DUNLOP DVP-1 VOLUME PEDAL
A volume pedal is a mammoth component of my live sound,
and as I can’t fit one inside my tidy little pedalboard case, it
must live elsewhere. That’s where the horror comes in. “Elsewhere”
can mean neatly and safely packed into a gig bag or cable
duffle. It can also refer to being tossed rudely into death traps—
such as car trunks, trap cases, and loading docks—when I have
mere seconds to strip my rig down before the next act assaults
the stage. As a result—and through absolutely no fault of the
manufacturers—I have destroyed complete generations of volume
But the Dunlop DVP-1 does not fear me. I think it thinks
it’s indestructible, and its massive, battleship-like aluminum
casing and steel-band drive are excellent reasons for such confidence.
I chucked the DVP-1 out of a first-story window onto
a concrete driveway, careened into it and bounced over it with
a 4x12 speaker cabinet, and dropped a road case directly on top
of it. No ill effects. To test the mettle of the all-important steel
band that controls volume swells, I jumped on and off the treadle,
making like a seesaw with my full weight for ten minutes.
Then, I rapidly snapped the treadle and base apart like King
Kong cracking open the T. Rex’s head in the original 1933 talkie.
I did this 20 times. Nothing. (If the T. Rex were that tough,
Kong wouldn’t have survived to climb the Empire State Building.)
I know now that I will never be able to kill the ultra-tough
DVP-1. My reign of terror has ended.
The pedal’s generous rubber tread looks like it was stripped
off a Special Forces all-terrain vehicle, so keeping a positive grip
on shoes or socks or bare feet is child’s play. User-adjustable
pedal tension (using just a screwdriver) ensures the DVP-1 precisely
tracks your technique, making all your volume swells smooth, sensual, and dramatic. All jack connections
are tight and secure, the tuner
output is stable, and the DVP-1 imparts no
discernible coloration on your input signal.
The DVP-1 ($99 street) is a simple concept,
but with build quality taken to the max—
much like the colored stitching on a Bentley’s
leather seats—and it deserves an Editors’
KUDOS Simply brilliant design. Tough as Thor.
WAY HUGE GREEN RHINO
Way Huge founder Jeorge Tripps was one of
the brightest stars of the boutique-pedal revolution
of the ’90s. Although he produced
(by his own estimate) less than 3,000 stompboxes
during his company’s initial lifespan
from 1992-1999, Tripps is not only an icon
of guitar-effects design, but also a vastly
influential and heroic figure to DIY builders.
When Way Huge folded, acquisition mania followed almost immediately, and you’d often
find Tripps’ used pedals being traded for
many hundreds of dollars. In 2008, Jim Dunlop
brought Tripps and Way Huge back into
the manufacturing biz, and many lucky guitarists
can now buy these pedals for much
The Green Rhino first hit the scene in
1994, and for today’s MkII version ($129
street), Tripps upgraded the tonal firepower
with a 100Hz knob (±12dB) and a Curve
control that calms the mids. You can get a
ton of grit and gusto out of the Rhino by
simply shuttling between those controls
and the pedal’s original Volume, Tone, and
Drive knobs. I was also impressed that I
could pin the 100Hz control at +12dB to
add maximum wallop to riffs without introducing
mud or low-end wobble. Nice
voicing there. And if I drastically cut 100Hz
to add articulation, I always had the option
of rounding out any scrappy midrange
peaks with the Curve knob. In addition,
the pedal tracks performance dynamics very
well, so there are even more tones available
when you settle on a sound, and then lay
back on your attack, or knock down your
guitar’s volume knob.
All of this sonic versatility means that
the Rhino plays well with most guitars and
amps, and this inspired me, for some utterly
bizarre reason, to try to emulate my fave
periods of the Who’s catalog. Using a Hanson
Chicagoan, a Fender Stratocaster, and a
1978 Les Paul Heritage—all plugged into a
Vox AC30 idling on a clean sound—I relied
on the Rhino to conjure the snotty skanks
of “I Can’t Explain” (Tone cranked, 100Hz
at -6dB, Drive set way low), the fat jumpin’
blues of “Shakin’ All Over” (Tone at 12
o’clock, 100Hz at +6dB, Drive at 2 o’clock),
and the rev’d-up kerrangs of “Won’t Get
Fooled Again” (Tone at 1 o’clock, 100Hz at
-2dB, Drive at 4 o’clock), to name a few.
Great fun. Great sounds. Great pedal.
KUDOS Organic. Dynamic. Versatile.
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