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VP JR volume pedal tone suck?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by J.Wolf, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    The other day I had my pedalboard out, and a well respected amp builder quietly commented on how I had a bunch of great sounding pedals and the unfortunate tone sucking EB volume pedal. It was his impression that the VP/VPjr is a soul crushing tone sucker. I was having trouble with my pedalboard tone but didn't identify that as the culprit. I've since taken it off my board and noticed a lot less 'tone loss'.

    Anybody else familiar with this, with these volume pedals? Any good reccomendations of volume pedals that don't have negative effects on tone?
  2. p0k

    p0k I play the bass and design things.

    Feb 6, 2007
    Brockton, MA
    I know JHS does a mod of the EB volume pedal by adding a buffer to it to eliminate the tone loss...not sure if other volume pedals have the same problem?
  3. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Interesting. I'm wondering if the newish Dunlop one is substantially better
  4. If you like your sound, don't worry about what the other guy said.
  5. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    That's universally good advice, but my point was that I had been experiencing tone loss with my pedal board and wasn't sure what the culprit was until he help me identify it as the Ernie Ball volume pedal

    I realize I may not have made that very clear in the original post
  6. brad houser

    brad houser

    Jan 4, 2008
    Visual Volume pedal is not a tone suck at all.
  7. I see. Carry on.
  8. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Yep, same thing happened to me with my Marshall Jackhammer overdrive pedal. I liked the tone of the Jackhammer fine, but playing around one day I noticed that there was a clearly audible difference in my clean tone (which I use 95% of the time) just by having it in the chain, which is not the case with my other pedals.
  9. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    ALL passive volume pedals work the same, and they all 'suck tone' (cause a treble loss) to some degree. They are all built with a volume pot that's mechanically turned by the pedal. The only difference is the value of the pot, 500K and 250K ohm pots are most common. 25K ohm volume pedals are generally intended for keyboards or other instruments that output a low-impedance signal.

    For most people using a volume pedal on their pedalboard, tone suck shouldn't be a problem because most people already have a buffered pedal before the passive volume pedal. My passive volume pedal is second-to-last in my chain, so there's buffers before and after my volume pedal. One could also install a treble bleed capacitor on a passive volume, that would negate tone suck also.

    If you're still concerned about tone suck, buy an active or optical volume pedal. Morley or Goodrich are two that I know of.
  10. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    That's good info thanks. So I've recently added an F deck to my pedalboard and I really like the way it sounds when I plug into it first. So theoretically if I run into my F deck high pass filter and then into my passive volume pedal I should be negating any tone suck issues?

    I mean, I could also get a visual volume and be done with it I guess
  11. Basehead

    Basehead Now with even more synthy goodness... Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    New York NY
    I have a VP Jr. and I noticed a greater amount of tone loss when using the tuner out (which I do). I sent it to Dan at This1smyne (yes, I know some people have had some troubles with their mods - I've never had any problems with several orders to T1M) and he did his Tone Suck mod. No difference now when using the tuner out.

    Also, Thru-tone does a (pricey) mod of the VP Jr (http://www.thru-tone.com/Ernie_Ball_Exp.html). I was ready to send one for this mod, but ended up going with Dan.
  12. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Hmm, well I'd rather scrap the vp jr and get something else with no tone suck issues than deal with a mod. I don't love the feel of the EB's anyways, having been used to a Morley forever.
  13. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    So the next test for me is going to be running into the F deck and then the VP junior and seeing if there's any tone lost that way vs straight in to the amp.

    Although I think having a bass with an active preamp would negate not having a buffer in the VP Junior
  14. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    yep...a terrible tone sucker (in my experience)...I removed an EB Jr. many years ago from setup...

    I have not tested this, but have heard that the Hilton and Goodrich volume pedals are the best out there...with no tone suck from either. I know these are Pricy though...
  15. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    too bad the VV is 6" wide... I like the old ones better.
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The buffer (fdeck) should solve your tone loss completely. If it doesn't, then there is something else "bad" about that volume pedal beyond the ordinary loading of a passive vol pot.
  17. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    thats kinda what i was/am hoping.