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EQ pedal with active EQ on bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by placedesjardins, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    I have an Ibanez SR1400 and playing it through a TC Electronics BH250.
    So, I have active EQ available on the bass, plus EQ on the amp, bass, mid, and treble.

    Does anyone else triple up on EQ'ing by adding an EQ pedal?
    I'm looking at the MXR M81 bass preamp pedal, Boss GEB-7 bass equalizer pedal, and Aguilar Tone Hammer Preamp pedal.

    I might sound ignorant or stupid (I mainly play guitar but play bass guitar and am self taught) but I am thinking I will be able to get an even more scooped sound like that of Wayman Tisdale without buying a $4,000+ custom bass guitar and/or high-end amp by adding an EQ pedal in the signal path. Or, is adding a pedal going to be negligible when the active EQ and amp's EQ are dialed in to scoop the mids.
  2. hztjtao


    Sep 29, 2016
    I think the pedal and onboard eq will give different boost or cut character . This is because both of them have different eq frequency center. I use both on my simple setup.
  3. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    With the TC and the active bass pre, you should be able to dial in more than enough scoop as to not need another EQ.
  4. The advantage to adding an EQ pedal to your setup is the ability to instantly switch between two preset sounds (or more depending on the capabilities of the pedal, ie dual channel or MFX etc).

    If you've dialled in the sweet spot on both your bass' EQ and your amp's EQ, then you don't want to mess that up for a song's bridge in hopes that, after the bridge and back into the verse, you can dial back in the sweet spot... precisely... without losing a beat or flubbing a note.

    For example, kinda hard to twiddle bass, mids and treble knobs to satisfaction when you're supposed to be laying down a Rocco-Tower-of-Power stream of 16th notes.
  5. A graphic EQ is very different to a 3 band active tone control. The Q (band width) for each slider is really tight. So that each slider effects a very narrow spectrum of sound. Like an array of slightly overlapping notch filters. Where as a three band active tone control is a far more global system. Each knob effects a massive bandwidth of frequency (wide Q) and makes large and epic changes to the sound spectrum. Also the centre frequencies for a three band EQ can vary by quite a lot between brands. One marques treble is another marques upper mids. Hifi 3 bands are 20Hz / 1Khz and 20Khz. But on bass, there is little over 8Khz that is usable...mostly hiss above this figure, even with effects. Anything lower than 80hz is a waste too. The bass' most prominent harmonic is the 1st harmonic and not the fundamental. Which is double the lowest frequency, so 60hz for a low B and 80hz for a low E. There is little point in going lower than this. Mids are the biggest effect on bass tone, anything between 250hz to 2Khz are good. But most find that the 700-850hz have the biggest effect.
    On a Graphic, the most sliders the better. But drop anything over 8Khz and under 60hz...treat that as a speaker / amp / ear drum saver. Then bost / cut each slider to taste...but bare in mind if you want to make global changes, then you will have to move the specific slider and those either side of it too but to a lesser degree.
  6. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Yeah, switching from one eq curve to another with a stomp is super convenient, I used to do this with a EWS BMC, just for mid-range switching.
    I also use a pedal eq to fine tune my pedal board, or otherwise tame whatever happens to the signal after it goes through a bunch of effects.
    Which, with a 10 pedal board, can be a lot.
    So, bass eq before the effects, pedal eq after the effects.
    I leave my amp flat most times, unless I really want to over accentuate a level, usually mid-range.
  7. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Thanks all for the info.
    So, maybe I need to play around more with my amp and bass guitar's EQ.
    It also sounds like setting the amp's EQ so bass, mid and treble are all zero'ed, and then using the EQ pedal seems to be a better way to dial in a scooped mid's tone to the way I want it.
    Or maybe I'm missing an effect pedal. If you are a fan of Wayman Tisdale or listen to his music, how does he get that sound when he's soloing with finger plucking and not popping/slapping? I don't know if that's a bass enveloper filter, wah, or what. Thanks in advance.
  8. XLunacy


    Nov 28, 2013
    The amp will be useless for your tone shaping if you're going straigth to FOH via (pre) DI. If you're doing post-EQ, then you'll have very little flexibility over your tone on stage.
    So I'd suggest using that EQ pedal the way you'd use your amp's EQ, and dedicate your amp to room/stage adjustments.
    I have no issue using several EQ stages, because each has its own use and purpose.
    Vlad5 likes this.
  9. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    My preamp (Alembic F1X) has the completely un-intuitive Fender tone stack EQ so I leave that as flat as it can get and don't touch it ever. I have a Broughton 3 band parametric EQ pedal that I use to set my overall sound and correct for the room and I do song-to-song adjustments on my bass.
  10. Shizo


    Dec 22, 2016
    How do you find your Alembic? Is it versatile and as thick and phat sounding as they say?
  11. I play two ESP basses with EMG pickups and EMG 3 band. Have a b7k ultra on my board and a sans amp RBI in my rack. I keep the eq on the bass flat at all times. Sans amps is set nearly flat with just a slight boost in the mid knob more so to get it back to a flatter sound because it has some mid cut. And the b7k ultra is where I do all my drastic EQing. It's pretty extreme although darkglass liked to limit the range of thier knobs. Like even when you run the blend knob all the way up there's still some dry signal. Before I had the b7k ultra I used the eq on the sans amp more. But I just really like the eq in the ultra and it has a seperate footswitch for the dirt on it so I leave it on all the time for the eq and just kick the dirt in and out instead of totally bypassing the pedal. I also like having my B7k before my duality fuzz.

    Rig shot
    IMG_1864.JPG Actually settings on the b7k
    IMG_1830.JPG It looks like I'm EQing the hell out of it but it's no where near as drastic as the eq on my sans amp RBI where I tend not to like boosting beyond 2oclock or cutting below 10oclock.

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