Hello friends, and welcome back to yet another cool review article! This time we will be looking at a wah/volume combo pedal by the Dooner company! In this Donner Vowel Wah Volume combo pedal review, I will be introducing Donner brand to you and also provide you with the details of this awesome yet extremely affordable pedal.
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Before we begin, I would like to note that Donner company kindly contacted me and sent this Donner Vowel pedal for a review. However, they never asked for a biased review and they don’t influence what I should be writing. So as we always do on this website, you will have an honest and true review of this combo pedal.
Donner Musical Instruments
For those who have never heard of Donner Musical Instruments company, let’s have a quick introduction. According to their official website, Donner Musical Instruments company has been actively working on research and development in the industry, manufacturing and selling musical instruments, guitar pedals and accessories.
Their core strength is having an R&D team and using customer feedback & reviews and reflecting back these to their product lines.
Donner Musical Instruments company was founded in 2012 and they began to sell all kinds of musical instruments and accessories online. Even though I will be only featuring a single pedal in this article, I would like to mention that Donner company features a wide array of products under different brand names.
Donner brand features keyboards, electronic drums, guitars, amps, effect pedals, ukuleles, mandolins and even wireless systems.
They have also another called Eastar that features wind instruments, recorders, trumpets, harmonicas, flutes and kid drums.
On top of that, they have the Moukey brand featuring microphones, headphones, speakers and PA equipment.
Last but not least, they have the Reditmo brand that is supposed to feature music products aimed at kids. However, when I looked for the Reditmo brand on their website, I wasn’t able to find any products. It’s highly likely this sub-brand has been merged into the Eastar brand as it features a lot of products for kids.
Donner Musical Instruments is a Chinese company that operates in a very smart way. Their factories are obviously in China and with their expertise in making musical instruments and accessories, they are seriously able to keep the prices very low. However, their warehouses are located in USA, UK and AU which enables them to deliver their products in the fastest possible way!
Donner Vowel Mini Wah Volume Pedal
Recently I was looking for some additions to my current setup and luckily Donner company got in touch with me around the same time! 🙂 After a couple of emails sent, I decided to feature their wah pedal.
As you can easily understand from the naming, Donner Vowel Mini Wah Volume pedal is a combo pedal that serves as a wah or a volume pedal.
You may say there are tons of similar pedals out there, but actually not! There are almost no competitors that could get down to Donner’s price ranges.
The reason I was impressed at first sight was actually it featured a dual function in the same pedal at this price range! While I was searching for a wah pedal, I was also thinking about getting a volume pedal. Then I felt like it would be too costly to buy separate pedals. When I looked for the combo pedal options, I noticed there were a few options that can deliver these features and those pedals really didn’t have the best user reviews!
With these things in mind and without any prior experience with Donner pedals, I have just received a Donner Vowel Mini Wah Volume pedal.
My first impression was super nice! It’s so a compact and cool-looking pedal. Comes in a simple and colourful box with all standard labellings well placed.
It’s very very lightweight! According to their official website, it weighs around 250gr. However, when I weighed it with a kitchen scale, it weighed around 310gr (+/- 10gr). Still, you won’t feel it at all. Extremely compact and easy to carry around.
Even though it’s made of durable, hard plastic, you don’t get to feel it may break or fall apart. This is due to reducing the costs as well as reducing the weight of this pedal. So one can easily justify this!
As it’s a small & compact wah pedal, it may feel a bit weird at first as wah/expression pedals are usually an exact fit to human feet. However, I found it very easy to control either sitting on an office chair or standing up. The only thing you need to be careful of is that you should find the sweet spot of the balance point, so you can really control it expressively.
How to switch modes?
As with most wah pedals, the operation is dead simple! But since Donner Vowel has 2 modes, you can take volume mode as your standard and when you want to switch to wah, just need to rock the pedal down and activate it.
They also have come up with a nice pair of coloured lights near the switch. So when you are on volume mode, it has two little green LEDs and when you switch to wah, these will turn a red colour.
This feature is very cool as you can easily distinguish which mode you are using without even needing to worry about a mini switch position!
As you can see, when you don’t want to use the wah mode, you have to select volume mode. On traditional wah pedals, it was always mentioned if the pedal has a true-bypass switching to preserver the guitar signal. So you may be thinking you would still have an engaged volume pedal in your signal chain.
But don’t worry! In the demo video, I have prepared, I will be showing you how transparent the volume mode is! It’s almost your exact guitar signal without any loss.
The only drawback regarding features is the lacking a battery option. As this is an extremely lightweight and compact pedal, I can understand it, but I would also like to just throw a 9V and take it around without having to worry about a power supply.
In my case, it’s not a big deal. But in my current setup, I use my Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4 very close to the back of my ENGL E570 tube preamp so I can use a very short EBS patch cable between the preamp and the ENGL Cabloader.
So this is limiting my use of Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4, that’s why I prepared the video with my Truetone 1 Spot 9V DC power supply.
Donner Vowel Tech Specs
|Dual Mode||Wah or Volume Pedal|
|Input Jack||1/4" Output & Input Jack|
|Input Impedance||1M Ohms|
|Output Impedance||100 Ohms|
|Power Supply||9V DC (Negative centre)|
|Included Power Supply||No|
|LED Indicator||Volume: Green Wah: Red|
Donner Vowel Review
I must say in advance that for this price range, I would really have to force myself to say bad things about this pedal! Extremely compact and easy to use! You definitely should get used to it first as it’s pretty small. But once you do, very comfortable to use.
They used 5 rubber support points at the bottom of the pedal. As you will be able to see in the video, even though I put enough pressure to use it in both wah and volume modes, I wasn’t able to move the pedal at all!
I tested the volume pedal model against the volume pot on my guitars. My ENGL E570 tube preamp definitely responds to volume pots on my guitars and when you roll off the pot, you get a lower distortion. This exactly happens with the Donner Vowel pedal too!
This shows that it doesn’t really mess up your original signal at all. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a clear sound quality at this price range, but I am totally blown away!
In this review video below, I start with volume mode and use the Valhalla Supermassive reverb plugin. I was really looking forward to having the ability to do volume swells with this awesome reverb plugin, and there we go!
It gives me the exact result I was after at this price range!
Switching between modes is super easy. They placed the switch in a very good position so, with a little bit of force, you can easily switch between the wah and volume modes.
As I have also added at the end of the above video, it remembers the last mode. So you don’t need to worry about starting from volume mode every time you power it up.
Wah mode also really impressed me! As they also openly mention, it sounds like a classic Cry Baby wah pedal which we love the most. I had the chance to use Cry Baby wah pedals for a while (probably a decade ago), so it didn’t really feel different in terms of sound and range.
I must say Donner Vowel is easier to use in my opinion! In the video, you may hear some background noise. It was due to the fact that I used my Fender American Standard Stratocaster. You know this is pretty normal when you use Strats. So no issues with the pedal.
As you may know, there are many Chinese manufacturers have joined the competition in the guitar pedal market. This sometimes causes us not to be able to distinguish pedals as they clone the well-known guitar pedals. Personally, I tend to have a blurred vision of these Chinese guitar pedal brands.
But Donner actually has helped me to have a focused view of this market. Let’s accept that Chinese companies have the most expertise in any kind of manufacturing activity. So no wonder they also know what they are doing with the guitar pedals as well.
Donner has just become my favourite, extremely affordable guitar pedal company. I was even considering getting a looper pedal, and now I even think about buying and trying Donner pedals instead of buying market leaders’ products at first.
I have had Donner Vowel pedal for over a week and used it for a couple of hours so far. So I would like to mention that this is a short-term review of Donner Vowel pedal. But as I always do, I will update this article in case anything changes with my experience.
So far, with what I have experienced, I recommend Donner Vowel without a doubt to my visitors! Give Donner pedals a chance and I’m sure you will be very surprised with what you get for your money! I hope you enjoy this article and review video.
Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!
A: The Hotone Soul Press Micro Volume/Expression/Wah Pedal will do exactly what you need, plus it can do volume pedal duty as well.
Wah pedal provides the 'wah wah' sound effects to your instrument – suitable in funky music. Whereas a volume pedal changes the sound of your instrument like a volume knob but with foot. Both the wah pedal and volume pedal can connect directly to the instrument, modify the electrical signal and carry it forward.
a wah pedal is an expression pedal. an expression pedal is a pedal you manipulate by rocking back and forth. the most common are wah and volume, but there are others out there. there are wants for roto-vibes, phasers, and tremolos.
In the early years of Dire Straits, Knopfler utilized a Morley volume pedal before switching to what became his mainstay, the venerable Ernie Ball unit. In crafting his subtle guitar sound, Mark Knopfler relied on one of the most basic musical elements – volume.
In this particular setup, the volume pedal is placed near the beginning of the signal chain to control the volume level going to the other effects and the amplifier. This can be useful to clean up your signal by rocking back the volume a bit if you have the overdrive engaged.
You should get a volume pedal if you want to achieve the same effect as the volume control on your guitar, or if you need a way to adjust the master volume without adjusting your amplifier. They are very versatile and work for every style of music which is why many players have one on their boards.
If you have active pickups you'll need a passive volume pedal in the 25K – 50K range. If you mix these up, you'll likely suffer some tone loss from the impedance mismatch. If you are using an active volume pedal you don't need to worry about the value of the potentiometer.
The purpose of volume pedal is to attenuate the whole signal chain and allow you to do swells and similar effects.