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gtrman66

Expression pedal for HD500x

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Hi all!

I've recently been experimenting with different options for an external exp pedal for my hd500x. I've tried both the EX1 line 6 pedal, and the mission engineering pedal. The ex1 lasted for only about a dozen gigs and rehearsals, then failed and was unfixable. I'm heavy footed and gig alot (80-100 gigs and rehearsals a year average) so the ex1 is not an option. The mission pedal is a much better pedal overall, but I don't like the travel of the pedal to use as a volume. Basically, neither of these work for me, and I'm not interested in an external wah. The on board exp pedal is currently doing triple duty as my volume, wah and whammy controller. I would like to free it up for mostly just wah and whammy; the external pedal will take over volume control duties. The primary function of the external exp pedal will be for min/max volume control in a live setting; mostly for rhythm to lead volume, and occasionally for fx control.

I've been checking the forum archives and have seen that some folks have used other brands of expression pedals with varying degrees of success, such as the Boss fv500 series, etc. Anyone here have any experience using other expression pedals besides the ex1 or the mission? Any info will be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Another option may be to use a real external volume pedal, although you'll lose the FX control for that. The Ernie Ball pedals are notoriously robust and can take a beating. The key to making an external FX work is that the resistance needs to go from 0 to 10k ohms. And it needs to be more accurate than normal pedals or you won't be able to go all the way from 0 to 100%.

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Another option may be to use a real external volume pedal, although you'll lose the FX control for that. The Ernie Ball pedals are notoriously robust and can take a beating. The key to making an external FX work is that the resistance needs to go from 0 to 10k ohms. And it needs to be more accurate than normal pedals or you won't be able to go all the way from 0 to 100%.

I've thought about a volume pedal but I would really like to have fx control as an option. It's gotta be an exp pedal for my application.The only way to use a standard non-expression volume pedal the way I need to would be as a post effect ran through the fx loop. This would work, but I'd lose an fx block that way. Thanks for the reply!

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Dunlop has a pedal that can be a volume pedal or an expression pedal.

I've seen these online...I may have to check this one out. It looks like it has the same type of connections as the fv500h boss. 

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Dunlop has a pedal that can be a volume pedal or an expression pedal.

Took a closer look...the exp out is a trs jack, has a 10k linear taper, and there's an internal polarity switch. The ins and outs resemble the Boss fv500h.  

Even though the expression jack on the pod is 1/4 mono, I've heard of people using a stereo y cable with the boss and making it work. I may have to take one for the team and just order it. If it doesn't work I can send it back, or sell it lol.

Thanks for the heads-up Alex!

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No problem. I saw it in a Guitar Center book that came a few days ago and thought it looked interesting.

 

If you decide to bite the bullet and pull the trigger, I'm sure there are plenty of folks who'd be interested in hearing about your outcome.

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Ernie Ball VP-JR 25K is the pedal I have been using for EXP-2 and it works great!

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Ernie Ball VP-JR 25K is the pedal I have been using for EXP-2 and it works great!

What kind of cable do you use to connect the vp to the exp2 jack on the pod, and which jack or jacks are used? Also, how does the pod respond to the sweep of the vp? Some third party pedals have a dead zone; even after calibration.  Thanks for the response!

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Here are the offical pedals. First up!!

Mr Expensive

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EP1L6MT

 

Next...Mr Inexpensive

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EX1?adpos=1o1&creative=103263529321&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CL_L6Yyu38wCFZSEaQoduZ4OVw

 

I have used Mr Inexpensive for awhile now although not as a 5 day a week working musician. Works fine for my purposes but it does feel like a cheap pedal. I've heard many good things about Mr Expensive but have never used one.

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What kind of cable do you use to connect the vp to the exp2 jack on the pod, and which jack or jacks are used? Also, how does the pod respond to the sweep of the vp? Some third party pedals have a dead zone; even after calibration.  Thanks for the response!

 

I use a short TRS cable plugged into the lower of the two jacks. I have never noticed any "dead zone" behavior.

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I use a short TRS cable plugged into the lower of the two jacks. I have never noticed any "dead zone" behavior.

Cool.....I've always liked the feel of the E.B pedals. The string worries me a bit but I've heard it's an easy fix when the time comes. So that's a trs to trs cable, from the pedal out to the exp2 in, correct? 

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Here are the offical pedals. First up!!

Mr Expensive

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EP1L6MT

 

Next...Mr Inexpensive

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EX1?adpos=1o1&creative=103263529321&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CL_L6Yyu38wCFZSEaQoduZ4OVw

 

I have used Mr Inexpensive for awhile now although not as a 5 day a week working musician. Works fine for my purposes but it does feel like a cheap pedal. I've heard many good things about Mr Expensive but have never used one.

Thanks brue58ski,

I've used both of these in the past. The ex1 worked fine but I'm pretty heavy footed, so I tend to break them. Mr Expensive :) is a lot sturdier, but i don't care for the feel of it. And there's a dead zone when you get close to toe down position, so you can't utilize the entire sweep of the pedal; even after calibrating it. If it comes down to brass tacks I'll go with the Mission ep1, but if there's a better alternative that works as good or better, and costs a bit less, I'm down to try it.

Thanks for the info! 

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Thanks brue58ski,

I've used both of these in the past. The ex1 worked fine but I'm pretty heavy footed, so I tend to break them. Mr Expensive :) is a lot sturdier, but i don't care for the feel of it. And there's a dead zone when you get close to toe down position, so you can't utilize the entire sweep of the pedal; even after calibrating it. If it comes down to brass tacks I'll go with the Mission ep1, but if there's a better alternative that works as good or better, and costs a bit less, I'm down to try it.

Thanks for the info! 

 

That dead zone annoyed me as well. You can add 19.5k ohms of resistance across the 10k ohm pot (the used terminals). Alternatively, you could also modify the cable you plug into the EP1.

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Hmmm, I've never noticed a dead zone in mine. "Dead zone" means no control even though there's still travel in the pedal?

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Hmmm, I've never noticed a dead zone in mine. "Dead zone" means no control even though there's still travel in the pedal?

 

Exactly. It's not much and probably ignorable by most people. It's just one of those things that once discovered must be fixed, depending on your level of perfection and obsessiveness.

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Thanks brue58ski,

I've used both of these in the past. The ex1 worked fine but I'm pretty heavy footed, so I tend to break them. Mr Expensive :) is a lot sturdier, but i don't care for the feel of it. And there's a dead zone when you get close to toe down position, so you can't utilize the entire sweep of the pedal; even after calibrating it. If it comes down to brass tacks I'll go with the Mission ep1, but if there's a better alternative that works as good or better, and costs a bit less, I'm down to try it.

Thanks for the info! 

 

A dead zone? Reeeaaallly. I was considering one of those eventually but I think I'll be reconsidering. Especially considering the price. Thanks for the heads up.

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That dead zone annoyed me as well. You can add 19.5k ohms of resistance across the 10k ohm pot (the used terminals). Alternatively, you could also modify the cable you plug into the EP1.

 

I've read that there are tweaks that you can do to make it work better. But for $130 it should be good to go right out of the box IMHO. Thanks for the response!

Exactly. It's not much and probably ignorable by most people. It's just one of those things that once discovered must be fixed, depending on your level of perfection and obsessiveness.

Yup. I caught on about a minute after I hooked it all up and started working on settings. Did the calibration on the hd, and no change. Annoyed me to the point that within 15 minutes I had boxed it back up and started the return process lol. Shame, because all in all it's a good, sturdy pedal. I could get used to the travel, but the last little bit of dead space at the toe triggers my OCD bigtime :p

 

A dead zone? Reeeaaallly. I was considering one of those eventually but I think I'll be reconsidering. Especially considering the price. Thanks for the heads up.

Yeah man, drove me nuts. I suppose that after using it for awhile you could get used to it, but I'm seriously considering the E. Ball vp jr 25k that leesteel mentioned. If all it needs is a 1/4" trs-trs cable and no mods then that would be the ticket. 

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EB Stuff is great, but take a spare, if you break the string that turns the pot during a gig theres no quick fix....

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I've read that there are tweaks that you can do to make it work better. But for $130 it should be good to go right out of the box IMHO. Thanks for the response!

 

Yup. I caught on about a minute after I hooked it all up and started working on settings. Did the calibration on the hd, and no change. Annoyed me to the point that within 15 minutes I had boxed it back up and started the return process lol. Shame, because all in all it's a good, sturdy pedal. I could get used to the travel, but the last little bit of dead space at the toe triggers my OCD bigtime :P

 

I remember reading, on these forums I think, that Line 6 could fix the dead zone problem on these pedals with a firmware update. Doubt that's going to happen though.

 

I've gotten really used to the short travel when using a wah. So much so that using the onboard pedal for wah is a real drag now. On the other hand, these short throw pedals are really, really bad for volume control.

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Thanks for all the responses! While the quest continues for a long-term solution, I went ahead and picked up an EX1 so I could get to work on the new presets. I've used it for about 6 gigs, and it's worked fine so far. I will probably pick up a second to keep around as backup just in case. I'm curious to see how long this one lasts. We'll see how it goes :)

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Hi all!

I've been using the Boss FV500-H for a few months.

It's not perfect but I like it.

Using a TRS cable you get the proper sweep. Using a standard cable the polarity inverts.

I use it with the polarity inverted and changed all my patches swapping the min and max values for the parameters I use I use in the POD.

I decided to go this way because I didn't like the behaviour with the normal polarity. It had no dead zone at the heel position and a huge dead zone at the toe position.

Inverted I get a small dead zone in heel and no dead zone at toe. This can be controlled using the side knob in the pedal.

The sweep sounds linear to me. Not sure if it is. And its a great pedal. Built to last.

It was kind of noisy when rocking it but I manage to put some small cushions in the heel so now it doesn't make any noise and at the same time I reduced the initial dead zone.

If you what a good alternative, this can be it but give it a try before if you can. You may not like it.

Like I said it's not perfect.

 

Cheers

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