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Effects Loop? Holy ****! EFFECTS LOOP!!!! Who uses them? What a difference

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RedMoses, Dec 27, 2016.


  1. Yes, are you kidding me? you just found out about this?

    47.7%
  2. No, Effects Loops are for guitar players...

    34.6%
  3. Carrots...

    17.8%
  1. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    Over the years i have had several high quality Bass heads but never one with an effects loop. My thinking was i need to be prepared to create "My sound" on any amp/cab combo in case i am playing a show that is being back lined; I would always go through my pedal board into the amps circuit and got a pretty good sound. Our guitar player swears by his effects loop and the other day when he found out the amp i recently switched to (Eden WT800) had a loop, so he suggested we try it.

    So we wired things up to the Effects loop and HOLY ****!!! I was shocked at how significant the improvement in sound was, this is kinda of cliche but it sound like a veil was lifted from my eyes and ears. The presence and top end were bright and airy, the lows were thicker, tighter and faster. If you have a loop, you MUST try it.

    I have a large pedal board and i rely on my pedals for the tone i want, my clean tone is sculpted with a pre amp --> compressor, i use a looper so every pedal is bypassed when not engaged, its not a matter of the pedals sucking the tone out but a matter of allowing the heads pre amp's circuit to color your tone before it gets to your pedals and what a difference that makes. I had to do some minor tweaks to the pre amp pedal and comp but it was totally worth it.

    ***FX Loop cliff's notes: The loop allows you to plug your bass directly into the head, after traveling through the pre amp circuit the signal then goes to your pedal board, then out of the pedal board back into the head power amp stage and out to the speaker cabinet.

    Ive been playing for decades and i cannot believe it took me this long to try it, im converted, Any head i use from this point forth must have an effect loop.

    Am i just really late to the game? how many of you kats use Effects loop?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
    byoung93888, Roberto Nunez and Dug2 like this.
  2. Robroy

    Robroy

    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky
    I confess that I don't really understand why it would sound all that different. Whenever I use an effects board, it is just a Boss GT6b. I notice many distorted sounds can be changed by how much energy is coming in straight from my bass. I can only assume that would be an issue if you sandwich it between the pre and the power amp. But the bass is always pretty much the same signal strength, whereas the signal strength between pre and power can change quite a bit between gigs. Altering the sound of the effect.

    But I'm no expert.They may be something going on here that is off my radar. It's happened before. :)

    I will say that if you plug the bass directly into the pedal board, you have fewer wires traveling from the front of the stage to the back line.
     
  3. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Some stuff sounds better in an effects loop, others sound better between the instrument and the head.
    Horses for courses, six of one-half a dozen of another, tomAto-tomato, potAto-potato.
     
    drittal and MattZilla like this.
  4. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    I had a very similar train of thought, i was looking to simplify things and as a result i never tried an effects loop, the reason i made this post was to get those folks curious to try it, there is a difference and it is significant.

    That makes sense, im curious which pedals you find are better from the Bass to the head and before the loop? Since this is new to me i have not done as much experimenting with different combos.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
    Helix and Robroy like this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i've had heads with loops: and used them (but havn't used a lot effects, anyway, over the years). but my current amp (GK210 combo) desn't have a loop circuit: right at the moment i'm getting into a few effects for soloing --- where it could be handy!

    but i'm glad you found the 'light' (or the send/return)! :thumbsup:
     
    RedMoses likes this.
  6. Robroy

    Robroy

    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky
    Yes. I will be trying it. :)
     
  7. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I very rarely use effects, but have employed them (micro POG, fuzz, envelope filter) on a few occasions. Usually I just plug straight into the amp and rarely even take the pedals with me. One thing I haven't liked is the slight loss of tone when running my passive bass through the bypassed effects when playing clean. Slight, but enough to tweak the part of me that cares about such things.

    I tried running the pedals in the effects loop on a couple of Glockenklang heads recently. It worked well. Seemed a bit cleaner. Plus, on the Glock heads (and some others), the loop is switchable in/out of the circuit. This pleases the part of me that grates at even the tiniest little bit of tone-suck.

    My fuzz pedal (Amptweaker Bass Tight Fuzz) is designed to work with input from passive and active basses and works well in front of the amp or in the loop. I'd imagine that the signal in most effects loops is buffered and at a different impedance than that coming from a passive bass and I could see some fuzz pedals, not all of which work well with active basses, not working well in the effects loop. There might be other effects like this. I think that some loops are pre-EQ while others are post-Q, which could make a difference as well.

    Bottom line, try both and see which you like! Thanks for sharing and for the heads-up.
     
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Many effects loops (on bass amps) are line level, some pedals can not handle line level, it pays to know the difference.

    Most rack effects are line level and are designed to be used with the effects loop and can not be used in front of the amp.
     
    BioWeapon, RRR, murphy and 20 others like this.
  9. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    chicago
    Ok, speak to me as if i were a child . I have a pedalboard with a g30 wireless. How , or in what order should i connect/ hook everything up using my effects loop. Right now my board goes into my amp ( input in front) and pretty much thats it. Thx in advance.

    Sub'd
     
  10. Acoustic356

    Acoustic356

    Jul 3, 2014
    Earth
    Wait until you get to the point where you understand that some effects should be used as insert effects (crompressor, boost, overdrive, distortion) and others should be in the effects loop (modulation, delay, etc).
     
    gumtown, dgrizzly and colantalas like this.
  11. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    LOts of fx loops have send and receive level knobs. I miss that feature in my current amp.
     
  12. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Good point.

    The effects loop on the Glock Blue Rock, besides being switchable, has a balance control (blend between effected and clean signal) and its own GAIN control, which controls how hot the signal going to the (in my case) pedals in the loop is. First time I'd seen something like that. The control has a pretty wide range and I found it very handy for dialing things in quickly. I was able to leave the pedals set pretty much as they were when running in front of the amp and dial the gain to where it hit the fuzz and envelope filter as hard as they were being hit by the bass run straight in.
     
  13. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I seem to recall the Demeter HBP-1 being that way. That kind of contradicts my preceding post -- still, first I'd seen the specific implementation used in the Glock head.
     
  14. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    The Aguilar AG500 head had send/recieve level knobs, and the receive was push/pull for parallel/series fx loop (blend). That was great, parallel is most useful to me
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  15. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    Pretty sure my effects loop is instrument level, i did not have to tweak much at all when i made the switch.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  16. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    I double on guitar in the studio, so I've been using effects loops for decades, especially for delay effects, which I really want to be after any distortion, and some of my guitar distortion is coming from the pre-amp ahead of the effects loop. I find it less important on a bass rig, but as others have alluded, you've got a different level and signal/noise ratio on the FX loop than you have on the instrument input, and that can make a difference - one way or the other. For a stage rig, I guess it depends on how you want to optimize things. I shoot for fast, error-free setup and tear-down. I usually play pretty small stages (not being famous or even particularly good), but occasionally play big ones where I'm 15-20 feet from my rig, and I want to keep my pedal board up front with me. Using the FX loop would involve too many long cables to pack, run and tape down (or trip over), but I could see someone feeling different if it made their particular effects stack sound a lot better.
     
    AngelsBassBall and Roberto Nunez like this.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Some bass amps have fx loop level controls, but most do not. Almost all are serial (series) loops very few have parallel loops.
     
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    If you are not using distortion, this argument goes away pretty quickly.

    Live level versus instrument level often dictates where in the signal path an effect works best for bass.
     
  19. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    So... your Bass goes into the g30 wireless pack and then into the g30 control module, bypass your pedal board and go straight into the amp. The loop "Send" should be plugged into the input of your pedal board, the cable from the last pedal in the chain should go back into the loop "Return". Essentially you bass signal will pass through the amp first then go into your pedals as opposed to your bass going through all your pedals and the into your amp.
     
    Dug2 likes this.
  20. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    There is a whole 'nother religion about both "before the amp" and "in the loop" for effects, as well as the various denominations of which go where (and in what order!). The conventional wisdom is:

    instrument -> wah/env/pitch shift -> comp -> dirt -> modulation -> delay -> amp

    But you can do it however you like and whatever sounds good to you. Endless variations to that order. I do typically like delay last (well, actually penultimate, as a phrase looper is last), and when I use a pitch shifter (analog octave down or a POG), I want that as early in the chain as possible so it gets a clean sound. Often I'll run the compressor first to give the pitch pedal a better shot.

    I always run in front of the amp on bass even though I've got an effects loop. I will say that if you want to use your loop, delay (and a phrase looper) are the best choice, as other pedals can mess with those. But I'm lazy and it sounds fine to me.

    On a channel switching guitar amp, running delay in the effects loop is pretty important due to the different gain structures of the preamps, and if you use a phrase looper, then you really have to use the effects loop if you switch between clean and dirty input channels.
     
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.

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