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"EQ" stands for equalization and refers to the controlling of the levels of various sound frequencies in your guitar signal. If you use a stereo, or even an IPod to listen to your music, then you have probably used an "EQ" to control the levels of treble and bass.
There are two basic types of EQ pedals that you can use with your guitar:
Graphic Equalization is the most common type of EQ used by guitar players. It boosts or reduces certain frequencies by sliding several levers up or down. Metal players like to achieve their signature sound by eliminating or reducing all of the middle frequencies.
You can also use graphic equalization to reduce certain problematic frequencies which cause feedback. On the other hand, you can use graphic EQ to boost certain frequencies in order to PRODUCE feedback if that is what you want.
Graphic EQ's come in varying sizes. It is best to get one with ONLY the frequencies that you need to access because more bands can cause more noise.
Here are some Graphic EQ pedals for you to check out:
The Parametric EQ provides more control over tone than does a graphic EQ, although it is more difficult to use. It is called "parametric" because it has knobs to adjust the parameters of a tone.
These parameters are "frequency" (as in the frequencies that are controlled by the graphic EQ), "band width" (the number of octaves over which the signal is altered) and "gain" (the amount by which the signal is boosted or reduced).
Here are examples of Parametric Equalization:
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