One Year of ParaEq MKII

December 12 2023

In December 2022, we released the ParaEq MKII pedals.

An EQ might not seem like the most exciting effect. It doesn’t transform your sound as dramatically as a good reverb, delay, distortion, or pitch-detecting monosynth.

But a good EQ can sculpt and sweeten your signal, elevating a good tone to a great one. With the MKII pedals, we were confident that we’d built on everything that made our original ParaEq pedal special, with new features to offer players even more power and control.

The response was tremendous, and the launch of the updated ParaEq was the most successful in the history of Empress Effects. The Deluxe model is our top-selling pedal of 2023.  

We started hearing from artists, engineers, and producers as they discovered the MKII. The earliest advocate was Mark Lewis, who has worked with luminary bands including Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium, and Black Dahlia Murder. Just two days after the launch, we received this email:

Just received my ParaEq MKII Deluxe and wanted to rave about it. It sounds incredible.  

I’ve been a guitarist for almost 30 years, and have been producing for nearly 20. EQ is my most reached-for effect, but it’s been a frustrating journey to find an eq that had the proper headroom for what I’m trying to achieve. You wouldn’t believe the signal chains I’ve put together just to make some EQ work in an fx loop.

So happy the ParaEq exists. Thanks for your time and this amazing pedal.

High-gain players seem to particularly appreciate the new pedals. Misha Mansoor of Periphery told us “The MKII Deluxe is a permanent fixture on my ‘inspiration station’ pedalboard at home, and it’s going to see a lot of use in reamping on my next project. It just absolutely rules.”

Gary Holt of Exodus and Slayer called the Deluxe: “the ultimate tone shaper for guitarists of all kinds. The ability to tweak and tailor your sound beyond the standard Bass/Mid/Treble of most amps is more valuable than you can imagine.”

Zach Householder of Whitechapel described how he uses two in the studio:

Before I got the new ParaEq,I couldn’t find an EQ pedal that was surgical enough or clean enough, and that didn’t tonally take away from what I was trying to achieve. The Deluxe solved all of those problems. It provides that final finishing touch to a guitar tone, and it’s transparent whether I’m nudging something or getting surgical. At times, I prefer to run an EQ on a guitar DI signal going into an amp and in the FX loop - that’s why I now own 2 of them.

Producer, writer, and engineer Jason Suecof is also thinking about adding a second to his setup:

I absolutely love this pedal! It’s the only EQ I think I’ll need from now on, and it’s so quiet! I use it first in my chain, before any distortion or boost pedals, so I can shape the sound of whatever pickup I’m dealing with to my liking. I could definitely see adding a second one in the fx loop of whatever amp I’m using for just a little extra of whatever I need. 👌🏼👌🏼

It’s always rewarding when players choose Empress pedals to be part of their sound but it’s an especially pleasant surprise to put something out and have it become your most successful launch of all time.

As we celebrate this anniversary, we want to thank everybody who has made a ParaEq MKII a part of their sound. We’re looking forward to hearing the music you create with it, and to an exciting year 2!