1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Advantages of an FX loop?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by dobrojoe, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. dobrojoe

    dobrojoe Tele-Meister

    Age:
    75
    Posts:
    337
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Location:
    England
    I've just bought a Katana 100 and a Helix HX. What is the difference between using the FX in the amp's FX loop and plugging it straight into the input?
     
  2. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    I can't speak for the Katana, but I find that when I use delay in the effects loop on my Hughes & Kettner amp I get a much fuller/fatter sound to the delay.
     
  3. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    If you use the amps overdrive, your boost for solos won’t do anything in from if the amp except make it more overdriven. If you put a boost in the loop, you get the desired effect.
     
  4. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,097
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    We could talk for hours about the technical aspects of the loop, but forget all that for now and just plug your effects in both ways for a while. You'll soon figure out what is going on. Some don't see the benefit but I for one use my effects loop all the time.
    It is very helpful with a looper as well allowing you to change tone for each loop you create.
     
  5. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,317
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    If you hook up your Helix to the Katana using the four cable method (4CM), you can select between the amp modeling from each unit using just the presets on the Helix.

    Guitar>Helix input
    Helix loop send>Katana input
    Katana loop send>Helix loop return
    Helix main out>Katana loop return

    This also allows you to run the wah, compressor, and drives in the Helix in front of the Katana preamp, with the modulation, delays, and reverb after it.

    Very versatile setup once the initial programming is done.
     
  6. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,061
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Most amps put the effects loop after the preamp, which puts anything you add before any built-in effects and the power amp. The advantage is that it gets you a line-level (+4 dBu, or decibels referenced to 0.775 volts) signal suitable for processors designed for that. Think rack-mount units not specifically designed to be used with guitars: equalizers, compressors, reverbs, etc.

    If you put those processors in line between the guitar and the preamp, they're going to be fed an instrument-level signal, which is nominally -20 dBu. To give you some idea of the difference, each change of 3 dB in the negative direction halves the amount of energy involved, so the -24 dB difference results in the processor getting less than 0.5% of the signal it wants. That's like turning your guitar waaaaay down and trying to make up for it by cranking up the amp. It isn't going to sound good because any noise in the processor is going to get amplified and it isn't going to sound good.

    I could probably write a few pages on this, but the bottom line is that you need to read the spec sheet for your effects and see where they'll work. Line-level belongs in the effects loop; instrument-level belongs before the amplifier's input. Many (but not all) stomp boxes can tolerate either, so you have some room to experiment.

    --Mark

    P.S.: The Helix is an unusual case because it's got a whole lot of inputs and outputs that are designed to deal with different configurations.
     
    Cliffyg62 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.