The most important thing for a bassist is making sure your tone is exactly how you intend it to be. Your choice of bass and amplifier will impact this, but EQ pedals are the most effective way to shape the output of your instrument.
Some Bass EQ pedals provide more options than others, but they all essentially have the same purpose. In this list of the best equalizer pedals for bass guitar, I’ll describe all of the features of the pedals so you can choose which ones you need to enhance your bass guitar's tone.
The Best EQ Pedals for Bass Guitar
The EQ2 pedal by Source Audio provides you with 10 adjustable bands of EQ and as a result, you gain complete control over the frequency output of your bass guitar. With modern perks such as a true stereo signal path and preset saving capabilities, this could be a worthy addition to your rig.
The EQ2 Programmable Equalizer gives you up to 12 decibels of boost for your clean channel. This is very useful for the points during a set when your bass playing becomes the centerpiece of a song.
Another noteworthy feature of the EQ2 pedal is its capacity to save presets. Once you’ve successfully tweaked the EQ parameters and found the sound you desire, you can then store the exact settings in one of the eight recallable preset spaces.
There's also the capacity to connect via MIDI to this bass EQ pedal, which allows you to switch between 128 presets using your preferred DAW such as Ableton or Logic. You also get a chromatic tuner, noise and gate limiter, graphic EQ display, and free software.
2. Boss EQ-200
The EQ-200 is Boss's flagship Equalization pedal. With a manual, hands-on design, and three separate frequency range settings, this is a highly versatile graphic equalizer that is equally suited to bass, keyboards, and electric guitars.
The EQ-200 is based upon dual EQs which can be used for various purposes. You can configure the EQ for stereo, parallel operation, series, or using the insert function you can add other FX pedals into the pre or post-equalization process.
Each band of EQs is capable of 15db boost or cut, so you could technically use the EQ-200 is a simple volume booster as well as an EQ pedal. With four dedicated memory slots, you can store your most frequently used settings with ease.
The thing that makes the Boss EQ-200 stand out is the detailed frequency values that it makes accessible. Instead of having set ranges like most EQ pedals, this pedal lets you select from 30Hz – 12.8kHz, 32Hz – 16 kHz, or 28Hz – 14kHz. This makes it capable of processing a range of instruments or effects.
3. MXR M108S
Another high quality 10-slider bass EQ pedal is the M108S by MXR. With frequency bands that have been carefully selected and a 12db boost or cut, this offering allows you to optimize your sound in any acoustic environment.
The M108S has additional gain and volume sliders so you can use it as a detailed boost pedal too. With two outputs, it's the perfect solution for a dual-amplifier setup, allowing you to split the signal from your dry and effects channels then treat them with EQ individually.
Made from durable aluminum housing, this MXR pedal will have no issues with the bumps and scrapes of playing gigs. It allows you to quickly and easily shape the frequency response of your bass guitar.
The sliders are fitted with bright LED light indicators so that you can see which frequencies you are adjusting when on stage. With circuitry designed to produce a low-noise output and true bypass switching, the M108S will slot nicely onto your pedalboard.
Next up on our list of the best bass EQ pedals, we have the BEQ700 from renowned budget audio gear manufacturers, Behringer. If you’re looking for a solid and reliable graphic equalizer on a tight budget, this 7-band EQ provides an affordable option.
The BEQ700 can cut or boost the frequencies in the range of 50Hz to 10 kHz, making it ideal for the low-end of a bass guitar. The 7 individual bands have been purposefully selected to highlight the most noticeable qualities of a 4-string bass.
With a generous cut/boost limit of 15db per band, this Behringer pedal provides the detail you’d expect from a much more expensive model. Also, there's a clear LED status light that tells you when the pedal is activated or if the battery is low.
In my opinion, the best thing about the BEQ700 is that it allows you the boost the low frequencies between 50Hz to 100Hz. This is the range that affects the power of a bass guitar, so adding these frequencies in will dramatically enhance your tone.
5. Boss GEB-7
Armed with a robust aluminum die-cast housing, durable pedal switches, and a non-slip rubber base, GEB-7 graphic equalizer is made for the touring bassist.
The GEB-7 has a frequency range of between 50Hz to 10kHz, making it perfect for tweaking the most prominent tones of your bass. The higher frequencies mean it can also be used to shape the sound of a 5 or 6 string bass guitar too.
The equalizer control allows you to boost or cut the frequencies by up to 15db, which is more than enough to remove problematic tones or highlight the warm resonant tones of your bass guitar.
The pedal can be either powered by a 9V battery or a power supply. It also comes with a 5-year warranty to ensure longevity.
Another feature of the Radial Bones Twin City that is worth mentioning is the drag
6. MXR M109S
To conclude, we have another MXR model, the M109S. With six bands of graphic EQ, you can boost or cut a range of tones from your bass’ output.
The clear, intuitive design of this pedal is exactly what you’d expect from MXR. With visible faders that have plenty of space between them, you can even adjust the EQ setting with your foot while on stage.
The low-noise circuitry of the M109S ensures that it will perform subtly and unobtrusively. The six sliders allow you to add or cut a massive 16db from the individual EQ bands, providing absolute dominion over the tonal structure of your bass.
Thanks to the generous amount of boosting available on the MXR M109S, it also makes an effective dynamic booster. If you need to cut through the mix for a bass solo or a breakdown section, simply activate the pedal and your boosted settings will ensure that your bass stands out.
Subtractive EQ – The Perfect Way to EQ Bass
One of the common misconceptions among bassists and guitarists is that the best way to EQ your instrument is by finding the frequencies that sound nice, then boosting them so that they are more prominent in the mix.
Although this may make the tone sound more powerful in some cases, it is usually better to use a technique known as subtractive EQ.
This is where rather than boosting a desirable frequency, we take out some of the less desirable ones, and in the process, highlight the former.
If we had a midrange frequency of 750Hz that sounded nice from our bass guitar, instead of simply pushing the slider up on that frequency band, we could remove some of the surrounding frequencies to make it seem more noticeable.
If we took out some of the upper midranges between 2 to 4kHz, and maybe a little of the low midrange between 250 to 500Hz, the desired frequency or 750Hz would stand out more.
Sculpting Your Bass Tone
Finding your tone is one of the most satisfying processes for a bassist, and in truth, it's a never-ending endeavor. I hope that you've found a suitable EQ pedal from reading this article so that you can get one step closer to that elusive perfect tone!