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EQ pedal in a guitar signal chain- input, please

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by blowtorch, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Of course we all make our choices, but IME if my Tele can't cut through a mix I'm probably using a popular amp that's great in some mixes and just wrong for other mixes.
    Or put another way, BF Fender reverb combos are perfect for sparser more polite mixes like say classic Country.
    Get into a dense aggressive Rock mix and you kinda need a more Brutish voiced amp.
    Put a third way, if you choose a mid scooped amp when you really want and need a mid forward tone, you got the wrong amp, or you're having common issues that players who love the TS into Fender reverb amp sound, and the durn pedal needs to be "always on".

    Of course maybe a player needs both polite and Brutish tones, and maybe that player happens to dislike TS into Fender reverb combo.
    I'm a pretty idiosyncratic player myself, so I don't mean to target players who've been through the ringer and figured out their individual needs.

    I'm more speaking to the newer player who is still trying to figure out their own needs, and starts with what seems to be the most popular amp, because it's popular.
    The mass numbers of players who used to so often post claims that Marshalls don't have useful cleans suggests to me at least that many of us start out choosing sounds with our eyes.
    I certainly bought and fought way too many BF/SF Fender amps before I discovered that I preferred a mid forward amp, that pedals don't fix the wrong amp for me, that Marshalls have the best cleans, and that a Fender reverb combo can sound beautiful and loud until the bass & drums drown it out, because it lack those essential mids, not because it lacks volume.

    It's true that cutting the bass going into a fuzz pedal can clean up the fuzz, but I gotta lotta fuzz pedals and just use the ones that sound good without fixing the eq.
    Took a while and a lotta mistakes to get to a place where I think I understand what I need.

    Looks like as more and more music stores close, newer players have to choose their sounds based on words they read on guitar forums.
    Between choosing an amp and an eq pedal to make it audible, or choosing an amp with the target eq built in, it seems very important to really understand that before buying what seems to be the most popular amp.

    When I guess I really "got it" was when a buddy brought his Twin Reverb to jam and I plugged in to my 50w Marshall.
    I had to keep turning the mid forward 50w amp lower and lower to be able to hear his mid scooped 85w amp "in the mix".
     
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  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don’t really use them as a “tone shaper” so much as a solo booster.

    If I want it to change the fundamental tone of the amp, I use it on the FX loop as an “always on”. That’s how I turned a Carvin Belair into a Marshall for a couple years.

    As a booster, I tend to either leave them flat, or give em just a little goose in the mids/low mids. I place them in the chain after any OD or other gain boosts, and before and modulation or time FX.
     
  3. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon TDPRI Member

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    Very first to help bring up each string to level volume for my clean sound. Then one more after a OD to raise up the mids that are dropped out. I run all of my pedals thru a pedal switcher so the EQ after the OD wont effect the other pedals only the OD.
     
  4. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Pardon the stupid question, but what is Tilt EQ?
     
  5. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    Very selectively. When I play surf styles, I use a (parametric) EQ second after the tube reverb unit. To get a great “drip” effect you really need a bright signal into the reverb unit with the tone turned up. The ice pick frequencies on the output often need to be selectively attenuated. (Of course, in the 60s we - or at least I - didn’t have EQs, but also didn’t use as much reverb or drip effect as in later waves of surf music.)

    Otherwise, I never use one, only the tone controls on the guitar and amp.
     
  6. BigBillow

    BigBillow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I've never really used eq's much....but was given an Ibanez parametric eq my old man bought years ago cheap.

    Currently its before a fuzz and after OD, then compressor (then guitar input). Pretty cool way to pull some 'wool' off the fuzz.

    Useful in a lot of ways...in retrospect, more so than the mid boost controls on the 80's Jackson/ Charvel guitars (I love that dam midboost knob).
     
  7. BigBillow

    BigBillow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    But isn't stuff as simple as a pickup screw height adjustment...really just an eq tweak pre-fx/amp?

    lol, can o' worms there...but a good eq can mimick a lot of good things. Especially when you cut certain mid frequencies; quack.

    That said, I appreciate the 'less pedals are more pedals' philosophy. :)
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess I look at the pickup and the speaker being ultra simple eq devices that I need to start off with the right ones, then the amp eq is more complex but at its best it’s a simple honest circuit that makes my basic guitars pickup output louder.
    Pedals I use to change that basic right on sound in fairly drastic ways.
    If that basic sound is wrong and I run it into a bunch of transistors that split the signal up into multiple bands, boost of cut each band, then recombine all the bands into a summing amp, a lot of the immediacy is lost in all that processing.
    Same with a compressor in a way, the immediacy that I also call simple honest signal path is lost.

    I might then put a big muff in front of that honest signal path and seemingly ruin a good thing!
    But a muff into or combined with a bunch of other eq tweaking preamps still loses some of the raw immediacy.

    AFAIK the circuitry in a parametric eq is more complex than the eq section in a Marshall or Fender amp, and that set of SS devices that split the signal into bands etc does things to the sound that are not what we think of as great pedal sound, aside from fixing an eq problem which we might hear as being better.

    Try a para eq into a BF Fender for the purpose of making it sound more like a Marshall, and compare that to an actual Marshall.
    Pretty sure the amp eq is a better sounding eq than a pedal eq.
     
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  9. BigBillow

    BigBillow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    EQ in a pedal is 'pre-amplifier' ...so of course the amp is going to make a bigger difference...an amp EQ's everything else behind it. A pedal can be helpful if you have a bunch of stuff in your chain.

    It can also help to cut some mud out of your signal - or add some mids to boost signal...all before the amp, so you have several options.

    If you want to keep an honest signal chain, sure, ditch everything but the cable.
     
  10. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Dude, either you’ve got golden ears (and you might), or you’re way over-thinking this.

    Guitar tones are all about filtering. An EQ pedal is just a tweakable filter amongst a series of filters that make up your tone. Using an EQ doesn’t mean something is not right in your chain of filters, it’s just another filter that you can manipulate on the fly.
     
  11. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Holic

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    Mine is a bufferred EQ pedal, so I run it at the 2nd to the last position in my chain. It adversely affects my fuzz, so it has to (due to the buffer) come after my drive section, but I want the equalized signal to hit the front of my chorus. Sometimes I have a delay in my chain, and it would fall after the EQ, but before the chorus.

    When I don't have a fuzz in the chain, the EQ is placed 2nd from the beginning. My comp is first, so it is compressing my original signal. The EQ is before the drive section here, and can be a nice boost.
     
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think that folks like you and I probably prefer things handled (in the pedals) like they are with the majority of classic amps - that's mostly passive filters that either remove bass or treble, at 6dB per octave slope, above or below the cutoff frequency of the given filter. At least to my ear, it sounds 'more natural'.

    I really dislike a lot of graphic EQs, because the frequencies and their Qs are all fixed (typically where they aren't very usable for me). A parametric EQ can typically give a much more natural sounding response (since you can be precise with specific frequencies of your choosing, as well as how 'narrow or wide' you want the Q to be), but it's not a plug n' play pedal.
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well I'm not the only one who finds a simple circuit where pick attack sends a a signal to the pickup that varies the first preamp stage and cascades through each gain stage to the power amp, allowing a broader range of responses without tweaking any knobs.
    This idea includes a loss of expressive range when the electronics gets more and more complex, like splitting the signal into 7 or 9 bands each of which has its own circuitry etc.

    It's not hard to hear how a simple circuit like a Tweed or early non master Marshall offers a more varied range of sounds via pick attack. You need to own some of those amps though and cultivate techniques that fully utilize what those amps can do.

    It's not an idea or a sound quality.
    It's basically amps that are harder to play because little mistakes come out making sounds you didn't plan on.
    Many player go right for the compressor to "fix" these amps!
    Many modern amps go the opposite way and additionally process the signal in ways that ensure a more homogenized sound that never offends.
     
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    @telemnemonics - I always read your posts with interest and often “agree” with you, which I think means we probably hear things similarly.

    I understand what you mean about BF/SF Fenders and the mids that just aren’t there. I used to have a lot of trouble using them in a band because I felt like I had to really turn them up too loud to just barely be heard.

    Interestingly for me, over time I transitioned to an “amp up / guitar volume down” philosophy. And on a BF/SF Fender typically I’ll set the volume 7-9 and just roll the volume on my guitar way back (even to 1-2) to get the right level.

    And a funny thing happened for me. It didn’t dawn on me for a long time. All the sudden I realized I actually COULD hear myself in a rock mix with BF/SF Fenders without excess volume. The mids were all there. At least, enough of them.

    It’s quite the tangent I suppose. And I don’t know how to explain it. Can’t be Fletcher Munson because if anything my overall level is lower. I wonder if that circuit compresses a lot at higher volumes on the dial, even with guitar volume rolled back? So that the Bass and Treble that are so prominent at low volumes are knocked way back to the fixed level of the Mids?

    Kinda cool however it works. Not my first choice or Goto sound. But there is a “liveliness” in a DR circuit that is unique and special.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've had better and worse results depending on which BF/SF amp, which pickups, and which speakers.
    I prefer low wind Fender SC pickups which are short on mids too, always have even as my amps changed.
    I only in the last several years learned to like rolled off guitar volume with clean amps, and that does fatten up the tone.
    I'm pretty sure that maturity of the band mates makes a huge different too!
    Fighting for a spot in the mix vs sharing the sonic space.
    Once the gear is all set up we can still make sounds that are more thin and shrill or more fat wand warm, by picking for tone.
    When I was last playing with drummers they were all at war in their own minds...
    I suppose I was too?
     
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  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    This is a video of the tilt EQ that I have. Watch the wording along the bottom of the screen during the video to understand what the benefits are. Tilt EQ is more commonly used in a production studio, but having that power on your pedalboard is fantastic.

     
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  17. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Actually the best use I ever got from an EQ pedal was as a volume / bass cut, not boost. I could set the amp and the guitar for a solos tone and level, and drop the mids and bass using the EQ pedal for the verses or whatever. My pedal use is usually in the "one, at most" mode, so in terms of order I can't be of too much help.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had a guitar pedal parametric I liked a lot, a 10 series Ibanez I'd replace if I saw a good price on another.
    It was 30 years ago when the Ibanez TS9 was first reissued with the "NOS original 4558 chip" and there was a sort of brand name mojo that i assumed must mean the eq sounded good because: vintage Ibanez!

    Years later I saw a 10 series graphic and bought it hoping for the nice sound, but it was dead to my ear, no matter how i set the thing it wouldn't get me sounds i liked.
    I've had a few graphics because they seem like such a good idea, and the visual thing seems so easy to use.

    I don't think a graphic sounds bad as much as in the context of the relationship between guitar and amp.

    Too bad graphics are so common and paras are so rare?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  19. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    I use a Boss pedal for the Dobros... it goes first. Well, after the tuner. I shape the tone to my like at every venue and just use a Booster for leads after the EQ

    guitar>TUner>EQ>Boost>amp
     
  20. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    When I use one, it's always on and it's the last thing going to the front of the amp.
     
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