Need advice for preamp / tone shaping with graphic EQ

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tyrael, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    I recently acquired an Aguilar Tone Hammer 350 and I like it very much.
    I usually leave everything flat, without the drive... For most situation, the default tone of the TH suits the things I do (mainly composing on my own / practicing)

    Sometimes, however, I would like to change the color and tone (mostly different EQ / and maybe OD). I would like to do so on the fly and be able to revert to the default tone quickly without having to turn all the knobs on the TH...

    With my amp, I own the following pedals :

    - Empress ParaEQ (I use it for precise slicing in the frequency spectrum, at the end of the signal path)
    - Darkglass b3k v2 (for OD, still experimenting with it...)

    Is it worth investing in a preamp pedal for shaping the tone at the beginning of the signal path? I was thinking of a preamp a graphic EQ such as the b7k or maybe getting the Tone Hammer preamp in order to have a way to quickly switch the tone. Or maybe something else? Or maybe I'm talking nonsense...

    I have read here that using both TH preamp and amp does not really make sense so I don't really know if it is worth investing in this solution...

    Any advice or suggestion is welcome
  2. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    If you want the most featured EQ currently available in a pedal format...then look up the Source Audio EQ2. Currently, the State of the Art.
  3. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    Thanks for the suggestion! It seems quite powerful as an EQ, but I think I'm looking at something more like a OD+EQ+preamp type of thing, that could potentially be plugged directly in a mixer (in order to keep the tone i'm going to dial on it)
  4. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    IME, it's not adviseable to stack premps. I would sugest either overdrive or EQ. You already have the latter (Empress)
    tyrael likes this.
  5. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    Interesting, thanks for the info I did not know that. So you suggest I avoid using a preamp behind the TH 350...

    Can you give a little more details on why it should be avoided?
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If you like the sound of the TH, I would suggest simply getting a small board and adding an EQ pedal for an alternate tone and a mild dirt. A tuner, pre, EQ, and mild dirt is a very common small board setup. And it's no harder to set up than your TH has been. Plug and play.
    halech54, tyrael and Zbysek like this.
  7. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    The reason is gain staging. Your amp already features a preamp section.

    Let me put this way: when you are cooking, you should not put too many spices in the pot. It might spoil the dish.

    You already own two pedals which are capable to give you the ability to change tone and colour. You do not need to buy any new devices.
    Berme, Ggaa, Reedt2000 and 2 others like this.
  8. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    Darkglass Micro Tubes X Ultra or Alpha/Omega Ultra
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No first-hand experience but I thought the Darkglass was supposed to be the bees-knees!

  10. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    Ok I understand, and I think you're certainly right about this.

    That's true, and up until now I was using the Empress as a "room correction device". But I could easily switch as my main EQ for tone... Thank you for the advice!
    Zbysek likes this.
  11. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    Yes the b3k is really interesting, and not only for metal, as I first thought.
  12. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I have no first-hand experience either...but from videos I saw online, it seems to me that it's possible to get some useable tones from B3K in lower settings...

    I agree that there are other devices better suited for mild overdrive on the market though.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I have a problem with the more heavily colored character pedals (...I'm a Tech 21 fan boy) which is that, once bypassed, the host amp sounds so anemic. Okay, now it becomes an "always on" device and now you have to stick a neutral / transparent boost pedal in front of that. We can keep this up forever and the pedal manufacturers know's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

    Zbysek and tyrael like this.
  14. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I hear ya..and I feel the same.
  15. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Aguilar - Official 'Tone Hammer 500' 3.8lbs 500w Megathread!

    Don't be afraid to use the Drive, it is not a traditional OD, more a variable low and high pass filter. If you haven't seen these graphs they are worth a look. I use a Messenger or Radial with my TH for more tone shaping but for the most part use them very judiciously.
    Zbysek likes this.
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    try something like this

    legalbass likes this.
  17. tyrael


    May 6, 2020
    Yeah! I actually thought about it. I read somewhere on TB that a graphic EQ was more a tone shaper and a parametric EQ (such as the one I have) is more oriented towards eq-ing out weird freqs...
    But I don't know if that's really true..

    I'll try with that I have and I'll probably look into a graphic eq if I struggle with the ParaEQ.
  18. ClusterFlux


    Apr 11, 2018
    I'd get a multi-effects unit like the Zoom B1 Four.

    They'll have graphic and parametric EQs, multiple compressors, multiple distortion / OD / fuzz / preamps, and the usual suspects (chorus, flanger, delay, reverb, auto-wah, octaver etc).

    The Zoom also has an HPF, a frequency splitter, an exciter and so on. Plus, it's ridiculously affordable.

    They're not quite as easy to change on the fly as a graphic EQ pedal, but still pretty easy. Plus, the units are usually fully programmable.
  19. ComeHomeShane

    ComeHomeShane Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Southern California
    +1 for the MXR M108S Ten Band EQ
  20. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    A graphic EQ and a parametric EQ are both EQs. Graphic is easier for beginners and parametric is more flexible.

    A multi effects pedal may be your best bet as it gives you lots of options.