Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal Review: Compact Performer

drum pedal

Quick Overview





  • Compact design ideal for limited space scenario
  • Attractively priced


  • Plastic construction not suited for heavy use
  • Smaller pedal
  • Volume curve is not smooth


The Roland EV-5 is a compact expression pedal that could be used to trigger electronic hi-hats as well as a wide range of other drum- and non-drum related equipment. It is well suited for a limited space setup and light-to-regular duty. Its plastic construction can be a hindrance for heavier usage. 


Specifications for the Roland EV-5 expression pedal include the following:

  • Cable length 2 m (TRS 1/4” plug)
  • Controls include Main Volume Pedal, Minimum Volume Knob
  • Width: 86 mm (3-7/16 inches)
  • Depth: 200 mm (7-7/8 inches)
  • Height: 54 mm (2-3/16 inches)
  • Weight: 400 g (0 lbs. 15 oz)



    The EV-5’s compact design makes it ideal for use anywhere space is limited. While many musicians find this useful, other users—particularly those with large feet—sometimes find it difficult to properly control.

     One quibble that frequently arises about the EV-5 is that the volume response curve is not smooth or gradual. Volume is low for most of the range and then starts to rise suddenly towards the end.

    The pedal range stretches from 0 to 127 which makes response pretty smooth and useful for things like orchestral swells.

     The pedal works well for simpler effects like reverb or hi-hats but for may require patience and a tolerance for experimentation for other (both Roland and non-Roland) components. Because the pedal works well with a wide range of different components but is not compatible with others (e.g. DMC Original Ground Control), it is highly recommended that users research compatibility before purchasing.


    The EV-5 is made of plastic which can be problematic for heavier users. For heavier usage, an all-aluminum construction (like the Roland FV500L) may be a better choice. Failing that, the purchase of multiple units would be another alternative in case of breakage.


    At about half the price of aluminum-made alternatives, the EV-5 stands out as a good value.


    The EV5 is a good value in an expression pedal. The pedal’s range is good and it works with a wide range of different instruments.

     However, you need to keep in mind that it is a true compact design and may not be suitable for larger users. At the same time, it’s plastic construction may not make it the best option for heavy usage.

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