Finding the right equipment to achieve the perfect tone in your music can be a bit of a marathon. It’s not just about having an expensive guitar or amp.
One often overlooked ingredient that plays a pivotal role in sound production is the EQ pedal.
In my search to craft that golden sound, I’ve found these 20 best EQ pedals for a perfect tone to be quite instrumental.
As an essential part of any serious guitarist’s setup, an EQ pedal allows you the flexibility to fine-tune your signal and carve out your unique signature sound.
Not all EQ pedals are created equal, though, and the diversity can be daunting especially if you’re just starting.
Therefore, I have prepared a list showcasing some of the finest EQ pedals in my repertoire.
From this selection, you will discover how each pedal contributes differently to achieving your desired sound, suiting all types of budgets and playing styles.
20 Best EQ Pedals for Perfect Tone
As a musician, achieving the perfect tone is essential. Whether you’re a seasoned guitarist or just starting, having the right equipment can make all the difference.
That’s why I want to share with you my top picks for the best EQ pedals for the perfect tone.
These pedals are designed to enhance your sound and give you the ability to fine-tune your electric guitar’s frequencies, ensuring that every note sounds clear and balanced.
So let’s dive in and explore some of these incredible tools that can take your playing to the next level.
Danelectro Fish & Chips
The DANELECTRO FISH & CHIPS EQ pedal is a budget-friendly option for those looking to enhance their tone without breaking the bank.
Despite its low price, this pedal offers impressive sound-shaping capabilities.
It features seven bands that allow you to boost or cut frequencies ranging from 100Hz to 6.4kHz, providing you with a wide range of tonal possibilities.
One of the standout features of the FISH & CHIPS EQ is its simplicity. It has straightforward controls, including sliders for each frequency band and a level control for overall output.
This makes it effortless to dial in your desired tone, even for beginners. Additionally, it has true bypass switching, ensuring that your guitar’s natural sound remains unaffected when the pedal is switched off.
Empress Effects ParaEQ
The EMPRESS EFFECTS PARAEQ is a powerful EQ pedal known for its exceptional versatility and pristine sound quality.
With six bands of fully parametric EQ, this pedal allows you to precisely shape every aspect of your guitar’s tone.
Its intuitive layout and easy-to-use controls make it a favorite among professional musicians and bedroom players alike.
One unique feature of the EMPRESS PARAEQ is its ability to save presets. This means you can store and recall your favorite settings, making it easy to switch between different sounds during live performances or studio sessions.
The pedal also offers secondary functions on each knob, giving you even more control over your tone.
Boss GE-7 7-Band Graphic EQ
The BOSS GE-7 7-BAND GRAPHIC EQ is a classic choice that has stood the test of time. Known for its durability and reliability, this pedal delivers excellent sound-shaping capabilities in a compact package.
With seven frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 6.4kHz, it allows you to fine-tune your tone with precision.
What sets the BOSS GE-7 apart is its ability to boost or cut up to 15dB on each band, giving you a wide range of tonal possibilities.
It also features a level control, allowing you to adjust the overall volume to match your desired sound.
The pedal has a sturdy build and true bypass switching, ensuring that your guitar’s signal remains pristine even when the pedal is disengaged.
Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ
The Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ is a feature-packed pedal that offers precise control over your guitar’s tone.
With a 10-band graphic EQ, this pedal allows you to shape your sound with exceptional accuracy.
Each band can be boosted or cut by 18dB, giving you an extensive range of tonal options.
One standout feature of the SA170 is its programmability. It comes with four banks, each containing six presets, for a total of 24 available presets.
This makes it incredibly convenient for live performances or recording sessions where you need quick access to different tones. You can easily save and recall your favorite settings at the touch of a button.
The pedal also includes a built-in noise gate that helps eliminate unwanted noise from your signal chain, ensuring a clean and clear sound.
It has a compact and robust design suitable for gigging musicians, with top-mounted jacks that save pedalboard space.
Source Audio SA-270
Another remarkable EQ pedal from Source Audio is the SA-270 Programmable EQ.
This pedal takes tone shaping to the next level with its 10 adjustable frequency bands and extensive control options.
The SA-270 features five onboard presets that allow you to save and recall your favorite settings instantly.
It offers additional MIDI control capabilities, enabling you to connect it to external devices and expand its functionality even further.
Alongside the impressive EQ capabilities, the SA-270 also includes an integrated boost function with adjustable gain levels and selectable boost frequencies. This versatile feature adds an extra layer of tonal options to your arsenal.
If you’re on a tight budget but still want access to quality tone-shaping tools, the Behringer EQ700 is an excellent option to consider.
Despite its affordability, this pedal delivers exceptional performance and versatility.
With seven bands ranging from 100Hz to 6.4kHz, the EQ700 allows you to boost or cut specific frequencies to shape your sound precisely.
Each band offers up to 15dB of level adjustment, giving you plenty of control over your tone.
The EQ700 features a robust build quality, with a sturdy metal casing that can withstand the rigors of live performances.
It also includes a true bypass switching system to ensure minimal signal loss when the pedal is not in use.
The MXR M109S is a versatile and powerful EQ pedal that brings precision tone shaping to your fingertips.
With ten frequency bands ranging from 31.25Hz to 16kHz, this pedal allows you to sculpt your guitar’s sound with extreme accuracy.
From boosting the lows for a punchy rhythm tone to adding sparkle to the highs for soaring solos, the MXR M109S has got you covered.
One feature that sets the MXR M109S apart from other EQ pedals is its dual inputs and outputs.
This means you can connect two different instruments or use it in an effects loop configuration, expanding its flexibility in your setup.
The pedal also offers gain control, allowing you to adjust the level of each frequency band, giving you even more control over your tone.
The MXR M109S has a robust and rugged construction, making it ideal for gigging musicians.
Its true bypass switching ensures that your guitar’s natural tone remains unaffected when the pedal is not in use.
Walrus Audio EB-10
If versatility is what you’re after, then look no further than the Walrus Audio EB-10 EQ/Boost pedal.
This pedal combines an equalizer with a clean boost, giving you ultimate control over both shaping your tone and boosting your signal when needed.
With six frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 3kHz, the EB-10 allows you to shape every aspect of your sound with precision.
The level control lets you adjust the output volume of the boost function while keeping your EQ settings intact.
This is particularly useful when wanting to cut through during solos or add extra power to your playing.
One standout feature of the Walrus Audio EB-10 is its selectable Q factor on each band.
This allows you to narrow or widen the bandwidth of each frequency, giving you even more control over sculpting your sound.
The Boss EQ-200 is a powerhouse EQ pedal that offers an impressive range of features in a compact design.
With up to ten bands of EQ, including two user-configurable graphic EQs, the EQ-200 gives you unparalleled control over your tone.
Its powerful DSP engine delivers studio-quality sound and precise frequency adjustments.
One standout feature of the Boss EQ-200 is its parallel signal processing capability.
This means that each EQ band operates independently, allowing you to stack different settings for both subtle and dramatic tone-shaping possibilities.
The pedal also offers extensive connectivity options, including MIDI and expression pedal inputs, giving you further control over your sound.
The intuitive interface of the Boss EQ-200 makes it easy to navigate through the various features and functions.
It also offers onboard memory slots for storing your favorite presets, making it ideal for both stage and studio use.
Empress ParaEQ MKII
The Empress ParaEQ MKII is a top-of-the-line parametric equalizer pedal that offers outstanding sonic capabilities and total tonal control.
With three fully parametric bands and an additional selectable high-pass filter, this pedal enables precise shaping of frequencies across the entire spectrum.
One standout feature of the Empress ParaEQ MKII is its extensive frequency range.
Each band covers a broad range of frequencies with adjustable Q factors, allowing you to target specific areas of your guitar’s tone with surgical precision.
The high-pass filter can be especially useful in cutting unwanted low-frequency rumble or adding clarity to your sound.
The signal path of the Empress ParaEQ MKII is fully analog, ensuring pristine sound quality and transparent tone shaping.
The pedal also offers up to 30dB of boost, making it equally suitable for clean or distorted tones.
With its robust construction and user-friendly interface, the Empress ParaEQ MKII is a premium choice for any guitarist seeking ultimate control over their tone.
MXR 10-Band EQ
The MXR 10-Band EQ is a versatile and highly acclaimed EQ pedal that offers precise control over your guitar’s tone.
With its ten bands, ranging from 31.25Hz to 16kHz, you can shape your sound with incredible precision across the entire frequency spectrum.
One standout feature of the MXR 10-Band EQ is its wide ±12dB gain range on each band.
This allows you to fine-tune your sound exactly to your liking, whether you prefer subtle adjustments or dramatic shifts in tonal character.
The pedal also features separate input and output level controls, giving you even more control over your signal’s overall volume.
The MXR 10-Band EQ boasts a sturdy build quality and true bypass switching for optimal signal integrity when it’s not in use.
It can be powered with either a 9V battery or an optional power supply, making it convenient for both gigging musicians and bedroom players.
Mesa Boogie Throttle Box
The Mesa Boogie Throttle Box is an exceptional EQ pedal specifically designed for guitarists who crave high-gain tones and aggressive distortion.
This pedal delivers a wide range of overdriven sounds from classic rock to modern metal.
With its three-band active EQ controls (bass, midrange, treble), it allows you to sculpt your tone precisely for any genre or playing style.
One notable feature of the Mesa Boogie Throttle Box is its multi-mode functionality.
It offers two different foot-switchable modes – Lo Gain and Hi Gain – each with its unique tonal characteristics.
The Lo Gain mode provides a bluesy crunch with a tighter low-end response and enhanced dynamic touch sensitivity, while the Hi-Gain mode delivers scorching hot lead tones with intense sustain and a rich harmonic palette.
The Throttle Box also features a built-in Boost switch that provides an additional level of gain for solos or for cutting through the mix.
With its rugged construction and true bypass switching, this pedal is built to withstand the rigors of live performances.
Tech 21 Q-Strip
The Tech 21 Q-Strip is not your typical EQ pedal – it’s a versatile preamp and EQ unit rolled into one.
Designed with studio-quality sound in mind, this pedal offers a wide range of tonal shaping capabilities for both guitarists and bassists.
The Q-Strip features powerful EQ controls, including 10-band graphic EQ, parametric EQ, and low pass / high pass filters.
This gives you unprecedented control over your tone, allowing you to sculpt your sound with surgical precision.
You can use it to add warmth and presence to your clean tones or to create unique distorted textures by boosting specific frequencies.
One stand-out feature of the Q-Strip is its blend control, which lets you mix your dry signal with the processed signal.
This allows you to maintain the natural dynamics of your instrument while still benefiting from the EQ enhancements.
The pedal also offers flexible connectivity options, including XLR outputs for direct recording or connecting to a mixing console.
MXR M108S Ten Band EQ
The MXR M108S Ten Band EQ is another excellent option from MXR’s renowned lineup of EQ pedals.
This upgraded version provides even more tonal flexibility and improved functionality compared to its predecessor, making it perfect for demanding musicians.
Similar to the MXR 10-Band EQ mentioned earlier, the M108S features ten carefully chosen frequencies ranging from 31.25Hz to 16kHz.
It allows you to shape your tone with precision, providing boosted or cut frequencies across the entire spectrum.
One notable improvement in this updated version is the addition of two footswitches.
These switches provide hands-free control over the EQ settings, making it easier to toggle between different presets during live performances.
The pedal also features upgraded circuitry for lower noise and improved headroom, resulting in cleaner and more transparent sound.
The MXR M108S Ten Band EQ boasts a robust build quality and true bypass switching to preserve the integrity of your guitar’s signal when the pedal is disengaged.
It can be powered with either a 9V battery or an optional power supply, making it suitable for both stage use and home studio setups.
Boss DD-3T Digital Delay Pedal
The Boss DD-3T Digital Delay Pedal is a versatile and powerful delay pedal that offers crystal-clear sound quality and an array of features.
This pedal builds upon the legendary DD-3 pedal, adding a tap tempo function and expanded delay time.
With up to 800 milliseconds of delay time, you have plenty of room to create lush, atmospheric sounds or short, rhythmic repeats.
One of the standout features of the DD-3T is its tap tempo function. This allows you to set the delay time by simply tapping on the footswitch with your foot.
The DD-3T also features a hold function, which allows you to create infinite repeats or freeze a specific note or chord for dramatic effect.
The three-knob interface – consisting of controls for delay time, feedback, and effect level – makes it effortless to dial in your desired sound.
Dunlop MXR Six Band EQ
The Dunlop MXR Six Band EQ is a compact EQ pedal that offers tremendous power in a small package.
With six carefully selected frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 3.2kHz, this pedal allows you to shape your tone with precision.
Each slider on the MXR Six Band EQ boosts or cuts the corresponding frequency band by up to +/- 18dB, giving you plenty of control over your tone.
One notable feature of the MXR Six Band EQ is its noise reduction circuitry.
This helps to eliminate unwanted noise and hiss, ensuring that your guitar’s signal remains clean and pure.
The sturdy construction and true bypass switching make this pedal ideal for both stage and studio use.
EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job
The EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job is an incredible EQ and boost pedal that offers a wide range of tonal possibilities. With its simple three-knob layout, this pedal allows you to shape your sound with ease.
The tone control on the Tone Job lets you adjust the overall brightness or darkness of your tone.
The EQ control boosts or cuts frequencies in the midrange, allowing you to sculpt your sound to perfection.
The volume control boosts your signal by up to 20dB, providing a powerful clean boost when needed.
One unique feature of the Tone Job is its buffer switch. This switch toggles between true bypass and buffered bypass modes, allowing you to choose the most appropriate setting for your setup.
The pedal also boasts top-notch build quality and rugged construction, ensuring that it will withstand years of use and abuse.
Source Audio EQ2 Programmable EQ
The Source Audio EQ2 Programmable EQ is a groundbreaking pedal that offers unmatched flexibility and control over your tone.
With 10 adjustable bands and 12 onboard presets, this pedal allows you to fine-tune every aspect of your sound.
The EQ2 features fully editable graphic editing software called Neuro Desktop Editor.
This software allows you to create custom presets, save them onto the pedal, and even share them with other users online.
The pedal also has MIDI capability, making it easy to integrate into any MIDI-controlled setup.
Another standout feature of the Source Audio EQ2 is its noise gate function. This helps to eliminate unwanted noise and hiss from your signal chain for a cleaner sound.
The rugged construction and stylish design make this pedal a fantastic addition to any guitarist’s arsenal.
JHS Haunting Mids EQ Pedal
If you’re looking for a comprehensive midrange-focused EQ pedal, look no further than the JHS Haunting Mids EQ Pedal.
This versatile stompbox gives you precise control over the mid frequencies, allowing you to shape your tone with surgical precision.
The Haunting Mids features three controls – level, frequency, and sweep.
The level control adjusts the overall volume of the effect, while the frequency knob selects the center frequency for boosting or cutting.
The sweep control narrows or widens the bandwidth of the selected frequency, giving you even more control over your tone.
With its robust construction and true bypass switching, the JHS Haunting MidsEQ Pedal is built to withstand years of use on stage or in the studio.
Chase Bliss Audio Condor Analog EQ/Pre/Filter
The Chase Bliss Audio Condor Analog EQ/Pre/Filter is a one-of-a-kind pedal that combines three essential functions into one unit.
This pedal offers EQ, preamp, and filter effects in a versatile and easy-to-use package.
The Condor features powerful EQ controls, including parametric equalization with three bands. This allows you to boost or cut specific frequencies to shape your sound.
The preamp section adds warmth and clarity to your signal, while the filter section offers a wide range of filtering options for creative exploration.
One unique feature of the Chase Bliss Audio Condor is its analog signal path combined with digital control.
This means that while it offers precise digital control over all parameters via MIDI or expression pedal, it retains the warmth and depth of an analog circuit.
The high-quality components used in this pedal ensure exceptional sound quality and reliability.
These are just a few examples of the best EQ pedals available for achieving that perfect tone.
Each pedal mentioned here offers unique features and capabilities that can help you tailor your sound to suit your musical style.
Experiment with different pedals find the one that fits your needs, and enjoy the journey of discovering your perfect tone.
FAQs About EQ pedal
What is an EQ pedal?
An EQ pedal is a guitar effects pedal that allows you to control the frequencies of your guitar’s sound. It gives you the ability to boost or cut certain frequency ranges, allowing you to shape your tone according to your preferences.
Why do I need an EQ pedal?
An EQ pedal is a valuable tool for guitarists because it enables you to customize your tone. Whether you want to boost the bass, add clarity to the highs, or cut through the mix with a midrange boost, an EQ pedal gives you the flexibility to achieve the sound you want.
How do I use an EQ pedal?
Using an EQ pedal is simple. You can adjust the sliders or knobs on the pedal to either boost or cut specific frequency ranges. Experiment with different settings until you find the sound that complements your playing style and musical genre.
Can I use multiple EQ pedals in my setup?
Yes, you can use multiple EQ pedals in your setup if desired. Each pedal can be used to focus on specific frequency ranges or tackle different tonal shaping tasks. This allows for even greater control over your overall sound.
Are all EQ pedals created equal?
No, not all EQ pedals are created equal. Different models offer varying features, sound quality, and build construction. It’s important to choose an EQ pedal that suits your needs and preferences based on factors such as budget, functionality, and performance.
Finding the best EQ pedal for the perfect tone is a crucial step in achieving your desired sound as a guitarist.
In this article, we have explored some top picks that offer exceptional sound-shaping capabilities and user-friendly features.
From budget-friendly options like the DANELECTRO FISH & CHIPS to versatile powerhouses like the EMPRESS EFFECTS PARAEQ, there is something for every musician’s needs and preferences.
Remember to consider factors such as frequency range, control options, and build quality when making your decision.
So go ahead, experiment with these EQ pedals, and unlock a world of tonal possibilities for your guitar playing.