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EQ - Parametric or Graphic "best" for bass.


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I was playing my upright tonight. I have been using a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ as a "preamp" before my head. For kicks, I tried running right to my PreSonus Blue Max compressor to my head - skipping the built in preamp/compressor/5 band graphic EQ on the Fishman. It sounded good except I found that the 3 band EQ on my SWR head (Bass 350) wasn't quite enough to "dial out" some offending frequencies.


If I could get by without the Fishman, that would be great. I'm thinking that maybe a little outboard EQ is all I need to "tweak" my upright a bit. I don't want a rack unit. I'm quite happy with my PreSonus compressor, so I am looking at the PreSonus EQ3 parametric EQ.


Am I better off with a parametric EQ or would a graphic be better. I wasn't all that thrilled with the graphic on my Fishman. Any "half-rack" or pedal units I should consider?

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I don't think either is "best". I used to not like graphic EQs for bass, and then I played thru a PJB head w/ graphic EQ and found it quite musical.


Also, your SWR has a semi-parametric EQ. If it were fully parametric you could control the Q as well -- that is, the width of the frequency band affected. I think something like the SWR Grand Prix preamp has a nice semi-parametric EQ because it has two midrange bands. Eden heads often have 3 bands of semi-parametric midrange. The iAmp 800 also has a sweet EQ w/ two bands of midrange and some limited control of the Q (1/2 or full octave).


Sooooo, there's more going on than simply a graphic vs. parametric difference that contributes to the quality (i.e., musicality and frequency targeting power) of an EQ section.






Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Doesn't the Fishman front end also do an impedance matching thing? If you are not using it, the pickup may be loaded down by the impedance mismatch, and the tone might change, usually for the worse.


Since it is an upright.... have you changed the strings recently? Might take away the need to buy an eq. (My buds with uprights never change the strings..... why is that?)


Few people understand the difference between the two types of eqs, the consequences for using either, or what the real range of their instrument is.


One would hope that the response of your rig is not so inconsistent as to require the fine notch capabilities of a parametric. A multiband graphic should do fine. At the same time, the phase distortion of a graphic may be undesirable, and a parametric would have less of this.


So whichever one you are comfortable with will really work, and either should work as well as the other one.


As a sound guy, I like to hear a nice crisp bass, with a full but not muddy bottom, clean and present lower mids, and a smooth top to add the detail. Sometimes I get some smileyface eq thing with a lot of mud, a lot of harsh top, and no mid bass tones, or all low end mush with no ability to discern individual notes. You know, the kind of sound that, no matter how much the player moves his hands, it sounds like he is playing the same note?


My preference is that everybody works from a simple place ... less is more. If your bass, bass head, and speakers are well designed, eq should not be needed. Fewer things in the signal path yields a better product.


But if having an eq gives you a comfortable feeling, look for a clean one that is responsive and doesn't put a veil over your signal.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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For me, the most practical and variable solution would be to have a three band fully parametric equalizer.


I don't have one of these, maybe someday when the roadies show up, they'll bring it. ;)


I do have SWR amps with semi parametric eq's.


As I have mentioned in another thread, I once owned a 31 band graphic eq.

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You mentioned trying to tone down an offending freq.


Parametric is the way to go. First thing I do in a room is boost/sweep between 400Hz and 100Hz and find the room or stage's crud. Using a narrow band to cut it out. I find that I can run my rig almost flat once this is done.



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I am leaning to the PreSonus EQ3B. Fully parametric 3 band EQ. $100. I was concerned about the impedance thing, which is why I bought the Fishman. But after running my upright through the SWR and getting as good or better sound than with the Fishman, I think it's safe.


I agree, less is more. Though I'd be adding an EQ, I'd be eliminating a preamp. I think using just my SWR preamp and EQ is less than using the Fishman pre and the SWR pre.

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Originally posted by jpmiii:

All things being equal (quality of design) a parametric will be more useful then a graphic eq but the learning curve on a parametric is higher.

What he said.

Once you understand it, it makes so much sense (parametric), but I fumbled around for years before it truly sunk in with me.

But then again, I still glue my tires on my bike, so things take awhile to sink in for me! :D;)

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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This is very much a "Ford vs. Chevy" matter of opinion type thing, but I much prefer a parametric (or at least semi-parametric) EQ if it has enough bands (and preferable the scales overlap ever so slightly). IMHO, you can dial in a much better curve with a parametric than you can with a graphic, BUT the parametric will take you a lot longer to do it. The benefit of a parametric that has at least 3 or 4 bands is that you can make the curve look like just about anything you want (including the center frequency and Q value) with a reasonable number of parametric bands. A parametric is more difficult to set right...with a graphic EQ you get an instant picture of what the EQ curve looks like. Without knowing what you're looking for, you can get it close to what you want by mere trial and error. With a parametric, you actually have to understand what you're doing and what you're trying to accomplish...if you do, then the results you get will be better than with a graphic. If you don't, you'll end up throwing it through a window. IMHO, of course. :thu: Based on your posts that I've read, I'd say you know what you're doing...go with a parametric.




Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006


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