Use of equalizer pedals


Silver Supporting Member
This may seem like a very silly basic question but I am curious how many here actually use equalizer pedals on their boards and for what purposes? In addition is there really a huge difference in the quality of EQ pedals and how they will affect your sound?


Silver Supporting Member
I use a Boss EQ. I have it set with a midrange bump and slight increase on volume. Great for punching up solos that really cut through. Check out Tom Bukovac on YouTube. Tom is a first call session / tour guy in Nashville, He calls it his secret weapon.


Gold Supporting Member
Most of my amps have just one or two controls to shape the tone.

I dial in my amp and then turn on my Fromel Shape EQ (3 band w/ parametric mid sweep) and fine-tune the EQ by ear.

It makes any of my amps sound better wherever I play.

bEn r.


I've used an eq pedal of some type pretty consistently over the years. Very handy to have in your bag of tricks for many uses.

Live, my most common use is as a slight volume boost, cutting some highs & lows & boosting mids for leads.

I've seen some players use an eq early in the chain to balance levels between say a Les Paul & a Strat.

Put one before a dirt pedal or you amps gain channel and you can sculpt what frequencies get overdriven more to your liking and hit the gain stage harder for more drive if you want.

You can do the opposite and have the signal hit it more softly to clean it up for rhythm & kick it off for more volume / gain.

While recording I'll frequently use it to carve out a spot in the mix for a guitar part to sit so it isn't fighting for a slice in the eq spectrum with the rest of the arrangement. Tuck it in there nice & neat.

I often hear complaints that this or that eq pedal is noisy. I find that to usually be the result of too extreme of a boost in the highs.

To my ears, taking away what you don't want to hear sounds more natural and less noisy than boosting other frequencies to compensate.
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I once did in a vain attempt to make a bad amp sound better/good.

To be fair, many pedals for many purposes (dirt, chorus, etc.) have EQ controls as well as effect level but they seem to interact more naturally with the amp's EQ. I found that with EQ pedals I was bouncing back and forth in a 'tweak off' and never really finding a balance.

To be fair, EQ has been used with good results (eg Boston)...


I've used them in two different ways in the past. First (and most effective) was the above mentioned use. Ran through the FX loop in a slight mid hump for solos, leads, whatever. Second was running through the FX loop again, but with a slight emphesis on bass response for my Marshall DSL 50 and 100 which I though lacked a good low end on the Lead channel. I wouldn't always have it on, either. Only when I did heavier material once in a while like Korn, SOD, etc.

Not using one now as I'm very happy with my rig (for the moment...ugh I hate being a guitar player)


I learned a lot about using EQ after owning a POD HD. You can cut a lot of noise/harsh frequencies out of your sound if you use a parametric EQ and everything will sound much more clear. I think the graphic EQ is more for shaping your sound. But you can also do that with a parametric. I prefer to use my Empress ParaEQ in my effects loop to improve my medium to high gain sounds along with shaping my tone. I also like hitting my power tubes with a little extra boost to give my sound more fullness and punch.


sexual visionary
Silver Supporting Member
i use a rc booster (close enough) with the treble slightly cut and the bass slightly boosted for a darker, instant jazz kind of sound. helpful with my hollowbody but rarely use it with other guitars. its more for convenience than anything, as it saves the trouble of having to fiddle with the amp or the guitar but i suppose it isn't essential. its mainly because i already have the rc booster and i didn't have another use for it.

i do wonder about having a barb-eq or maybe something more involved like the empress to invoke or impart more of a... say, fenderish tone (stack?) on the fly. that might be cool, but again, not super essential.


Prince of Ales
Gold Supporting Member
I use a Bearfoot SBEQ last in the Dirt chain.
I use it as a Master Volume for the board and to EQ the rig to the room.
My Tele has more high end than the LP JR, I tweak it when I change guitars if it need it!!


"Ignore" Button Aficionado
I use two.

A graphic in the FX loop for a general shaping of my EQ curve, and a parametric up front to dial in my dirt pedals exactly where I want them to best sit above the mix. Works like a charm.


There are graphic, parametric and then fairly rare for guitar pedals a pultec parametric eq (sometimes used in polishing up tracks in recording)...that I use at the end before the amp to add "glue, articulation and air;" its subtle but works great.


Monsterpiece Fuzz - Fuzz Master Extraordinaire
Gold Supporting Member
MXR 10 band graphic in the effects loop. Really helps to fine tune my overall sound to where I want it.
I just got one not too long ago that lets you save a few settings. Right now I just have one setting that I'm using consistantly. I play in a rock band with 3 guitars (I know, pretty dumb) so I use it to cut some lows and a little bit of the highs and boost mids to cut through for a lead parts without getting louder. I also have a setting that gives me lo-fi telephone sort of sound which is fun and then one thats similar to the first one I mentioned with and added boost. I'm using the source audio programmable EQ btw which is a lot of fun.


EQ's are probably the most versatile pedals there are.

You can use them:

In front of OD/dirt, to shape the initial guitar sound.
After OD/dirt to boost or cut certain frequencies.
As a boost (treble, mid, bass boost, or clean boost).
At the end of the pedal chain to boost any lost frequencies and act as a buffer.
In the amps effects loop to boost or cut certain frequencies or cut a bit of post preamp volume.
As far as people here using them on their boards, scouring the TGP pedalboard pages is like my national past time and I do not recall a single board with one. I am sure there are somewhere, but my point is they seem to be rather uncommon. A shame, as jazz-master said they are wildly versatile.

They are usually placed after dirt in the signal chain to fine-tune (or scoop). The five most common are probably the Boss GE-7, MXR 6/10-band, Empress Parametric EQ, and the Maxon 6-band.

The Boss and MXR's tend to have excess white noise. The Empress is buttah and has an adjustable boost with its' own switch. I have never used the Maxon, but they make very high-quality stuff, so I have every confidence that it's a great pedal.

I had a GE-7 modded by CMATSMODS and it was really amazing. I do have an eq on my board, a rebuilt MXR 6-band (metal film blah blah, runs at 18-volts, etc.).

If you have a good guitar and tube amp, you can use an eq as you overdrive. Because they can boost and/or cut frequencies, you can use it as a pure boost with ultra fine (6-10, etc.) tone control.

I generally use it only for fine-tuning my clean sound. It can bring out real sparkle.


Long ago in the early 90's before we had all these choices now, my setup was an esp strat (69 guild blues bird as a backup-paid $300 for it) into a boss distortion and a boss eq into a sovtek mig 50 with a Marshall 4/10 cab. My band was called the Monday shakes and we gigged around Pittsburgh and did alright. That Boss GE7 eq pedal was the best boost I ever had...made my three piece sound like a four piece when I kicked it on for leads...or just left it on and worked the volume knob. That's how I used it-it was a great tone for what we did(replacements style)...but I can't go back after all available now...more fun now


Gold Supporting Member
Really useful after a distortion or overdrive to do some tone shaping.


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