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EFFECTS LOOP QUESTION


browndog021

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How does the effects loop on my bass head (or any amp for that matter)work? I always run my effects in the front input. Is there any major difference?

 

The effects loop of your amp is after the preamp and normally the eq section as well (I think). That means effects in that loop see a stronger line level signal, and your eq settings effect the signal prior to the effects rather than after. If you're overdriving the preamp section to get distortion, it also means the effects "see" that distorted signal rather than the clean signal right from the instrument. Also, the instrument is connected directly to the preamp, which some find preferable (more relevant for passive basses with high impedance pickups, where the degree of "loading" seen by the pickup may be important.

 

The short story is try it out and see which way you like better.

 

:wave:

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One other thing to think about:

 

Your effects loop may be either series or parallel - if it's series, your signal goes from the preamp section of the amp, out of the effects loop into your effects and back in to the power section of the amp. If it's parallel, your signal is split in two, one going straight to the power section, another to the effects loop.

 

You can find out which you've got by looking at your amp's manual, or googling for an online version if you don't have it.

 

If it's series, you'll hear only the effected or "wet" sound - what you'd hear if you could plug in right after your last effect. If it's series the the "wet" sound is blended with your original "dry" sound. Series can be great if you're using an effect that kills your low end, like a distortion. Your clean signal will be blended in with the distortion, giving you the fuzz sound while maintaining your fat original sound.

 

Like bholder said - try it both ways and see which you like better!

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One other thing to think about:


Your effects loop may be either
series
or
parallel
- if it's series, your signal goes from the preamp section of the amp, out of the effects loop into your effects and back in to the power section of the amp. If it's parallel, your signal is split in two, one going straight to the power section, another to the effects loop.


You can find out which you've got by looking at your amp's manual, or googling for an online version if you don't have it.


If it's series, you'll hear only the effected or "wet" sound - what you'd hear if you could plug in right after your last effect. If it's
PARALLEL
the the "wet" sound is blended with your original "dry" sound.
PARALLEL
can be great if you're using an effect that kills your low end, like a distortion. Your clean signal will be blended in with the distortion, giving you the fuzz sound while maintaining your fat original sound.


Like bholder said - try it both ways and see which you like better!

 

 

I think you mis-spoke a couple of times there.

 

 

But that is correct, and parallel effects loops are also great for time based effects like delays and reverb. You still have your original signal, and then can 'add' whatever amount of effect that you want to it. When you do this, you should keep the effect set to fully 'wet', so you can add just the effected signal in on top of your base tone.

 

A series loop can be great if you want to use a volume pedal for instance. If you are running a high gain preamp that gives you a lot of distortion, running a volume pedal in front will also vary the amount of gain you get from the preamp. If you run that same pedal in the loop, the gain from your preamp will stay the same, and it will truly be a 'volume' pedal (assuming you have a solid state power amp section, or aren't driving your power tubes into saturation.

 

 

Loops are great once you understand their differences and uses.

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