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Using an EQ pedal as a preamp EQ

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jumblemind, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Question: Could you use an EQ stomp box to EQ the preamp signal on an amplifier by using the effects loop? I'm thinking of picking up a Portaflex 350, but it doesn't have a graphic EQ, which I use a lot on my B2r to fix my sound in different rooms. I have an EQ pedal, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be the same in my pedal board as the graphic EQ built into amps that have them.

    I'm ignorant on the amp effects loop...does it come after the preamp? I thought I'd read people bypassing the preamp with something like an Eden WTDI, but never worked out the order of things.
  2. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I use a Boss eq pedal in conjunction with a Aggie Tone Hammer pedal (which is my preamp) and it works very well. I have all the freq covered that I like to boost cut. Should be fine thru your effects send.

    The Tone Hammer is one hell of a great sounding pedal.
  3. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Is there a significant difference in going through the effects loop as opposed to having the EQ pedal in my regular effects chain? I wouldn't be using my own preamp pedal (as of yet), though I do have an MXR M80 on the PT.
  4. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    The important difference is between instrument level and FX loop level. As long as the FX send level doesn't overdrive the EQ pedal, and the pedal has enough level to drive the FX return, it'll be fine.
  5. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Probably the best way to use the EQ pedal is to leave it at home. :bassist:

    Not a big fan of graphc EQs. :spit:
  6. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    You have to make sure your preamp pedal has enough juice to drive whatever power amp / power section you are using. One of the reasons I went with the Tone Hammer is because it has quite a hot output.

    If you put it thru the effects send your signal may not be strong enough. You can also just plug it into the front of the amp, but beware that you will get colour from the amp's preamp. It might be an idea to spend some time with it and do some experimenting to find what works best for you.
  7. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    So using the effects loop basically cuts out the onboard preamp?
  8. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    no it doesn't you will be able to use both the eq pedal and all the on board eqs
  9. Plugging only into the "return" bypasses the preamp and sends your signal directly to the power amp.

    Using both the "send" and "return" takes your preamp signal and works it through whatever other effects you place "in the loop", then sends it to the power amp.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Depends on the output of the pedal and the input sensitivity of the poweramp. For example: if the poweramp needs 1.4 volts to drive it, the pedal needs to ba able to put out that 1.4 volts.

    Input sensitivity isn't a standard thing, it can vary quite a bit. Some amps need more than others, some have switchable settings. A "bass head" like your pf might not need as much as some stand alone PA type poweramps...or maybe it does...depends on how it was designed.

    It won't hirt to try, just if the pedal isn't strong enough to properly drive the amp, the sound will be anemic. Not nearly as loud or full sounding as it should be.

    Yes, plugging in the effects return would bypass your pf's pre and go straight to the power section. Plugging it in the front would stack your pedal on top of the built in preamp. Whether or not you need use of the amps built in DI is another thing to consider.

    You could also run it through a little mixer, or something like a TubeMP, to get more ins and outs and level matching.
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The quality of the eq pedal is very important. I just experimented running a few different eq pedals through the send and return of my amps effects loop. The cheaper pedals had a negative effect on my tone even when it was off.
    Something like the MXR 10 band eq would work quite well in the effects loop. I often use a Boss bass eq stompbox before the input on an amp for slight tone changes. Works great.

    I also often use my Sansamp Para DI as a preamp going into the effects return. Almost always sounds great. I especially do this with backline gear.
  12. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    The preamp in the PF350 is laid out pretty much the same as the B2RE, SVT-450 , and Micro VR. Using your EQ pedal in the loop will serve the same purpose as the internal Graphic EQ on the amp. The only real difference may be that the EQ points on the pedal may be different than those on the graphic in the B2RE amp itself. Personally I don't think you'll need it, but using it in the loop is the way to go.
  13. jeffgnr90


    Aug 4, 2011
    Sorry to revive an old thread, but km getting the mxr 10 band. What effect would i get by plugging it into both the fx send/return? I know just into the fx return bypasses the eq on the head. How would I hook it up this way? In other words would the pedal stay out of the fx chain (my other pedals) I have a bddi which ive sent to the fx return but I use it going straight into the amps input now. Just a little confused as to where everything is placed. Currently its my bass -- boss oc3 -- bddi -- amp. Does the mxr get placed in this chain if I want it going into the fix return?
  14. I have the boss one. Saw Justin from Tool used it so I figured it wouldn't be that bad. I got it back when I was starting to get away from slapping. I started setting up my tone more flat and got the pedal to scoop the tone for slapping bits here and there in a few songs because I didn't like that scooped sound as my main tone anymore. I was hugely disappointed. It is very noisy and barely useable.

    IMO my most useful tones are when my amp is flat. I use a bbe sonic maximizer (which is essentially a 2 band eq) and the active eq on my bass for tweaking these days.