If you like your volume pedals chunky, sturdy and durable, but still somewhat smaller and light so it doesn't take too much place on your pedalboard, we recommend checking out the VP Jr. from Ernie Ball.
With a fair and affordable price tag, this fella delivers everything a decent volume pedal ought to deliver, all while sporting a convenient compact size. We took it out for a bit of a test run, you can check out our findings in the full review below.
As noted, we are dealing with a compact model here, but the exact thing we're looking at is a weight of 2.6 pounds and the following dimensions: 3.5-inch W x 10-inch L x 2.375-inch H. As you might have noticed, this size is a tad under other chunky models on the market, and purposefully optimized to fit the majority of available pedalboards.
The VP Jr. is a mono device, meaning it features a single input and one output jack. This allows you to connect only one instrument, and only one output device. That covers the needs of the vast majority of users, but note that if you prefer a dual amp set, you won't be able to connect both devices to the pedal.
Apart from that, the pedal features a separate tuner out, which allows you to connect a tuning device to the pedal and keep your instrument in proper tune during performance. Quite convenient, even if it's not all that essential.
Also included in the mix is a taper switch for two distinctive swell rates. The device's potentiometer features a 250k ohm resistance, which is suited for audio paths of passive instruments. Also available on the market is a 25k ohm resistance model crafted for active instruments.
In terms of controls, volume pedals are mostly simple devices, and this one is no difference. Essentially, all you have is that very pedal to control the volume with, and that's it. To switch to expression function, all you have to do is connect the VP Jr's output jack with the desired pedal's “Expression in” jack.
This is indeed one very smooth fella. The pedal is very easy to control and get the desired results from, and we're especially pleased by the fact that there's zero lag or latency to it. The device gives the user a feel of elegance and class, yet retains a fair price, and we can only give kudos to that.
It grips firmly onto the user's foot, allowing precise execution and maximum efficiency. Adding this guy to your signal chain will add zero sonic interference or crackle to the mix, and seeing that we are looking at a passive device, you won't even need an adapter to connect it.
For the listed price tag, this is a great deal and one of the devices we can definitely recommend. While we do like a nice Minimum Volume control in the mix, we believe that the significantly lower price than the price of models who have it definitely makes up for this feature's absence. If you want to invest more into it, check out the Voss FV-500H for example. But for this price range, the Ernie Ball fella here owns the place!