Mercy Seat Effects volume pedal mod

Ernie Ball VP and VP Jr. Samson Buffer mod



Product Description

So you finally purchased a volume pedal so you can do those sick, delay and reverb drenched volume swells. At this point your guitar sounds more like a choir or a string sextet than an electric guitar. However, as the amazement of your newly found sonic palette begins to fade you notice something strange. Your clean tone just doesn’t sound quite like it used to. You, my friend, have fallen victim to the infamous “tone succubus” of the Ernie Ball volume pedal. Depending on your current setup, this monster may lurk in the shadows, hardly making itself known OR it may be right in your face bleeding the upper-mid and high range frequencies from the sound you’ve worked so hard to perfect. Fear not, there is a hero waiting for you to call his/her name.

The Ernie Ball VP is an amazing piece of gear. In its simplicity it offers us the chance to play more like Jeff Beck without having to learn to play like Jeff Beck. However, with every bit of sunshine there must also be the rain.

The downside to the VP and VP Jr. is that they don’t offer the correct impedance for your guitars pickups (unless you’re using active Pups). Not only that, but regardless of whether you use the tuner out your signal is immediately split as it enters the VP. This weakens your already high impedance pickup signal. So if you’ve noticed a bit of chime missing from your rig, that’s most likely the culprit.

The Mercy Seat Effects Samson buffer mod takes your signal and adds an isolated buffer to BOTH the through signal (signal passing through the volume pot) and the tuner output. This ensures that your guitar pickups are being met with the correct impedance load and gives your signal the strength it needs to make its way to your amp. Here’s what you get with the Samson Buffer mod:

Option 1

1. Installed Samson buffer circuit with two isolated buffers

2. A super bright LED to look super cool on that dark stage

3. A DC jack to power it all

This option costs 45€ in the European Union plus return shipping, or 25€ outside the EU plus shipping. Not a bad deal, right?

Although this mod will make a distinct difference, some players notice that the addition of the Samson buffer (or any buffer for that matter) changes the sweep characteristics of the VP. I’ll be honest, you’ve got to have some golden ears to notice. That, or you are Chris Lord Alge. In any event, some players opt for option 2.

Option 2

1. Everything that you get with option 1

2. I replace the 250K volume pot with a 25K pot. This allows the VP to react more naturally to the added buffer.

This option costs 65€ in the European Union plus shipping, or 45€ outside the EU plus shipping. Still not a bad deal!

As always, if you have particular questions please feel free to email You can also check out this article I wrote about the Samson Buffer mod that goes a bit more in depth.