We do get quite a lot of e-mails from folks asking about how they should set their tone controls on their amps and/or pedals. In fact, this "how should I set things?" question is the number one question we get here.
As a result, I thought the time was right to discuss equalization in general and offer some EQ tips. Much of this information comes from my own years of trial and error as well as from the valued insight of others. Even all these years later, I continue to learn from various people, mostly on the Internet these days, and of course I still experiment. I hope you find this information useful!
As most LegendaryTones readers know, we’re an information site dedicated to writing features, tips, and artist profiles, all in the name of great guitar tone. But what some of you may not know is that we introduced our first product, the Time Machine Boost, a little over two years ago. And other than a banner ad on the front home page in the bottom left corner, we’ve made sure that we would never use the site for overdoing the promotion of the Time Machine Boost, and we still will not.
However, with that said, there are quite a few misconceptions about how boosts work and what they are used for versus an overdrive stompbox for example. I’ve received many e-mails asking questions about boosting applications and have replied to all of them. When the last question came in that asked why they couldn’t just usual a volume pedal instead of a boost, that’s when I decided to finally take this subject and put it all into the context of an article.
During the past few years, there has been a resurgence in the interest of vintage gear of all types, not only guitars and amplifiers, but even effect pedals. In the case of effect pedals, this is a most interesting phenomenon because during the ‘80s, when digital state-of-the-art rack systems were in vogue, effect pedals were basically considered “old junk.” Regardless, with so much interest in the market for vintage tones and gear, it was a no-brainer for companies to seek to fulfill the demand by creating reissues. And of course, like anything else, some of these recreations were built more accurately and better than others.
I’ll admit I really lagged on doing a feature on pickups. It’s so much easier to just plug in a pedal, or play through an amp, etc. rather than having to go through the process of installing pickups with all the guitar dismantling, the soldering and even restringing of the guitar which isn’t something I’m ever thrilled to do. In any case, I knew that I eventually would have to take a look at some pickups so I made a call to premier pickup maker Seymour Duncan first.