Effects loop or all in front of the amp?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by wulfenganck, Mar 23, 2017.

Signalchain: pro/con effects loop

  1. All effects in front of amp input

    36 vote(s)
    70.6%
  2. All effects in amp effects loop

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Before amp AND effects loop

    15 vote(s)
    29.4%
  1. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    The idea for that came after scrolling through the "Show us your pedalboard" thread, because it seems to me, that there is a majority of putting all effects before the amp.
    I don't, I have wah and overdrive before amp; noisegate, booster, delays (both with modulation) and reverb/trem in the (seriell) effects loop of my amp.
    It is partly because I use both clean channel as well as a slight crunch from my amp and I dislike the sound of delay or reverb before overdrive.
    But even with a purely clean setting I disliked having all effects in front, as it kind of muddied my sound when I was using some more "effected" settings....and I feel the hum and noise is less when using the loop
    What are your preferences and why?
     
  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Time based stuff in loop. I'm old school and just rack it neatly under the amp. Easy to roll in and set up so it's practical too and saves trailing wires.

    I do get the 'pedal platform' use of amps for some people, I use a GT100 for some gigs myself with reverbs, delay before the amp but I use the drive channels in the amp for dirt in my main rig and I don't like delays and reverb before dirt as it makes it mushy. Simple as that.

    I've played through some pretty big pedal boards and the level of noise, hiss and top end attenuation was shocking. I think pedals are hugely fashionable now but they are not necessarily the best or most versatile option.

    I'm always blown away by the detail and clarity I get with high quality gear in the loop and a pretty clear signal into the tubes at the front if I've been messing with too many pedals.

    People pick what works for them. I have a great amp, so pedals are not that key to great tone for me.
     
    Lupo likes this.
  3. adamr8887

    adamr8887 TDPRI Member

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    all depends on the amp. There's no right or wrong without amp details to support each way. My set up includes a single channel very clean amp (Brunetti Singleman 35) and whilst it has a wonderful effects loop, to me it's redundant. I have never seen any benefit to running pedals in the loop of a very clean amp but others may disagree.

    I run everything in the front end for both convenience and it sounds marginally better to my ears. The only non standard thing in my pedal chain is I run my modulation after delay. I tend to only use tremolo and it sounds more musical after my Analogman ARDX20 - again only in my opinion.

    However, I used to have a Dr Z that had little head room and delay in the front end of that amp wasn't a great sound for me, it was too hard to control so I had to use the loop. sounded fine but was just a pain having twice as many long cables in and out of my amp.
     
    Kestrel likes this.
  4. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In my case, I heard no discernible difference between loop and in-front, so I picked the front based off convenience.
     
  5. Redvers

    Redvers Tele-Meister

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    I used to do it religiously, even for just one pedal. But now a mix of laziness, simplicity and just not sounding bad I run everything straight in. It gets a bit undesirable when the amp warms up. But at the same time the fx loop can overdrive a delay whereas before the amp you can keep your pedals at a perfect level.
     
  6. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    I put all pedals in front of the amp. Easier for me and I like the sound.
     
  7. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    I can relate to that, because I use both channels of my amp.
    Nevertheless I like it better to have modulation, delay, reverb after my preamp-setting instead of EQ-ing an "effected" sound. But that might be nitpicking or even personal voodoo ;)

    I cannot relate 'though to the "pain having twice as many long cables".....come on: it's 2 cables!?!?!
    I drag - depending on the gig - up to 6 instruments (2 electrics, acoustic, resonator, acoustic bass, ukulele) plus amp, plus pedalboard for electrics and resonator plus small pedalboard for direct to mixing desk for acoustic, acoustic bass, ukulele.
    Not to mention our small pa system for smaller gigs where we happily rely on out rig instead of playing over some ****ty amp, humming mixing desk and clipping speakers in a pub/club/social club/youth center etc. It's mainly the singer and me who carry the stuff, as we both live close to the rehearsal room whereas our bandmates live 20 and 50 kilometers away.

    But even when it comes down to 1 guitar plus amp plus board for a small gig or session, I find it not really annoying to have 2 more between board and amp.
     
  8. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've flirted with effects loops and using amp distortion, but have always come back home to going straight in. Fewer cables means fewer points of failure, and as with some posts above I don't notice that much of a difference between using echo in the loop or in front since I'm using my amp as a clean tone and foundation for pedals. I do notice that I like how sometimes a lot of stacked delays with my Triple Delay will slightly overdrive the amp's input, adding some gritty color to cleaner lines and chords.

    I'm sorry, baby... Amp with a Fender-y Clean Channel, can you find it in your heart to forgive me and take me back? I won't even look at amps that have three or more channels anymore, I swear. And that fling I had with the dirty channel that's right next to you? I realize now it was wrong, and I'm so, so sorry. Here, let me dress you up nice with some modulated delay, or maybe you could slip on that transparent overdrive I like so much...
     
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  9. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Blues Jr., so everything goes in the front. I keep the Jr. clean, though.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think it depends on the amp, so I vote for both. To me it has to do with the amp's clean headroom where it is not going to matter as much to have all effects up front if you have lots of headroom.
     
  11. Mrbob135

    Mrbob135 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The amps I use to play out with have no effect loops: a mid 70's Fender SFTR, a 61 Brown Face Deluxe, and a Train Wreck Rocket based 30w 12" combo (sort of Voxish...ish). So everything goes in front, not that I use a lot of effects. Volume pedal, tuner, a few flavors of drive, boost, reverb, delay...that's it.
     
  12. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Vroom vroom pedals up front, time based after power tubes, ala studio.
    I skip the in the middle option. Half the amps I like do not offer it.
     
  13. Kestrel

    Kestrel Tele-Afflicted

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    Depends on the amp for me. If the amp I'm playing has an effects loop then I'll take advantage of that when it comes to delays and reverbs. If the amp doesn't have an effects loop, then I'll run everything in front.
     
  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oh, but it is a hassle, especially if you have a small amp and small pedalboard. With the addition of the amp footswitch (loops are often used with the amps' own drive) that's 4 thick cables, plus a power adapter. Way too complicated to move it all around.
     
  15. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Every cable is a potential issue.
    Less cables, less issues.
    It's not just laziness.
     
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  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I on the other hand invested in high quality Cordial cables and it's exactly their thickness and stiffness that makes them impractical. You trip one and the whole pedal board goes flying around.
     
  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    All pedals on and hidden, or out of the way linked to a central controller footswitch, would be pretty sweet if the signal path were clean and buffered.
     
  18. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I only have two amps where I use the effects loop. One is a Peavey Backstage Plus from the '60's where I put a delay in the loop for ambience. The other is a Rivera S120-210 which is a stereo chorus amp where I'll stick either a TC G-Major 2, a Roland Space Echo RE-150 or an Ibanez DM-2000 rack delay in the loop for more ping-pong type delays and panning phase kinds of effects. Stereo, is good fun, but I'm drifting off topic here.

    Most of my amps have no loop, being old Fenders and Traynors. But even with the Traynor you can patch delays between channels to have more control. And one of my Fender's has been modded to have the channels in phase and reverb on both channels, so you can patch between channels on it as well.

    But mostly, it's guitar into board, board into amp.
     
  19. the tool

    the tool Tele-Holic

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    I used to use clean channel and dirty channel on my amp. With reverb and delay in the loop. Made my own "snake" with send/return, footswitch, input cables all the way to the board with 15 feet cables. Worked great.

    But after a period of testing overdrive pedals i came to the conclusion i could stop using amp drive channel and just use the clean channel with two OD pedals of different flavour. Now everything is in front. Im just as happy as i was before.
     
  20. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

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    In a studio I put delay and sound wobble pedals in a loop and the rest (OD and fuzz) in front. For gigs I keep it simple and put it all in front.
     
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