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Graphic EQs

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Boris Plotnikov
May 09, 2009 5:32 AM GMT

Does anyone use graphic equalizer? Can it be helpful with feedback and adding more low end?

Guitar player jast give me mxr six band eq to try. I'll try it at rehearsal.

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May 09, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I've heard that a graphic EQ can cut feedback, as well as add bass. I'm supposed to be buying an old MXR 31 band EQ, but the seller is fixing some problems with it first.

May 09, 2009 6:47 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

It can be helpful a little with feedback, but only by cutting frequencies that you actually also play.

It won't help AT ALL with the low end. The harp doesn't really produce low end to amplify in the first place. If you simply boost the bass on an EQ box, you'll get all kinds of objectionable breath and hand holding noise but you won't add the kind of fat low end I suspect you want.

The low end most of us know, love and cravecomes from the harmonics a tube amp introduces when driven to distortion. Cupping the mic hard overdrives the element which sends a very distorted, strong signal to the amp. It cannot cope. The result is the introduction of harmonics, many of which are in the bass range. Any good tube amp does it. THAT is where the fat sound comes from. I wouldn't waste any money on an EQ until you're already getting what you want and merely want some fine tuning, at which point, I predict, you won't need it at all.


May 09, 2009 8:21 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Greg --

Thanks for that explanation. It makes a lot of sense. What is your recommendation regarding feedback?


May 09, 2009 3:49 PM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

First of all, let's define feedback. Feedback is when your mic picks up the amplified sound and sends it back to the amplifier (whether its your amp or the PA), resulting in enough signal that it creates a vicious cycle, a self-feeding monster. Feedback is a function not only of volume, but "gain" of the amplification system. Lower the volume, lower the gain, or both. This can be done many, many ways. The first 2 items in the list below are what you can do DURING the gig. The others are what you can do BEFORE.

  • Lower the volume! First choice is getting the band to play less loud, but having a volume control at the mic is very handy - you don't have to dive for the amp should feedback become a problem (and it can become one even though it wasn't earlier in the night, due to changes in room conditions, or because the sound guy put you in the monitors, or ...)
  • Move. Position on stage can be critical. Change your distance or angle from the speakers.
  • Microphone choice. Mics vary in gain, volume, and also directionality - if the mic doesn't "see" the speakers as easily the chance of feedback is less)
  • Amplifier choice, and with tube amps, lower gain tubes in the preamp
  • Technique - if you use a bullet mic, try holding it against your chest when not playing
  • Active electronics like the Kinder AFB+ box(note, this is WAY more sophisticated than an EQ and isspecificallydesigned for feedback control.)

May 09, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

I used one for a few months, but it was more of a headache than anything else. If you play low volume gigs, they're really a waste of money and I find they don't really do anything for tone. If you were playing extremely large venues and need a ton of volume, like what Magic Dick needed in the hey day of the J. Geils Band, and he was using 3 Twin Reverbs, an EQ, Roland Space Echo, Fisher tube phono preamp, and two sets of columns, each cabinet having 4-12's, and you're playing places like Madison Square Garden, then it may may sense, at least based on the technology back then, but for killing feedback for harp, the Kinder AFB box makes more sense, and the Harp King amps have that built in and the 6-10 version is 100 watts and you can stand in front as close as 6" and not feedback at all, even if the amp is cranked to the hilt and you'll easily compete with a Marshall stack.

May 10, 2009 6:53 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I'm learning tons from this thread. Is there anyone out there who uses an EQ and loves it?

Jun 10, 2009 6:41 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I received Joe's Lone Wolf Harp Tone + today, and it is amazing. I played through an old Shure Green Bullet that is very hot, and I was able to get no feedback at moderate volumes. I also tried a similarly hot old American Microphone Company radio mic, and had the same result. It adds some bottom end, and at least in this test, was amazing at curbing feedback. I was surprised to find that I even could add a guitar overdrive pedal, and get a little overdriven tone without feedback. Thanks, Joe!

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