Looking to assault your audience with over-the-top distortion, belly-burbling modulation, and whiny wah-wah effects? Move along. Keen on becoming a more sensitive player with a knack for finding the sweet spots in your band’s mix? Read on.
Though it may lack the pizzazz of some of its stompbox siblings, the humble volume pedal is a valuable tool for any bassist, allowing anything from subtle volume tweaks to dramatic swells. Sure, there are volume controls on your bass and amp, but who wants to be bothered with that kind of knob twiddling? For those looking to get their feet in the game, Dunlop’s new DVP-1 Volume Pedal ($99 street) is an excellent option.
As far as volume pedals go, the Dunlop is on the bulky side. But its large size allows for a long pedal throw, providing a wide range for volume changes and a comfortable foot feel. The rocker pedal’s tension is easily adjusted with a screwdriver for anything from loosey-goosey to fixed and rigid, and heavy-duty rubber tread covers the top and base of the pedal.
As those who use volume (and wah) pedals can attest, that back-and-forth rocking motion can limit the life of these units. The DVP-1’s unique band-drive assembly is a clever development, and provides remarkably even pedal action. In terms of sound, the pedal is no less consistent—swells were silky smooth, and minor volume shifts sounded seamless. All told, Dunlop’s DVP-1 is a goodly gig gadget worthy of a spot on this player’s already packed pedalboard. Considering Dunlop’s plan to offer swappable pots—allowing conversion into an expression pedal, for example—the DVP-1 is also deserving of a BASS PLAYER Editor Award.