6 tips to properly equalize a guitar amplifier

If we talk about guitar amplifiers, there is no definitive equalization, since it is a very subjective subject. However, there are some tips that we can take into account so as not to fail in equalization. For example, before equalizing you should understand the concept of frequency balance and check the type of guitar or amplifier you are going to use.

1. EQ according to the type of guitar

There are many models of guitars on the market, however, we will focus on the most used with amplifiers, the electric and the electro-acoustic. This is because the equalization of each of them should not be the same. Sometimes beginning musicians use the same frequency settings for their guitars or don’t turn the knobs, because at first it seems like a pointless task. However, here we explain the differences between equalizing one guitar and another.

a.Electric guitar

Just the simple fact of connecting two electric guitars of the same model to an amplifier with the same equalization is a mistake, since they are made of wood and each cut of this material generates unique timbres and colors in the instrument. For that reason, if you’re going to use an electric guitar, don’t stick with the equalization you used on the amp with the electro-acoustic.

Here the most recommended thing is to decrease the bass, since electric guitar effects sometimes include many frequencies of this type and increasing them could saturate the amplifier and your ears. However, if you are not going to use effects that increase the bass, you can turn them up a bit, according to the needs or preferences of the moment. Note that bass in an amplifier is usually represented by the name BASS.

B. Electroacoustic guitar

This type of guitar is acoustic, think about it before anything else. By having a resonance box, its sound is more natural, regardless of whether the strings are metal or nylon. If you don’t use any effects pedal, it’s best to give the g’s a bit of intensity.

raves. But this applies only if you are playing alone, because with a whole band it is best to attenuate the bass, because that is what the bassist of the group will be for. In other words, you can’t drown out your bandmate’s low end.

In the same way, configure the mids and treble, according to your preferences, trying not to take away depth from the bass.

2. Perform equalization according to the amplifier model

There are many models of amplifiers, with differences between the sound, so the equalization also varies. For example, a large amplifier of 300 W or higher has very well defined bass. In this way, it is not necessary to turn up the BASS potentiometer very much.

In addition to this, there are standard amplifiers that do not have powerful highs. In that case, it is best to turn up the intensity of the Treble potentiometer, which means bright or sharp in Spanish. Also, if you buy an amp that doesn’t put out good mids, you should turn up the MID pot enough to make up for that shortfall.

3. Use musical ear and knowledge of sound

Before making a comparison of guitar amplifiers , you should take this advice into account, because a good product is worth nothing if you do not know basic concepts about sound and equalization. It is best to use your ear along with sound knowledge, to equalize the amplifier like a professional.  

The disadvantage of using only the ear is very obvious, since what is good for you may be bad for someone else, since it is a very subjective aspect. In other words, the recommendation is that you take a course related to sound and equalization, in case you have never studied this subject. The musical ear places the passion for the art and the desire to listen to you as your favorite guitarist and sound knowledge helps to balance the frequencies properly.

4. according to electric guitar pickups

Electric guitars have several pickups, which are also called pickups, and are located near the bridge. It is through the pickups that the sound of each note is sent to the amplifier.

But there are many pickups, depending on the model and brand of guitar you have, so don’t use the same amp EQ if you change the instrument at a gig, as it could lose sound quality. 

Also, electroacoustic guitars have a microphone, which can be hard or soft and is installed under the bone, in the bridge. Depending on the type of microphone your instrument comes with, it will need one or another equalization setting.

5. Respect the equalization coming from the guitar

Most electric or electro-acoustic guitars have an equalization system, at least for low and high frequencies, so you must first configure the instrument and then the amplifier. However, some skilled musicians EQ their guitar amp to a standard level and adjust the EQ on their instrument as they play, depending on the song or genre of music.

6. Maintain the balance between the different frequencies

You must already imagine it, if you exaggerate with treble in the amplifier you will end up taking away the prominence of the vocalist of the band, especially if she is a woman, since the latter normally sings in a high register. That is what the balance of frequencies is all about, because you not only have to think about yourself and the instrument you are playing, but also listen to your surroundings and fit properly into the band.

Suppose that in the middle of a song the keyboardist is going to play a solo, for this you can lower the mids and highs a bit, so that your partner’s melody stands out more, not your guitar. This is a tip for beginners and advanced, so don’t forget it when you’re playing with your bands.

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