OK, so I know what a note is, and I know how more treble or bass will make it sound, but how can you have different frequencies to raise or lower? Like, say you play a C2 on the 3rd fret A string. That's only vibrating at one frequency. So how can you add or remove the treble and bass frequencies?
there are a lot more tones than just a C, they are called overtones, they are the reason why different instruments sound different from eachother, certain tones are emphasized more than others, the different instrument sound is called timbre, prenounced tamber, when you adjust the EQ, you are just adjusting the volume of the certain overtone frequencies
Last edited by megadeth=god at Sep 27, 2006,
A note is made up of a fundamental frequency and it's harmonics. Added together ot gives teh sound you hear. How many harmonics are produced by the intsrument is what affects it's tone, hence different woods sounding different, and a pianno playing the same note as a guitar sounds different. SInce there are different frequencies within a note, you remove some.
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Every tone has overtones, frequencies that sound also and give the note it's characteristic sound. For example (really basic):

If you'd only hit an open E, you'd have the E sounding, the 5 as overtone and the octave as overtone. The real notes differ a bit and there are many more, but we keep it simple. Let's say, the low E is 200 Hz (it's not, but for this equation it it). The 5=400 Hz and the octave is 2000 Hz. Just for reference, I'm messing around with the numbers, to simplify things. These are NOT true values.

Let's state that bass, mid and treble EQ each have their own frequency. Bass controls 200 Hz, Mid controls 400 and Treble controls 2000. Raising one of them raises the respective note/overtone. Therefore, while playing open low E's (in theory just something for the bass EQ) and messing around with the EQ knobs, one can change the sound of the low E note immense!

That's the basics of it, with wrong numbers. Also, the EQ knobs aren't as global as I stated here. But the principle of overtones remain. Nothing is ever 'just one frequency'. Overtones are there, always. Overtones sounds higher and with less volume than the original note. Overtones are what cause harmonics.

Edit: forgot to tell: The lower the note, the more overtones it has.
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^^ basically what he said

The Bass,mids and treble knobs only affects 'fixed' frequencies that the manufactures have set.

If you want to muck around with the Fundamental Frequency of a note, say like how elvenkindje said E is 200 hz (not real value) you can select that frequency and boost or cut and change its Q(quality) Which will change the sound greatly but not all of it because of the harmonics and overtones. Guitar amps dont have that option, Check out Mixing Consoles and full/semi parametric EQ's
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