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Best volume pedal for swells 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated September 1, 2023

Arnold SimmonsHi there, I’m Arnold Simmons. Here are the best volume pedal for swells for 2018 – based on my own expert opinion, feature sets, prices, and overall popularity.

Eventually, I found something that would suit my needs but it occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who might be having the same problems I did. You see I’m an average member of the public just like you and the main reason I decided to publish a review website on volume pedal for swells is because I was looking for one not so long ago.

Best volume pedal for swells of 2018

After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs.

Come with me. I review the three best volume pedal for swells on the market at the moment.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
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Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the volume pedal for swells by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – Mooer Slow Engine Volume Swell Bowed Effect Pedal w/ Power Supply

Mooer Slow Engine Volume Swell Bowed Effect Pedal w/ Power Supply

Includes a Power Supply!
Input : 1/ 4″monaur al jack (impedance: 470k Ohms )
Output : 1/ 4″monaural jack (impedance: 100 Ohms)
Literally no flaws

Why did this volume pedal for swells win the first place?

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! 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.
















№2 – Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics

Jr size to better fit on pedal boards
Mono volume control
Taper switch for two distinctive swell rates
Cheap feeling construction.

Why did this volume pedal for swells come in second place?

Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
















№3 – Dunlop DVP1XL Volume Pedal

Dunlop DVP1XL Volume Pedal

Fully adjustable rocker tension
Internal controls for effect parameter & heel-down / toe-down position
Aluminum chassis
Small size.
It requires frequent cleaning and washing..

Why did this volume pedal for swells take third place?

I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
















volume pedal for swells Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy volume pedal for swells, right? No!

What To Look For In A Volume Pedal

We mentioned that volume pedals can be rather complicated little pieces of gear, and after reading this section hopefully you’ll be convinced (and much more knowledgable)! We’re big fans of lists, so we’ll make a list of what you need to consider and the knowledge you need to arm yourself with.

No tone loss: The dreaded “tone loss” or “tone suck” issue has been known to plague some of the more popular guitar volume pedals out there – even ones that are widely considered to be the best. The Ernie Ball VP Jr. in particular gets a bad rap for this. Your guitar signal, which in itself is a weak signal, can get split into two by a volume pedal that has a dedicated tuner output. In layman’s terms, you take a weak signal and weaken it further by splitting it, which robs the high end of your tone. Not all guitarists seem to be affected, and everyone’s signal chain and tolerance for “imperfections” is different, so your milage may vary. But it’s definitely something to be aware of.

Passive vs. active: A passive volume pedal usually doesn’t require power (through a battery or an adapter). This is convenient and simplifies your setup, but a passive volume pedal is more sensitive and finicky. You have to pay more attention to where you place it in your signal chain (beginning, middle, end) and what instrument you’re using it with. Passive volume pedals, especially ones with a tuner output, can be the cause of the tone loss we mentioned above. For a passive volume pedal, you need to pay attention to its impedance (measured in ohms). In fact, several passive pedals come in two flavors, high and low impedance. An electric guitar like a Tele, Strat, Les Paul, etc has passive pickups, so a passive volume pedal between 250k and 500k ohms will work well with it. An impedance mismatch does not make your volume pedal useless, but can adversely affect your tone. An active volume pedal needs to be powered, and you don’t have to be as careful at where in your signal chain you place it. It’s not susceptible to the “tone suck” issue.

Build quality: This is important for any piece of gear you buy, but particularly something you’ll use as often as a volume pedal. What mechanism is responsible for adjusting the pedal? Do reviewers say it is prone to breaking? Is it easy to fix? In terms of the pedal’s housing, look for one with metal construction from a brand known for building durable gear. The budget volume pedal recommendation we make in this guide is the only one on our list that is housed in plastic, not metal. Whether or not this is ok for you depends on how hard you are on your gear, how heavy your foot is, how frequently you gig, etc.

Stereo vs. mono: This is definitely lower on the list for most people shopping for a volume pedal, but we’ll mention it just in case. Most guitar chains are mono, so that will suffice. If you want a volume pedal you can also use for a stereo instrument like a keyboard, look for one with stereo capability.

Tuner output: Several volume pedals have a tuner output separate from their main output. This is so you can connect your tuner pedal to it, and silently tune, which can be massively handy during a gig in between songs. As we mentioned, be careful if you’re using a tuner output and your volume pedal is passive, as you might be sacrificing some of the high end of your tone.

Adjustability/versatility: Some volume pedals are dead simple – you can rock the pedal back and forth and increase/decrease volume, and that’s it! Some are more versatile, letting you adjust the minimum volume level, the tension/torque of the pedal, the taper (i.e. how the volume curve behaves as you step on the pedal), etc. More features generally means the price increases. This is also where we’ll include the feel of the volume pedal, meaning, if the amount the pedal travels and how it feels under your foot suffices for your needs.

Pro player usage: We as musicians are all unique snowflakes, but sometimes looking at other pedalboards helps our decision making process, particularly when those pedalboards belong to the pro musicians we love. Have a look around Equipboard at your favorite artists’ gear setups, and look at the volume pedals they use. We’ll mention some famous users of the pedals on our best-of list within our reviews.

While a smooth taper and a durable casing are a must-have for gigging musicians, those of us who mostly play in our bedroom and lightly (if ever) gig don’t really need to shell out a bunch of money for the best gear money can buy.

While Valeton may not be a household name, the EP-is worth a solid look for anyone who’s just wanting a basic volume/expression pedal to get the job done. The unit, as implied by the name, pulls double duty as an expression and volume pedal; two tasks which it performs admirably.


Right off the bat, contrary to what you may believe this volume pedal actually isn’t intended for high-gain genres. Rather, when they say high-gain it’s a designation to make it clear that it’s for guitars as opposed to keyboards. It does seem like a bit of an odd choice to give this pedal that particular designation when in reality it would be better suited to passive pickups.

With that out of the way, the Dunlop GCB-80 is incredibly reminiscent of the company’s most well-known product the Crybaby Wah. Because the designs are so similar, the unit shares both the strengths and weaknesses of the design.

Get the Right Pedal For Your Pickups

One of the most important things to know before you buy a volume pedal is that when using a volume pedal you have to match the impedance of your pedal to that of your pickups. If there is an impedance mismatch, it can cause tone loss.

Thankfully, matching impedance between a volume pedal and a guitar pickup is actually pretty simple. All you’ve got to remember is that if you’re using passive pickups you’re going to want a volume pedal in the 250-500K range, and if you’re using active pickups you’re going to want a volume pedal in the 25K – 50K range.

Also, if you want to use your volume pedal in an effects loop (which allows you to control the overall volume without having the pedal color your tone) you’re going to want a low impedance volume pedal.

To tell whether your instrument has active pickups, all you need to do is figure out whether or not your guitar needs a battery. Guitars that do have a black panel on either the back or side which, if popped open, reveals a battery enclosure.

Passive vs. Active Volume Pedals

A passive volume pedal, like passive guitar pickups, does not use a separate power source. Active volume pedals, like active pickups, use an external power source. Passive volume pedals control a signal’s volume like a guitar’s volume switch, while an active volume pedal controls volume with more fidelity.

Basically, think of a passive volume effect as a physical limitation of a signal and an active volume pedal as a circuit. You have more options with what an active volume pedal can achieve, though the extra expense may not be worth it if you aren’t going to take advantage of the extra features.


Expression and volume pedals are often lumped together, but in reality they’re two distinct pieces of equipment. Basically, expression controls a parameter of an effect while a volume pedal controls volume. Expression includes things like increasing a delay’s repeats, or a chorus pedal’s depth.

However, while the two effects are different you can actually use a volume pedal as an expression pedal if you purchase a TRS insert cable. However, should you choose to go this route you do need a passive volume pedal as opposed to an active one. There are also volume pedals which double as expression pedals.

In summation, do not buy an expression pedal if you want a volume pedal. Also, should you purchase an active volume pedal and a TRS insert cable or a dual function volume/expression pedal you can get a pedal which will perform adequately at both tasks.

Where to Put a Volume Pedal In Your Signal Chain

There are two schools of thought when it comes to volume pedals. Some musicians prefer to have a volume pedal first in their chain (or second if they’re using a compressor), and others want it last. Basically, when a volume pedal is first in the chain it acts like your guitar’s volume; controlling the amount of gain that comes through. When placed last, a volume pedal controls the overall volume as opposed to gain.

Think of it like this, all a volume pedal does is reduce the strength of a signal. A higher signal going into a distortion pedal (which already boosts the signal) will create more distortion. If used after all of your effects, it will boost the entire signal chain.

Minimum Volume Setting

A minimum volume setting allows you to control the amount a volume pedal will reduce a signal. So, as you turn up the minimum volume control the lowest setting of the pedal becomes louder. Likewise, as you turn the minimum volume control down the lowest setting of the pedal becomes quieter.


For worship guitarists, the main use appears to be for volume swells, which is when you strum a chord or play a note and slowly roll up the volume on either your VP or guitar’s volume control for an ambient ‘swelling’ effect. This swelling sound is usually increased with the use of staining effects like overdrive, delay and reverb.

The second most common use of a VP is as a kill switch. While I love the sound of a volume swell, almost 90% of the time, when I’ve used a VP, it’s been to “kill” the sound off my board. This most common at the start and finish of a worship time, but there are also places during the set when a kill switch would be useful. Many guitarists use their tuner like the Boss Tu-or TC Polytune for the same result.


If you are using your VP to create ambient volume swells, then I would recommend placing your VP directly after your gain pedals. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you hit the VP with the most intensity possible by having your gain pedals in front rather than behind. The second reason is that you allow time based effects like reverb and delay the chance to trail off naturally instead of being cut off by the VP. This will produce what is commonly considered to be a better sounding swell effect.


Something that is often overlooked in discussions about VP placement is that they are often large, long and bulky. Pedalboards aren’t put together in a vacuum and the size and shape of other pedals play a role in your rigs set up as well.

Now, technically you could put the VP anywhere and it will kill the signal from your guitar to your amp. But, whatever you put after the VP can still send signal to your amp, even if it’s just background noise, it might be very unwanted on a Sunday Morning. So, while I understand if there are space or size reasons why you’d want to put your VP somewhere else in the signal chain, I would advise you put it very last if at all possible. This way you kill any and all possible signal and noise that could go to your amp.


If you’re using your VP as a volume control be careful. Remember that your guitars own volume control is still there and no matter what you do with the VP it will still affect how much signal your guitar is sending out. Personally, I would experiment with both the VP’s placement in the signal chain, and the setting of your guitar’s volume control to figure out what’s best for you.

What Categories of Volume Pedal to Look Out For

There are a few main things that you need to look out for when choosing your volume pedal. Each different feature will affect the way your pedal works, sounds, and how long it will last before wearing out.

Yes…Made of Pots…

What happens is the Pots get worn out, and then they start to get scratchy and make some pretty irritating noise when you are trying to control your volume.

The upside of the Pots is that they are common. You will find them in almost every volume pedal out there. advantage of the Electro-Optical Circuit is that it doesn’t wear out.

That is because there are no moving parts in it. The Optical Circuit just uses optical technology to read the position you have put the pedal in, rather than an analog connector.

If you choose to have 2

Inputs/Outputs (Stereo), then you have the option of plugging in up to instruments into your pedal. You are probably already aware of the types of possibilities that it opens up for you.

As well, it gives you the opportunity to output your signal to more than one amplifier. If you do this, you now have the ability to create a “stereo” setting, which can be very useful for you if you are playing with different effects.

Some Guitar Volume pedals even give you the option to use your Stereo Guitar Volume Pedal as a pan, to pan the mix of your signal between two amps. Doing this can allow you to make some pretty wicked tones as you shoot your amp sound from one side of the stage to the other.

Compact and optimized for passive instruments!

The Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal has a durable, compact design that allows more floor space. It features a potentiometer with 250kOhm resistance suitable for the audio path of passive instruments. A micro taper switch gives you distinct swell rates. A tuner output provides silent tuning in the heel-down pedal position.

Ernie Ball VP Jr.

Although it is not the volume pedal that sits on the peak of the industry, it is still undeniable that the Ernie Ball VP Jr. has the qualities of being a great stompbox.

Obviously, it is a cousin of the Ernie Ball MVP. But it still has different arsenals on its sleeve.

One of the best selling points of this product is its simplicity. You don’t have to burn your head just to learn how this volume pedal work.

Also, the Ernie Ball VP Jr. is the compact and sleek version oof the MVP. It is the real meaning behind its name. However, it doesn’t mean that this one has a poor performance.

Ernie Ball MVP

The closest contender of the Boss FV-500H is the Ernie Ball MVP. The MVP means Most Valuable Pedal, by the way.

Because it claims such title, the Ernie Ball MVP seems to have something to show off. And we tested, it is indeed an excellent unit of a volume pedal.

Because this volume pedal is buffered, it can accommodate passive and active signals. Of course, it also means that you can put this pedal in any location of your signal chain.

Fender FVP-Volume Pedal

If you are looking for another affordable volume pedal, the Fender FVP-is a good choice. Although the brand Fender is not usually akin to pedals, their units are still commendable.

The setup of the Fender FVP-Volume Pedal is pretty basic. It appears as similar to those standard volume pedals you can see on sales garage. However, such simplicity is perfect for those who doesn’t want to complicate their lives.

This particular volume pedal is sensitive to the finest changes in volume. It doesn’t color the sound, nor induce any alterations on the signal.

Dunlop DVPVolume X

Another good volume pedal that you should try is the Dunlop DVPIt can perform well on any applications. It has fantastic construction and interface, too, which makes it a favorite of many guitar players out there.

Specifically, it is the top competitor of the Ernie Ball VP Jr., considering they share almost similar specs.

This product comes with three outputs (Tuner, Expression, and Audio). Therefore, this product provides its users with some freedom of modification. It also uses and audio taper.

This technology enables a slow increase in volume at the start of the rotation then peaks during the later part.

Meanwhile, the overall aesthetics of device is top-notch, too. It has a beautiful appearance that instantly blends with your instrument.

Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound

The battle for the best volume pedal is always dominated by the brands of Dunlop, Ernie Ball, and Morley. However, they are not the only players who seem to stand out in the scene.

An interesting dark horse, the Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound, is a volume pedal is definitely worth your attention.

The Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound is a performing volume pedal. But despite its excellent features, it has a very low price.

The glides for this pedal is pretty smooth. It provides a nice feeling to the feel. Although there are some mechanical grinds that you can hear, that is not exactly a deal breaker that can make you turn off.

What is a Volume Pedal

Before we begin, we should clarify that volume pedals are not limited to guitars alone. There are volume pedals you can use for other electronic instruments such as your synthesizer and keyboard.

However, in this article, we will just limit the product selection to volume pedals for bass and standard guitars.

By operational standards, a volume pedal is a variant of “dynamics” stompboxes. Guitarists use this device to modify the volume of their instruments through the increase and decrease of the audio signal’s aptitude. By concept, it is not that complicated process.

However, once you dissect this product, you will discover that there are a lot of things that operates it. The presence of multiple factors becomes a detriment to what brand of volume pedal you are going to choose.

Moreover, volume pedals have the same appearance as wah pedals. Many beginners always mistook one for the other.

Transparency and Sound

You can consider that a volume pedal is great if it is transparent. Specifically, the device should not induce their character to the sound of your instrument. If you want such kind of pedal, you must choose wahs and overdrives, not volume pedals.

Tone Loss

If you are going to buy a volume pedal, make sure that it doesn’t suffer from “tone loss.” Many pedals are suffering from such kind of detriment.

By nature, the signal is already weak. Once the latter travels to the pedal, it becomes weaker because of the tuner.

Of course, many players won’t notice this. One reason is that the tolerance of our ears for such kind of imperfections varies. However, you should still be aware of this concept.

Passive and Active Volume Pedal

A volume pedal that is passive does not use power coming from an adapter or battery. It is a simple setup that gives you an irreplaceable form convenience, wherever you look at it. But still, passive volume pedals still tend to be finicky and sensitive.

Specifically, you have to pay attention to the location of your signal chain as well as the instrument that you are using. Most of the passive pedals have tuner controls. As we mentioned earlier, this particular part is the culprit for tone loss.

Meanwhile, an active volume pedal requires power to operate. But as compensation, it will free you from any worries of tone loss.

SPARE a thought for the unsung heroes of the pedalboard. If a Whammy pedal is the good-time girl down your local, then volume, EQ and compression are the three hapless dullards sat in the corner playing Scrabble and nursing a pint-and-a-half of shandy: they’re dependable, keep themselves busy, and they’ll lend you enough for the last bus home.


COMPRESSION is used on almost every piece of recorded music we listen to. The idea of compression in recorded music is to level out the dynamic range of a sound by removing loud jumps in level.

For guitar players, it can be used to boost your signal, increase sustain for soloing, create the snappy attack that you hear on country and funk guitar parts, or even bring out a fingerpicked part.

Imagine someone manually controlling your volume for you, so every time you hit a note above a set volume level (threshold), they turn it back down by a percentage. That’s essentially how a compressor works. Studio compressors usually feature more controls than their stompbox counterparts, which often only have a few knobs. Attack usually governs how quickly the signal is attenuated (the reduction of amplitude) after the volume reaches the threshold level, and sustain controls how much the signal is turned down by.

Once you’ve compressed your signal, you’ll need to turn the whole lot back up again, and that’s what your level/output control is for. The result is a much smoother signal with noticeably less dynamic range, and a greater consistency in volume.

Give it up for the Swiss Army knife of pedals

A GRAPHIC equaliser or EQ pedal is a pretty simple effect. Just like the bass, middle and treble controls on your amp, it offers you control over the overall shape of your sound.

Rather than giving you one control for each frequency range of your tone, though, a graphic EQ splits your sound into finer ‘bands’ for more specific fine tuning. Six- or 10-band EQs are most common in guitar pedals, enabling you to hone in on a particular area of your guitar’s frequency range.

It may look a bit daunting, but a graphic EQ works exactly the same as the one on your hi-fi. The bands to the left cover bass/low mid, and the bands to the right cover the treble frequencies. If we need to explain the middle ones, you should probably take up the drums…

Each of the sliders either boosts or cuts its respective frequency, and in most cases the middle of each slider’s range is your ‘flat’ or unaffected point.

A solid EQ pedal can be used for a number of tricks: you can scoop your mids for a thrash sound; create a ‘telephone’ effect by cutting the bass and treble and boosting the midrange; or even use it as a flat volume boost by pushing all of the frequency bands equally. It’s also handy for either killing or introducing feedback onstage, or levelling out any unwanted tonal variations when you’re switching guitars.

First, your hands should be busy playing the guitar. This leaves your feet to control impromptu volume boosts/ cuts. You can also use your volume pedal to ‘swell’ your notes, for manual tremolo, or gradually fade in the effects in your effects loop.

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K potentiometer

Ernie Ball is a company known for its history of making volume pedals that are most sought after by professional guitarists. The VP Jr. P06180 is known as the best guitar volume pedal that is perfect for passive pickups because of its 250k potentiometer. It is a nice, solid and compact volume pedal with a smaller footprint and sandpaper like grit on the pedal surface. It has a micro taper switch right behind the input jack under the footplate that provides you the option to select between two volume swell rates. It also has a tuner output that allows silent tuning when the pedal is in the heel down position which means there will be no sound leak. This Ernie Ball volume pedal is a very versatile and popular pedal that adds an expressive dynamics to your playing.

Fender FVP-1

The Fender FVP-is a passive volume pedal that is ideal for guitars and can control volumes using the passive 250k potentiometer with a high life cycle. The FVP-is a mono pedal meaning there is one in and out jacks along with a tuner jack that allows silent tuning during live performances. This volume pedal is heavy and sturdy but compact. It can be used as an expression pedal also by connecting the out jack to the expression in jack of the desired stomp box. It is a strong and sturdy tank like device made with die-cast aluminium. The sound from the FVP-volume pedal is loud, clear and natural.

Tuner output

Fender FVP- Stephen6150, 29.06.201 I consider that this volume pedal offers outstanding value for money. Its aluminium construction is rugged but it’s not unduly heavy. Its four rubber feat ensure that it doesn’t go walkies when you stand on it. I use this passive pedal (no battery required) with my console lap steel and it enables excellent, full-range swells. The volume range is wider than on a Morley Mini Volume I also own. Importantly, I can detect no tone loss when using the Fender pedal. The pedal’s action feels good underfoot and the item appears to be well built. Though certainly no mini pedal, it is about 30 mm shorter than a Vox wah, which is handy if you use a pedal board with limited space. It squeaked a bit when I first started using it, but this noise (which wasn’t audible through my amplifier) subsided after an hour or two. I would recommend this pedal for use with lap (or pedal) steel guitars, and also for playing ambient swells using reverb and delay with a conventional 6-string electric guitar. This is a very good product which I hope will offer years of service.


Gear returned in mint condition. If you’re looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.

Worth The Trouble

I have taken mine apart and put it back together many times now. It started to squeak at the pivot bar so I sprayed some gun oil in it. The squeak stopped but the feel of it changed to a loose/mushy feel. I completely tore it down, cleaned the parts with alcohol, then greased the friction points with Vaseline to restore the smooth action I wanted. Then the pot started causing a crackling noise in the signal. Sprayed the pot with brake cleaner and fixed it for about weeks then it locked up completely. After replacing the pot, I stretched the spring out of shape and tension was too loose. The string kept coming off so I had to replace the spring. I have tried to find a better pedal but I keep coming back to this one. Nothing else has the same gradual swell I want. Besides, now that I’m an expert on it I can fix just about anything else that may go wrong with it again. It’s been a real pain but I can’t find anything that works better.

Goodrich L10K

If money grew on trees, all of us would probably have expensive Goodrich volume pedals – says the Goodrich user. Maybe some are just justifying their expensive purchase, but a number of Goodrich owners will simply not let their feet touch any other volume pedal. It looks like your average volume pedal, but its elite reputation and cult like following gave rise to its widespread popularity. The Goodrich L10K in particular offers 500K Ultra Life one million cycle pots, up to 3.db of gain, and many claim that this pedal provide the best in tonal transparency. This pedal requires a 9V battery for operation and has an improved linear taper that goes from full off to full on.

Dunlop DVP1

The Dunlop DVPvolume pedal is a great plug and play straight out of the box volume pedal. It does not have any extra features but it gets the job done consistently, and judging from its sturdy build, it will continue to do so for a long time. The DVPsports a Steel Band Drive that creates a low-friction environment with no strings or ratchet gears attached. This will let you have great sounding volume swells without worrying about something breaking. It features adjustable tension, low noise components and users have been very positive about its tone transparency. Another plus is its aluminum chassis, and its slightly curved non slip rocker pedal, to keep your foot firmly in place.


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.


My recommendation with strings is to use strings that feel light under your fingers. You want to be able to bend the strings with ease using one finger and control it enough to add smooth vibrato to any bend. So whether you use 10s, 9s or anything lower should depend on what feels right to you. I recommend starting low and raising the gauge if it feels too light.

Alternative to Individual Pedals

There is an alternative to all the above pedals mentioned. Over the years Steve has used different effects systems for his live rig as a way to help him avoid constantly tap dancing on individual pedals. A TC Electronic G System was used for quite a while and since around 20he has been using an Axe-Fx II by Fractal Audio. In the Rig Rundown video earlier Steve talks about how the Axe-Fx unit basically replaces the majority of his pedals.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the volume pedal for swells by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

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 volume pedal for swells wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of volume pedal for swells



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