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Stop changing pickups. There's a better way!

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,664
I have spent a small fortune changing pickups over the years. It's expensive, time consuming, frustrating, etc., finally I tried a different approach: I bought a MXR 10 band EQ and now I can make my guitar brighter or warmer or mid scoped or enhance the midrange as much as I want. Also I can increase or decrease the gain of the pickups. This has made life much easier for me and as a bonus the MXR pedal is dead quiet.
 

RAILhead

(real name is Maury, BTW)
Messages
4,639
Glad it works for you, but I'm in the camp that's anti-EQ on guitars outside of what my guitar's tone and volume controls can do, and what I can tweak on my amp. Pickups and their variety is something worth exploring IMHO.
 

EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,341
Do you put it into the front of the amp? Or in the FX loop? Is it true bypass? And did you compare it to any others? I may try it sometime.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,662
Some EQs are noisier than others. Also, I have found parametric EQs to be a bit more useful for guitar tone shaping.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,212
The thing you can't get with an EQ pedal is more string separation in the sound, which you can do with different pickups (get a more or less detailed sound). Not that an EQ isn't the right too for some situations, but its not a fix-all. A lot of times if you're just wanting a certain sound EQ-wise you could probably get it by just adjusting the pole pieces on your existing humbuckers, assuming they're adjustable...
 

Findthetone

Member
Messages
300
Welcome to one of the best kept secrets! An MXR 10 band in the FX loop has been my staple for years. It compresses a little but is not noisy at all. It can turn an ok gain amp into a high gain rocker. :rockin
 

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,664
eADGBE,
I place the EQ pedal in front of the amp, not sure if it true by-pass or not but when I take it out of the signal chain I do not hear any difference.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,313
Try 32+ bands in a DAW..oy!
Easier to find your sound once with a pup.
Sometimes less is more. (women love that):rimshot
 

Guitar Josh

Resident Curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
18,945
I have spent a small fortune changing pickups over the years. It's expensive, time consuming, frustrating, etc., finally I tried a different approach: I bought a MXR 10 band EQ and now I can make my guitar brighter or warmer or mid scoped or enhance the midrange as much as I want. Also I can increase or decrease the gain of the pickups. This has made life much easier for me and as a bonus the MXR pedal is dead quiet.
lolwut?
 

ElDiabloAmps

Member
Messages
304
It's a great idea, and the MXR is a great tool for shaping your tone to fit the project, or to tailor your sound to the room. But a couple of things to keep in mind: No amount of EQ'ing can make the source signal richer in harmonics/fundamentals, etc. A good clean boost, and a super low-gain OD can add a lot back in, but in general you can't always make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

And finally...the sonic differences (to my ears at least) between a quality humbucker, P90, and Single coil et. al. are so distinctive, an EQ just doesn't cut it, IMO.
 

twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
11,981
I have spent a small fortune changing pickups over the years. It's expensive, time consuming, frustrating, etc., finally I tried a different approach: I bought a MXR 10 band EQ and now I can make my guitar brighter or warmer or mid scoped or enhance the midrange as much as I want.
EQing the signal chain after the guitar can be useful, but it's not the same thing as picking up different information at the source. A lot more varies between pickups (even pickups of the same type) than just the EQ curve and output level.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
While an EQ can do certain things it can't add what's not there in the first place. Also, personally, I like my guitar to tonally stand on its own....so if I run to a quick jam or something I'll know the guitar will deliver if I don't bring the EQ box or if the EQ dies in the first set at a gig.
 

bismark

Member
Messages
1,650
Mass Production MXR versus Handwound Boutique Pickups? I'm afraid the former doesn't stand a chance in TGP land. :D

IMO, EQ'ing can't really replicate the inherent and distinct sound of a pickup, at least not 100%. But it's still a great and practical idea in gig and performance situations when tonal versatility is required. :aok
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,465
an EQ changes, well, EQ, while different pickups can have different envelopes (tone characteristics over time).

one pickup might have more treble at the attack and less while it sustains, while another is the opposite. EQ can't control any of that.

that said, nothing wrong with using the pedal to radically change your sound, that's what electric guitar is all about.
 

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,673
It seems like a bandaid if you're trying to fix what your fundamental sound is. If you've changed pickups and can't find your sound, maybe it's the amp. Not to say an eq can't be a useful tool, but I'd hate to rely on it to get my fundamental sound. To me the eq is more a part of the amp anyway-some amps have them built in, as opposed to fixing what a guitar sounds like. Maybe your amp isn't capable of producing the sound in your head without the eq (like you possibly fixed your amp instead of your guitar with the eq pedal).
 




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