Which is the best expression pedal for the AxeFx2?

If you have an AxeFx – or any other gear that accepts standard expression pedals like the Kemper KPA – one thing you really need is a reliable and flawless expression pedal. I have tried many over the years, and I am now using the Mission EP-1. But I have also used the Roland EV5 and Roland FV500-L. So I will share my thoughts about these Pedals with you!

xpr ev5

ROLAND EV5

This is a standard pedal used by millions of keyboard players all over the world. It is THE expression pedal. It works without a problem with the axe – but there are 2 things I don’t like about it:

  1. it is made out of plastic
  2. it has a fixed cord

Number one is probably more a matter of taste – I did not manage to break it, but it alway gives me a bad feeling if I have piece of plastic on the stage and especially under my feet. So I went to upgrade to the BOSS FV500L.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-01-05 um 17.49.03BOSS FV500L

This pedal is solid as a rock. You probably could not damage it if you wanted to, as it is made out of aluminum. Not really heavy, suited for big feet and also usable as a standard stereo volume pedal. At first I was really happy with it, but then there are also 2 things that I discovered over the 3 years I used it (2 of them, you will see why…)

  1. The included poti fails after about one year or 60 gigs (this is my experience and that of some people I talked to). Of course a good music store will probably fix it for free – but it is anoying if you are on tour, like i was, and you have weird noises coming out of your gear. I had to buy a new one right away in a local music store to be able to use my stuff again.
  2. If you move the pedal 100%, it will only send data to the device on about 60-70% of the way. So if you use it for wahwah or subtle volume changes, it sometimes feels weird.

That is really sad considering that I really liked the haptics of this pedal. But after reading some forums and hangin’ around on facebook groups, I decided to get rid of it and get the Mission EP1

Bildschirmfoto 2015-01-05 um 17.49.17MISSION EP1

The Mission Pedal is very well crafted, looks cool in the red color it came in and is perfect. Almost… I have to say that it is the best pedal I had by far, just be warned, there is one single thing that is a little anoying:

  1. If you play on a stage where the musicians move or jump a lot, the pedal will sometimes change its position by itself. This is bad if you are using it as a volume pedal, but especially if you use the “auto-engage” feature of the axefx. So if it moves, my wahwah would be switched on. I am in the process of finding out if I can adjust the screws so it will be a little harder to move.

I do not think this “flaw” is because of bad craftmanship – it is logical a a pedal that handels so well and is heavy (what really helps when you do subtle volume changes) would move by itself – those are the laws of physics. I will keep you posted about my progress.

This “moving” has only occured on about 1 out of 25 gigs – so it is not a game changer. Maybe some of you have an idea how to fix it?

So, these are my experiences with expression pedals – what are yours?

 

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