Best Guitar EQ Pedals – 2019 Ultimate Review

EQ Pedals are somewhat under-rated. If you know how to use it, you can achieve the sound you are looking for.

Here are some insights into what an EQ pedal is, how it works, and how to make the best out of it.

We also made a list with reviews on the best EQ pedals on the market right now. 

Comparison Chart of the Best EQ Pedals

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Empress ParaEq with Boost

  • Best guitar EQ pedal overall
  • Enhanced control and sound
  • True bypass not affecting signal when disengaged
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EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job EQ and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Easy to use
  • Simple and effective
  • Works great with vintage amps
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MXR M108S

  • Best guitar EQ pedal for the money
  • Ten different frequencies +/- 10 dB
  • Lightweight, highly visible and two outputs for two signal chains
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BOSS Compact Guitar Pedal (GE-7)

  • Eliminate undesired feedback
  • Best guitar EQ pedal for acoustic guitar
  • Seven bands of EQ from 100Hz to 6.4kHz
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Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver V2 DI

  • Faithfully emulates an amp
  • Best Parametric EQ Guitar Pedal
  • Highly versatile with clean sounds
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What is an EQ Pedal?

An EQ Pedal – or equalizer pedal – is used to define where specific frequencies are placed on the spectrum and allow you to boost or cut them as desired. Therefore, an EQ pedal will allow you to manage the quality of the sounds your guitar makes. 

More simply, an EQ pedal will allow you to shape the sounds, allowing you endless options. You can use EQ pedals to make your performance stand out by tweaking the sounds using your creativity and imagination. 

How Does an EQ Pedal Work?

As discussed, equalizer pedals allow you to control the frequencies of the sound. A guitar usually has sound frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, which is quite a wide range. The pedal will let you twist the frequencies within the specified bandwidth. 

This makes an EQ pedal quite an asset for your guitar. For instance, if you manipulate frequencies between 80-250Hz, this means that you change the lows; the mid-range is between 250-800Hz approximately, and the top ones, where most of the sounds are more than 5kHz. 

How to Choose an EQ Pedal

Here are some considerations you should keep in mind when making a decision about your future EQ pedal: price range, what you aim to achieve with your EQ pedal, and which type is the best for you, graphic or parametric. 

Price Range

Maybe the most important aspect is the budget range. If you are a beginner, you should start your adventure by using some of the simpler models which come with an attractive price point. But no matter what your budget is, our range of chosen products below will most likely offer you a great option. 

Purpose

It also depends on your playing experience, venues, and others. For instance, if you are a gigging musician, you might want to consider a product that has bright LED lights to allow you to see your pedal in the strong sunlight, or even on the scene. Alternatively, you can consider a model without bright lights if you often play on a darkened stage. Other aspects should also include whether you want a lightweight EQ pedal for easy travel or a bulkier, more complex model. 

Graphic vs. Parametric

A graphic EQ pedal is one that comes with sliders, while parametric comes with knobs. The latter is more sophisticated, allowing you to control the frequencies and which ones to cut and boost. 

Review of the Best EQ Pedals

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best guitar EQ pedals and what they have on offer.

Empress ParaEq with Boost

PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Large frequency range
  • Gives incredibly rich tones
  • Noiseless operation and high usability
  • Extremely versatile, can be placed anywhere in the chain

CONS

  • Pricey

What Recent Buyers Report

This great EQ pedal is impressive anywhere in the effect chain, either in the front, which will reduce the noise other pedals might make, or you can place it at the end if you are looking for some tone shaping. It is versatile, due to the three EQ intervals.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This EQ Pedal is our top choice on this list for good reasons. It is not only noise-free, but it also ensures higher control without fading out the natural tones of your instrument. Additionally, you can even cut out some of the other pedals’ noises if you place it in front of your chain.

Who Will Use This Most

Any guitar player can benefit from this great EQ pedal. It is incredibly versatile, allowing you to boost your instrument’s tones and enrich them. The sound quality is amazing, with warm and thick notes, but also extremely clear. This is one of the golden standards of EQ pedals.

Bottom Line

Overall, any needs you might have, this Empress pedal is the top product among numerous other EQ pedals on the market. It is pricier than other options, but you should definitely give it a try. The versatility and high quality of this product, all embedded in a noiseless EQ pedal will definitely astonish you.

EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job EQ and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Enhanced control over the sounds
  • Works amazingly well with vintage tones
  • Sweeten the tones of your instrument
  • Extremely versatile and enhanced controls

CONS

  • Not as affordable as similar products

What Recent Buyers Report

The best feature of this EarthQuaker Pedal is its versatility and coverage for a vast range of frequencies. It offers enhanced control over your instrument and it is easy to use and extremely quiet compared to other products. It is a real tone sweetener!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is our runner up for the best tone enhancement pedal out there. It is perfectly designed to cover a wide range of frequencies, and it can handle literally any instrument and music genre. It adds thickness and enhances the quality of any style.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great addition to any player; it suits any playstyle and any music genre. If you are looking for a change, this pedal is excellent on the front of your chain, altering the entire character of your instrument. Great controls for treble, bass, level, and mid.

Bottom Line

Overall, it is difficult to find any quirks to this pedal. Extremely easy to use, this pedal also comes with noiseless operation and allows you to sculpt the tones of your instrument the way you desire with no restraints. This premium pedal is a must-have for any player.

MXR M108S Ten Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Best value for money
  • Ten different frequencies
  • Increased headroom and true bypass switching
  • Lightweight and great for the traveling musician
  • High visibility, even in the direct light due to LEDs

CONS

  • Not as quiet as other products
  • Might need a special adapter for it
  • Some might dislike the brightness of the LED lights (blinding on dark stages)

What Recent Buyers Report

This EQ pedal is great for the money, performs well, and it is long-lasting. It definitely improves the sound quality, and it is easy to use. On the other hand, it might not be suitable for performers on dark stages because the LED lights are quite bright.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This MXR EQ pedal is our top choice regarding the price/quality ratio. It can tap into 10 different frequencies up to approximately 12 dB. It is a great option for any environment – even in direct sunlight, due to the high visibility offered by several LEDs. Additionally, it comes with two outputs for two different signal chains and it has true bypass switching.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a gigging musician or a live performer, this pedal is a great addition to your gear. It is lightweight and includes LED lights for high visibility, even under the direct sunlight. This is the tool for sculpting the sound to reach your highest standards.

Bottom Line

Overall, the MXR Ten Band EQ is an excellent accessory if you are looking for noise reduction, lightweight pedal ready for easy transport, and true bypass switching. It comes with great controls and carefully chosen ten different frequencies, allowing you to create an earth-shaking performance.

Best for Acoustic Guitar:
BOSS Compact Guitar Pedal (GE-7)

BOSS Seven-Band Graphic Equalizer Guitar Pedal (GE-7)

PROS

  • Long-lasting, sturdy design
  • Transparent when not in use
  • Great to make the tone stand out
  • Seven frequency bands with 15 dB in either direction
  • Highly versatile and easy to adapt according to venue size and purpose

CONS

  • Might need a noise suppressor
  • Not for drastic variances in the band
  • Does not perform great for metal or hard rock

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal works great for acoustic guitars. The best use of the accessory is to cut the undesired frequencies and then compensate using the level slider if you notice any drops in the volume. Once you learn how to use it, it can be a real treasure in your signal chain.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

This EQ pedal is our top choice for acoustic guitars. This is one of the best investments you can make as a guitar player. It easily allows you to cut any frequencies which fade your desired tones, vocals, or the clarity of other instruments. Overall, it is a good addition to your signal chain.

​Who Will Use This Most

If you are a live performer, you will find this pedal to be a real lifesaver. As you play in smaller venues and you have a bass or midrange noise which drowns all the vocals or instruments’ clarity, all you need is to clean up your tone. Cut the undesired low end and boost the high end for improved clarity.

Bottom Line

You might not need an EQ pedal all the time, but purchasing this one will definitely take your performance to the next level. It is highly affordable, durable, and easy to use. You can balance the sounds, eliminate undesired frequencies, and boost those that will make the audience gasp in awe.

Best Parametric EQ Guitar Pedal:
Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver V2 DI

Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver DI Preamp Pedal V2

PROS

  • Simplicity and ease of use
  • High quality, long-lasting build
  • Ideal accessory for music recording
  • High versatility and a wide range of options
  • Cleans the sounds and maintains instrument integrity

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • Poor customer service
  • Similar to an amp simulator, but better only as a direct box with active EQ

What Recent Buyers Report

This product comes with a great price point, and it closely emulates a real amp. Extremely easy to use; it is a great addition if you love your clean sounds. It is a true diamond for any guitar, especially acoustic ones. Additionally, it is easy to use, and it also has an easy to access battery compartment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Simple and easy to use, this active direct box with sweepable semi-parametric EQ is a great accessory. It has a mid-shift knob, rumble filter switch, blend knob, and air switch. The wide versatility ensures that you achieve any range of tones while maintaining the full integrity of the instrument.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are more into recording, this product offers a great deal for you. You can use it for bass, acoustic guitar or an electric guitar to enhance the quality of your signal for recording. It comes with low noise and clean sounds.

Bottom Line

Overall, Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver V2 DI is a great accessory for your instrument. It helps you achieve the performance you desire, enhances, and cleans the sounds, and it is extremely easy to use. It is especially recommended for recording, but its enhanced versatility makes it a competitive option for any other musical activity.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Most, if not all, of these products sound great. They are highly versatile, have good quality, and they offer quite varied opportunities. Here are some aspects you should keep in mind before purchasing or reading through this review:

Trade-Offs

One aspect is that, while we did pick some of the great options on the market, all EQ pedals come with some trade-off if you don’t want to go for our top choices. For instance, a lower price range for an EQ pedal might also mean that you kind of need to invest in a good quality noise suppressor, so a lower price range is not really your best friend. 

Ease of Use

The ease of use is most likely compromised if you choose a more versatile and complex product. If you haven’t used one before, keep in mind that you need to practice with your EQ pedal until you find what works best for you. 

Benefits of EQ Pedals

Bottom line, keep your expectations grounded in reality. If you want to improve the performance, here’s in short what you should expect when using an EQ pedal: curb your lows if they clash with the drums/bass in a band, remove the nasal frequencies from upper mid-range, add clarity and shape the tone. 

How to Use an EQ Pedal

Here is a short step-by-step guide on how to use your EQ pedal:

  1. The first step is to decide whether the pedal goes in the signal chain, before or after the drive. Ideally, explore with both to find out what works best for you. 

  2. Make sure all knobs/sliders are firstly at zero. 

  3. Start from the beginning - that would be the bass or the lows. This is the basis of your sound, and you could try to boost the lows for punchier sounds. If your equipment has any weaknesses in this area, this is a good opportunity to make up for it.

  4. The next step is the high end – this will make a sharper difference in your performance because the higher sounds are easier to perceive for human ears. The treble is what makes the sounds crunchy or sharp. Huge increases in this area might also amplify any buzzing/noises you might have.

  5. Go for the lower mids at the beginning – which are somewhere between 400 and 1000 Hz. If tweaked appropriately, they can enhance what you changed earlier with your bass. 

  6. Finally, change your high mids to slightly match your treble and establish the amount of sharpness you want to achieve. 

Conclusion

Overall, EQ pedals can definitely take your performance up a notch. All you need to do is choose the best option for you and start searching for your unique sounds. They allow you to tweak your performance significantly, so make sure you take it step-by-step until you find out what works best for you.