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Equalizer & Signal Chain Setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BELLATOR, Aug 26, 2007.



    Sep 7, 2005
    I have a 5-string bass with an active 3-band EQ, an amp head with a 5-band EQ, a Landmine distortion pedal with a 3-band EQ, and I plan to get a MXR 10-band EQ to go after the distortion. What is the best way to set each EQ and in what order? What is the best way to set up the signal chain of the effects pedals? Should I use the 3-band EQ on the bass to set an initial tone and then shape if needed on the amp? How do you juggle the 3-band EQ on the bass and the 5-band EQ on the amp? I find I am always messing around with the knobs on both. After setting the clean tone, should I just set the EQ on the Landmine to taste, match the level of the Landmine to the volume of the amp, and then EQ with the 10-band EQ pedal to fine tune the distortion? How do you set up the Landmine and the MXR 10-band EQ so they are producing the highest signal to noise ratio and not clipping?
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    That seems like alot of EQ you got there, not sure I would want that much tweakability.


    Sep 7, 2005
    Yeah, all my EQ can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Getting a good clean sound is no problem. However, when I want to use distortion I hear upper midrange noises that I'm trying to cut ever so slightly with the EQ on the bass, amp, and landmine. Unfortunately, the EQ on the bass, amp, and landmine are not specific enough or they don't have a narrow band width to cut out specific noises. If I cut out the noise the clean tone suffers and the overall sound is an undesirable low drone. That's why I'm probably going to get a 10-band EQ to tweak my distorted sound more. I'm just not sure where to begin with all these EQs. Any thoughts on my initial approach to the order of EQ, etc.?
  4. waffle puzzle

    waffle puzzle space and time coordinator

    Aug 22, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    A few ideas---I've found it effective when rack mount eq's are hooked through your amps effects loop, then your pedals can be a direct line from your bass to your amp.

    When you want to adjust your eq, you probably want the quickest and easiest method, which means generally, a stompbox pedal to change the eq. If your heart is set on a rackmount eq vs. getting a stompbox eq, then I would leave one element relatively flat, like your amp, then adjust the rackmount to color it more to compensate partway for any changes that kicking in the landmine would give, and as a final tweak if necessary, adjust the treble knob on your bass a little.
    I know there's a million ways to do it, and some people prefer to leave their bass dimed out max on tone, it's just up to you.
    What's easier, walking over to your amp during a show, or giving a quick tweak to a tone knob on your bass? again, you might reconsider a rackmount, and go with a stompbox eq---I've found it easier when playing live.
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I don't think adding another is going to help this problem much... :)

    After using my current rig for awhile, I've come to the conclusion that any bass rig that needs anything more than just an occasional, minor EQ/tone-knob tweaking is a good sign that your probably using the wrong gear for the sound you desire.
  6. [font=comic sans ms,verdana,arial]
    I’d use the EQ with the most flexibility – the MXR in your case – as the primary EQ, and leave all the others flat. If you don’t get what you want from the MXR, try a parametric EQ for equalization with surgical precision (see my signature). EQs should be in the signal chain after any compression or distortion effects.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Sep 7, 2005
    I can find a clean tone pretty easily with very minor tweaking. When I use the Landmine distortion things start getting pretty crazy. I am hearing a lot of pick noise and very shrill sounds, even when I cut a lot of the treble and mids on the pedal. That's when I start tweaking the amp a little to try to get rid of the sounds even further. I plan to try a 10-band EQ after the distortion because the distortion needs tweaking. The 10-band EQ pedal would be quite a bit more precise than just the current 3-band EQ. I also want to leave the amp EQ alone and just modify the distortion EQ.

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