Graphic EQ or Parametric?

This is another one of the questions that came through 15 years ago that I didn’t lose – I definitely have a better, more sophisticated view now, but I don’t see anything blatently wrong here 😉


…I have been setting up a decent home studio over time now, and would like to pickup a rack mountable EQ for use at mixdown and to cut frequencies on certain tracks, especially guitar… Would I be better off getting a 15 or 31 band graphic, or will something like the ART dual channel 4 band parametric tube preamp be enough? Will the tube quality outweigh the lesser band control in terms of sound quality? Will 4 bands be enough?


First off, I very very rarely mixdown with eq on the whole mix, but it can be a useful technique.
Well, ok. Obviously 31 band graphic is probably better than 15 graphic, and probably more expensive. Parametric eq tends to give you a lot more control (parametric meaning you can change the frequencies you’re working with). It’s kind of a trade off in my opinion. Parametric is better, really. But you tend to get less bands with parametric, which means less frequencies to be effecting at once. I guess parametric eq is more expensive to make or something. It would be nice to have 31 bands of parametric! 🙂 As far as the tubes, I wouldn’t take that into consideration for gear like this until the end. I use tubes, and I like to, but frankly, I defy you to hear them working 🙂 I don’t know that I see the value of using tubes in an eq, I tend to just use tube preamps to track through and run mixes through. That having been said there are tube-preamp units that have great eq sections, and I also might lean toward the Art, they make some cool stuff. As far as graphic eq’s, Rain pretty much makes the best, I think. As far as four bands being enough, think about your applications, and your possible applications. Will you need to be effecting more than four bands all at once? Like I said, with parametric, you’ve got all the control for dialing in what frequencies you’re messing with, so that might be the ticket if you don’t need to effect more than four at once. As far as tube quality outweighing having less bands, no. I think you should never put tubes before functionality. If you need to get something without tubes so it’ll do what you need, get that, save up, and get a dual tube preamp to run the whole thing through. Also, by the way, you should know that quite a few engineers think the tube thing is crap (I don’t, like I said, i use ’em and love to). So it’s not necessarily a given that tubes are even better. And by the way, tubes burn out eventually.

And that was that question. Hmm – let me know if you have questions too – hopefully I have more and better info to answer with! aarontrumm @ nquit . com

And – get you some free music, while you’re at it, so you can see what I do with this “knowledge”.

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