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Parallel-Loop or Series-Loop or In-front?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sucho2000, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. sucho2000


    Nov 19, 2009

    I guess this is my first ever post in the talkbass.com
    I am Sucho and love reading tonnes of info from TB
    This is a Great community...

    I am pretty new to amplifiers...

    I have got a Markbass Amp,
    and getting a Sadowsky Stomp Preamp/DI on its way..

    How is it different to connect this to:

    1) Parallel-FX Loop

    2) Series-FX Loop

    3) In-front (Between my bass and amp head)

    In case of parallel loop, does it mix the two signals and blend?
    (One with pre-amped by Sadowsky and One without)


    which of above three are you doing or would you do? and Reasons?

    Thanks in advance


  2. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    Parallel fx-loop blends the signals to a chosen level. Some amps like my Tech 21 has the option where you press a button to select 50/50 mix of original and whatever is coming through the effect loop return. Otherwise it's a series loop. On some amps this can also be done with a blend pot that controls the ratio of wet/dry (uneffected/effected) signal.

    The difference between series fx-loop and in-front is basically the order in which the signal is processed. Do you want the Markbass to shape your Sadowsky signal or the Sadowsky to shape your Markbass signal?

    You should also remember that devices that are for line level signals usually work better in fx-loops and devices that are for instrument level signals usually work better between bass and the amp. But be sure to experiment all the options.

    4) Bypass the Markbass preamp by plugging your Sadwosky to the effect return of the Markbass (Bass -> Sadowsky -> Markbass fx-return). My reason is that I like to have only one preamp in my chain.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    For a detailed explanation of when and how to use the effects loop on an amp, check out the FAQ linked in my sig. The short broadly generalized version is that pedals are meant to go in front of the amp, and rackmount devices are meant to go in the loop--but there are many exceptions.

    The main deciding factor is the way the loop was designed on any one specific amp--they do not all work the same way. After that, the next deciding factor is whether you intend to bypass the amp's internal preamp. For example, the Sadowsky preamp can be used instead of the preamp built into your amp head, if you want; this is achieved by going bass --> Sadowsky --> effects loop RETURN jack.

    Series means just one path: A into B into C.
    Parallel means a split into two paths, which later recombine: A splits into B1 and B2; B1 goes through some effects, and B2 does not; B1 and B2 get combined back together into C. Yes this means the effects are blended with the clean signal--but what amount of blending, or how well the blending works, will vary from one situation to the next.
  4. sucho2000


    Nov 19, 2009
    Thanks for that... Now I get some idea how it works

    This could be really silly question but,

    You would not bypass the preamp in the amp head when you use an active bass?

    They say Sadowsky Stomp Preamp/DI is using the same circuit used in all Sadowsky active bass. So I guess using the Sadowsky stomp box is pretty much having an active bass?

    Just curious you know :D
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    loops are for froots! in line. never heard a loop that ever improved the sound of an effect. heard a few that made it worse, though. the only time i like loops is when you can use it to bypass an amp's preamp for an outboard preamp. but the markbass' pre is already pretty flat so not much need. plus my old markbass wouldn't let you do that.

    so in line is obviously the way to go.
  6. sucho2000


    Nov 19, 2009
    Thanks JimmyM
    I have seen you a lot on Markbass threads here :D
  7. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    The Sadowsky on board pre and the stomp box aren't totally the same thing. I am not acually familiar with the stomp box in question, but since they advertise it as a stomp box sized preamp it probably has got a hot enough output so you can drive a power amp with it (line level). The output of an active bass will not be as hot (instrument level). So I should probably re-phrase my previous post to: I like to have only one line level pre-amp in my chain.

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