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Built in reverb better if no effects loop?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by etype, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. etype

    etype Tele-Holic

    968
    Sep 23, 2014
    Dallas
    I 've been reading about effects loops and one of the take-aways has been that reverb (among other effects) sounds way better if you can put it in an effects loop rather than in the front end of the amp. It also seems that most, if not all, built-in reverb effects are after the pre-amp. Given all the debates about tone-wood and tubes, etc., I would think that something that makes such a noticeable difference would be a big deal at TDPRI. But then I often see posters say that they don't care if an amp has a effects loop or built-in reverb as they can just use a pedal in the front?

    What am I missing?
     

  2. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Time manipulating effects go in the loop always for me.
     
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  3. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Meister

    465
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    I think reverb (and tremolo) sounds best if the amp has it built in. Some people will pass on any amp without an effect loop, and I'm not one of those people. Tone wood is another great example. It's all about what people think they hear.
     
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  4. bluesky1963

    bluesky1963 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    849
    Apr 1, 2011
    Glendale, AZ
    I think the people who don't care about effects loops or built-in reverb are probably people who just don't generally use a lot of reverb or modulation effects (which is what the FX loop is really designed for).
     
    etype likes this.

  5. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    FRV-1 or a real tank in front of the amp will give you a specific splatty sounds that sounds great through a big clean Fender amp and kind of horrible through a distorted amp, to my ear. Otherwise built in or in the loop for me.
     
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  6. etype

    etype Tele-Holic

    968
    Sep 23, 2014
    Dallas
    All makes sense. It's a bummer that so many of the amps I am interested in (e.g. clones of brown Princeton or tweed Harvard/Vibrolux) are not really ever available with effects loops or built-in reverb.
     

  7. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

    134
    Jan 24, 2017
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I find an effects loop useful for many types of delay and reverb sounds, particularly where a more ambient sound is desired. However, for a particular type of "classic" sound - which is what I happen to be after - I prefer effects in front of the amp. In particular, I think analog or tape style delays and spring style reverbs can be very effective in front of the amp, even with moderate levels of distortion from the amp, as long as effects mix is kept at a reasonable level.

    Although it is true that built-in reverb effects are inserted after the pre-amp, consider that classic distorted guitar sounds were created with fully cranked amplifiers in which distortion enters at both the preamp and poweramp sections of the amplifier. If you are using an amp with a modern high-gain preamp and attempting to simulate the classic sound of a saturated poweramp using distortion only from that preamp, you will get the most authentic tone, IMO, by running your reverb and delay effects in front of the amp. Again, I think this works only for analog and tape-style delays and spring-style reverbs, everything else will turn to mud. Also, it works only with moderate preamp gain/distortion. But then I wouldn't personally want to use much, if any reverb and delay with heavy gain/distortion anyway.

    Another tip for simulating classic tones - run the tremolo after reverb so your trails get chopped up. In Fender circuits, the tremolo was the last stage before the phase inverter.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    etype likes this.

  8. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Effects in front always sound better to me, so I don't even know which of my amps have effects loops.
     
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  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Fender BF & SF reverb is *part* of the preamp.

    Personally I don't like how it's voiced, so I use an early 60's Fender tube reverb unit in front of the amp input.

    I don't use effects loops even if I have them. IMO some warmth is lost no matter what effect is used in a loop.
     
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  10. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    These surprised me, sounds better for the big clean verb sound on the front end than most SS build in verbs I have had in amps.
     
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  11. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Hooked up a Holy Grail verb pedal to a blackface Reverb once for a guy, interested in a HG verb pedal. He sat there playing while footswitching from one to the other, we both thought they sounded pretty close. Not at all "surf level" setting though.

    I don't worry about effect loops, maybe the 2555 Marshall has one? If so that's the only amp I've got with a loop.

    I actually do prefer old Ampeg built in reverb to Fenders by a smidge.
    Haven't used a real Fender stand alone unit in years, gotta find one sometime. (cheap)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  12. MarkWW

    MarkWW Tele-Meister

    163
    Mar 20, 2012
    Central Florida
    I used to be one of those guys that would not buy an amp without built in Trem and Verb. Made my life simple with fewer choices but then I broke down and now my life is totally complicated and I never can remember how to use the durn effects loop.
     
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  13. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    +1

    All reverbs are not created equal... Put the effect where it sounds best to your ears, and your entire effects chain, NOT where a bunch of guys on an Internet forum tell you is "right'...
     
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  14. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Ins and outs. no?
     

  15. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

    525
    Aug 11, 2014
    Ohio
    If your using pedals for overdrive you don’t need an fx loop as long as the reverb comes after the overdrive. Which a built in reverb would. An effects loop is only there to place time based fx and modulated fx after the gain stage of an amp. Take a Princeton Reverb for example. It doesn’t have an fx loop. Doesn’t need it because it’s a clean amp. You have to use pedals for overdriving the amp and the reverb and tremolo will naturally be at the end of the chain.
     
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  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    You need you try turning up a Princeton Reverb, they're only clean to point. :)
     
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  17. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

    525
    Aug 11, 2014
    Ohio
    Yeah I know but it’s still considered a clean amp in my book. No master volume. It wasn’t designed to produce a lot of dirt. Maybe a twin reverb would have been a better choice . I use them both the same way. One in the studio and one on stage.
     
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  18. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    I know what you mean TimmyV.
    But you ever try turning up a Twin Reverb? Santana got pretty dirty with one, also really loud. Lol
     

  19. MarkWW

    MarkWW Tele-Meister

    163
    Mar 20, 2012
    Central Florida
    I am hopeless since acquiring cognitive issues but I still putter about.
     

  20. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Effects Loop are a nice feature IF used wisely

    you have to match levels & impedance

    if your loop is not buffered; or your reverb pedal cannot take line level signals - you're in for a BIG disappointment (harsh awful clipping)

    3 solutions come to mind:

    1. A buffered (tube is better) effects loop inside the amp (Mesa etc..)
    2. A reverb or modulation pedal or whatever that has level settings (eventide pedals)
    3. A standalone BUFFER

    if used properly; then yes, loops are great for effects
     

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