Best Expression Pedal Choice for Roland VR-09B


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I bought a VR-09-B and it's on the way. But I didn't buy expression or sustain pedals for it yet.

What's the best choice for the expression? The Roland EV-5 looks cheap and over-priced for a plastic pedal and I'm not excited about the attached instrument cord rather than having a 1/4" TRS jack. I don't know how much gigging I'll do with it in the near term but I generally don't like gear that isn't "stage ready".

Also considering these:
- Yamaha FC7 - just because I've read a lot of positive comments about it and it's inexpensive. I understand the polarity is switched and will require either rewiring it or using an adapter to convert it for use with Roland. I noticed it also has the "fixed cord" issue though. It does seem like a headache to deal with that though.

- Boss FV-500L - because it has stereo volume in/outs and expression output, is built like a tank, has jacks not a fixed cord, and looks stage/gig/road worthy. I'm leaning toward this one, but just curious if there are any known drawbacks. My intent is to use it for expression (plugged to the expression jack) not as a stereo volume control (plugged to between the keyboard line level outputs and the mixer/amp/monitors).

And then there is the sustain pedal....any difference between these from various manufacturers? Is there one that is particularly good that has become a "standard" for gigging or touring musicians?

Thanks.
 
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For sustain, the Roland DP10 will give you half-pedaling on your piano sounds, and has a clever flip-out heel-pad that stops the medal from moving away on you.
 
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I bought a VR-09-B and it's on the way. But I didn't buy expression or sustain pedals for it yet.

What's the best choice for the expression? The Roland EV-5 looks cheap and over-priced for a plastic pedal and I'm not excited about the attached instrument cord rather than having a 1/4" TRS jack. I don't know how much gigging I'll do with it in the near term but I generally don't like gear that isn't "stage ready".

Also considering these:
- Yamaha FC7 - just because I've read a lot of positive comments about it and it's inexpensive. I understand the polarity is switched and will require either rewiring it or using an adapter to convert it for use with Roland. I noticed it also has the "fixed cord" issue though. It does seem like a headache to deal with that though.

- Boss FV-500L - because it has stereo volume in/outs and expression output, is built like a tank, has jacks not a fixed cord, and looks stage/gig/road worthy. I'm leaning toward this one, but just curious if there are any known drawbacks. My intent is to use it for expression (plugged to the expression jack) not as a stereo volume control (plugged to between the keyboard line level outputs and the mixer/amp/monitors).

And then there is the sustain pedal....any difference between these from various manufacturers? Is there one that is particularly good that has become a "standard" for gigging or touring musicians?

Thanks.
I bought a VR-09-B and it's on the way. But I didn't buy expression or sustain pedals for it yet.

What's the best choice for the expression? The Roland EV-5 looks cheap and over-priced for a plastic pedal and I'm not excited about the attached instrument cord rather than having a 1/4" TRS jack. I don't know how much gigging I'll do with it in the near term but I generally don't like gear that isn't "stage ready".

Also considering these:
- Yamaha FC7 - just because I've read a lot of positive comments about it and it's inexpensive. I understand the polarity is switched and will require either rewiring it or using an adapter to convert it for use with Roland. I noticed it also has the "fixed cord" issue though. It does seem like a headache to deal with that though.

- Boss FV-500L - because it has stereo volume in/outs and expression output, is built like a tank, has jacks not a fixed cord, and looks stage/gig/road worthy. I'm leaning toward this one, but just curious if there are any known drawbacks. My intent is to use it for expression (plugged to the expression jack) not as a stereo volume control (plugged to between the keyboard line level outputs and the mixer/amp/monitors).

And then there is the sustain pedal....any difference between these from various manufacturers? Is there one that is particularly good that has become a "standard" for gigging or touring musicians?

Thanks.
Hi, I am gigging with a Yamaha 9000 pro and a VR-09 on the top for B3 Rhodes Wurly etc.
I use a Yamaha FC7 because it is built so well and gives expressive control. If you shut it right back it cuts the sound off completely, that's how good it is. I bought my first one with my Yamaha in 2002 and I've just replaced it as the potentiometer failed but 17 years service ain't bad eh?. Just to mention also that I plug a short midi cable from the Yamaha midi out to the VR-09 midi in and that synchronizes and controls the volume on both keyboards. Very handy, especially if you are gigging. My new FC7 is about 10 months old now and I expect it to last like the last one did. Hope this helps. Happy music to you.
 
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For sustain, the Roland DP10 will give you half-pedaling on your piano sounds, and has a clever flip-out heel-pad that stops the medal from moving away on you.
Thanks, yes, I see the DP-10 says it is "compatible with half-damper capable keyboards", however, I don't see anything in the VR-09 Owners Manual or Reference Manual suggesting it's half-damper capable.

Can anyone who plays the VR-09 confirm if the VR-09 is half damper capable?
 
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Ah, I was thinking of the Juno DS. Yeah, I don't know that the VR09 recognizes that.
 
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Roland support replied to my question on the half damper capability of the VR-09B. They said the piano tones on the VR-09-B do respond to half-damper correctly.

And I've seen a lot of positive reviews of the DP-10, people who like the anti-skid flip out and say the build quality is good, and a few said it's their favorite having tried several dampers. Seems to be durable as well. And since it's one of a few pedals with half-damper capability...I decided to spend the extra to get that over the M-Audio SP-2.

I decided to buy a bundle with the DP-10 and the EV-5 since those are the "recommended" accessories from Roland. That EV-5 seems to get mixed reviews ranging from "it's a POS" to "I love it". But I decided I'll try it for now and if I don't like it, I'll try one of the others later. If I thought they had identical expression responses, I'd probably go with the Boss FV-500L just for durability and jacks instead of the fixed cord. But I decided to find out first hand what I think of the EV-5.

The yamaha is still interesting as a potential option too. Lots of people seem to love it. But I have too many electronics projects begging for my soldering iron already (guitar electronics, pickups, pots etc... a tube amp I'm building that's 3/4 done, and a few other projects!) Need to get those done before adding any more "projects".

It seems like everyone has their favorite expression pedal, and it's based more on personal preferences for the feel, other keyboards they played, what they got used to, how they think it compares to something else (like a real hammond B3's pedal) etc. So for now...I'll just go with Roland's recommendation to start. It doesn't seem like "all the real players go with" any particular choice.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and insights.
 
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For what it's worth, Roland called me back to me on my question I sent them a couple days ago about the expression jack of the Boss FV-500L, and if it performs identically to that of the EV-5. They said it is the same, other than the FV-500L is larger and has a longer throw which gives more control. The guy said for that reason a lot of the B3 players seem to like it better.
 
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Since Roland=Boss, it is not surprising that they have the same basic characteristics, and longer throw is significant, but there are additional differences, i.e. it can also function as an in-line line volume pedal, and it's aluminum instead of plastic.
 
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Since Roland=Boss, it is not surprising that they have the same basic characteristics, and longer throw is significant, but there are additional differences, i.e. it can also function as an in-line line volume pedal, and it's aluminum instead of plastic.
It's not surprising they behave the same, but it's also not guaranteed just because the two products come from the same parent company - which is why I inquired about it. Boss also makes guitar pedals and multi effect units and the FV's could easily be designed with different expression characteristics more targetted to non-keyboard applications (guitar effects, multi-effects units, midi applications, etc.)

As to the other differences, I had asked a very specific question about the relative performance of the expression function when using the expression jacks on the EV-5 vs. the FV-500L, not about a product to product comparison. I asked because that isn't really documented anywhere...you can't really "look it up." So that's why I was only commenting on relative function of the expression jacks.

But yes, the EV-5 is just an expression pedal that is intended to plug into the expression pedal of some device (keyboard, guitar pedal, multi-effect unit, etc.) The FV-500L is not only and expression pedal but also capable of being an inline volume pedal, and a low impedance and stereo inline volume pedal at that. This also differentiates it from the FV-500H which is a mono, high impedance [for guitar] volume pedal and also an expression pedal. All 3 pedals have a minimum volume knob on the side. Both of the the FV-500's (H and L) also have tuner outputs while the EV-5 is explicitly only an expression pedal with an attached single TRS cable. Both FV's are larger, aluminum, have a sturdier mechanism, have input/output jacks rather than a fixed cable, and they cost twice as much.

Cheers.
 
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Boss also makes guitar pedals and multi effect units and the FV's could easily be designed with different expression characteristics more targetted to non-keyboard applications
Right, and that would be the FV-500H.
 
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If you can find one, a used Roland EV7. It has along throw like the Yamaha FC7.
There's one on both ebay and reverb right now (same unit) if anyone wants it. I think he has it priced too high but that's my opinion...they are no longer in production and if he finds someone that really wants THAT pedal, he'll probably get his asking price. He's basically asking a little more than the price of a brand new FV-500L and since that also has a longer throw, plus is brand new, doesn't have fixed cord to fail, and offers the option of using it as a stereo volume pedal OR and expression pedal....that seems the better choice to me. Of course everything is negotiable...so it's sitting there waiting for the right buyer. I'm not the right buyer on that one. I'd rather buy a new FV-500L
 
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Just so you know the Roland EV7 has a much longer throw than the Boss FV500. If you are playing organ you will be more satisfied with the EV7.
 
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I play a VR09 on top of an FA08 and I use a Yamaha FC7 for the VR with no mods. I think it is auto sensing. I had a cable years ago that reversed the polarity for another keyboard but don't need it here. I also use the Yamaha FC4s for both keyboards. I have found all to work just fine. I would prefer that the FCy would go all the way to shutoff, but c'est la guerre.
 

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