Have you noticed that your guitar or amp has lost some luster? That the original tone and sound when you first got it have started to fade?
Don’t be surprised if you have. All things start to wear down over time. But don’t panic. You don’t necessarily need a new amp or a new guitar. You may just need an EQ pedal.
While EQ is not the first kind of effect that comes to mind when talking about pedals, it is undoubtedly a crucial one. The best EQ pedals can breathe new life into your guitar, your amp, and your effects chain. They are very underrated at how useful and versatile they can be.
Well, come along with us to find out, as we explore the best EQ pedals on the market today…
- Top 10 Best EQ Pedals You Shoud Buy In 2021 Reviews
- 1Empress ParaEq with Boost
- 2 EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job V2 EQ and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
- 3 MXR M108S Ten Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal
- 4 MXR KFK1 Kerry King Signature 10-Band Graphic EQ
- 5 Boss GE-7 7-Band EQ Pedal
- 6Danelectro DJ-14C Fish & Chips 7 Band EQ Mini Effects Pedal
- 7 Behringer EQ700 Ultimate 7-Band Graphic Equalizer
- 8 Joyo JF-11 6 Band EQ Guitar Pedal
- 9 Caline USA, CP-24 10-Band EQ Guitar Effect Pedal
- 10 Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ Pedal
- Best EQ Pedals Buyer’s Guide
- So, What Are The Best EQ Pedals?
Top 10 Best EQ Pedals You Shoud Buy In 2021 Reviews
1Empress ParaEq with Boost
Enhance your tone without losing the sound of your guitar.
The Empress ParaEQ pedal works on many different levels to shape the tone of your guitar just the way you like it. But, this is not your average EQ pedal. The Empress boasts all kinds of extras that are not usually found on other EQ pedals.
One of the most significant differences is that this pedal can act as a pure boost pedal. The Empress offers you a boost of 30dB. That’s a whole lot of power.
Place this pedal before your chain of effects to cut down on the noise from all your other pedals with just a small amount of boost. Likewise, you can put it at the end and get all kinds of additional power for your effects chain.
The independent boost control allows you greater flexibility in the ways you can shape your sound and tone. You might need to play around with the position of the ParaEQ in your effects chain to find the right placement for your sound.
In addition to the boost control, the Empress provides you with lots of headroom on the EQ controls.
There are three frequency bands – low, mid, and high frequencies. Each band has 15dB of cut and boost controlled by separate gain knobs.
When each frequency band has an independent gain/volume control, you can really dial in a specific amount of frequency at higher or lower levels than with traditional graphic EQ pedals.
Each of the frequency bands has an independent ‘Q’ control. This allows you to contour how much of the signal wave is affected by the EQ. The Q control switch has three wave settings – normal, tight, and wide. This feature provides you with a huge variety of tone shaping possibilities.
You can pinch and punch out very specific mid-range tones, or flatten and round out the low-end.
This EQ pedal is highly dynamic and full of possibilities. It is practically noiseless and comes with True Bypass to ensure that your sound is always pristine and clear when the pedal is not engaged.
The Empress ParaEQ is the kind of pedal that can change your musical life. Could all this make it the best EQ pedal? Sorry, but you’ll just have to wait till the end of the review to find out…
2 EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job V2 EQ and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
A compact EQ pedal based on old audiophile stereo preamps. And, the Tone Job EQ pedal is not only for electric guitars, but can also be used with bass guitars and synthesizers.
By placing the Tone Job at the beginning of your FX chain, you can change the character of your guitar. Conversely, placing this pedal at the end of the chain will boost the overall output and still allow you to dial in the exact tone you want.
The controls are simple to use. The Level knob controls the volume of the pedal. It can also be used as a boost control and give you up to five times the output.
The treble, bass, and mid control knobs are straight-forward and easy to use. They cut or boost the frequencies. Set the knob at noon for the neutral setting. Turn the knob clockwise to boost the signal. Turn the knob counter-clockwise to cut the signal.
There is something wonderful about the simplicity of the Tone Job controls. It is a great EQ pedal that doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how, making it a nice starter EQ pedal for those who are new to this kind of effect.
You can quickly enhance your tone as well as add an overall boost to your chain with this pedal. This pedal gives your tone a nice rounded sound and is very transparent.
Built with care in Akron, Ohio the Tone Job is sturdy and built with quality materials.
If you are looking for a good introduction to EQ pedals, the Tone Job will set you on the right path.
3 MXR M108S Ten Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal
A highly dynamic and detailed pedal for shaping your tone and sound.
The MXR EQ pedal features ten frequency bands for increased control over how your guitar will sound. You can cut or boost each of the frequencies by 12dB. This offers you lots of headroom to play around with.
With ten bands to shape your tone, you can generate ground-rumbling low-end, enhance punch and clarity to your effects chains, and even warm up an amplified acoustic guitar.
Easily shape your tone exactly where you need it most. In addition to the ten bands, there are separate controls for gain and volume. The volume control allows you to push the pedal up in the mix, while the gain offers additional overall power to each of the EQ bands.
This pedal can dramatically improve the sound of your amplifier as well as the tone of your guitar. Placing this pedal at the end of your chain adds power and clarity to your amp. And, with two output jacks, you can use the MXR pedal for two separate signal chains.
The MXR EQ pedal also features noise-reduction circuitry and True Bypass to ensure that it is quiet when not engaged and doesn’t add any extra hum when in use.
This is a lightweight pedal due to its aluminum housing. It also features bright LEDs on all the bands to help make it easier to see when playing in a darker venue or even in direct sunlight.
The MXR M108 will add new dimensions to your tone and sound.
4 MXR KFK1 Kerry King Signature 10-Band Graphic EQ
A beast of a pedal.
Designed in tandem with Slayer’s legendary guitarist, the MXR KFK1 is The Hulk to the M108 Bruce Banner. The Kerry King Signature features the same construction and frequency dynamics as the MXR M108 but offers more in the way of power.
This pedal can be plugged into two amps at the same time, thanks to its dual outputs. The dual outputs offer you the ability to create an unparalleled stereo amplification.
This pedal offers more in the way of balanced power across the frequencies. It can be used as a boost for when you are soloing. It can make your sustain rage and howl while roaring out more low-end from your amp than you are used to.
You can easily shape the pedal to give you that thrash scooped mid-range tone. And, the ten band equalizer provides you with plenty of headroom. It also gives you a wide range of tonal possibilities to fine tune to your liking.
Each band can cut or boost up to 12dB, and there are individual controls for volume and gain. The volume slider control allows you to set how much of the pedal signal is added. The gain control allows you to use the pedal as a boost by adding extra gain to the signal.
A great pedal for any style of music, not just thrash and metal. The variety and distinctive tone settings this pedal can produce means you will never need to worry about your sound.
5 Boss GE-7 7-Band EQ Pedal
Simple and solid.
Legendary pedal manufacturer, Boss, makes some of the most reliable pedals on the market today. Odds are you probably have at least one Boss pedal in your effects chain, most guitarists do. They have proved to be reliable and affordable pedals for all kinds of effects.
The Boss GE-7 is a simple EQ pedal that offers seven frequency bands to help you shape your tone to the way you like it. For anyone new to the world of EQ pedals the Boss GE-7 is the perfect place to start.
Each of the frequency bands can boost or cut by 15dB, which means you have lots of headroom to work with in shaping your tone. In addition to the seven bands, there is a level control slider. This control is used to set how much of the pedal you want influencing the signal.
This also means that you can use this pedal as a simple boost when placed at the end of your effects chain. In fact, this pedal is best suited at the end of your chain as a way to reduce noise or tamp down the overbearing frequencies.
This pedal makes it easy to tweak the signal to your liking, as opposed to really punching out specific frequencies. Cool off a harsh single coil or brighten up a dull humbucker with the Boss GE-7.
It is not fancy or super-powerful, nor does it have all kinds of detailed settings and controls. Instead, the Boss GE-7 is the blue-collar EQ pedal that is great for those who want more clarity and balance with their guitar sounds.
6Danelectro DJ-14C Fish & Chips 7 Band EQ Mini Effects Pedal
A mini EQ pedal that is also light on your wallet.
Danelectro claims that this is the smallest EQ pedal available, and while its size is definitely small its impact is anything but. And, a surprising amount of tonal variety can be had from this mighty micro. The Fish and Chips EQ pedal features a seven-band graphic equalizer.
You can get really nice clear low-ends that are still hefty, along with crisp and bright highs using this pedal.
You can use this pedal to bring some new life to your amplifier. The Danelectro DJ-14C can clean up the sound of your amp nicely. With 15dB of cut and boost, you have plenty of headroom. The level control slider allows you an additional boost so you can dial in how much of the pedal you want on display.
Likewise, when placed at the end of the chain it can be used a clean boost that also helps to refine the tones of your amp.
The Fish and Chips is practically noiseless. You would need to push it to its limits for there to be any noticeable hum or noise. And, the sliders are sturdy and solid. You can lock in the precise amount of each frequency you want to boost or cut.
At a price the can’t be beaten, the Danelectro Fish and Chips EQ pedal has precisely what you need to get your tone sounding the way you want.
7 Behringer EQ700 Ultimate 7-Band Graphic Equalizer
Economy price, first-class performance.
The Behringer EQ700 offers you, seven bands of equalization, to help shape your sound and reduce feedback.
Straight forward and simple to use, this pedal provides you with a wide range of frequency parameters to play with. This pedal was designed to be an affordable competitor to the leading EQ pedals that tend to cost more.
You can expect to get a solid pedal that helps clean-up your guitar as well as your amp. Each of the bands can cut or boost by 15dB allowing you to really dial in a specific tone. The level control slider works to reduce feedback when the pedal is placed at the end of the chain.
This pedal can also act as a nice little boost to your effects chain or clean channel by placing it at the end of your chain.
It can be powered by a 9V battery or with Behringer’s PSU-SB adapter.
For a price that is next to nothing, you are getting some very nice, quality sound and tone shaping without flair or flash.
8 Joyo JF-11 6 Band EQ Guitar Pedal
A sleek little pedal with tons of headroom.
The Joyo JF-11 EQ pedal features a six-band graphic equalizer that increases or decreases the gain to any of the six frequencies.
Improve the articulation of your overdrive by adding more high frequencies. Make the mid-range stand out more in the mix with a little boost. Clear up those muddy low-ends by rolling off some of the signal.
Each of the frequency bands has 18dB of cut or boost. This means you can really find your perfect tone by cutting or boosting the signal where it needs it most. But, one drawback to the 18dB range is that you will get some hiss when boosted more than 75%.
The tradeoff is that by being able to cut by 18dB you can get a really nice scooped tone, and you can fine tune it to reduce the hiss or noise from any of your other effect pedals.
This pedal features True Bypass design which means that it won’t add noise to your chain when not engaged, nor will it suck tone form your other pedals.
This pedal can be powered by a 9V battery or with a DC adapter.
With the cut and boost range so big, and the price so low this pedal is a great way for you to learn EQ basics while improving your overall sound and tone. Before possibly moving on to one of the more expensive pedals in this review.
9 Caline USA, CP-24 10-Band EQ Guitar Effect Pedal
A budget EQ pedal with a ton of potential.
Caline USA offers a ten band graphic equalizer that is inexpensive and dynamic. Each of the ten frequency bands can be boosted or cut by 12dB. With ten bands you have more control over how your tone sounds.
Clear up your low-ends or add more presence to your mid-range. The Caline CP-24 provides you with a wide range of frequency shaping ability. You can easily tweak which frequencies need adjusting.
The benefit of ten bands is that rather than boosting or cutting generalized low, mid or high frequencies, you can fine-tune the details by adjusting the low-mids or the high-mids, or the mid-highs, or the… you get the idea.
The separate gain control slide allows you to use this pedal as a boost when you place it at the end of the effects chain. You can even use this pedal to recreate the sound of a classic tube-screamer with just a few adjustments. You can also dial in a heavy scooped sound that has thickness and clarity.
Made with a sturdy aluminum alloy housing this pedal is well-built and well-designed to offer lots of dynamic and defined tones.
10 Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ Pedal
A modern and technologically advanced EQ pedal.
The Source Audio SA170 is a whole new kind of EQ pedal. It is a highly-compact model that offers hands-free operations to shape your sound.
A fully digital pedal that has four independent presets that you can program to however you like. Essentially it can save and store four distinct EQ settings of your choice that are accessed through the stompbox footswitch.
Truly a revolution in the making since this pedal allows you to have your specific tone settings ready to go at a moments notice. The convenience offered by this design is that you won’t need to adjust the pedal during your set or session. Just plug in a play.
The programmed presets also means that you can play very different styles of music during the same performance. Switch from a reggae tone to a grunge tone with the tap of your foot.
The Sound Audio EQ pedal features seven frequency bands, each with 18dB of cut and boost. This makes the SA170 a very powerful and dynamic EQ pedal. And, as a digital pedal Sound Audio has incorporated a MIDI input jack, so you can use it with synths and keyboards as well as guitars.
The controls used to program your personal presets are easy to understand and set up. There are no sliders like you would find on most graphic EQ pedals. Instead, there is one knob to set the level for each frequency band. The toggle buttons move between each band. Simply select and save as you see fit.
Sound Audio has upped the game for EQ pedals with the SA170. The ability to quickly and easily jump from one tone to another is something experienced musicians of all types can appreciate.
Best EQ Pedals Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have had the chance to go over the best EQ pedals on the market, let’s take a moment to offer a few more tips before you buy one.
All Creatures Big and Small
When it comes to EQ pedals the most important thing to remember is that they can change the sound a lot or just a little.
Fine-tuning your tone may only need the slightest adjustment to get your perfect sound. If this is the case, a simplified graphical EQ pedal is going to suit you just fine.
On the other hand, you may be a person who is looking to use a wide range of frequency variations. In which case, you will need something with greater frequency range and amounts that can be boosted or cut.
We mention this because some EQ pedals are meant for a simple clean-up of the guitar or amp tone and sound. Other pedals are meant for more expressive tonal expressions. The kind of tone and sound augmentation you want should help you to decide which EQ pedal is right for you.
The cheaper, more pared-down EQ pedals will work great to bring out the natural tone of your amp and/or guitar.
Larger, more expensive EQ pedals are what more advanced players will find most useful.
So, What Are The Best EQ Pedals?
All of the pedals we reviewed today are excellent products. Each will do a good job of enhancing your tone and providing new dynamics to your playing.
However, we can only choose one for the best EQ pedal, and that is the…
This pedal just has it all. Ten bands mean you have lots of tone variation to shape. 12dB gives you plenty of power to use it as a pure boost pedal and really define your tone.
The manufacturing is superb, and it has True Bypass to ensure it’s noiseless and won’t suck any tone from the other effects in your chain. It is easy to use, so EQ newbies will quickly grasp how the pedal works on their sound.
Dynamic and detailed this pedal will help ensure your sound gets the proper attention it deserves.
Hopefully, this has helped you to come to a decision on which is the best Q pedal for you. With the right EQ pedal, you can be certain that your guitar and amp will have newfound energy and clarity that will get you the sound you love so much.