Effects

Cleaning a scratchy poti of the older Ernie Ball volume pedal

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The Ernie Ball volume pedals often become scratchy after a long time of usage. While you can replace the current poti model with a brand new poti, it is almost impossible to get a replacements for the older poti types. However, the older potis can be opened and cleaned which – not always but often – cures the scratching. As I did this successfully a few days ago, I took some pictures to demonstrate the procedure. The poti was the Canadian type used in the mid 90ies but the previous Allen Bradley / Clearostat poti used before can be treated in the same way. First, I recommend to remove the two screws that hold the black metal block which holds the poti. The string can […]

Effects

Ernie Ball volume pedal modification to make the taper like it was with the old Allen Bradley poti

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Regular readers of this blog might know my first article about the different behaviour of Mark Knopfler’s Ernie Ball volume pedal compared to recent Ernie Ball models. In short: In the 80ies  a different poti was used that caused a completely different sweep curve than later ones (see diagram below). Knopfler’s pedal changes volume drastically over the first part of the pedal sweep range. This allows him to perform the violin-like fade-in notes he is famous for with much more intensity than the new pedals. Also, during the last part of the pedal sweep – from middle to full – Knopfler’s pedal changes the volume only moderately which means you can adjust the overall volume of the guitar much more precisely than with the new […]

Effects

Some new thoughts on the Ernie Ball volume pedal

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On the recent Get Lucky tour I became aware of a little technical detail I had never paid attention to before: I was sure that the guitar cable coming from the guitar would first go into the Ernie Ball volume pedal and then back to the area on the right side behind the stage where Mark Knopfler’s effect rack and amps are placed. Instead, I observed that a long cable leads directly from the guitar to where the amps are. In other words, the input amp of the effect rack (or some other) seems to be the first part in the signal chain. Here the signal is boosted to line level, then (before or after the other effects in the rack) it seems to go […]