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Best EQ pedals: Sculpt your sound with these great pedals

EQ pedals may not be glamorous, but there might not be a more versatile addition to your pedalboard. Including an EQ pedal helps you get different sounds out of your amp. They morph and shape the tones of the other pedals in your chain. Even make your pickups sound like a different type altogether!

The technology has come a long way from the noisy, cumbersome models of the past. Many of the latest models run on the highest quality digital signal processing and offer all kinds of next level features like presets, advanced routing, and MIDI integration. These are some of the best EQ pedals available today.

Best EQ pedal overall: MXR 10-Band EQ

mxr 10 band eq pedal
Best EQ pedal overall
MXR 10-Band EQ
One of the most versatile EQ pedals available that offers 10 bands and control over gain and volume. It can also be run at 18v for more headroom.
Pros
10 bands gives you total control over your equalization
Gain and volume sliders make it easy to structure signal
Good range of frequencies
Can run at 18v for additional headroom
Cons
Pedal might not fit in to some pedalboards due to its size

There might be other selections on this list that offer sexier, next-gen features, but as far as utility goes nothing really beats this selection from MXR. Its 10 bands range from 31Hz on the low end up to 16kHz on the high end, each one offering 12dB of boost or cut (including the gain slider). This means it’s not just for guitar, but can be used on bass as well as 12-string acoustics, Nashville tuned guitars, and even other instruments like keyboards, banjo, and mandolin.

There is an internal converter to run it at 18v, and this additional headroom means you can feel free to boost as much as you’d like. To round things out it also has backlit sliders to see on a dark stage, true-bypass switching, and two outputs for running dual signal chains.

Best EQ pedal for versatility: BOSS EQ-200

boss eq200 eq pedal
Best EQ pedal for versatility
BOSS EQ-200
This next generation EQ is actually two in one. It has best-in-class conversion and an onboard effects loop.
Pros
32-bit/96kHz conversion
Dual 10-band EQs
Onboard effects loop
MIDI control
Cons
Large format won’t fit smaller pedalboards

Cutting edge 32-bit/96kHz conversion lead the feature set of this versatile EQ from BOSS. The EQ-200 offers two 10-band EQs with three different range settings that can be run in series, parallel, or stereo modes. Each frequency band has 15dB of cut/boost with independent level controls for each channel.

Physical sliders add a tactile method for dialing things in, and there are setting locks to prevent accidental changes. The effects loop lets you route other pedals pre or post EQ and stereo I/O, MIDI, and expression pedal input offer a variety of routing and control options. It can be run with an AC adaptor and, oddly enough, three AA batteries.

Best EQ pedal for simplicity: EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job V2

earthquaker devices tone job eq pedal
Best EQ for simplicity
EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job V2
This all analog, active EQ features three bands with control knobs instead of sliders that offer 20dB of cut and boost.
Pros
All analog
Active EQ
3 frequency bands with 20dB of cut/boost
Cons
Not as much frequency control as other models

The all-analog Tone Job is unique in that it uses control knobs to fine-tune the active EQ instead of sliders. It features four controls over bass, mid, treble, and level with 20dB of cut/boost over the frequencies and more than enough available gain on the level control to get your sound to cut above the mix.

Best digital EQ: Source Audio Programmable EQ

source audio programmable eq pedal
Best digital EQ pedal
Source Audio Programmable EQ
Digital EQs don’t get much better than this. With best in class processing, 28 recallable bands, and MIDI integration this is made for the modern age. It also works well with bass guitar.
Pros
Extremely versatile digital EQ
State-of-the-art DSP
MIDI control
Can be used with bass guitar
Cons
Might not sound as warm as an analog EQ

Offering a step forward in what pedal equalizers can do, this pedal from Source Audio features state-of-the-art digital signal processing. There are seven frequency bands, each offering 18dB of cut/boost across four presets.

This means there are a total of 28 bands that can easily be recalled with the footswitch on the pedal or with MIDI integration. And with 12dB of gain boost you can use it to drive your acoustic guitar amp or boost your signal for lead parts. The Octave Extend function means you can even use it with bass guitar.

Best EQ pedal for utility: BOSS GE-7

boss ge-7 eq pedal
Best EQ pedal for utility
BOSS GE-7
You’ll find this on pedalboards all over the world. Offering seven bands designed for the guitar it has 15dB of cut and boost.
Pros
Affordable
EQ bands designed for the guitar
Cons
Only 7 bands
Bands only go up to 6.5kHz
Not for use with stereo signal flow

There might not be a better workhouse EQ pedal than this 7-band from BOSS. All bands are specifically in the frequency spectrum of the guitar, ranging from 100Hz to 6.5kHz with 15dB of cut/boost.

It’s mono only and doesn’t offer any special features, but it certainly gets the job done. There are also some popular mods that can be done to add additional functionality.

Best analog EQ pedal: Wampler EQuator

wampler equator
Best analog EQ pedal
Wampler EQuator
An all analog, active EQ with four bands with dual semi-parametric mids.
Pros
All analog
Active 4-band EQ
Fixed bass and treble bands
Semi-parametric mid frequencies
Cons
A little pricey, but still affordable
Won’t work with stereo rigs

It seems like more and more EQ pedal designs are moving toward the digital realm, but this all-analog offering from Wampler has an active 4-band EQ with fixed bass and treble controls and two semi-parametric mid frequencies.

It also offers a whopping 25dB of gain. Change the sound of your acoustic amp, alter the tone of your overdrives, or augment the sound of your rig altogether.

Best EQ pedal for acoustic guitar: Fishman Platinum Pro

Fishman platinum pro
Best EQ pedal for acoustic guitar
Fishman platinum pro
All-in-one acoustic guitar pedals don’t get better than this. It’s a preamp, EQ, compressor, and boost with an output section to accommodate any live or recording situation.
Pros
Preamp/EQ/Compressor/Boost
Instrument, amp, and DI outputs
Effects loop
Feedback, phase, and notch filter controls
Cons
Expensive, but quality is worth the investment

Fishman is one of the premier names when it comes to gear for acoustic guitar. The all-analog Platinum Pro EQ combines equalization with a Class-A preamp that makes any acoustic guitar tone sing.

The 5-band tone control includes a high-pass filter, bass, sweepable midrange, treble, and brilliance controls. Phase control balances multiple pickup sources and there is a notch filter for eliminating feedback.

As if the EQ and preamp sections weren’t appealing enough, there is a single knob compressor to smooth out the dynamics of the acoustic signal. A chromatic digital tuner keeps everything in tune, and a boost switch lets you cut above the mix when you need to.

Versatile I/O gives you connection options, offering 1/4″ instrument and amplifier outputs and the balanced XLR D.I. lets you plug straight into a mixer or audio interface.

It’s a little pricey, but the sound and build quality and utility make it a great investment for any acoustic guitar or bass player looking for an all-in-one front end solution.


Best EQ pedal for bass guitar: BOSS GEB-7

boss geb7
best EQ pedal for bass guitar
BOSS GEB-7
You can’t go wrong with BOSS. Seven EQ bands that extend up to 10kHz and volume slider are wrapped in a pedal that’s a solid build quality.
Pros
7 EQ bands specifically for bass guitar
Affordable
Built like a tank
Cons
Some other options have more extended features

Bass guitarists have plenty of EQ options too. You can use a guitar EQ pedal, but bass EQs have a different set of frequency bands designed for the instrument.

BOSS’ GEB-7 is built like a tank and has seven bands perfect for bass. It even goes up to 10k on the top end! There’s an output volume slider to reduce gain staging headaches. Bass players have multiple options when it comes to EQ pedals, and this one is about as useful as they come.

Best budget EQ pedal: MXR 6-Band EQ

mxr 6 band eq pedal
Best budget EQ pedal
MXR 6-Band EQ
A budget-friendly, small profile 6-band EQ with backlit sliders that make seeing them on a dark stage easy.
Pros
Affordable
Backlit sliders
Small profile
Cons
Only 6 bands
3.2kHz is as far up it goes
No output level

This is a slimmed-down version of their 10-band model and aside from offering less frequency bands comes with almost all of the same features – including backlit sliders.

It doesn’t come with a gain control so you might have to stage that via other means, but considering the build quality the price tag is well worth it if you are budget conscious.

Runner up budget EQ pedal: Danelectro Fish n’ Chips

danelectro fish and chips EQ pedal
Runner up best budget EQ pedal
Danelectro Fish n’ Chips
If you don’t have much to spend, this a great option. With 7-bands, volume slider, and small enclosure it’s one of the best budget models.
Pros
7 EQ bands perfect for guitar
Output volume slider
Sounds good for price point
Cons
Plastic enclosure
Switch can be difficult to hit
Buy From

A lot of players love this model due its compact size and very low noise. It has 7 bands ranging from 100Hz to 6.4kHz. and a gain slider. It has top mounted, mono I/O and can be powered with a supply or battery.

The only real complaint people seem to have is with the plastic enclosure, but it’s stronger than you might think. Production of them seems to come in waves, but it really isn’t hard to find one.

FAQ

Are EQ pedals worth it?

Definitely. Adding an EQ pedal to your pedalboard is one of the most significant ways you can augment your tone. It’s not just about how they can change the sound of your guitar either.

Using them in tandem with other effects opens up an almost endless array of tonal variations from even the most basic overdrive pedal.

Are all EQ pedals the same?

Absolutely not. The most common type of EQ guitar pedal is what’s called a “graphic EQ”. This is the type with sliders, like our top choice the MXR 10-band EQ. They don’t let you adjust the range of the frequency, what’s called the “Q”. But they do give you multiple bands to adjust based on gain decibel amounts.

Some are parametric or semi-parametric. These give you more control over the amount of EQ but generally don’t let you affect as many frequencies. This is more like the type of EQ that’s used in studio recordings. It’s more specific and more pinpointed.

What is the best EQ for electric guitar?

There is no “best”. Most guitar players opt for a graphic EQ because they’re easy to use and offer a good amount of options. But you need to assess why you’re looking to add an EQ to your signal chain and then make your buying decisions accordingly.

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