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How to hook up pedals with your amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sworn, Mar 10, 2003.


  1. Sworn

    Sworn

    Feb 27, 2003
    So Cal
    Hey, I wasn't quite sure what the safest way to do this was. I'm aware of the effect loop inputs on some amps, but how do I hook that up? can't I just have it all going into the regular input jack? what's the purpose of the effects loop?
     
  2. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    YOu don't HAVE to use the effects loop. It's there if you need it. Try going from your bass to your pedals, then from the pedals to the amp. See how it sounds.

    If it's a bit noisy, use the effects loop instead. Plug your bass directly into the amp. Then run a lead from the "send" on the effects loop to the input of the pedal, and another lead from the output of the pedal to the effects loop "return".

    Personally I don't use the effects loop. On my amp, the effect doesn't get sent to the PA when I use the effects loop. I don't know if all amps do this but it's enough to make me not use it.
     
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy

    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Sworn,

    As "PeteBass" points up; the effects loop typically contains noise reduction circuitry to clean up the signal before going to speakers... additionally, since some effects are 'stereo' and, if you amp has this feature, you use the stereo effects loop to take advantage of your effects stereo capabilities.

    You didn't mention what effects you're using. Keep in mind, that the 'effected signal' reacts differently, depending on what type of effect it's being sent into.

    Finally, PeteBass, if your effects aren't being sent to the P.A., you might check the 'pre / post' effects switch from your line out.

    michael s.
     
  4. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It doesn't have one.

    My amp is a new model out of Melbourne Australia and I'm one of their first paying customers. Great amp except for the the absence of pre/post switches on both the effects loop and the DI. I sent them this feedback in an email and didn't receive a reply. Ah well.

    It's ok, I haven't got any unwanted noise at the moment.
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Some amps come with a blend control, so that you can mix the FX and clean signals before they get sent to the power amp section. An example of this would be the SWR Workingman's 12" that I used to have.

    However, I didn't find this incredibly useful and so still used to run a signal chain that went:

    bass -> FX -> amp

    YMMV - the bottom line is to try with your gear. If you've got an FX loop, all you need is an extra jack to jack cable:

    FX out -> FX -> FX return

    Nb. the impression I've picked up over the years is that different FX work best at different stages in the signal chain... but it's your ears that will have to make the call.

    Wulf
     
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy

    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    Wulf,

    I would agree with first part of your 'supportive note'; .."effects work best (better) at different stages in the signal chain"... The second part, however, being somewhat contradictory, is not the best judge.
    For example:
    -a chorus efx, sent to a compressor - the latter will compress the 'chorus' signal, not the "actual" amp signal where it should be working - or;
    -an overdrive or distortion efx sent to an eq... again, the latter working 'the signal' it's fed.

    Trust not your ears, and think of a logical path the signal should follow... michael s.
     
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    Depending on the design of the amp, the effects loop will be either line level or instrument level. If it is a line level effects loop, you'd want to put your stomp box type pedals between your instrument and input of the amp. If you put the stomp boxes in the effects loop the signal might be too strong for the effects. Most rackmount effects are designed to take a line level signal, so they'd probably be better off in an effects loop (if the loop is line level). But in the end none of it really matters as long as it sounds good to you.
     
  8. Sworn

    Sworn

    Feb 27, 2003
    So Cal
    thanks guys. answered my question. Sorry it didn't sound too clear. Was a pretty tired last night. But Pete, your first response hit it on the head. Thanks!
     
  9. Most FX loops on your amp head aren't meant for the inst.level stompboxes you'd want to put in there; some are though I've heard. Some FX will sound better B4 your preamp, others after. Experiment? Also, if you have access to another preamp you want to try, plug directly into the FX return of your head and it will bypass your preamp entirely; kinda cool.
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I know what you're saying - there are certain 'accepted' things that make a lot of sense and are certainly better than patching everything up at random. On the other hand, countless musicians have ignored 'da rules' and sometimes discoved useful new tones.

    Out of interest, what would you suggest as some 'classic chains' to use as starting points? You've given one or two, but it would be useful to see a few more.

    My personal chain tends to be:

    - bass
    - Zoom multi-FX (505II) - with it's fixed order of effects
    - Line 6 DL4 (mainly used for looping - this way I can have different combinations of FX on different layers)
    - SansAmp Bass Driver DI
    - Amp

    Wulf