You can use an overdrive pedal that has at least 3 tone controls, to drive a preamp distortion circuit. This enables pre-dist EQ as follows:
[products for pre-dist eq]
QZ1 Crybaby Q Zone - "Many guitarists use Crybaby pedals in stationary positions, to get a quickly selectable nasal, vocal or flange-like tone. The Q Zone stomp box performs this job even better than a pedal, because it's less susceptible to accidental bumps. Features the same tone controls as the 95Q pedal, but with "stay-put" knobs to keep your settings table. Footswitch toggles the effect from on to bypass (red LED indicates on). Adjustable volume knob controls output gain with boost up to +18 dB. Adjustable "Q" knob modulates frequency breadth of effect. Peak knob manually selects the frequency center of the effect, serving the same function as the wah foot pedal. Powered by the Dunlop ECB-03 AC Adapter and/or 9 volt battery. 10" x 4" x 2-1/2" 3.7 lbs. Black. List $125."
[prods for pre-dist eq]
Maestro 1-band parametric filter for electric guitar
[prods for pre-dist eq]
Tone Ranger, 6-position pre-dist eq; pickup-response shifter
[pre-dist eq products]
Screaming Tree treble booster for before an amp, before preamp distortion
[pre-dist eq prods]
very-tone dog review
Roland digital eq - If this is MIDI programmable, add to MIDI eq's page.
[prog eq (pre-dist)] Rocktron Programmable EQ Rockman programmable PGE2 eq review at harmony central
[pickups] new type of pickup
Linear Pickups - interesting pickup technology enabling a different type of control
Seymour Duncan EQ chart for pickups. Use a pre-distortion EQ pedal to find what curve is needed to compensate for your current pickup. Do this for bridge and neck pickups. Then buy a pickup that naturally has that EQ curve. For blues, my current neck pickup needs more treble and bass, more of a V curve; it's too midrangey. So I'll get a v-curve neck single pickup. For Van Halen preamp distortion, my bridge humbucker needs less treble, so I can get a humbucker with the curve of the right side of a hill. Also you can get noiseless versions of pickups. I love the Fender Fat Strat's Tone, and it has noiseless pickups. They produce less buzz and hum than a humbucker -- they really are humless (of course with gain you always hear some white noise). With the right pickup, you can avoid or reduce using the sliders of a pre-distortion EQ pedal. The sliders generate a lot of self-noise, whether pushed up or down. At least I can say that with a pickup that is closer to the pre-distortion curve you want, you can use *less* equalization before distortion, and less EQ generally means a lot less noise. On my Buy list is a quiet parametric EQ for this application.
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