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effects loop -- who uses it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by robb., Dec 22, 2005.

  1. i'm not much of an effects head, so i've never really had much use for one. but i certainly understand how useful they can be, particularly if you're into compression.

    how many of you actually use the effects loop on your preamp or head? what are you using in it? are you using it for something more esoteric than effects or pre-out/pwr-in?

  2. I use mine on my DB 750.
    If I use my big muff dist., flanger or chorus, I always use the loop. I can dial in how much signal I want of each. (FX and clean)
  3. I've only recently started using mine. I have a BBE BMax
    and I'm using the effects loop for a Lexicon Alex effects unit.
    I'm running a little bit of delay on my signal. By a little bit,
    I mean very little. I'm also not big on effects, so this is still
    new to me. It seems to be working fairly well. The BMax has
    built in compression, so I didn't have to use the effects loop
    for that. I'm planning on ditching my whole rack system soon
    though, and going the pedal board route.
    If all goes according to plan I'll end up with:

    Wireless unit
    Tuner pedal
    SansAmp Bass Driver DI
    Focus SA power amp

    All of this sitting in a pedal board on top of a Schroeder 1210.
    Then I guess the whole effects loop thing would be irrelevant.
    But for now, I'm a happy effects loop user.
    (I don't know if that helps or not....sorry)
  4. I've never used them on the past 5 amps over the last 15 yrs of playing!
    If your looking to blend in your signal, IMO it's best to split your signal chain using an A/B switch such as the Whirlwind box the combine it back to one signal (think Radial makes one that matches polairty or something), but some sell for as low as $30 (Carvin).
    Then go into your amp and/or out to a DI to the PA.
    You could use the amp with effects loop to do the same thing, but most sound guys don't like to use the amps DI. If you have a good amp witha good DI you may be able to convice the sound guy. :bassist:
  5. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    I am using the loop on my GK 1001 for a dBX 160A compressor, and plan to also insert my volume pedal there, post compression.

    - Tim
  6. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i usually put my compressor in the effects loop, the rest of my pedals go in front of the amp.
  7. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I use my effects loop for my rack effects, post EQ, Lexicon MPX100 mainly.

    But I run my floor pedals in-line from my bass(es). I do use an A/B switcher (one side clean tone, one side pedalboard effects)...back into a rack mixer, so I can mix my clean and effected tone and even give them different EQs.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've used compressers in there for speaker protection to good effect (no pun intended). I've also used an alembic superfilter (a tone processor) in the effects loop.

    for more esoteric uses, it depends upon the effects loop. If the effects "send" is post eq, you can use it as a line out from your amp to another poweramp. I do this with my swr. Also, if you have a parallel effects loop, you can use the return to blend a second signal with the signal from your internal preamp. I've done this with the swr as well, sometimes running one bass into the swr and another preamp and then "blending" between the 2, other times i took in a signal from an amp-less keyboard player and we both used the same amp (not the best sound ever, but not bad).
  9. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Half of my effects (flange, chorus and delay) go thru the loop, the rest (envelope filter, compressor and phase) go into the front of the amp. I used to use the phaser in the loop as well, but it sounds better going to the preamp.

    The loop on my head (Yorkie XS800) is footswitchable, which is handy for sections of songs where I need to have more than 1 pedal on at a time.
  10. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    With my Trace SMX head I use the loop. It just sounds better with my Nightbass that way.

    On the other hand, with my Quatra, it is just the opposite. I just put the Nightbass inline to the amp.

    Weird, huh?
  11. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    Not trying to hijack the thread, but I posted an effects loop question in effects and didn't get much response. Maybe my question is just really stupid. :( Anyway, this is what I posted:

    Question -

    I'm currently using a BBE Bmax as my pre. I'm thinking about replacing it with a Sansamp RBI as I'm looking for a warmer sound. Before I rip the Bmax out of the rack is it possible to try the RBI in the effects loop of the Bmax? Not sure if I would keep two preamps, but can it be set up that way?

    Does this make any sense to try, or should I just swap cables and A/B them without them ever seeing each other? Or could the RBI actually remain in the effects loop of the Bmax so I could dial in some grind when I want to? Or should it be the other way around because the Bmax has the compressor?


  12. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I would run each preamp seperately. If you run the RBI through the Bmax then it will be colored by the Bmax.
  13. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    This is actually a really good topic...I'm glad it's been brought up.

    I'm using a Presonus Eureka Pre that has compression built into it. I run a Boss chorus pedal in the effects loop because that's the only effect that I have on "all the time". Since the pre has compression built in I run my pedal compressor in my pedal chain just before my octave pedal. Seems that comp right before the octave pedal helps tracking....dunno why.

    I'm interested though now after reading the posts to see if any of the other effects I have would sound better in the loop as opposed to in front of the amp.
  14. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I do use my effects loop for my BBE processor. I also on occasion use some effects before the amp. My favorite approach is to have the signal split by the preamp in a biamp fashion so that I can add effects to the high end and leave the bottom straight. When I do this, I add some chorus to the top end and if I have a suboctave device, I add that to the low end only, but my main rig can't do this and I am not using my sub octave in my current bands.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I'm not really an 'effects guy', but always thought it was strange to buy a high quality amp and then have the preamp signal go through an effects unit, many of which have prettty cheap components, prior to driving the power amp. I believe that's the way a typical 'series' effect loop works. However, the 'parallel' effects loop design makes more sense to me (I might have these labels mixed up), where the 'pure' signal from the preamp is still sent to the power amp, and the 'wet' signal from the effect can be blended in.
  16. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    good point, but thats why some of us like to pay for boutique quality pedals

  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Depends what you need the loop to do. For compression/limiting, serial is the ticket and a good compressor should be able to drive your power amp really well. Same with a good quality EQ unit. If it doesn't sound better than the "pure" signal, why bother? :cool:

    Currently I've been experimenting with running a separate, bass guitar oriented preamp into my Focus, using the EFX return as a power amp in. Then I run a parallel EFX send from my homemade preamp back to the Focus preamp, which gives me EQ control over the EFX, and a convenient way of mixing the blend. I have a rack mounted Boss guitar modeler/ multi-EFX thingie in the loop that I have set up do do all sorts of weirdness. That unit is so-so at best when used in serial mode, but it's killer in parallel. With this setup, I actually have three preamps available in various combinations, which I guess qualifies as fairly esoteric.

    When I was really into effects, I always ran a separate amp and cab, or two even, for the EFX. I've become spoiled by carrying so little gear foir jazz gigs, but one of these days I'm gonna have to bust out all the toys, er...tools again.
  18. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    What is your definition of cheap components? Some expensive components suck. I think the design has more to do with the cost of components. Some effects units that use "cheap" components may have a better design and layout than "high-quality" amps.

    I agree with you about the parallel effects loop, but not because of signal quality or noise, but because I would rather blend with the dry bass signal in most cases.
  19. it's probably because you're levelling the signal and increasing the gain enough that the octaver has more to work with, so to speak. in other words, smoother, hotter attack from the bass (via compressor) makes it easier for the octaver to track.

    i always liked how the merlin head did its effects loop -- parallel with a front panel knob that was labelled "series" at the 0 and "parallel" at the 10.

  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    My comments were more of a question than a statement of knowledge or fact :)