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Empress Para EQ

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Hello, all.

    I was wondering: Does anyone use or own the Empress Para EQ with their bass?


    I currently have a Boss GEB-7, which I bought about 6 months ago, and love it.

    I took the time to experiment with it, and the extra/more precise control it gives you compared to an onboard EQ or the tone controls on an amp is fantastic.

    I read up a little on graphic versus parametric EQs, and think I know the difference now, but I wanted to hear from some who use/own the Empress before buying one.

    Any info or opinions appreciated.

  2. Absolutely. Its a versatile parametric that is particularly 'musical' in its sound.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  3. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Yes I do. Love it. But I am not trying to act like Im a frequency master but a parametric will give great results if done carefully. It to me is very different from a graphic and a slight turn can change everything. If you decide to buy it, and you are not liking it, keep working with it ( A lot of its in that sentence ). But you need to really work with it for weeks if you never used a parametric excessively. I use to use an old Ashly and I liked it but it was a rack system which i don't use any longer. Pedals have come into its own recently and as a pedal this unit is very successful. Also Empress is a very good company. Made well and last. I have never used their help but I hear is a class act. I use their compressor also and arguable the best there is in a pedal. As with their ParaEQ.
    hintz and Fuzzbass like this.
  4. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Best. Purchase. Ever.

    Fix any weird room boom, make any weird sounding backline work about 10x better for your sound, and a clean boost for soloing to boot.

    I typically use mine for subtractive EQ, mainly with the notch/narrow Q setting. find and remove the boomy bass freq, find and remove the ganky midrange and add a little wide Q airy treble. Its like a mastered bass tone on the fly.

    I also use their comp and its just fantastic. Love me some Empress.
  5. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    The platinum words! A mega advice.
    J.Wolf likes this.
  6. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    It's been the best investment I've made as a player who gigs lots of weird rooms that weren't designed for bands. I've tried a ton of ways to cut resonant or boomy notes, and the Empress ParaEQ is the first thing to eliminate the problem while still maintaining the full bass sound. I use the boost a fair amount, as well. Super solid pedal.
    J.Wolf likes this.
  7. A few months ago, I would not have known what you meant by subtractive EQ, but I did read up on EQ techniques, and I experimented at length with the Boss GEB-7 I bought.

    I've found that I always leave the instrument EQ, and the amp tone controls flat, and only use the Boss unit. This seems to give me the sound I have in my head. All my basses can share the same settings, and sound pretty good, except my Stingray. This stubborn guy demands different settings, and I sometimes boost or cut on the bass a little bit. It seems like it's part art, part science.

    Having this new information in my frame of reference, and reading the testimonies here, I think I'm going to buy an Empress. Perhaps not this weekend, but soon.

    Thanks to all of you for replying; I do appreciate it.

    If anyone else has anything to add, please do.

    Mike ;)
  8. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I think the Empress is much more effective than the Boss Graphic EQ pedal for this kind of surgical notching. The Q setting is really narrow, so you can remove junk without affecting the frequencies next to it, which means big improvements in clarity and tone without major changes to the instruments sounds.

    I had a gig last night in a nightmare venue. Majorly boomy and no clarity to my rigs sound. 3 minutes ringing it out with the para EQ made all the difference. toggling it on and off it wasnt even funny how much more pleasant and usable my sound was with the ParaEQ. Buy one. thank us later ;)
  9. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Absolutely love mine. So musical and sweet sounding. Best EQ I've ever had...and I've had a lot.
  10. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    the caveat is that you HAVE to know how to use parametric EQ. I finally convinced an acoustic guitarist I play with to get one to deal with his instruments finicky relationship with his amp and the room and high stage volume, and he never took the time to make it work for him. For a while I would set his for him at every gig, but the takeaway is that there is a slight learning curve that you have to be willing to get through in order to make it shine for you. It aint rocket science though, and its mostly just using your ears and knowing what the controls do.
    Fuzzbass and Michael Jewels like this.
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I grew up understanding that tone controls were generally for tone shaping, and parametric eqs were used for removing defects.

    I have two TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer pedals. Sadly, no longer made. It’s buffered, and can get the Q as tight as 1/10 of an octave. I can remove just about any sort of defect like feedback, boom, resonances, howls, wolf tones, etc. And it adds no noise or hiss. Dead quiet. It also has a clean boost knob and a treble shelving knob at 10kHz.

    But as mentioned, few musicians, or even hi-fi enthusiasts understand how parametric equalizers work.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  12. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    This is what kept me away for so long. I even built my own para EQ from a BYOC kit and couldn't get any use out of it and got rid of it because I couldn't get past the parametric learning curve. But then I read some more on here about the Empress and decided to take the plunge. Turns out Empress has a brief, very user friendly overview in the first page of the manual that made everything click for my non-knob twiddling brain. Given the engineering effort that's going on in this box, they do a great job of breaking it down into core goals and give you a good starting point on each. That tight, narrow Q is the business for room fixing. Love this thing.
    J.Wolf likes this.
  13. This would be no problem for me; if I put my mind to something, I never give up.

    With the Boss, I took about an hour with each of my basses to listen to how each slider control would affect the tone.
    I wrote down which bass I was playing, and where each slider should be for the best tone. (To my ears naturally)

    I found that for most of my basses, I no longer boost the lowest frequencies, but generally have a frown curve beginning with the second slider. This makes my Jack Casady sound even more woody and open.

    I can plug in any of my basses, and get a very nice tone without moving the sliders, but if I want a particular bass to have a little more anything, I fine tune it. I was surprised to find that my 1979 Ibanez Musician needs a big treble cut, as the pickups are very open-sounding. Not trebly or hissy, but open. I don't know how else to explain it.

    The exception is my Ernie Ball Stingray. I still have no set formula for where to put the sliders for this bass. He's very stubborn!

    I think I've graduated from Graphic High School, and am ready to attend Parametric College. :woot:

    Seriously, I am looking forward to buying an Empress, and to taking a long time to explore what it can do.

    I have the patience.

    I just have to decide whether to get two more basses set up, about $240 or buy an Empress, about $250.

    Thanks for all your stories and opinions, and please, keep them coming.

    Mike :thumbsup:
  14. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    the nice thing about the Empress (the way I use it) is that you dont have to "remember" any settings, as every room and stage will dictate different frequencies to cut. Its usually in the same vicinity but sometimes the bass node is a little higher or lower than expected. The method is purely driven by narrowly boosting a band, sweeping around and finding the junk. then cutting it slightly (or not so slightly depending on how f'd the room is).

    This method yields dramatic improvement in tone and clarity every time I take the time to do it.
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  15. Parametrics are used for general EQ shaping as well as notching problem frequencies.

    That's a bit of an over statement. You have to spend some time understanding how they operate and their proper application. However, they're simply not 'that' complicated.

    'Generally' you boost with a wide Q and cut with a narrow Q.
    Zbysek and Coolhandjjl like this.
  16. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I have learned not to calibrate my expectation of a musicians grasp of technology based on my own. The cats I play with, even the best players around here, most of them are not savvy enough with the technology, and honestly, a lot of them feel like they just can’t be bothered. Self-defeating, yes but that’s just how a lot of people roll. So in closing, to me it does seem like parametric EQ is above a lot of players heads, even though it feels relatively straightforward to me and you.
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  17. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    worth saying that aside from the functional difference and extra control of having a parametric EQ v. 7 band graphic, the sound quality of the Empress is a big step up from your Boss pedal.
  18. Well here's the manual. It may help some - others not. Plus there are tons of videos on the web on how to use a parametric.

    Empress ParaEQ Manual
  19. Thanks for posting the manual, ddnidd1.

    I read it Friday night, and I think I understand it; I just have to buy one.

    I think the Boss was good practice for weaning myself off of the amp's tone controls.

    As I stated previously, I have the patience to sit down experiment, and listen to how each setting changes the tone.

    I will pick one up as soon as I can.

    Thank you all.

    Mike :thumbsup:
  20. Hello again, everyone.

    I just wanted to tell all of you I bought an Empress EQ today, but I didn't have time to try it out tonight.

    I wanted one since I started this thread in April, but other priorities take precidence sometime.

    I was thinking about getting one for Christmas, but decided to wait until the Holidays were over.
    I also wanted to get another bass, which I do not need, but would love to have (a Breedlove Pursuit) but thought, get that EQ to make your favorites sound better, and I finally did.

    So, perhaps in a day or two, I'll have an initial report for you all.

    Thanks again; I bought this on all your positive recommendations, and I have a feeling I did good.

    Talk soon.

    Mike :thumbsup:

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