Zing is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

6 Best Volume Pedals – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

A volume pedal lets you adjust how loud or quiet your guitar signal is via a foot lever and it does so without affecting the signal from your guitar. For this reason, it’s one of the most useful guitar pedals on your board.

In this buyer’s guide, we look at the best available.

Best Volume Pedals: Product Guide

Boss FV-500H

Save $32.49
Boss FV-500L Foot Volume Pedal - Low Impedance
622 Reviews
Boss FV-500L Foot Volume Pedal – Low Impedance
  • Low-impedance Volume/Expression Pedal f Keyboard Instruments
  • Heavy-duty aluminum die casting body
  • Pedal rubber is for comfortable play and non-slip action

When we’re taking about volume pedals, the Boss FV-500H is the market leader.

This road-tough pedal has a heavy-duty aluminum chassis with a super smooth pedal movement. The upper layer is made of a non-slip rubber which provides superb grip without feeling like sandpaper. The build quality, as we’ve come to expect from Boss, is excellent too.

There are two versions of this pedal. The one shown here is the Boss FV-500H, a high impedance, mono volume pedal that’s suited to guitars or bass.

Its sibling, the FV-500L, is the low impedance equivalent (the L stands for low, the H stands for high). It’s stereo and is suitable for keyboards, mixers, and line-level connections. 

Both models include an expression output, a minimum volume knob, adjustable pedal tension, and tuner output. 

What we like:

  • Heavy-duty aluminum chassis
  • Super smooth pedal movement
  • Non-slip rubber which provides superb grip
  • Expression output for use with amps (expression-compatible ones), effects, or synthesizers.
  • Two versions of pedal (FV-500H and FV-500L) for high and low impedance

Ernie Ball VP Jr.

Ernie Ball VP JR 250K Volume Pedal, For Passive Signals (P06180)
856 Reviews
Ernie Ball VP JR 250K Volume Pedal, For Passive Signals (P06180)
  • 250k potentiometer
  • Jr size to better fit on pedal boards
  • Mono volume control

This VP Jr. from Ernie Ball features a 250 kilo-ohm resistor, so it will work with both passive and active pickups (though designed primarily for passive).

It has a separate output for a tuner, so you can silently tune your instrument, and is built with excellent construction making it great for gigging.

Its lever/rocker is very thin and sensitive to your movements and will suit those who don’t mind spending a little bit more for something that’s high quality and stylish.

It also comes with a taper switch on the side which lets you pick how it responds to your foot inputs.

What we like:

  • Separate output for a tuner, so you can easily send a clean, silent signal to your tuner.
  • Solid construction, so you don’t need to worry about it breaking.
  • Designed primarily to work with passive instruments.

Dunlop DVP4 X Mini

Jim Dunlop Volume X Mini Pedal
444 Reviews
Jim Dunlop Volume X Mini Pedal
  • Controls volume levels and FX parameters
  • Low Friction Band-Drive for smooth, durable performance
  • AUX output for switchable tuner/expression functionality

The Dunlop DVP4 Mini is a high impedance that’s perfectly suited to passive pickups.

It’s also tiny and lightweight so that you can fit it into small pedalboards and there’s an AUX connector to attach a tuner or expression pedal which can be used to control FX parameters.

It will be suited to creative guitarists who might like to use it as more than just a volume controller. It will be less suited to those who want a classic, hard-wearing unit.

What we like:

  • AUX connection for tuner or expression pedal.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Passive, so you don’t need to worry about plugging it in.

Sonicake VolWah

SONICAKE VolWah Active Volume & Wah Pedal
1,233 Reviews
SONICAKE VolWah Active Volume & Wah Pedal
  • 100% Analog Volume/Wah 2 in 1 Pedal with a lightweight casing but yet truly Robust and Well-Built
  • Active Volume Control can keep away from Impedance Mismatch Troubles
  • Style Vintage Wah Sound

The Sonicake VolWah is an active unit, which works as both a volume pedal and a wah.

It’s tiny so that you can fit it inside the most compact of pedalboards, and it has an LED to tell you which of the modes you are using.

As it’s active, it will work equally well with instruments using active pickups, and it can be powered using a 9V DC adapter. The wah feature gives you classic ‘Cry Baby’ sounds to suit any Hendrix fans out there, or those who are just starting to experiment with different creative sounds on their guitar.

What we like:

  • For active pickups
  • Doubles up as a wah
  • It’s tiny, so won’t take up much space on your pedalboard

Dunlop GCD80

JIM DUNLOP High Gain Volume Pedal GCB80 Guitar Effects Pedal
57 Reviews
JIM DUNLOP High Gain Volume Pedal GCB80 Guitar Effects Pedal
  • Great for pedal steel swells and instant dynamics
  • Quiet operation and heavy-duty construction
  • Ultra-sensitive 1 million cycle taper potentiometer

The Dunlop GCD80 uses mechanics to alter the volume, so you don’t need a battery. It works best with passive pickups so that the impedance matches.

It’s a sturdy build, that looks like a classic wah, which makes it easy to control and a reliable piece of kit to take on the road.

There’s just one input and output, so you don’t need to worry about split signals affecting your tone, and the rocker pedal is all there is to adjust the sound.

With no minimum level control or additional outputs, this is very easy to use which will suit vintage-oriented players or those who like to keep things simple. It will be less suited to those looking for something a little more modern, or lightweight.

What we like:

  • Passive, so you don’t need to worry about using a battery.
  • It comes in a sturdy die-cast casing so it will last forever.
  • Large rocker makes it easy to control slight shifts.

Lehle Mono

Lehle Mono Volume Pedal
43 Reviews
Lehle Mono Volume Pedal
  • Mono Volume Pedal

The Lehle Mono is another active option that uses a magnetic sensor to measure and adjust your volume smoothly.

The voltage-controlled internal amplifier ensures that your frequencies stay the same as they adjust, so there will be no dampening of tone. There’s also a gain control to offer overdriven sounds, and it also works well as a booster.

It will be well suited to those who are looking for the ultimate transparency of tone and require smooth and subtle adjustments, but its quite expensive so that it won’t be suited to musicians on a budget.

What we like:

  • The magnetic sensor allows it to be used without signs of wear.
  • Keeps all frequencies the same, so there’s no dampening.
  • Includes a gain control to offer overdriven sounds.

Volume Pedal Considerations

Pickup Types

Some of these pedals are better suited to active pickups, whereas some are designed for passive pickups (such as single coil and humbuckers).

Some pedals can handle both. Make sure you check before you buy.

Built-in Wah / Expression Pedal

Depending on the model, some pedals double up as expression or wah pedals. If you are starting with your collection, it might make sense financially to get one of these combo jobs. Similarly, if you already have wah and expression controllers, just get a volume only unit.

Stereo Vs. Mono

If you only ever plan to use the volume pedal through a guitar, then a mono one will do just fine, but if you ever want to use in on stereo equipment (with a keyboard for example) then you’ll want a stereo one. It’s worth considering what you’ll likely end up using it in the long term.

Photo of author

About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

Read more