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Effects Pedals

Tapestry Audio Bloomery Volume Pedal Review

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Since I started playing electric guitar regularly, about two years ago, I have been frustrated with the Volume Pedal options on the market. You have probably seen my vents on social media about the infamous Ernie Ball VP-Jr string change frustrations. The VP-Jr is what most worship guitarists have on their board and with good reason. They can be had for around $50 used and $80 new. The enclosure is well made and they function great.

The downfall is the audible treble tone loss and that annoying string that always finds a way to break in the middle of the worship set. We have tested half a dozen other options out there and they all have their benefits as well but nothing out there to this point has felt like a VP-Jr, doesn’t use a string, and doesn’t have any tone loss. Then we stumbled upon Tapestry Audio.

The Company

First I have to talk a bit about their owner, Ryan Baucom. Ryan is a fellow worship leader from a Church in Florida that understands the worship guitarist. He was an absolute blast to chat with. We chatted for about an hour about his passion for Christ and how he puts that passion into his company, Tapestry Audio, and the products that they make.

Needless to say I was skeptical about whether the Bloomery would end my hunt but after talking to Ryan I knew that I wanted to give it a shot so I ordered an Active White one.

The Reveal

The pedal arrived faster than what he initially told me and the box it came in was heavy. So heavy I thought he sent me 5 volume pedals! I opened the shipping box up to find a slender black box that was extremely well designed. Upon opening it I found the Bloomery tightly packed along with an optional tread tape, manual and just enough padding to make the pedal fit snugly. I must say that opening it felt like opening a Mac product. I was excited, because if they had put this much effort into the packaging, the pedal must be great too.

The Design

bloomery2Upon taking the pedal out I installed the optional tread tape and velcro’d it to my Salvage Custom board. First off it is much smaller than a VP-Jr leaving more room for your pedals. It comes in at only 7.8″ x 2.25″ compared to the VP-Jr at 10″ x 3.5″. The pedal as I mentioned earlier is heavy as well at 2.7 lbs making it very road worthy. My next test would be to see if all of my cable connectors worked with the input and output jacks because they are pretty close together. I tried, George L’s, Lava Solderless and Switchcraft Pancake jacks. All worked great and it was obvious that this detail wasn’t overlooked.

As I looked deeper into the unit the PCB board for the buffer was a work of art. No sloppy solder drips or messy cables. Everything was very organized. One of my other favorite features is the recessed 9v jack which allows a right angle plug to sit inside the pedal at a very low clearance instead of taking up another centimeter of space on your pedalboard.

The Feel

bloomry1Once the pedal was on my board it had passed every one of my tests. Now it was time to test the feel of the pedal. I have tried some volume pedals that are build similar to a Dunlop Crybaby Wah and they are too loose. There needs to be some tension so when you are doing swells there is some resistance. The Bloomery passed with flying colors. It uses a slide potentiometer and a direct shaft drive which takes away the frustrations of the string but still has some tension like the Ernie Ball VP-Jr does. I am in absolute love!

The last thing I noticed is that the travel of the pedal has been designed to go slightly further than 90 degrees so that it feels natural on a raised pedalboard. I am telling you that Ryan and the folks at Tapestry Audio have left no stone un-turned with this one.

The Price

At the price tag of $249 for the active and $229 for the passive they are one of the more expensive options out there. That being said, for most of us the Volume Pedal is the most used pedal on our boards and with all of the swells in current worship music, spending that kind of money on a great durable volume pedal should be a no brainer. For what you get in this pedal I would personally pay up to $300 for it. Yes it’s that good!

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