Close up of a keyboard.

Side view of the M-Audio SP2 sustain pedal.

The M-Audio SP2 is a piano-style sustain pedal costing around £23 in the UK. There are several sustain pedals from major manufacturers on the market, but the M-Audio stands out from the crowd by being priced noticeably lower than its competitors, and by incorporating a polarity switch.
 
The polarity switch allows the pedal to be used with a wide range of keyboards. If you find that the action of the pedal is reversed when connected to your keyboard, in other words pressing the pedal stops notes being sustained, then flipping the polarity switch will fix this problem. The switch is deeply recessed into the base and therefore cannot accidently be changed when using the pedal.

The underside of the M-Audio SP2 sustain pedal, showing the polarity switch.

The polarity switch under the SP2.

View of the M-Audio SP2 sustain pedal on the floor next to the Yamaha FC4 pedal.

The SP2 (on the right)next to the Yamaha FC4.

Vew of the M-Audio SP2 sustain pedal from above and to the side.

The SP2 without the protective plastic cover.

One problem I’ve found with all sustain pedals, piano-style or otherwise, is that they slip backwards in use, some more so than others. To my surprise, in a side-by-side comparison with a pedal from another major manufacturer (the Yamaha FC4), the M-Audio slipped back significantly less. On closer inspection I noticed that the FC4 only has three small rubber feet on the base compared to M-Audio's entire base being rubber. Obviously, slight variations in design can make a noticeable difference. However, the SP2 is by no means immune to sliding backwards, and much depends on the floor surface it is placed upon.

The pedal resistance of the M-Audio is quite firm, more closely resembling the feel of a real piano than many other sustain pedals I’ve used. Although I wouldn’t attach too much importance to this, the extra firmness does feel quite nice.

The M-Audio SP2 showing the protective plastic cover.

One curious feature of the SP2 is that it is supplied with a protective plastic cover for the chrome part of the pedal. To my way of thinking sustain pedals are meant to be operated under foot, and therefore as a natural consequence will become marked, so why have a beautifully shiny chrome pedal in the first place if it is going to be covered with a translucent piece of plastic? I pondered this question long and hard before the answer came to me one cold evening in my music room. A carpet was insulating my bare feet from the cold concrete floor, and as I pressed the SP2 to sustain my first chord I suddenly realised the plastic cover was doing the same thing – insulating my bare foot from the cold metal of the pedal! I guess M-Audio weren’t thinking about this when they added the plastic cover to their pedal, but it’s nice to know that the design feature isn’t redundant, and the cover is of practical value.

The build quality of the SP2 seems fine, but the build quality of piano-style pedals from other major manufacturers seems a little better.  However, the M-Audio SP2 is more attractively priced, and has the added advantage of a polarity switch, so all in all I feel the SP2 represents good value for money.

 
See the related article: Choosing a Sustain Pedal.


(I would like to affirm to the reader that I have no connection with M-Audio, and have received no payment or benefits from any source for writing this review. It is a true customer/user review.)
 


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Just arrived on this site:

May 29, 2017. New this month is a selection of six Royalty Free Radio Jingles.

April 30, 2017. After a half-year break from adding new material to this site, I've added an article / review on Headphone Holders.

Sept. 29, 2016. In the final part of how to design and build a DIY Music Production Desk, I show the finished product, and provide further information on cost, construction time and more.

Aug. 30, 2016. In Part 4 of how to design and build a DIY Music Production Desk, I talk about stainng and varnishing.

July 12, 2016. This month, in Part 3 of how to design and build a DIY Music Production Desk, I detail the construction process.

June 16, 2016. This month, in Part 2 of how to design and build a DIY Music Production Desk, I look at the preparation needed..

May 30, 2016. This month sees the start of a series on how to design and build a DIY Music Production Desk. Part 1 this month looks at the design process.

April 29, 2016. This month I have added a short article on Trumpet Psychology to the Musicians' Corner - an essential read for aspiring professionals.

March 29, 2016. This month the Selected CD Reviews section has been updated with four additional audio files.

Feb. 24, 2016. A new photo has been added to the Gallery of a Valentine's Day concert I played at this month, accompanying various artists.

Jan. 14, 2016. New in the Reviews section this month is a look at PMC's TB2 Nearfield Monitors.

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Sometime Somewhere...

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A relaxing Smooth Jazz CD. Listen to extracts of all 12 tracks now.

 

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