Not changing your amp settings when you leave your rehearsal space for the stage? You're doing EQ wrong

Fender amp control panel
(Image credit: Future)

Many of us put considerable effort into perfecting our tone, often spending hours carefully dialling in our guitar amps. But things can go pear-shaped when we venture beyond the bedroom or rehearsal studio. Tight lows begin to boom, sweet treble becomes shrill, and there’s way too much reverb. Or maybe you can’t hear yourself properly in the mix.

Maybe you put a strip of masking tape across the top of your amp’s control panel with all your settings carefully marked, so could it really be your fault? Unfortunately, this is what happens when perfectly honed tone butts up against unfavourable room acoustics. 

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.