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Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal

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The Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal has a durable, compact design that allows more floor space. It features a potentiometer with 250kOhm resis...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

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 2 distinct swell rates. A tuner output provides silent tuning in the heel-down pedal position.

FEATURES
Compact design
Potentiometer is optimized for passive instruments
Micro taper switch provides 2 distinct swell rates
Tuner output

Take full of your volume for better dynamic effects. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Ernie BallVP JR. Passive Volume Pedal
 
4.0

(based on 79 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (8)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Responsive (20)
  • Compact (15)
  • Excellent sound quality (15)
  • Good selection of effects (3)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

  • Not durable (6)

Best Uses

  • Performances (24)
  • Outdoor events / games (12)
  • Amateur recording (10)
  • Home studio (9)
  • Professional recording (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (20), Professional musician (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The best volume pedal

I've owned the VP Jr. for about 10 years and I couldn't live without it now. It stays at the very front of my chain. I prefer it placed before the overdrives because...Read complete review

I've owned the VP Jr. for about 10 years and I couldn't live without it now. It stays at the very front of my chain. I prefer it placed before the overdrives because I like the ability to clean them up by dropping the volume, but I've done it the other way around and it's been fine. My main uses of it tend to be as an on/off switch and a level/boost, but as often as the song calls for it, I use it for swells.
In the 10 years I've owned it, I've probably used it regularly for about 6 or 7; there were a few years I wasn't playing as much and it sat in the closet. However, I haven't had a problem yet other than a tiny bit of noise from the pots in the last couple of months. But I took care of that with a couple squirts of contact cleaner and it was silent again. I'm not sure why so many people report that the kevlar string breaks easily. Mine has held up perfectly; it hasn't even wandered out of place on the axle it drives. I would be interested in knowing if there is some sort of "wrong" way to use it, but it's just up and down, so it's odd to hear those complaints.
It sounds very transparent to me. I've heard that if you plug a tuner into the other output it sucks tone out of your signal. I've always just used the tuner on my multi fx or amp, so I can't report on that. I have tried to A/B test it on full volume to see if I could notice any difference in tone or in total volume, but it doesn't seem to introduce any color at all, and the full volume position might as well be pure bypass as far as my ears can tell.
The physical resistance of the foot-pedal itself is just the right weight for me. It is probably among the most heavy-footed of expression pedals, and this helps with smooth fade ins and outs and swells. It also helps to set the level at a more precise position because of the added control the resistance gives. Lastly, I don't worry about accidentally kicking it and cutting my signal suddenly while pressing other pedals.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not bad, but not great.

I'm not sure how I feel about this pedal. When I first bought it, I knew what I was going to use it for and it's quite effective in a church setting, but...Read complete review

I'm not sure how I feel about this pedal. When I first bought it, I knew what I was going to use it for and it's quite effective in a church setting, but I am not happy about the small clipping/popping sound which occurs when you use the volume pedal. Unless you know you're going to use this for a very specific purpose, it's pretty useless.

Lastly, I recommend putting this pedal after your dirtboxes. In my opinion, the roll-offs on the overdriven signal sound more natural than if you were to put it before your dirtboxes.
I can't say much about the features. All it really does is decrease and increase your volume; I guess you can say that it does what it's supposed to do. I only use it for volume swells with some reverb and heavy," slow delay to get that soft-pad sound.

Another thing to note is the ""Tuner Out."" There is definitely tone-suckage when you use the tuner out", but as long as you don't use that it should be okay. Besides, most tuners are built so that you can tune your guitar quietly so that feature is useless.
I was going to give this an eight, but I've discovered something new yesterday that started bothering me; when you decrease/increase the volume, there is this clipping or small popping sound which would be equivalent to engaging a pedal with a stomp. I don't really notice it during a live setting, but when I was experimenting with new sounds yesterday with the EB volume pedal, I quickly realized that this can be really annoying.

Also, I've noticed that a lot of people ran into problems with the string snapping which holds up the rotation. So far, it hasn't happened to me, but at the same time I haven't owned the pedal that long. Hopefully, it will hold up well for many months to come.
I wish this pedal was less due to lack of features and issues with the clipping sound as well as the flimsy string that holds the rotary together. On the other hand, it's built well with a steel casing (I think).

Reviewed by 79 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best volume pedal

By Fresno Bob

from Fresno, CA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

I've owned the VP Jr. for about 10 years and I couldn't live without it now. It stays at the very front of my chain. I prefer it placed before the overdrives because I like the ability to clean them up by dropping the volume, but I've done it the other way around and it's been fine. My main uses of it tend to be as an on/off switch and a level/boost, but as often as the song calls for it, I use it for swells.
In the 10 years I've owned it, I've probably used it regularly for about 6 or 7; there were a few years I wasn't playing as much and it sat in the closet. However, I haven't had a problem yet other than a tiny bit of noise from the pots in the last couple of months. But I took care of that with a couple squirts of contact cleaner and it was silent again. I'm not sure why so many people report that the kevlar string breaks easily. Mine has held up perfectly; it hasn't even wandered out of place on the axle it drives. I would be interested in knowing if there is some sort of "wrong" way to use it, but it's just up and down, so it's odd to hear those complaints.
It sounds very transparent to me. I've heard that if you plug a tuner into the other output it sucks tone out of your signal. I've always just used the tuner on my multi fx or amp, so I can't report on that. I have tried to A/B test it on full volume to see if I could notice any difference in tone or in total volume, but it doesn't seem to introduce any color at all, and the full volume position might as well be pure bypass as far as my ears can tell.
The physical resistance of the foot-pedal itself is just the right weight for me. It is probably among the most heavy-footed of expression pedals, and this helps with smooth fade ins and outs and swells. It also helps to set the level at a more precise position because of the added control the resistance gives. Lastly, I don't worry about accidentally kicking it and cutting my signal suddenly while pressing other pedals.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

great volume pedal!

By Kevin

from undisclosed

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

Love this pedal. Great for swells, doesn't weigh too much and smaller footprint than other versions. Can't go wrong with this.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful Fade In!

By Patrick Casey

from Richmond, CA

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

    I saw other musicians on youtube using this volume pedal for ambient guitar. I have just started playing lap steel, thanks to a friend, and took the chance based on overall solid reviews by others. I am very pleased I did! The pedal is responsive and I am happy how I am able to use it right away rather seamlessly. Still more practice needed on the lap steel but the Ernie Ball VPjr, is a wonderful expressive tool for haunting chord and note expression.

    (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Terrible design but good swells

    By Brian

    from Atlanta

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Tuner Out
    • Two Types Of Swells

    Cons

    • Breaks Easily
    • Very Poor Design

    Best Uses

    • Volume Swells

    Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

    I bought this pedal for volume swells on lap steel/guitar and I was very pleased with the sound of it but not the design of the pedal. It think this pedal is a good example of planned obsolescence where it uses a string and spring in which breaks every few months (assuming daily use) and you have to keep coming back to them to buy the spring kit. The biggest thing for me with this pedal was playing with confidence, in which so much of playing music is about. I could not confidently play this pedal because I was always worried about the string breaking which significantly limited the use of the pedal, for example, using it to make a tremolo effect. Like I said, it does make nice swells but I absolutely DO NOT RECOMMEND this pedal because there are much better volume pedals that make the same swells and you do not have to worry about breaking.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    My Favorite!!!

    By Papa Don

    from Palm Springs, Ca.

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

      My Favorite Volume Pedal, PERIOD!!!
      I have had other brands and they don't have the same feel as this. This is a true winner.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      So far I'm impressed

      By AMERICAN-DELUXE-STRAT

      from TAZEWELL,TN

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

        The action of the volume from up to down position is smooth and uniform throughout. You don't start with zero volume and the last 1/4" on the pedal the volume jumps in, it's very uniform, almost like an optical volume pedal. This is my 3rd volume pedal, but 1st ErnieBall. I like the smaller compact size, it saved me tons of room on my pedalboard.

        (2 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        meh...

        By Andrew Kalstrom

        from NE Ohio

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

        I bought this pedal brand new on eBay. When it arrived, it was in the package, wrapped, brand spanking new. I took it out, plugged it in and right off it had problems. When I brought my heel all the way back to the "no volume" position, it would click back and forth between no volume and full volume. It also made clicking and popping sounds. I paid $12 to ship it to Ernie Ball for a warranty repair. When I got it back, the problem was fixed, but I can't tell if they fixed my pedal or just shipped me a new one, which is what I suspect. One of the only features this thing has is a little swith on the inside of the jack box to give the sweep more range (which doesn't work that well anyway). The switch was there when I sent it in. When I got it back, the switch was not there. I cant imagine WHY they'd remove it, so I think they just sent me a new pedal that doesnt even have the switch. To put it lightly, I'm VERY disappointed in this pedal. Buy another brand.
        The tuner input is a feature.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Good Quality

        By Jimmy

        from undisclosed

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

        Great product. No issues thus far. Using for Bass Guitar. Purchased from MF on Stupid Deal of The Day at a great price!

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Nice Weight, Compact Design Producing Great Volume Swells

        By Nofearrockstar

        from Boston

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Performances

          Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

          We use this at the end of the Pedal Board Chain consisting of a Electro Harmonix Soul Food OD, Vintage 80's Rat Pro Distortion, Aqua Puss Delay, TC Ditto Looper, TC Poly Tuner 2 and have been pleased with feel of the sweep for nice volume swells.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          It's the best volume pedal that I have ever used!!

          By Andrea

          from New Jersey

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Responsive

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

            Simple and very reliable. Its compact size makes it easy to use on my pedal board and its compact size allow me to add a few extra pedals on my pedal board.

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            For the Tone Seeker

            By Gasman

            from La Crosse, WI

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Responsive

            Cons

            • Poor Sound Quality
            • Tone Suck

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Guitarists
            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

            Here's the deal: any Passive volume control will cut out your beautiful crystal high frequencies if it's not buffered. If it also has a Tuner Out, there is even more of a treble cut. Basically, it sounds like your amp is under water.
            The way to fix this is by adding a buffer into the circuitry and isolating the "tuner out" and the "signal out" from each other. I would recommend looking at JHS Pedals website. They add this modification which puts this pedal's performance at its peak. If you're not too concerned about those wonderful high frequencies, no modification is needed. Sometimes you just have to use your ears and see if you can deal with the sound or not.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great pedal at a great value

            By shredding423

            from Chattanooga, TN

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Responsive

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

              I guess the third time is the charm. I tried two other optical volume pedals before purchasing this one and was completely unsatisfied with them. My primary use is volume swells and fade-ins. This pedal hits the mark on volume swells (and fade-ins)! It has a switch to go from volume swell mode or panner mode. Both have different response rates and you should try out both to see what you like. You don't need to by the active version of this unless you have active pickups (Ex- EMGs) in your guitar. I have this in my effects loop with 6 other pedals (last before my delay) and it sounds great. Where the pedal is placed in your chain can have dramatic effects, so experiment to find what sounds best to your ear. There is no hum and it doesn't need a power supply! For the price, you can't beat it.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              A MUST HAVE!

              By saustindavis

              from Spokane, WA

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Pros

              • Build Quality
              • Compact Design
              • Responsive

              Cons

              • Tuner Out Sucks Tone

              Best Uses

              • Events
              • Performances

              Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

              I bought this volume pedal 6-7 years ago and it has never failed me! Are there others out there with more features? Sure. Are they worth the extra money? I don't think so. One of my complaints is that the tuner output sucks some of your tone and volume. This is easily solved with a simple mod, but it would be nice not to have to do that.

              The build quality is good, and even though some people say that the string breaks frequently I haven't had that issue. I like the two options for swell rate.

              Overall I'm really happy with it, and would replace with the same model if I lost it.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Everything you need, nothing you don't

              By Karl

              from Pierce, NE

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Responsive
              • Separate Tuner Output

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • Performances

              Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

              I saw this pedal used by a professional guitarist live. After visiting with him, and seeing/hearing him use it, I knew this was the one I wanted. The extra output for a tuner pedal is a wonderful addition! No more putting my tuner "in the chain" with the other pedals!

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Zero Problems

              By Rick153

              from Monroe, NC

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Excellent Sound Quality
              • Fairly Lightweight
              • Packs Up Easily
              • Responsive
              • Robust Build
              • Small Size

              Cons

              • I Found Nothing Negative
              • None

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

              I chose the Ernie Ball Volume Pedal Jr as a temporary choice and thought that I could return it if it seemed in any way fragile. I'd read that the strings which turned the volume control were potentially problematic. Turns out that there is a six-month warranty, and even with that, the strings are obviously easy to replace with a variety of strong substitutes, if necessary. What attracted it to me initially was its easy-to-pack-up build and size. I never use the tuner output, having a tuner on my amp and a hard-to-detune Strat Ultra. Some tuners apparently affect the tone or add hiss, but I simply don't use a tuner as part of my setup. I also checked the volume of the amp with and without the pedal with my SPL: there is no measurable difference in volume. This makes sense, since the potentiometer should register zero resistance at full on. I found that the volume was a bit abrupt at lower volumes, but was more acceptable as the volume levels increased. There is a microswitch inside the pedal, however, which controls the rate of signal increase. Switching it gave a broader sweep of dynamic range which was really ideal. I use the pedal with a powerful compressor into a Peavey Vyper amp and it really does exactly what I want it to do with no batteries or wires. I don't play much metal...mostly jazz-oriented, bluesy sorts of things, so tone and exact volume are important to me. I can find no fault in this pedal the way I use it. I am not going to return it.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Simple,but very effective device.

              By Axman55

              from Fall River MA.

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Excellent Sound Quality
              • Responsive

              Cons

              • Noisy With Tuner

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio
              • Performances

              Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

              Ernie Ball VP JR is great for pedal-steel like lines and delay swells.Very smooth.My Fender tuner,when plugged in,is very noisy.I havent tried other tuners as yet.When backing off,my old Rockman cleans up nice and smooth.

              (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              JR Passive Volume Pedal

              By Doggerman

              from Austin, TX

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

                Cons

                • Breaks Easily
                • Not Responsive
                • Poor Sound Quality
                • Pure Junk

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

                  Do your self a big favor and get your self an active pedal like the Hilton.

                  The pots on Erny Ball wear out very quickly, the sound that comes out of them is terrible in comparison to an active pedal, essentially over priced for what they do. Save your money, spend what you save on this junk with a good quuality pedal, it will improve your playing.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  This Pedal...

                  By JohnnyV-CpDA3

                  from NS Canada

                  See all my reviews

                  Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

                  Eats tone for all three meals in a day. I bought it, hooked it up to my existing chain of effects and it made my Les Paul Custom sound like a ukelele. It totally does what it's supposed to do, but it just isn't worth losing all the good sound from your guitar. Mine has been returned within less than 24 hours of the purchase.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Bad string inside

                  By Anonymous

                  from Undisclosed

                  Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

                  The string in this thing will break, and seems pretty difficult to fix. It works otherwise, but I could not recommend it based on the string used in it. Buy at your own risk, if you use it for wah/expression, it won't last long.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Totally awesome pedal!

                  By Gabe

                  from Miami, FL

                  See all my reviews

                  Comments about Ernie Ball VP JR. Passive Volume Pedal:

                  This is a great pedal for the gigging musician!
                  It's a great size with great efficiency!
                  I've bought this twice and my guitar player and I are both happy with the product!
                  This pedal is just the one you want, especially if you have a great rig to go through it.

                  This is VERY necessary for any jazz musician who plays guitar or keyboard or bass! Volume right at your feet to balance between soloing and comping, extremely important!

                  Displaying reviews 1-20

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