Empress Para EQ - can it cure my thin-sounding archtop?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by THiwaTT, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    I recently acquired an Ibanez Artcore AF71F (floating pickup), I strung it with flatwounds, added a resistor across the volume pot to bring the value to ~125k, and replaced the pickup with a Bartolini 5J - the guitar still sounds very thin/bright both unplugged and amplified. I think part of the issue stems from me expecting a dark, mounted-pickup sound (like an es-175) I really love the way this guitar plays, and am past the return window so I am trying to make this work...

    My amps are a Two Rock Studio Pro 22 and a DV Mark Little Jazz (neither are bright amps)

    my next step is to switch to a Sadowsky True Tone ebony bridge to try and mellow the guitar out a bit

    until then, I am thinking about getting an Empress Para EQ (as I have gotten a few Amazon gift cards from work lately so it would only end up costing me $49 shipped) and I have wanted one for awhile for my regular pedalboard.


    My question is can the Para EQ make my archtop sound darker/thicker?
     
  2. ooperz

    ooperz Member

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    I'm sure it could help, but I wouldn't think it'll fix your problem. I'd try messing with pickup height first. It's easy and you don't have to spend money on it. Worst case scenario you just put it right back where you had it to start and get some other remedy.
     
  3. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    is there a trick to adjusting the height on a floating pickup? the bracket on it and the way it fits into the pocket at the end of the neck seems to dictate the height
     
  4. ooperz

    ooperz Member

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    I skimmed over the part referring to it as a floater.. I'm not 100% sure on how to go about it, but if it's easy I would suggest doing it before the pedal purchase.
     
  5. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    The bracket doesn't have much "give" to it and it is screwed to the end of the neck - I think its a pretty static set up, although I did play around with different positions and heights before mounting it by just holding it with my fingers in different spots - it sounded best where it was meant to be located, but its still not quite where I want it to be
     
  6. dingleberry1

    dingleberry1 Member

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    Love my paraeq, I've had for a few months and it's addictive. Some many useful settings, it's getting difficult to turn it off lol
     
  7. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    anyone else using a Para EQ?
     
  8. DavidH

    DavidH Member

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    Not the Empress, but plenty of EQs. Any parametric capable of a wide low-mid bump, and perhaps in combination with some high/ high mid cutting. The answer is of course it can do what you're asking, it can make it sound as fat, dark and woolly as you like.

    Regardless of your archtop situation it pays to have a good EQ to hand with some flexible mid band shaping. It expands the palette of your fx chain tremendously. I use the Moollon EQs which are 3-band parametric, to re-shape drive sounds, cut mud/add clarity after modulation which can tend to cause build ups in the lower mid frequencies when using multiple modulation pedals together. Get some spank out of brit or tweed amps, there's tons of palette/vocab you can add to your setup (without owning a million different overdrives and boosts). They're some of my most used pedals and you can typically always make a minor improvement with a good EQ at the end of an FX chain. In the case of the Moollon it's also a great buffer and so one lives permanently at the end of my chain. I also reach down and 'play' the EQ when playing with loops and drones etc.

    One more thing, people often use a comp or other always on pedals purely as a 'sweetener', when what they actually need is an EQ, and primarily what the signal is benefitting from is being buffered and EQ'd (people often talk of a 'clarity increase' or 'sweetening'). Using an actual EQ to do this instead just gives you way more flexibility.
     
  9. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    thanks for the replies so far

    for the Empress users, how is the learning curve? The only other EQ pedal I have had was the GE-7 a very long time ago
     
  10. chankgeez

    chankgeez Member

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    If you're used to graphic, parametric may be a bit of an adjustment. Shouldn't be too bad though. Just tweak until it sounds good to you.

    Parametric EQs are powerful tools. You'll want to take some time to fully explore what they can do. One of the great things about parametrics is that they can get much more frequency specific than graphic EQs.

    I had a Empress. It was too hi-fi sounding for me. I prefer more tone coloration and much lower fidelity. The Empress is a little more flexible than some of the other available parametric EQ pedals though. Look/listen around unless you're dead set on an Empress.

    You can also try heavier strings on the guitar. (Or tune down half or a full step?) Dead strings are a good tone darkener as well.
     
  11. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    I would have suggested flat wounds, but you've already done that. It might be worth going up a gage or two.

    I like the VFE Rocket EQ. Bass, Treble, and one fully parametric band, it's well worth considering. That said, if you have a DAW that has a parametric plug-in, have you tried it to see if that gets you closer?
     
  12. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Empress is a outstanding EQ. Use to own one, but my VFE rocket replaced it behind as I was only using mostly mids parametric.

    VFE Rocket may be enough, but I'm thinking mxr 10 band KK with dual output would be better for you.

    My #1 choice and new to my stable of pedals would be this, VFE Triumvirate Boost. It's a tri-band balancer/mixer like his reg Triumvirate but without the hard clipping circuits. Way you can balance lows/mids/highs is outstanding, with a seperate level of drive/vol for each. For this type of application this pedal will leave Empress and Rocket in the dust. You can even go to internal trimmers and set crossover freq for each of 3 bands however you like.
    [​IMG]

    But will say that if your wishes tonally are not delivered by current pu/tone circuit in that guitar, I would work on that before trying to put a bandaid on it after the fact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  13. Porklash

    Porklash Member

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    Maybe you should try a bridge made of wood?

    pEr
     
  14. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree. Rosewood instead of ebony.
     

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