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Some signal chain advice needed in this thread...(with a Tech 21 SansAmp):

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MistaMarko, Dec 31, 2011.


  1. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko

    Feb 3, 2006
    USA
    Recently acquired a Tech 21 SansAmp (Deluxe)...I've never used an external pre-amp in my signal chain before like this. Anyway, this is the first time I've ever really been suggested to use the Effects Loop on my amp. I have NEVER understood the necessity to use this or why I'd want to and it's probably because I just don't understand how it works. The manual for the Tech 21 suggested to plug the output from the SansAmp into the 'Effects Return' jack on my amp versus the main input. But why? What does this do? When it do that it just makes the volume quieter versus using the regular input. It says doing this bypasses the preamps tone coloring feature and defeats the amps master volume. What?

    Here's my current signal chain:

    Active Bass ---> compressor pedal ---> Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver Deluxe ---> BOSS tuner pedal ---> GK 1001 head

    The Tech 21 has a billion different inputs and stuff to use with the Effects Loop. I just don't understand what this does or why I'd want to use it. I actually need someone to come in here and dumb it down/spell it out for me (as if i was born yesterday) on what I can use an Effects Loop for, and maybe give some advice on how to redo that signal chain if anyone knows a better way to do it? Does an active bass change the equation any? Just new to using multiple effects and stuff. Thanks so much!
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Run it in the normal input if you wish to have control over both the Sansamp AND your bass amp. Run it in the effects return if you want to use the Sansamp as your only preamp. Simple.
     
  3. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko

    Feb 3, 2006
    USA
    So by running it in the effects return, essentially my head is pointless in the equation and is being bypassed and I'm just using my cab as a means to amplify the Tech 21?
     
  4. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    You're just bypassing the preamp on your head. You're still using the power amp.
     
  5. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko

    Feb 3, 2006
    USA
    Ok, so what would Effects Send and all that be used for?
     
  6. Effects Send/Return lets you put your effect pedals after your preamp. It means you'll generally have a hotter, cleaner signal going through them.

    I use two Sansamps - a VT for my bass rig, and a Blonde on one of my guitar rigs.

    The Blonde is the last pedal in my guitar chain, since I treat it as my amp, and run that into the PA.

    The VT is used when I'm running into the PA with my bass. I treat it as my amp - it's on all the time.
     
  7. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    In your case, nothing. The manual is just suggesting you replace your current preamp with the SansAmp. This effectively moves your effects "loop" from the send and return built into the amp to the output of the SansAmp (now the send) and the return in your amp, bypassing your preamp. I "send" the signal from my effects send to a compressor and the output of the compressor goes to the effects return. This means my compressor is working on the preamp signal instead of the weaker instrument level signal. It sounds better this way.

    Personally, I used my SansAmp Programmable BDDI as I would use any other effect pedal. I didn't want it to replace my existing preamp.
     
  8. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko

    Feb 3, 2006
    USA
    Gotcha. I have wondered what the sound difference would be if the compressor was after my amp versus before it. Based on my signal chain above, what would you suggest would be a new/better way to wire the whole thing?
     
  9. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Since your compressor is a pedal, I would leave it right where it is. I use a old Rane DC-24 rack mounted unit.
     

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