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Replacement pot for Ernie Ball volume pedal

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  • Replacement pot for Ernie Ball volume pedal

    I have the Ernie Ball Volume pedal and I think I would like a higher value pot than the stock 250K. I just reached out to them and thought I would see if anyone here had any ideas. I'm trying to get back some of the signal that is lost in my pedalboard.

  • #2
    Where is the vol pedal in your signal chain? What pedals before or after? Which pedals have a buffered bypass?
    After a buffered bypass pedal increasing pot resistance is no good idea and is not necessary.
    With guitar directly into the vol pedal and connecting to a buffered bypass pedal via a short cable you could increase the pot value to 1M.
    Last edited by Helmholtz; 02-22-2021, 01:25 PM.
    - Own Opinions Only -

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    • #3
      The volume pedal is first in the chain. Then wah, Cream Plush Drive, Fulltone GT-500, TC Flashback delay, and tuner.

      So, in the interest of what passes for science around here (my house here, not the forum here) I conducted a zero-blind experiment using a compressor set to no compression as a buffer. I first realized how much my board was loading my pickups when I first tried the compressor and noticed a substantial jump in the higher frequencies.

      Plugging my guitar into the compressor with a 12' Mogami (.660 nF) cable and comparing a 6" patch cable (0 nF !?) to my worst cable (.900 nF) I could not discern a difference. Plugging into my volume pedal with Mogami, and then into my amp with another Mogami, switching on the compressor set to unity revealed a substantial difference. Isolating the volume pedal and then the rest of the pedals revealed that the volume pedal is about 25% of the loss. I noticed no difference in volume pedal function with the compressor on or off. Another thing I've noticed is that extra capacitance doesn't make a noticeable difference until a certain cumulative amount is reached. The difference between 0 an 1 nF is probably not noticeable but from 1 to 2 nF is huge. I assume that the lower levels of capacitance make a difference at 10 kHz but that is beyond the guitar range. As capacitance accumulates, the signal loss reaches lower in the audio spectrum until it affects the frequencies we hear.

      Part of the reason why I'm so occupied by this is because the bright switch on the amp is a little too abrasive and raising the treble brings a lot of other upper mid frequencies that I don't that prominent. I'm trying to get that clear and detailed yet smooth treble response and I feel like I'm so close but it's like tuning the sticky string, it's always too much or too little. The other reason is I'm a tinkerer and can't conceive that something could be perfectly good without me messing with it.

      TLDR: you're right, I don't need a new pot in my volume pedal.

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      • #4
        I've come across this quit a bit and my fix is to run the guitar into a single JFET buffer placed before the volume pedal.

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        • #5
          There are 2 different effects related to pot resistance:

          1) With guitar connected to vol pedal, a higher resistance reduces PU loading and thus causes less treble loss.
          2) The total (cable) capacitance after the pedal and the effective "source" resistance at the pot wiper constitute a low pass filter. This source resistance increases when backing off the volume up to a maximum around 50% signal level and also causes treble loss. Regarding this effect a lower pot resistance is preferable.

          With a buffer or buffered bypass pedal between guitar and vol pedal, the first effect is eliminated. So a lower value pot (250k, 100k or even lower) can be used to minimize the second effect.
          - Own Opinions Only -

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