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For years you’ve loved Ernie Ball’s passive 250k pot-packing volume pedal the VP Junior for its durability, reasonably small stage footprint, and the precision with which its treadle/sweep can be manipulated and controlled. Now it’s time to get acquainted with the VP’s badass big brother the MVP.

Officially christened the Most Valuable Pedal and billed as “The World’s First Volume and Overdrive Hybrid Expression Pedal,” the MVP will make you believe the hype, sporting several handy new features that render it exponentially more versatile than the VP Jr.

Like a standard volume pedal it offers a 0-100% heel-back-to-toe forward sweep but adds a minimum knob that lets the heel back position offer up to up to 50% of the original volume. A gain knob allows you to dial in up to a 20db boost of the original signal when the pedal is in forward position. Tested with a Strat, Tele, and Charvel through the clean channel of Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister, the MVP offered a warm but nuanced gain tone, not unlike a cranked Vox AC30, but at a much more manageable and controllable volume.

Judicious experimentation with the settings of both the gain and the minimum knobs will allow players to dial in both a powerful overdriven boost or a clean chimney transparent boost.

As promised, there was no high frequency loss at any volume: in fact I was pleasantly surprised by the gain stage’s crisp highs throughout the entire sweep. Couple these useful features with über-sturdy aluminum construction, a non-slip foot tread, and a tuner out that can be used at any volume (making it ideal for silent tuning in onstage or rehearsal situations) and the MVP is an all-star addition to any pedal lineup.

Runs on 9V battery or optional 9V-DC adapter. List price $179.00, street cost: aprox $100.00 – Vinnie DeMasi