As a musician, you need to understand that your primary goal is not to sound like another player. Your main goal, however, should be to develop a more professional sound and one that expresses your musicality.
When you were a beginner, perhaps the only thing that you needed for a start was a guitar. But now, as you become a seasoned player, you will notice that you need more than just an instrument. You need a quality effects pedal.
If you are using an analog effects pedal, this article is for you. While you build your pedalboard, most people will consider adding pedals that change the entire effect. That includes distortion pedals, overdrive, chorus, flanger, and many others.
Another unit you should add to your rig is an EQ pedal. Most people think that their amplifier suffices without an EQ pedal. But what these pedals do is crank up the effects, the volume, and make it sound more balanced even when you are using a guitar that is not loud enough. Besides, even though your amplifier can handle that, this EQ pedal can do much more than you would expect.
And so, you require one for your guitar rig.
On the other hand, with so many brands available, which one should you choose?
First, it depends with your need. But to help you choose the next time you are out there shopping, we will highlight the ten best EQ pedals in the market in this article. So let’s jump right into it.
Top 10 Best EQ Pedals 2021 Reviews
1. BOSS GE-7 EQ Guitar Pedal
If you are an audiophile, then you already have an idea of the BOSS brand. The GE-7 lies at the top of the list because of the different added tonal qualities that you will experience when you add this to your guitar rig.
Primarily, the GE-7 is lightweight and takes up little space on your pedalboard. It is three inches in size and comes with a seven-band graphic interface, each ranging within the 100 Hz to 6.4 kHz.
Like other BOSS pedals, the toggle switch is one that offers a vast surface area. It also comes with an adapter port, a battery compartment, and both output and input ports.
Guitarists who would like to achieve clarity on their sound rig would need this EQ pedal. It takes your rig to the next level by adding richness to your frequencies, and it eliminates any extra noises.
With this pedal, you can be sure of getting a punchier sound and balanced signals as long as you set the bands correctly.
With the quality of sound it provides, the GE-7 is a considerable investment, given that it can be a bit pricey. As long as you place it appropriately in your chain, this guitar will deliver excellence, whether you are suing a muddy humbucker or a harsh single-coil guitar.
The pedal also comes in handy for live performances. You will be able to produce quality sound during a recording as well.
2. Behringer EQ700 Graphic Equalizer
For those players who need a quick replacement EQ pedal, then the EQ700 is the pedal to buy. It is affordable, at least for most players. And it comes with outstanding qualities, which is why it ranks second.
The EQ700 features seven bands, which range from 100 Hz to 6.4 kHz, just like the BOSS GE-7.
It also comes with a level band, which offers a 15 dB boost.
Its casing is plastic; it also comes with a battery compartment and an adapter port. If you want to use an adapter, you can buy a 9V DC adapter separately.
Assume that you buy an instrument that has a single coil or humbucker pickup. You will notice that whenever you are on stage, you may get lost in the entire mix. But when you add this pedal to your rig, you will never be the same again.
You will immediately give life to your guitar, and you will achieve balanced and bright tones that you would not deliver without one. You will also blend in with other instruments.
We tested this EQ pedal to find out which instruments work best with it. It is a guitar pedal, but it offers a wide range of frequency equalization for both electric and acoustic guitars. The EQ pedal is also easy to use. It comes with an LED light to let you know when it is on and when it is not functioning.
Besides that, if you are performing live, you may require this if you will need to switch between instruments to another within a song. It brings out that balance and people will not the difference when you change from one guitar to another.
3. Caline USA, CP-24 EQ equalizer
Graphic equalizers are essential for musicians who want a wide range to their frequencies. With the CP-24, this is what you get.
The CP-24 is quite light and does not occupy much of your pedalboard space. It also comes with an aluminum case, ten bands, and on and off latch footswitch.
Note that the pedal does not have a battery compartment; however, a power adapter is available for you to play out of the box.
Regardless of its cost, this brand did not compromise on the construction and the sound produced.
With the ten bands available, you have a wide range of tweaking options. Also, the brand provides a bypass design, which ensures that you do not lose any tones along the way.
The CP-24 is useable with different stringed instruments. You can use it with your electric instrument. We were also shocked to discover that bass guitars also depend on this pedal for their rig.
Apart from that, the pedal is useful in different settings, including home practices. You can use it in a live performance setting. And if you are in a dim-lit room, the light on the bands is useful because they provide an easy way to navigate each control.
4. MXR M108S EQ Guitar Effects Pedal
If you would like an EQ pedal that fits into any setting, MXR M108S should be something you need to think of buying. The pedal comes with exciting new features that most pedals within its price range fail to deliver.
Right out of the box, you will find a ten band EQ with an aluminum casing. The case is durable, and if you have used a unit with this material before, you can be using it for months.
The control panel features up to 12 bands. It has separate volume and gains volume bands, and up to ten frequency bands for bass, mids, and treble. With them, you can boost or cut the sound up to +12 to -12.
Other qualities include two output ports, one input port, and a power adapter.
Cranking up your humbucker or single-coil guitars is now going to be easy. With the ten bands available, you get a wide range of frequency options to bring balance to each song. It also ensures that your guitar will sound brighter and rich in tone.
If you are the kind of person that loves music and style, then the MXR M108S lives up to your expectations. Primarily, each band has LED lighting. What do they do? They offer visibility in a dark room as well as when you are playing under the sun.
They also increase the aesthetic. As in, your rig will look different.
Not only can you use it for your guitar, but also I have seen people online connect this equalizer with their bass guitars. That also means you can use it with your synth.
5. Empress ParaEq
If you have been playing guitar for a long time, then you already know that getting a noiseless EQ pedal is somehow tricky. But we have one for you. We found the Empress ParaEq EQ pedal and thought that it would be great to add to your rig.
Primarily, the brand did not compromise on its construction. Buyers who have experience with this unit commend its robust casing, which offers a lot of headroom.
On the top, you will find different knobs and switches to control your low, mid, and high frequencies. It also features a boost switch, which offers up to 30 dB of sound. The boost is twice louder than the usual band.
It also comes with a true Bypass, output and input ports, and a power adapter port.
Using an amplifier to equalize the sound is not something a professional would love. Sometimes, they do not offer what you would like to hear. Therefore, you can place the Empress ParaEq pedal as a signal path between the amp and the rest of the chain.
Another fascinating feature is that this pedal can reduce noises from the rest of the pedals in your rig.
Typically, all the other switches provide up to 15 dB of sound. If you would like the pedal to be a bit louder, you can step on the boost switch to get that pump on the volume. The sound remains uncompromised even at this level.
6. JOYO JF-11 EQ Guitar Pedal
For guitar players who would like a pedal that is quiet and affordable, then the JOYO JF-11 would be a perfect choice for you. The EQ pedal offers a fantastic equalizing platform for your rig, regardless of where it sits in the chain.
Generally, the guitar pedal is small but has a compact design. It features an aluminum casing, which makes it sturdy and durable.
The headroom consists of six bands. Each offers up to 18 dB+-, and that can be quite loud. It also has a true bypass.
You can use either a power adapter or a battery to power the amp, which the manufacturer provides in the package.
Generally, the pedal is easy to use. It can sit anywhere in the chain. Each band adds a separate quality and boosts to your playing. For instance, if you place it next to your distortion pedal, it will act as its equalizer.
By tweaking the bands individually, you will notice that each has an effect when you tweak it.
The bypass is quiet. When it is off, the signal path remains clean.
The JOYO JF-11 EQ Guitar Pedal offers the rig qualities that you would never have if you relied on your amplifier’s equalizer. It can be the best solution to creating clean sounds on your guitar, regardless of the type.
With its price, you can be sure that this pedal truly delivers.
7. Danelectro DJ-14C EQ Mini Effects Pedal
Assuming you are putting up a guitar rig for your first time. You may need an EQ pedal that is budget-friendly before investing in something pricey. Well, we present to you the Danelectro DJ-14C mini effects pedal.
The EQ pedal presents a simple design. Nothing seems complicated, and any beginner would have an easy time navigating it.
It is a small pedal, and it is a perfect addition for people who do not have a lot of space on the pedalboard. The casing is plastic, and offers up to seven bands, ranging from 100 Hz to 6.4 kHz.
You can power the EQ using the 1.9 v batteries or the power supply adapter.
The EQ pedal provides precise frequencies for any guitar rig. Each band offers a distinct 15 dB, cut or boost. It can be loud. Besides that, the pedal is noise-free.
First, the EQ pedal sits anywhere on your rig. It is a user-friendly pedal. A beginner can use this pedal to learn how to balance the tones coming from his guitar before he or she can go for the pricey pedals.
The pedal is ideal in any setting, from live performances to home setups and studios.
8. Biyang EQ-7 EQ Pedal
Although not a common household name, the Biyang EQ-7 presents players with a unit that provides clarity in terms of tone and design. With this pedal, you have many tonalities to explore.
Compared to other pedals in its price range, the Biyang EQ-7 is quite stable. It provides a metal casing, a stainless steel panel, and seven bands that offers up to 17 dB for cut and boost.
At the bottom of the panel, you will find a true bypass whose function is to ensure that there is no noise when you switch off the pedal.
The EQ pedal is ready to play right from the box. You do not need to fix or upgrade anything.
During testing, we noticed that each of the seven bands had a pronounced quality when you boost or cut it. Additionally, the level band also offered a more transparent sound to your guitar.
Overall, the pedal provides a more vibrant tonal quality to fit any playing style.
The effect pedal is easy to use, and if you are building your rig for the first time, this pedal sits anywhere in the guitar rig. You can also use it in the dark since each band has a red LED lighting that provides visibility in such environments.
9. JHS Haunting Mids EQ Pedal
With the JHS haunting Mids, your solos are never going to be the same. Although this model was out of the market, public demand made the JHS brand resurrected it from the dead.
The EQ pedal has a compact design. It features a black casing with volume, mids, and sweep knobs. A Lo/Hi toggle switch and a true bypass are also available.
We believe that the manufacturer had a metal guitarist in mind when coming up with this pedal since there is a ghost logo in between the bypass and the Lo/Hi toggle.
Regardless of how simple this pedal is, it offers more than what you think. You can achieve rich tones to fit your needs. However, we find that this instrument is suitable for rigs that lack a mid-range. As in, you will need it to pump up your mid frequencies if you more of that require that in your chain.
The volume knob controls the entire boost or cuts signal, while the sweep control affects the mid-range tones individually.
Note that the volume can offer up to 83 dB in the signal path. Also, the sweepable center offers 400 Hz to 7.5 kHz, and it can boost the volume up to 15 dB-+.
The JHS is an excellent EQ pedal for guitarists who want a boost for their licks and riffs. Lead guitarists can place this pedal next to their distortion pedals to provide the mid frequencies, which most of them lack. They also ensure that the sound is louder and balanced.
10. BOSS EQ-200 Graphic Equalizer
If you would like a modern graphic equalizer for your rig, then here is the BOSS EQ-200. The pedal is unique in terms of the qualities it offers, and the tonal richness you can achieve with this unit is quite breathtaking.
At first glance, this pedal can be quite intimidating. But that should not scare you. It provides ten bands, each offering up to 15 dB boost or cut. You will also find a level channel, an LCD screen, four memory storages, a bypass, and a memory switch on the top panel.
The pedal offers players something extra in terms of storing their favorite presets for later use. It saves you time, and instead of having to set new ones during live performances, you can switch between them, depending on the sound you want to achieve.
The EQ200 has a lot to offer in terms of connecting other amps and pedals to it. At the front, you will find two inputs and two output ports. It also provides enough room to tame your rig in a modern way.
Further, this pedal is easy to use since it is programmable. That is something that most brands fail to offer.
Best EQ Pedals Buying Guide
As a guitarist, what is the worst thing that could happen on stage?
Is it lack of lighting, or is it a broken string, or what?
For years, one of the things that distinguish an excellent performance is when a guitarist can hear him or herself, especially when he or she is in a band setting. That is one.
The second one is when his or her guitar sounds the way he or she wants. For him to get this sound, most guitarists add an EQ pedal to their rig. It helps you equalize your sound to brighten the weak signals from your guitar or rig.
So, what should you consider when buying an EQ pedal? We’ll be tackling that question in this article. Be sure to stick to around until the end.
Size of your pedalboard
Before anything else, the first thing that comes into play is the size of your pedalboard. If you have a small space left on the rig, you’ll have to buy a smaller EQ pedal. If your pedalboard is big enough to occupy a larger EQ pedal, going for one with a large surface area is a viable decision.
Whether it’s small or big does not matter. What matters is if the pedal itself suits your needs perfectly.
The reason is that there are small EQ pedals out there that may operate better than the larger versions.
How much would you like to spend?
As usual, the budget is an essential aspect of any musician. EQ pedals come at different sizes, shapes, and prices. Therefore, for you to get a quality pedal, you have to be ready to invest. And note that I am not saying that you should only go for the expensive ones, no.
Some brands manufacture low-end pedals that operate quite well. Therefore, when it comes to budget, what you should consider first is what your needs are. That is a rule of thumb.
The EQ pedal’s headroom
The best EQ pedals bring balance to the entire output of your rig. Talk of tone shaping, making sure that the lows, the highs, the mids are audible, and bringing the right kind of brightness that your guitar needs.
So what are some of the things you should check when looking at this?
First, check the number of bands the pedal provides. Having more bands doesn’t mean that it’s better than the one that has fewer. It only means that you have more options to tweak and blend the sound.
The second thing you should check is the headroom. Headroom refers to high or low the EQ pedal can boost the sound. Manufacturers provide this in terms of kHz, and you should see at the top and bottom of each band.
It’s also nice to test the pedal to see if it brings some feedback when loud. If it does, then you will have problems when you fix it to your rig.
How the pedal operates
You should be able to answer this question upfront because it matters. Get to know if you’ll need to buy a battery or a power supply adapter. Both have their pros and cons.
For instance, battery operated pedals mean that you have to change it, especially if it’s not rechargeable. Some musicians find it costly, by the way. It may also be a good alternative if the pedal is not compatible with your pedalboard’s power supply unit.
Also, other than the EQ bands get to know what other qualities this pedal has. For example, the bypass function lets you bypass it when you want it to remain on during a performance. Some EQ pedals also have digital qualities that you may also like.
Last But Not Least…
Choosing your EQ pedal can be that easy. Just make sure that you review different EQ pedals from different brands, get to know what they can bring to your rig, and if it’s possible, test them.
It’s also good to consider its physical structure. EQ pedals that look good will add more color to the pedalboard, and you’ll look professional when using it.
And finally, get to know how easy it is to use it. It may take some time to understand what effect each band brings to your signal.
Now you know what you are going to be looking for the next time you are out shopping for an EQ pedal. With this list, you are sure that you will have an easy time choosing what EQ pedal fits you best.
In this article, we only highlighted the best EQ pedals for your guitar. Not all pedals highlighted are ideal for bass guitars. Make sure you note that. Bass EQ pedals will only boost frequencies for the bass guitar since the instrument offers low frequencies mostly. For guitar pedals, an excellent EQ pedal will provide a wide range of mids, lows, and highs to brighten your guitar frequencies.
The BOSS GE-7 EQ Guitar Pedal is our top pick. It comes from a reputable brand. And with the diverse qualities it brings to your rig, this EQ pedal is the bomb.