Effects Before Amp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jack, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Where do you have your effects? Before the amp or in the effects loop? What are the pros and cons of each?

    Ive always placed mine in the effects loop, because thats what its for. The only case I can see running effects before the amp making sense is when you want to run a DI signal without any colouration from your amp.
  2. bassmantele


    Jul 22, 2003
    Boston MA USA
    The general rule is to put time-related effects like delays in the loop, and the rest before the amp. There are some very good effects pages on the net that talk about this - do a Google search.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I run everything into the amp, sounds a bit funky on occasion but noone can tell live. If you're recording, put the time based effects into the loop and everything else before hand.

    Running everything straight through makes setup a breeze, and much easier to diagnose problems.

    Little quote from Jason Newsted regarding this:
  4. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    tplyons, it was your post in that volume pedal thread (the nonos) that got me thinking.

    I appreciate that mabye thats what I should do, but I still dont understand why. Im about to do that google search now though, mabye that help clear things up. :confused:
  5. I always put my pedals before the amp, it's just easier and more convenient (place pedals down, plug in, go - no messing about behind the amp), because any problems are easier to find, and because the effects loop on the half the amps I use are rubbish, either dead or dying.

    Also doesn't help that I like my delays before everything else, especially my distortions....... (is that bad?)

    (I never use my own amp, mostly because it's waaaay too small for my bands, so I'm always plugging into whatever is at the rehersal space, or onstage, or wherever)
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    You'd think so wouldn't you? Except it's not, it's the wrong signal level for effects pedals as it's line level rather than instrument level. I wish they'd stop putting effects loops in amps, they're a complete waste for money for everyone except those rare few that use rack-mounted effects (and that way I wouldn't have to keep leaping up to tell people to put their pedals before the amp).

  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Alex is right. Only use quality rack mounted effects in the effects loop. I run through pedals into a Sadowsky Preamp/DI then to the amp.
  8. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Yes, I know not to, just not why? They are the wrong level, so is the effects loop to low or two high?

    And another, I dont get how its more convinient, only means that the first cable moves from the bass to the amp and the last moves from the input to the send. :)

    PS - When my effects are in front and I walk away they trail over the floor with me. :rolleyes:
  9. Surely that's what duct tape* is for.... :p

    *or a longer lead.
  10. I always place drive based effect before my amp. They just sound better there, but effects like modulation and delay are best in the EFX loop.

    I hate using EFX loops though, too many wires... too much digging through racks... too many problems with independence... If you have no time to set up live, I strongly recommend that you do not use your efx loop unless it's already set up in your rack. It just increases the chances for something to go wrong.
  11. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Yes, Duct Tape, the musicians saviour.

    Guess my effects are going before my amp then. Thanks guys. :)