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TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer

TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer

Even today, with all the modern, boutique analogue or digital equalizers on the market, the Dual Parametric Equalizer, as compact EQ unit, is still unrivalled and puts any pedal-sized stage or studio equalizer that I have come across to shame.

As consequence, the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer has found fans amongst tone connoisseurs and not surprisingly draws at times silly prices on the second-hand market.

Of course, the Dual Parametric Equalizer is not limited to the rigs of guitar players, but in this review I focus on its use for guitarists. But no matter your instrument, may that be bass, keyboard or miking vocals, brass instruments, etc, or as part of your studio setup, the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer will be a handy and very capable tone-tool to finely shape your tone to perfection.

Studio and rack setup users may want to take a look at the even more powerful rack version of the Dual Parametric Equalizer, the TC 2240 HS Parametric Equalizer / Preamplifier.

The vintage TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer is a compact pro-unit that was primarily geared towards studio usage, hence the unit lacks the feature of an effect on/off stomp switch but instead as the small LIN/EQ switch to engage and disengage the equalizer. This is certainly not very usable for guitarists, who might need to switch the unit on and off during a song. Guitarists may find this less useful and those with switcher systems might consider placing the Dual Parametric Equalizer in a loop in order to switch the equalizer on and off.

While this is perfectly reasonable, personally I find the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer offers much more than just its EQ feature and hence should be looked at more carefully to make fully use of it.

The TC Dual Parametric Equalizer not only offers its 2 stunning, accurate parametric equalizers for precise tone shaping possibilities, but also offers a quality buffer to preserve your guitar tone when using long cables or a long audio path due to effects routings on your guitar rig.

Guitarists playing with long cables on stage or during rehearsals or is using multiple effect units in their rigs should seriously consider implementing a quality buffer in their audio path to reduce tone loss. Of course, there are great stand-alone units available, for guitarists, most come as clean booster pedals, but the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer has in addition to its amazing equalizers a great, quality buffer and powerful 12dB clean boost built-in. Even if you switch the equalizer off, using the LIN/EQ toggle switch, the buffer is still active and works to preserve your audio signal.

The TC Dual Parametric Equalizer can either be powered by battery or through a much more recommended power supply. Any standard 9vDC power supply will get the TC working. If you require more headroom, the TC offerers a maximum of +14dBm or would like to make full use of the up to +12dB clean boosting power for studio and line usage (e.g. keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, drum machines) or to get a stronger signal with more presence from your guitar or even kick a good-driven valve amp into natural overdrive, it is recommended to power the unit with a little more than 9vDC. TC lists the maximum as 25-32vDC. As always, be careful overpowering this or any unit. If you are using an unregulated power supply, be careful and use less than the 32vDC, due to fluctuating voltage with unregulated power supply. But if using regulated power supplies, such as Voodoo Lab’s Pedal Power series, the ModTone Power Plant or similar power sources, you can safely send between 25-32vDC into the unit and take advantage of the TC’s full tone preserving and shaping potential.

In a rig setup, I would advise to carefully test various combinations. Due to its features, including the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer early in your chain might be a good-rule-of-thumb, but don’t limit yourself to this. Always follow your tone requirements first – use-your-ears and also take other units and their features into consideration. For examples, certain fuzz boxes and wah pedals don’t like a buffered signal. In this case, placing such units before the TC would make more sense.

Most guitar pedals, especially older models and non-boutique make units, already come with buffers includes. Most of these buffers are of very low quality, such as many Boss, Ibanez or Electro Harmonix pedals, but still, if you are having a combination of these and true bypass pedals (true bypass pedals by design ‘bypass’ the buffer stage when switched off), it would be recommended to place the TC either directly before or directly after true bypass pedals.

Another good placement would be at the very end of your rig, just before your amp. In this case the EQ and clean boost in your TC Dual Parametric Equalizer would shape your tone, and by that even restore any lost audio due to the tone travelling through your rig and at the same time the TC’s buffer would preserve the audio on its journey from your rig to the amp.

Newbies to equalizers and even to those who have experience using the more widely available pedal equalizers, such as Boss or Ibanez models, may find its features and layout not very logical and complicated. I got mine as a second-hand purchase without box and manual and hand-to-heart, it took me a while to even get something remotely interesting out of this box. My first impression was, this unit is too subtle and hence useless. But I was very wrong and luckily experimented a little more.

A big help for me was downloading the 11-page manual as PDF file off the TC Electronic website and I recommend this to every owner of the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer as a starting point. The manual includes several helpful demo settings that will give you a great head start from where you can tweak the pedal to suit your tonal needs.

More than just a regular equalizer, the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer is the swiss-army knife for any musician, serious about his or her tone. If sound is everything to you, you want to take a serious look at the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer. For me it has become the most important addition to my rig after the guitar and amp. The best equalizer I have ever come across. It’s as simple as that.

8 thoughts on “TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer

  1. Another great article. I’m after one of these but so far haven’t found any that was in my budget.

    Is it possible to get a similar effect when using 2 parametric Eqs after each other? Would that be a serious option? Of course, I wouldn’t get the buffer and booster feature.

  2. Wow interesting review. I have one of the these Dual Para equalizers but haven’t used it in ages and it’s now collecting dust. Which is a bit sad.
    I’ve tinkered with this pedal a bit but for whatever reason I just can’t get a good sound out of it. The tone differences are pretty minimal. I’m sure it’s me. Maybe a good forum here to ask how and what do you guys use it for in your guitar setups?

    I have a simple pedalboard. From my guitars (Epiphone Les Paul and Squire Strat) I go into a Marshall Governor, Boss DS1, Boss CE5 Chorus, Boss DD20 delay and into my Peavey combo.

    The article metions tone shaping a lot, but maybe you can be more precise? Let’s say I want to cut a little bass and add some sparkle. Any settings you can recommend?
    I played with various settings but I hardly hear any changes in tone … maybe just a healthy imagination or what am I doing wrong?

  3. Thanks guys.

    @Steven: The tone quality that the TC Dual Parametric Equalizer delivers is in a different league to most EQ’s. Of course, you can get similar tones by combining pedals, but most EQs I have come across are either a little noisy or simply didn’t offer the same precise tone shaping.
    Most guitarists will be fine with these EQs as more often than not they want some radical tone changes like taking the bottom end off, take off some nasty treble or add or take of some mids.

    The way I use my TC is for boosting the mids a little, reduce a bit of the bottom end and add sparkle to the treble registers. Then I also use its clean boosting feature. I tried various alternatives. The only pedal EQ that I found most capable besides the TC is the Boss PQ4 Parametric Equaliser.
    It’s not dual and it’s miles from the TC in many ways but overall the Boss is a solid and very good and recommended alternative. It’s also much cheaper on places such as eBay.
    But at the end of the day, it’s the TC I have on my board and I’d be ready to pay some cash to get a replacement if mine ever breaks … fingers safely crossed :)

    @Noizemaker: I’m curious what others have to suggest. It would helpful to know what you want to get out of the TC as EQ in your rig. What’s the reason you think you need an EQ?
    Let’s assume it’s to shape your main guitar tone, in this case have it first in the chain. If you want to adjust/tweak your distortion/overdrive tone from your Marshall, have it after that pedal.
    Or if you are happy with your tone but need beefing it up with some small tone tweaking, place the TC at the very end before your amp.

    IMO it’s not helpful posting settings,a s this depends and varies heavily from setup to setup, what gear you are using, what volume levels, pickups, amps, etc etc.
    I added a download link for the manual in my article above. Download it and look for the setting suggestions. This should give you a good idea. The manual also describes how to approach the pedal in regards to finding your tone. It’s a step-by-step description and placing suggestions.

    Of course, feel free to come back here asking questions if you’re still unsure. I’m happy to suggest and I’m sure there will be others happy to help you, too.

  4. Very interesting I play Pedal Steel Guitar which requires Top End equipment .I think ths unit may enhance my sound .
    I am trying to decide between a awul lot of items Regards Al Taylor

  5. I’m looking to purchase a TC elect dual parametric if it’s cost-effective.

    Contact me if you’re interested

  6. Hi there, I came across your website whilst looking this EQ up. I have one which is part of my mastering rig. I opened it up and have heavily modified it and replaced all capacitors with high quality types. Sounds beautiful. It’s a very simple state variable EQ circuit and the top and bottom end on this EQ really shine. It sounds pretty darn good stock but I gave it the gold treatment and put new opamps in all bands of the eq along with some other changes.

    cheers

  7. Hi there! I’m about to get 2240…Online mastering, I’d really appreciate more detailed list of components/mods you have applied to your unit…unless it’s a secret 😀 Thanx!-J-Lap-

  8. Hi J-Lap, well I used Panasonic capacitors they are nice these are mainly in the power supply of the unit and there are a lot of them.
    All the ceramic caps were changed with better quality ones.

    Enjoy the sound.

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