Is a Nice Volume Pedal Worth $140?

Especially when competing designs with shrunken footprints have upped the ante? The PG Xotic 250k Volume Pedal review.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Nice midsized option between mini and traditional dimensions. Light for its size. Smooth action.

Cons:
Tuner output isn’t completely isolated from signal path. Treadle tension isn’t adjustable.

Street:
$140

Xotic 250k Volume Pedal
xotic.us


Tones:


Ease of Use:


Build/Design:


Value:
 

Volume pedals don’t just facilitate swelled notes for those inept at pinky-finger maneuvers. They’re a huge boon for doing so, say, in the middle pickup position on a Les Paul—where you’d have to be supernaturally nimble to manipulate both knobs at once. They’re also a must for swelling while playing complex fingerpicking patterns. But they can also be strategically routed to expand the application of other pedals. For instance, placing Xotic’s new passive-pickup-optimized 250k Volume Pedal after my two favorite fuzzes (a Jordan Fuzztite and an EarthQuaker Hoof) enabled me to swell glorious stacked-stomp nastiness into the lush, reverberated echoes provided by pedals at the end of the chain without having the Fuzztite’s ungodly extraneous noise mar it all between swells—as it would if I simply used my guitar’s volume knob.

“[Placed] after my two favorite fuzzes … [it] enabled me to swell glorious stacked-stomp nastiness into the lush, reverberated echoes provided by pedals at the end of the chain without having the Fuzztite’s ungodly extraneous noise mar it all between swells.”

That said, I was surprised to find the Xotic’s lone bell/whistle—a dedicated tuner output—isn’t completely isolated from the audio path. When I routed it to my PolyTune 3 Mini using a super-cheap patch cable that I figured would be inconsequential to signal fidelity, the cheap patch cable’s inadequate shielding resulted in unwanted noise passing through the Xotic’s main 1/4" out. However, once I switched to a nicer cable, all was forgotten and I could focus on the smooth, easy action of the pedal’s sturdy rack-and-pinion mechanism and the clean, transparent output afforded by its hi-fidelity potentiometer.

Test Gear: Squier Classic Vibe Jaguar with Curtis Novak JAG-V pickups, 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb, TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Mini, Jordan Fuzztite, EarthQuaker Devices Hoof, Ibanez ES-2 Echo Shifter, MXR Reverb


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