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Old November 9th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EQ pedal as a boost vs. booster pedal

Does anyone use an eq pedal as a boost for leads? For years I have been using two old DOD eq pedals as boosters and tone shapers. I play mostly rythm guitar in a blues band but have a couple of solos too and the eq pedals seem to do the job to boost volume and shape the tone quite well. I place the eq pedals closest to the amp in the chain and set one to increase the higher frequencies for solos in the tele neck position and on the other to cut the higher frequencies for the tele bridge and on both I add volume all around. The eq pedals seem to be exceedingly transparent and they do the job hitting the front end of the amp enough to bring a little bit of grit to my solos. I am curious if anyone else uses this approach and how is this approach might be improved by uisng any of the boost pedals on the market? Also curious if anyone has tried the THD Quintet which looks to be a five position eq of sorts? The one trouble I have found using the eq pedals is that you can't really make adjustments to specifc frequencies on the fly due to the small size of the sliders for each range of frequency change.

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Old November 9th, 2008, 11:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you have a GRAPHIC equalizer, i assume. well, to be able to shape exact frequencies, you may need a parametric equalizer because it isn't limited to the frequencies assigned for each slider. the thd quintet i THINK is based on the es 335's varitone control but i don't know anything about how good it sounds.

i also don't like using EQs as boosters because i find that they add a lot of compression to your signal. i would prefer a dedicated booster. but anyway, it's all up to you. tom morello used an EQ specifically as a booster through his Marshall's effects loop. i don't think anyone complains about his tone. :-)
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Old November 9th, 2008, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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RC Booster

A clean boots pedal is a great way to go too. I've been using an rc booster and I've been very satisfied with it.

If you are into the idea of a clean boots check out the link below to see a bunch of options:


Demo Of RC Booster

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Old November 10th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome Robert and dblacker!

dblacker, only one post and you're already spreading the GAS! That RC boost is pretty sweet.

Robert, I have an MXR 5 band EQ that I'm toying with as a lead boost. The problem is that it seems to have its own distortion, separate from the amp's, which I'm not especially crazy about. I never noticed it when I was playing humbuckers through my Deluxe, but lately I've been trying it with a completely different rig (Tele in a modded Pro Jr.), and it's like a different pedal- I just can't get it to sound right. I used to keep it on all the time and now I keep it off most of the time. I think I need a clean boost and a passive EQ, if such a thing exists. If your DODs are working for ya, great!
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Old November 13th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Worked a show once where the guitarist used (coincidentally enough) two DOD EQ pedals with massive mid boosts to slam the front end of a non-master-volume Marshall full stack.

Loud as all hell, but it sounded amazing.

I personally used to use a Danelectro Fish & Chips EQ to boost the crap out of my old Vox Cambridge 15, while at the same time cutting some lows to keep the tone tight. Worked like a charm.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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EQ is the cheapest way to go if can't afford a boosting pedal like Xotic RC Booster pedal.

Heck doesn't David Gilmour use a couple or three EQ pedals?
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Old November 14th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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For dedicated boosting, I like dedicated booster pedals. Graphic EQ peds, high headroom compressors, overdrives at low gain settings, they're okay, they can work, but I still like boosters best for the job. My problem with garden variety graphic EQ peds as boosts is that phase cancellation can get wonky in a hurry with significant EQ shifts, and there can be considerable hiss at noticeable db boost levels.

RC Booster is great, I gig one weekly. I'm a fan of boosts in general, so I have a few. As for budget boxes, I personally would choose a one knobber MXR Micro Amp over, say, a BOSS GE-7 for boosting duties, without question.

I'm speaking to the typical working player's rig though. David Gilmour has the best sound reinforcement, tech support, and headroom that money can buy, which is cool, as he's earned it. His routing schemes are designed by Pete Cornish, a circuit design legend. What works for David Gilmour doesn't necessarily translate to my Saturday night pub job. But it's always a cool education to dissect how players get their tones and signal across in a variety of environments. It's always possible to learn something new.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tim Bowen View Post
My problem with garden variety graphic EQ peds as boosts is that phase cancellation can get wonky in a hurry with significant EQ shifts, and there can be considerable hiss at noticeable db boost levels.
+1 - big time.

But many folks who use something other than a dedicated booster may never notice until they actually A/B the two.

The biggest drawback to EQ usage is that you have a dedicated op amp chip for every 2 to 4 EQ bands. Even at unity gain, that's an awful lot of potential hiss. You can replace your EQ guts with ultra quiet components, but you could have bought a nice booster for that price, too.

I'm in love with dedicated boosts. Very simple circuitry (unless they use op amps like the Micro Amp or Xotic line), huge range of boost, and typically available with a very flat EQ response (unless it's a Rangemaster or similar clone).

Since they aren't in vogue any more, many folks have forgotten about the LPB-1, Stratoblaster, and similar "plain vanilla" linear boosts. No sex appeal of the treble boosters, or high tech features to trump up like with a (mos)FET boost, but they work really well, IMO - certainly much better than an EQ or OD with the drive set to a minimum. And they are discrete designs, so they don't suffer from op amp issues.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Weird. I also used an old DOD graphic EQ pedal for a boost for a while. I guess we all got a pretty good deal on these old gray boxes.
It worked, but as others pointed out, it could get wonky and difficult to tweak and messed with the tone in a bad way sometimes.
I went to a BBE Boosta Grande and haven't looked back. A very nice pedal. Clean, transparent. Lots of gain on tap. And very quiet.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Once again the collective brilliance of the TDPRI forum brings forth a wide range of experience and a vast range of approaches in the quest for "better tone." Glad to hear some others are using eq pedals like I am, at least I don't feel such a geek for doing so; and I can't wait to audition some of the suggested clean booster pedals that sound like they might be right up my alley for better tone. With the holidays coming up, best wishes to you and yours for a great holiday season!
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