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Are you looking for the best expression pedals?
Then you are definitely on the right page
As an beginner or experienced guitar player, you definitely need an expression or volume player as part of your gear.
This is because, this pedal helps to control different parts of your sound, most especially the volume.
Choosing a very good volume or expression pedal like most people expect, should be a straightforward process.
But the truth is that there are a lot of technical jargons and specifications that might confuse someone trying to get one.
While an expression pedal might not be something that drastically changes your sounds, it is required pedal if you want your sounds to come out nicer.
If you are a beginner or an experienced guitar player looking to add a new pedal to your collection, then you need to read this guide.
The pedals mentioned in this guide were selected after hours of careful research and talking to some of the brightest and best guitar players today.
Here are the top 5 best expression pedals for guitar players.
Our Top 5 Best expression pedals
- Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal
- Ernie Ball MVP Pedal
- Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound Volume Pedal
- Dunlop DVP3 Volume Pedal
- Fender FVP-1 Volume Pedal
What is an expression pedal and what does it do?
An expression pedal is simply a control device that is usually found in most musical instruments such as guitars, organs and keyboards.
What it does is that it helps to control different aspects of your sound such as the tone and most especially the volume.
This is why most times an expression pedal can also be referred to as a volume pedal.
To explain it further, let me use this simple illustration
An organist or even a guitar player has no control over the volume of the keys no matter how hard he strikes them.
So whether he strikes them very hard or very soft, it produces the same volume.
This is where the volume or expression pedal comes in.
The expression pedal gives you control over the external source of the power as such also gives you control over the volume of the sound that comes out.
In this guide, we are only looking at expression pedals that can be used with guitars
Most expression pedals are usually large, about the size of your foot and they have a grip on them so it does not slip off.
Here are some reasons why you need an expression pedal
It helps to control the volume of your sound as you play
It helps to create “swells” and ambient textures that create a nice sound when used in conjunction with reverbs and delays
It can also be used to control the volume of other instruments when connected to your rig.
What to look for in an expression pedal
1. The sound and the transparency
This is one of the most important things to look for when getting a new pedal
You want something that does not add any extra sound or tone to your own
You want something that is “clean” and only does the job required of it.
Anything that adds color is a no brainer
2. Is it passive or active?
When we talk about passive or active pedals, we are simply referring to the way the pedal is powered.
A passive expression pedal usually does not require any power, either through a battery or an adapter while an active pedals needs to be powered.
The major difference between both of them is that the passive pedal is more sensitive and needs to be carefully placed in your rig chain than the active pedal.
3. The quality of the build
This is one factor that is very important for any piece of equipment that you buy.
Basically you want something that is well built and not prone to easily breaking.
Basically you want something with good metal construction and made by a known brand.
4. The ease of use
An expression pedal is a simple piece of gear and as such should not be overly complicated.
You definitely want something that is simple to setup and use.
Also you want something that is versatile and can allow you adjust different settings and tweaks in your sound as you play.
Our Top 5 Best Expression Pedals
1. Boss FV-500H Volume Pedal
This is one of the most common and widely used expression pedals in the market today.
It is a mono and high impedance volume pedal that does not affect or colour your sounds in any way.
It is made from heavy duty aluminium cast die material that makes it very durable and lasts for a long time.
It is very smooth and easy to use making it very comfortable and giving you control when used.
It has a unique rubber traction that makes it very easy to grip and not slide off.
It has a built in tuner output that helps you easily tune your sounds as you play.
If you are looking for an effective and professional expression pedal, then this is one of the best choice in the market for you.
2. Ernie Ball MVP Pedal
This is an expression pedal that also can be used as an overdrive pedal.
It has an adjustable minimum volume control that makes it very easy for you to tweak and set the volume as you want
It can deliver up to 10dB gain boost for your sounds when playing.
It experiences no frequency loss when used making it ideal for use with your guitars.
One unique thing about this pedal is that it is both a passive and an active pedal – meaning that you have a lot of options on which one to choose.
It has an ultra smooth foot sweep which makes it a very good choice for volume control.
3. Signstek Guitar Stereo Sound Volume Pedal
This is one of the cheapest expression pedals in the markets today
It has an amplitude adjusted knob that helps you easily adjust volume of your sound as you play
It is a versatile expression pedal with two instruments control knobs for easy tweaking and adjusting your settings.
It can easily accommodate two channels of sounds because of the two ¼ inches inputs and outputs that come with it.
It is a passive expression pedal as it requires no batteries or adapter to power it.
4. Dunlop DVP3 Volume Pedal
This is one pedal that creates really smooth volume swells and also controls your effects.
It is lightweight and very easy to use
It is well built with durable construction materials that makes it last long
It has a fully adjustable rocker tension that helps you adjust and set your required tension.
It is very smooth and quiet as it makes no noise or adds any extra color to your sounds when used.
It has an aggressive non slip thread that attaches to your foot and makes it easy to slip your feet in.
5. Fender FVP-1 Volume Pedal
This is a passive expression pedal that is made with heavy duty construction.
This design and construction material makes it very durable and it lasts for a long time.
It was designed and created to make it very noiseless and easy to setup
It has a special tone circuit that helps you retain your instrument’s tone always
It has a tuner out jack that makes it very easy for you to tune while playing especially on stage.
It is a passive expression pedal as it requires no battery or powers sources.
It is a smooth and predictable pedal with user adjustable resistance that reduces the chances of it slipping off.
How to connect and use an expression pedal
Setting up an expression pedal can be a little challenging if you do not know what to do.
Check out this video below that shows you how it is done.