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Why use the EFFECTS LOOP?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gfab333, May 26, 2001.

  1. I put my effects pedal in my amp's effects loop

    8 vote(s)
  2. I put my effects pedal between my bass and my preamp input

    23 vote(s)
  1. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    What's the difference between putting my BFX-708 between my bass and my amp's preamp input -vs- plugging my bass straight into the preamp and placing the BFX-708 in the effects loop (between the send and return jacks)?
  2. ¤-AdAm N-¤

    ¤-AdAm N-¤ Guest

    May 23, 2001
    I dont know what the difference is, but I always put my effects between my bass and the preamp input because my amp doesnt have an effects loop.
  3. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I do both. It depends on the effect. I put my Wah and overdrive just after my bass, I put the chorus and phaser in the effects loop. The reason I put them in the effects loop is that you hear swooshing that is more amplified not in effects loop.
    Wahs and Overdrives sund much better before the amp because it gives them the punch of the preamp as well.

  4. try it, and see what the difference is for yourself. if you can't hear the difference, then it doesn't matter. for example, my EH bassballs sounds miles better in my effects loop than it does before my preamp. but when it's sitting in my loop turned off, it sucks my tone. experiment and see what you like.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    An effects loop puts the effects between the preamp and the power amp stages of the amp. This raises the level of the signal going into the effects, so that the sound of your instrument isn't clobbered by the hiss from your stompboxes. The benefits of the loop, I think, are more apparent if you play a passive bass.
  6. I use the effects loop cause:

    A) It sounds better
    B) I takes up less cable.

    Rock on
  7. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    Different effects have different input / output levels. Along with that, the input to the amp is different than the effect loop.

    The rule of thumb is that stomp boxes go in front of the amp. The output of the boxes is similar to that of the bass and that is what the amp input is looking for.

    Effect units (i.e. Alesis Quadreverb) go in the effect loop. The return of the loop is looking for a signal level that the preamp is outputting.

    What may happen with a stomp box in an effect loop is the signal from the preamp (effect send) is too hot and will overdrive the stomp box. Or the signal out of the stomp box is too weak to drive the power amp (effect return).

    What may happen with an effect unit is the instrument may not be hot enough to drive the effect or the out put of the effect unit may be too hot and overload the amp.

    Also, if you have a parallel effect loop, you can put an effect in it and have part of your signal effected and part clean. The other side of this is that you may want your entire signal to be effected (i.e. compression).

    Now with all this said, remember that this is music and not science. The sound you're after may not follow the above rules. And that's OK. Whatever it takes to get the sound you're after is the right way to do it.

  8. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Sounds like LeonD knows the score. Thanks!
  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Some amps (SWR and Mesa-Boogie come to mind) have parallel FX loops with a blend control but work much better with line-level rack effects than stompboxes. Also, the FX loop signal on the SWR that I used to own comes AFTER the DI XLR out so you can't get any FX in your direct sound. Bummer. On my Ampeg B2R, though, the loop comes before the DI so it's not a problem. Just try to experiment to find what works best for you.
  10. So would you treat a multi effects pedal like a Zoom BFX708 like a stompbox and puit it before the preamp, or would you stick a multi pedal into the loop?
  11. I voted for placing the effects in between the bass and the preamp mostly because my old 1973 Carvin head lacks the luxury of an effects loop.
  12. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member


    There are three different ways you could use the Zoom:

    1. Bass - Zoom - pre amp - power amp

    This would be like using your Zoom as a stomp box.

    2. Bass - pre amp - Zoom - power amp

    This would be using your Zoom in the effects loop.

    3. Bass - Zoom - power amp

    This would bypass your amp's pre amp and use the Zoom as a pre amp.

    Because you have a wide range of overall gain with the Zoom, who can get away with trying all three. I think they'll all sound different although it may be subtle.

    personally, I would think either 1 or 3 would work best depending on the quality of your amp.

  13. Believe me, the Zoom will be doing enough already without having to worry about EQ'ing something too;)

    I'd probably end up using 1, so I can shape the sound of the effect. When I get an active bass I'll either do all my manipulation from the bass and leave the 708 where it is, or put the 708 after the preamp and boost the frequencies on the amp EQ so that the bass still controls the tone.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    On the less cable thing, do you mean number of cables or length?

    a bass into an effect into a preamp is two cables. A bass into a preamp and an effect in a loop require three.
  15. the effects loop is always used to plug digital tuners and other rack mounted (is that well written?) effects.. But in some cases, depending on the effect and the equalization on your preamp, it is quite better to plug your effects pedals seried in the fx loop than between your instrument and your preamp, because that way the equalization doesn´t reduce the effect of your pedals/procesors etc. .. but the difference is pretty scarce , as I´ve tested it (in auto wha' s synth´s and stuff like that)
  16. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I used to play one of my rack effects in the signal between the bass and amp. I've switched it to the loop, it sounds better to me there.
  17. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    Ohhhhhhhhhhh I finally got enough cables to use my effects loop... if you got one... USE IT!! I have a Zoom 506II, not only is it easier in general, but it also gets a better sound. The Wah sounds a helluva lot better, so does the bass synth (I use to hate the bass synth, but now it's great!). Plus, all that background noise, though cool at times, is gone. You stop playing and their is no noise (Unless you have your treble up high or something with your amp). It's fantastic, I'm never going back to not using it.

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