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Author Topic:  Lap Steel Volume Pedal
Val Drummond


From:
Maryland
Post Posted 7 Sep 2009 6:23 pm     Reply with quote

Iím looking for a volume pedal to use with lap steel guitars and a Fender Blues Jr amp. Iím interested in a Hilton VP. The more volume pedal research I do, the more intimidated I get. Lack of knowledge with impedance and scratchy pots.
Will a Hilton VP work well for lap steel use?
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Twayn Williams


From:
Portland, OR
Post Posted 7 Sep 2009 6:51 pm     Reply with quote

I've never used a Hilton, but I have used an Ernie Ball Jr with no problems AND a Morley Wah/Volume. If you're playing a lap steel with a low impedence pickup (i.e. NOT a George L or other PSG style pup) then a guitar volume pedal ought to do you just fine.

The next decision you'll want to make is whether you want/need a buffer, i.e. an active or passive (pot) pedal. The Morley has a buffer while the EB Jr does not.
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Val Drummond


From:
Maryland
Post Posted 7 Sep 2009 7:18 pm     Reply with quote

Humbucker and Charlie Christian type pickups.

Volume pedal used with effects pedals, Boss Loop, Boss Blues Driver, and noise suppressor.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 7 Sep 2009 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

The Goodrich 120 pedal is also very good. Elderly Music sells them and sometimes offers free shipping.
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Twayn Williams


From:
Portland, OR
Post Posted 8 Sep 2009 12:53 pm     Reply with quote

Val Drummond wrote:
Humbucker and Charlie Christian type pickups.

Volume pedal used with effects pedals, Boss Loop, Boss Blues Driver, and noise suppressor.


Ok, as long as ONE of those boss pedals is in front of the volume pedal you won't need an active/buffered volume pedal.

Pedals like the Goodrich or the Hilton are made to be played from a sitting position and that's important to some people. I've never has a problem with an EB or Morley or any other brand of volume pedal while either sitting or standing, but YMMV.

I actually use a Boss ME-20 multi-effects pedal with my PSG just for the buffer, low profile volume pedal, tuner and the delays! I don't think it's the best sounding fx, especially the distortions, but the VP and delays do me just fine.
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post Posted 8 Sep 2009 3:50 pm     Reply with quote

I'm sure the Hilton would be great, but have no experience with it myself...

Personally, I love George Dennis volume pedals - active, so no scratchy pots, no "tone suck", sturdy construction, and a very smoooooth taper 8meaning, the volume changes very gradually and evenly from off to full on).

I'd recommend to stay away from Morley Pro series vol. pedals - over the years I've owned two models of these, and both had an extremely bad taper, more like an on/off switch - nothing happening for the first 2/3rds of the travel, and then suddenly a jump to full volume on the last third of the range...
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Steinar Gregertsen


From:
Arendal, Norway
Post Posted 8 Sep 2009 4:29 pm     Reply with quote

Roman Sonnleitner wrote:

Personally, I love George Dennis volume pedals - active, so no scratchy pots, no "tone suck", sturdy construction, and a very smoooooth taper 8meaning, the volume changes very gradually and evenly from off to full on).


Another happy George Dennis user here, got mine a couple months ago and feel that I've finally found a volume pedal I can live with.

Never used a Hilton or Goodrich though, my previous experience is with Dunlop, Morley and Ernie Ball, and the George Dennis beats those IMO.
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Joel Bloom


From:
melb,vic,australia
Post Posted 8 Sep 2009 4:36 pm     Reply with quote

Hi tha, I would second the Morley volume pedal (although i don't have the wah version). I attached rubber feet to the bottom front part to get the good angle whilst sitting. This is also run through a fender tweed pro junior and it works a treat with no dramas at all. I sometimes swell into a long delay setting on a Boss DD-3 for sustain effects or just a short slapback. Good luck and enjoy!
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Val Drummond


From:
Maryland
Post Posted 8 Sep 2009 6:18 pm     Reply with quote

I appreciate all your replies. The George Dennis VP information was very helpful.
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Blake Wilson


From:
Boulder CO, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2009 6:22 am     Reply with quote

The Ernie Ball pedal (the larger one, at least) has a taper switch letting you experiment w/ log or linear type slopes. A nice feature.

Blake
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Twayn Williams


From:
Portland, OR
Post Posted 9 Sep 2009 9:06 am     Reply with quote

Blake Wilson wrote:
The Ernie Ball pedal (the larger one, at least) has a taper switch letting you experiment w/ log or linear type slopes. A nice feature.

Blake


The EB Jr. also has that switch. As for the Morley, yes, its taper is different than the EB or other pot pedals I've tried, but I've always been able to adjust fairly quickly, but YMMV!
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Jim Newberry


From:
Seattle, Upper Left America
Post Posted 9 Sep 2009 1:15 pm     Reply with quote

And all you non-pedal volume pedal users... Any comments about the Reissue Fender Volume/Tone pedal for performance and usability standing or sitting?
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Buck Dilly


From:
Branchville, NJ, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2009 1:38 pm     Volume v Expression pedal Reply with quote

I use a Goodrich active for Pedal and Lap steels. BUT - I use a cheapo Boss for my guitar and lapsteel rig. When I play hard (R+R and Blues), I want a pedal that stays put. ie: stays at the volume I leave it on! That is my priority. For expressive stuff I prefer the Goodrich. I honestly do not notice a tone loss when playing with stomp boxes. In addition my really cheap Boss VOl peds have held up without getting scratchy. They do eventually just break. Then I throw em out and get a new one. In 20 years I have gone through 3 of them.
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Stephan Miller


From:
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 11:08 am     Reply with quote

Jim Newberry wrote:
And all you non-pedal volume pedal users... Any comments about the Reissue Fender Volume/Tone pedal for performance and usability standing or sitting?


I have this pedal and find it impossible to use with the steel on my lap-- the profile is just too high. For console playing I can manage it, barely, though I have to extend the console legs about 2" more than I would like. The pedal itself works fine, but it seems to be intended for use while standing.

I'd like to know which volume pedals actually work with the guitar on the lap, without causing so much leg lift that the playing position is compromised. Are there any with a low enough profile to manage this, especially for us long-legged types?
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 11:14 am     Reply with quote

Well, the George Dennis works for me for lap style playing, in its "full on" position it has a height of about 6cm / 2-3/8". But I use my left leg for working it, so the lap steel sits slightly lower at the "picking end" - YMMV!
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Lynn Oliver


From:
Redmond, Washington USA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 12:09 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Newberry wrote:
And all you non-pedal volume pedal users... Any comments about the Reissue Fender Volume/Tone pedal for performance and usability standing or sitting?
There was a separate thread on this topic a few weeks ago.

Found it here.
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 1:46 pm     Reply with quote

Although I'm not a long legged type by any means, the Goodrich L120 volume pedal I'm using now is very comfortable and works as you'd expect. I wish it didn't need 9 volt batteries, but other than that I'm quite satisfied with it.

Prior to that I used an Ernie Ball volume pedal for 20+ years. Until it finally wore out, it was exactly what I wanted. I've tried other pedals, including an original Fender Volume/Tone pedal, but those two are the ones I'd consider.

I have not tried the new Fender Volume/Tone pedals, but they appear to be exact copies of the old ones. Nice, but not what I wanted.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 2:31 pm     Reply with quote

Brad Bechtel wrote:
Although I'm not a long legged type by any means, the Goodrich L120 volume pedal I'm using now is very comfortable and works as you'd expect. I wish it didn't need 9 volt batteries, but other than that I'm quite satisfied with it.



Brad, the L120 is passive and does not require a battery. The HK10 is active and requires a battery. You must have your models mixed up.
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Rich Hlaves


From:
Wildomar, California, USA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

I am using the latest and greatest (I guess) Hilton that I bought from Fred Justice who posts on the forum. I have the standard profile unit and find it confortable for lap while sitting. Any VP while standing can be a drag IMO. It sounds great, much better than the EB VP-Jr I used prior to the Hilton investment. I was never really happy with the EB pedal for swells. It worked ok for six string but I found it was a bit of a tone robber once I used the Hilton.

Comes with a wall wart, no batteries & sounds great. Nicely built too.
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Jim Bates


From:
Alvin, Texas, USA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 6:55 pm     Reply with quote

I use my old DeArmond volume pedal for lap steel and still use it on my Fender T-8 (sitting or standing).
The simple gear and rack mechanism never wears out, and the pedal angle and height fits me.

You can probably find one on the Forum for a reasonible price.

Thanx,
Jim
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Bill Creller


From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 8:43 pm     Reply with quote

I still have my old DeArmond pedal that I bought new (1950) but it eats pots, so I rarely use it. The original pot must have been a heavy duty type because it lasted many years.
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James Mayer


From:
London, UK (via Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas))
Post Posted 11 Sep 2009 9:17 pm     Reply with quote

The tone you want will help determine if you want an active or passive VP. I had a Hilton for a while, but eventually sold it. It was great for clean and extremely comfortable and expressive but it really sterilized my tone, especially when employing overdrive pedals (before or after). I now use a Fender Volume/Tone reissue with a tube preamp placed in front of it.

I'm not sure why there are so many complaints about scratchy pots. The pot in my Fender got scratchy so I took it into a shop and they sprayed a little of THIS into it. It took about 5 minutes to fix. It's been good ever since (6 months).
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Ed Altrichter


From:
Schroeder, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2009 12:41 pm     why use a volume pedal ? Reply with quote

What exactly is the purpose of using a volume pedal
anyway ? I play song after song all day long
and I can't see where I might need one to enhance
the sound of my MSA SS. What does it do, other than
make the sound louder ? What are some "selling points" that one might use to convince a potential
customer to buy one ? (If I were around any other
steel players and could see them use one, I would probably already know the answer, but that's not the case, so I'm asking . . . ) Thanks. Ed
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James Mayer


From:
London, UK (via Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas))
Post Posted 12 Sep 2009 12:45 pm     Reply with quote

I use it to remove the pick attack and add sustain. I like my steel sounding like a bowed instrument.
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post Posted 12 Sep 2009 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

I use it mainly for volume swells, for violin like sounds, for pseudo-pedal steel sounds, etc.

If you need one depends on your playing style and musical preferences, I doubt that it would be essential for Hawaiian or Western Swing music, but for rock, blues, (alt.)country/Americana, etc. it can be a very useful effect.
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