Empress Effects launches the ParaEQ MKII, promising the “most control of any EQ on the market”

Empress Effects ParaEQ MKII
(Image credit: Empress Effects)

Canadian pedal firm Empress Effects has unveiled an updated take on its ParaEQ stompbox. 

A parametric EQ and boost combined into one pedal, the original ParaEQ offered players a huge amount of control, with three bands of EQ, selectable Q widths and individual gain dials for the EQ bands. 

Now the MKII packs all of that control into a compact pedal format, rearranging the dials into a clearer layout. In addition, a new MKII Deluxe edition adds even more precision control, with four mini dials offering filter shaping controls – including high-pass, low-shelf, high-shelf and low-pass filters.

There’s a handy +/- 15dB of boost or cut available at each EQ band and a powerful +30dB available from the boost circuit, while the low, mid and high Q mini dials (located at the top of the unit) can set the range of the EQ bands themselves. 

It is a frankly mind-boggling level of subtlety compared with your average EQ pedal. Indeed, you should expect it to behave much more like the sort of EQ processors found in DAWs, though it’s an all-analog signal path (and true bypass, of course). 

We suspect session players, bassists and anyone who frequently struggles with live feedback will find it comes in extremely handy.

The Empress Effects ParaEQ MKII and MKII Deluxe will retail for around $274 and $349, respectively. For more information, head to Empress Effects (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.