Extra-smooth. Extra range. And built to fit a pedalboard like a glove.

Super-smooth action. Long, expressive throw.

Long throw may be uncomfortable for some.

$119

Dunlop Volume (X)8
jimdunlop.com

5
5
4.5

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


My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

Read MoreShow less
x