavy or overpowering. Yet it still gives you that beefy, thicker sound.
It’s often used in classic rock and blues but is a versatile pedal which is on the pedal board of millions of guitarists around the world.
Fuzz is the most extreme of the distortion effects and kind of sounds like it’s pushing your amplifier to breaking point. It provides a bass heavy and noisy guitar tone and means that it’s very hard to hear any of your original guitar tone.
However it’s still a very diverse pedal depending on how you use it. It can be used to create very heavy attacking sounds, or add more of a discrete buzz which isn’t too overpowering.
The different pedals are differentiated by the amount of the distortion / saturation they provide. Overdrive has the least, fuzz has the most, and distortion is somewhere in the middle.
Delay is another effect which does what it says on the tin. It delays your signal by a varying amount and then plays it back. This creates a doubling effect. The pedal will let you define how long the delay is.
Digital pedals can usually delay for longer, but some people think that these digital pedals don’t sound as good as analogue alternatives. Delay pedals are great for creating experimental effects and sounds, but can be subtle too.
The chours effect sounds like hundreds of different guitarists playing what you are, but very slightly out of time. The effect also creates a mild wobble type noise.
Overall the sound sound rich, full and thick because of the chorus effect.
It can be used effectively both as a subtle effect or a more obvious experimental effect.
Flanger is very similar to chorus, however it can provide a little bit more of an obvious effect.
It’s got more of a wooshing sound which goes up in pitch and then down again. People often say it sounds like a plane flying past.
Unlike the chorus effect it doesn’t sound like there are hundreds of guitarists copying your sound, but still can thicken your tone up.
Again the phaser pedal is similar to the flanger and chorus effects. It creates a sweeping sound by creating peaks and troughs in your guitar tone. You can alter the height of these peaks and troughs by manipulating the controls on the pedal.
The phaser also adds a similar, but not as obvious, effect to the guitar tone as the chorus. So it sounds like there are a few guitarists playing the same as you.
Tremolo sounds like your volume is being turned up and down very quickly after you play a note. However the sounds gets blended together nicely so it doesn’t sound too obvious or out of place. Essentially it proves a nice wobble sound.
The controls on the pedal control how big this volume change is, and how quickly it occurs. It’s not too far away from the phaser, flanger and chorus pedals, but still sounds unique when compared to them.
If, however, you want to play Beethoven in a symphony hall one day, then a piano is what you need. This is because the piano has a greater range as well as weighted keys.
Range refers to how many keys your instrument has. Most keyboards typically have 6keys, whereas pianos usually have 8keys.
As a beginner pianist, you can still play most exercises on a 6key keyboard. So if an 8key piano is out of your price range, you can still learn to play. You must, however, remember that the keys on a 6key keyboard are usually not weighted. This means that when you play on a real piano, the feel will be completely different.
Weighted vs Unweighted Keys
Real pianos use hammers. When you press down on a key, the hammer swings and hits strings inside the piano. This hammer action adds weight to the keyboard.
Many of the very basic keyboards, however, do not offer this feature. So if you want to learn to play dynamically, you will need to ensure that your keyboard offers velocity sensitive keys.
The PSR-E25is an ideal first keyboard for aspiring musicians who are just starting out.
Polyphony is how many sounds a keyboard can play at once. If the keyboard has a polyphony of 2notes (a fairly low number), once you play note 29, note one will stop playing.
As mentioned in the purpose section, there are different keyboards for different applications. As a student, you would want a very basic keyboard with piano sounds. These will usually include drum samples and some basic synth sounds.
This keyboard buyers guide is trying to keep information to the most important topics you need to make your selection. If you, however, would like a more detailed explanation of each type of keyboard, go here.
Its price might say “budget,” but the E-09’s sounds and styles are nothing but first class.
The PSR-E35is an ideal Portable Keyboard for beginners and hobbyists, featuring touch sensitive keys, on-board lessons, computer and mobile device connectivity and much more.
Building on the success of Roland’s popular E-series arranger keyboards, the E-0raises the quality standard for entry-level arrangers.Perfect for the beginner to mid-level player alike.
Noise Reduction and Noise Gate Pedals
Because compressors can also be used to reduce distortion, Sam Ash Direct includes in that category noise reduction and gate pedals all of which act to reduce hum and noise in your signal.
The Boss CS-Compression Sustainer Pedal is a very popular all around compression sustainer pedal. With low noise design and control over level, tone, attack, and sustain it does the job well for both guitars and basses. It is unusual for a high-end boutique pedal to be in high demand, but this feat is achieved by the Keeley Compressor Pedal from Keeley Electronics. This pedal is made with true audiophile circuitry and is made with the quality of professional rack mount studio equipment. Of course it has a true bypass switch so it won’t interfere with your signal when turned off.
The MXR M10Dyna Comp Compressor is inexpensive and simple to use. This is a great tool for producing that percussive sound on a clean guitar. For Bass, consider MXR’s higher end M8Bass Compressor, which gives you studio quality circuitry and full control over your sound. With the Bass Compressor let’s your full dynamic range come through until you reach your compression threshold indicated by status LED’s.
Boss also has a very good solution to noise suppression in the Boss NSNoise Suppressor Pedal. The NSis particularly effective at eliminating the noise and hum that can be associated with some guitar and bass effects setups and amps.
The MXR M13Smart Gate Pedal is another great unit for clearing out the sizzle and hum from a string of effects and a high gain amp. This is studio electronics squeezed down from a half rack size into a minuscule stomp box, so it will never cutoff your sustain in the process of cutting out the noise.
Roctron Reaction HUSH, acclaimed as a potent noise killing machine by Guitar Player Magazine, is a high-end pedal at a low-end price. HUSH will removed the noise from your effects set-up and kill the hum from your non-humbucking pickups, without damping any of your sustain. Rocktron recommends that for best results, you put HUSH in your effects chain after you distortion and modulation effects (such as chorus, flanger, and phasers), but before any delay and reverb effects. Hush is studio quality electronics in a small package with True Bypass circuitry.
As previously stated, the three traditional pedals on a classical piano are the sustain, sostenuto, and the una corda. These piano pedals traditionally are placed in this order and each does something unique compared to the other.
Each pedal is important, but many musicians start out with the keys and then progress to the pedals. As a result, being good at using pedals tends to happen past the beginner level.
As you may know, a piano plays notes by using a soft-headed hammer to strike strings that are housed within the piano itself. When you press a key, the hammer strikes the string. Once you lift your finger from the hammer comes to rest on the string, which effectively mutes the sound.
The sostenuto is somewhat similar but is also different from the sustain pedal. The middlemost pedal, the sostenuto sustains the notes that are being played at that point in time.
The term sostenuto actually means sustain, but where the sustain pedal will sustain all of your notes, the sostenuto pedal can be much more precise.
Often called the soft pedal, in some traditional pianos, the una corda pedal applied a piece of cloth to the strings so that the note is noticeably softer when you play it. In other grand pianos, there are groupings of three strings that are pressed simultaneously with each note.
When the una corda pedal is depressed, the hammers will only hit two or even one of the three strings (una corda means one string). While these purely mechanical processes are only emulated on a digital piano, the soft pedal is very useful when you are playing music.
Triple Pedal Setup vs. Simple Sustain
Which of the pedal setups should you choose? Many digital musicians just buy a sustain, since many consider this to be the most important pedal in modern keyboard music-making.
Whether you want a sostenuto and a soft pedal will be completely up to your personal preference, but in my opinion, these pedals really help broaden your repertoire so that you can have a wider variety of sound.
This variable resistance means that you can depress the pedal half way so that you can shorten the sustained notes somewhat. This is definitely useful, especially for those times when you want to adjust the playback of your tones.
A non-variable resistance sustain provides a pre-set degree of sustain, which is great for someone learning how to use one of these pedals.
Real pianos will let you vary the pressure on the pedal for differing effect, so if you are planning on transitioning to a real acoustic instrument, then it might be better to learn on a variable-resistance unit.
Other Products to Consider
Our next product is the first sustain-only product on our list and is manufactured by the Luminously instrument company. When I tried this one out at a music store, I really loved how wide the pedal was at its leading edge.
It feels responsive, and actually is very reminiscent of the pedals that you would find on a larger acoustic piano. Like our recommended selection, this pedal has a polarity switch that makes the product very versatile. You can find this option on the back of the unit.
There is a reverse switch that will change the pedal from normally open to normally closed when you need to use a different keyboard or synthesizer. The first time that I depressed the sustain pedal on this product, I was amazed to see that it really feels like a real acoustic piano pedal.
This haptic and tactile response is perfect for those musicians who are used to larger acoustic models but want to practice using a digital instrument in their downtime.
When it comes to slippage, this product excels as well; I found that when I was testing it out that it had the ability to stay in place during some rigorous playing.
Our Great Value choice product has to be JOYO’s compressor pedal. This is by far the most affordable product on the list and is perfect for anyone that is looking for a pedal to try out. Whether you have a tight budget for a while or just want to explore and experience the world of compressor pedals, JOYO will provide you with an affordable product that is also quiet. It won’t in any way disturb the rest of your kit and will only add with its leveling and evening out the unneeded or dull sounds that come with playing the guitar.
Econo keyboards are a better option for people looking to get a board without breaking the bank. The features are similar to a budget keyboard but include velocity sensitivity, sustain pedal input jack, and sometimes a usb input for interfacing with a computer (sometimes they can even function as a controller).
Semi-Pro & Professional:
Professional keyboards have great sounds, a wide range of additional feature, mainly for manipulating sounds and integrating with other musical equipment. They have a lot of cutting edge technology integrated and therefore the price reflects it. The learning cure on these boards tends to be steeper.
Suggestions: Every musician’s genre and musical demands are different and therefore no one-size-fits-all suggestion can be made. That said, here are the key players for semi-pro keyboards: Alesis, Roland and for professional keyboards: Korg, Kurzweil, Moog, Nord, Yamaha.
Ward Brodt Music
If you are looking to save some cash you can get a great instrument for well under the price of a new board. Just make sure to test all the keys and buttons before you buy. Be sure to give the instrument a good look-over for any damage or defects. Lastly, I do not suggest buying something used online without being able to test it first (or return it later).
What is a Compressor
The simplest way of thinking about a compressor is that it evens out the volume of a signal. The compressor will take your signal and any loud parts will be reduced so the overall volume is a bit more consistent. A really basic explanation is that a compressor makes loud sounds softer.
When a signal rises above a certain volume level (the threshold), it will reduce the volume based on the ratio. So if the ratio is 5:1, that means for every 5dB the signal is above the threshold, the compressor will only allow 1dB to come out. So the overall effect is the signal is reduced by 4dB.
If the ratio is 20:this means for every 20dB the signal is above the threshold, only 1dB will be heard above the threshold. So the higher the threshold, the more the compressor will reduce the volume above the threshold.
The two main controls you have with a compressor are the threshold and the ratio. Reducing the threshold means that the compressor will be applied to more and more of your tone. If you have a high threshold, it will only apply to the very loud parts of your signal (eg: when you pick the strings hard).
The ratio allows you to control how much the volume is reduced above the threshold. The higher the ratio, the more the compressor will compress your signal.
Because the compressor lowers the volume of your signal above the threshold, the overall volume drops when you use a compressor. So a make-up gain is often used to compensate for the decrease in volume.
Later on you will see examples of extreme compression and how too much compression can be bad.
Too Much Compression is Bad
The Loudness Wars refer to the trend where compressors are applied to recordings as a way to squeeze out as much volume as possible. This is done because a louder signal tends to sound higher quality (a well known trick a salesperson will use to sell you an overpriced hi-fi stereo system or guitar amp). So artists try to push the volume higher and higher to the point where most modern music today is incredibly compressed. Compare a song from the 70s to a song today and you will hear a massive difference in volume.
The CD version is squashed to the point where everything is the same volume. The Guitar Hero version on the other hand has plenty of headroom and you can hear the dynamics throughout the song. Some compression is still used, but not to the extreme like the CD version.
For your own use as a guitarist, it might be tempting to crank a compressor pedal up to give you on-tap sustain. But too much compression can ruin your tone. Later on in this guide we will look at how to use a compressor properly.
Keeley Knob Compressor C4
The Keeley Knob Compressor Cis one of the highest rated guitar compressor pedals available today in terms of sound quality. The four knobs give you plenty of control over the compression. It does come with a higher price tag, so your choice should be between whether you need the extra flexibility or quality the Keeley offers or whether a simpler pedal such as the Dyna Comp or Xotic SP would suit you better.
My Personal Recommendation
Compressor after drive pedal
Many other guitarists prefer to place the compressor after their distortion/overdrive pedal and before any other effect pedals. The reason for this is that the compressor will apply to both your clean sound and your drive sound and even both of them out. Instead of the clean tone being compressed and switching over to an uncompressed drive tone, both a compressed.
When to Use a Compressor
Now we can look at when to use the compressor and when to not use it. I recommend trying all of the following suggestions to see how you could potentially use a compressor. You will then get a feel for the way you prefer using it.
When Not to Use a Compressor
The point I want to leave you with is that compression can help you achieve a very different quality in your tone. It can give your clean tone a completely fresh feel, it can smooth out your volume to give you consistency or it can help you improve sustain. But keep in mind that there will be times when an uncompressed tone will sound better. Experiment and you will learn what works for you.
Aaron Matthies is a guitar teacher living in Australia. This website is his way of providing gear reviews, guides and lessons to guitarists around the world.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your sustain pedal wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of sustain pedal
- №1 — Donner DK-1 Sustain Pedal for Keyboard Digital Piano Foot Pedal
- №2 — Mugig Sustain Pedal
- №3 — M-Audio SP-2 | Universal Sustain Pedal with Piano Style Action for Electronic Keyboards