Why review something so stupidly simple as a volume pedal, you ask? Well, as a player who has spent many years relying on one—both as creative tool and crutch (a little volume swell always sounds great when you’ve run out of ideas)—I can attest they are not all created equal. Not all of them can double as an expression pedal like the super-smooth Dunlop (X)8, either.
Much of the impetus behind the Volume (X)8’s design is an effort to make a volume pedal a better fit for common pedalboards. To this end, Dunlop worked with Pedaltrain to fine-tune size and jack placement. But the Volume (X)8’s merits go beyond simple dimensions. To begin with, it’s light and very sturdy. Even the treadle’s grip surface, which resembles a flattened BMX tire, makes it easy to find the pedal by feel. But as a player that has often gone wanting for more range in my volume pedal potentiometer, I couldn’t be more pleased with the wide range of control in the Volume (X)8.
Even the treadle’s grip surface, which resembles a flattened BMX tire, makes it easy to find the pedal by feel.
It’s conceivable some players might find the range of treadle movement too wide. I definitely felt like I was attempting some unnatural toe-to-shin stretch after an hour of rocking the pedal back to full heel-down position. But that’s probably more indicative of my dire need for a yoga session than any design shortcomings. And all that precision and expressive range is a more-than-fair trade for a potential on-stage ankle cramp.
Test Gear: Fender Telecaster, black-panel Fender Vibrolux, Universal Audio OX
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