How You Personally Use the Send/Return on your Amp

Blackie1956

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I'm curious about the various creative ways some of you make use of the Send/Return on your amp (assuming your amp possesses the send/return). Like many people, I rarely use mine (I play mostly clean stuff), yet last night I was pondering ways I might get a drum machine that has no midi clock to potentially sync with my looper...which is how I started wondering what clever things some of you might be doing with the send/return and your reasons for doing so.
 

andy__d

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For the years that I was using a Marshall JMP-1, rather than having a separate power amp, I used to plug it in to the Return jack on My Laney amp head, because the FX loop was between the preamp and power amp, so you could use the return jack as a line level in to the power amp (not sure if that’d work / be safe on a valve amp). Before I had the separate preamp, I also used to use the send / return jack with a line level Alexis Quadraverb with separate delay / reverb / modulation patches set up for different songs, and a next / back pedal, made out of the shell of an old DOD chorus (which I had thought was junk back then - they now go for about $180 on Reverb… D’oh!)
 
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mexicanyella

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I have mostly used those jacks for amp-slaving; taking a line out from one amp I liked the sound of, but which wasn’t loud enough, into the return/line in on a bigger amp.

More recently I have used an older Zoom modeling pedal (a B2) to bypass the preamp of one of my combo amps, making the combo essentially into a powered speaker for the Zoom.

I’ve never been a heavy-enough effects user to benefit from putting reverbs and delays in stuff in the effects loop of an amp, but some guys I know have gotten good results from doing that. One guy I know always ran a Boss EQ pedal, always-on, in the loop of a Marshall JCM900 head, with a particular EQ curve he liked. He liked the sound of that, with less aggressive settings on the actual amp EQ knobs, better than doing it all with the amp controls.
 

sudogeek

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Supposedly, time-based effects are recommended to be in the effects loop. I do it with my delay despite the fact that that means patch and power cables running to/from the amp along with the input cable, or breaking up the pedal board, having to walk back to the amp to switch off and on, etc.). I don’t think it sounds enough better, if at all, to put up with it. I know, that’s a minor issue but I’m fully on the OC spectrum. Most of the time, I’m just using my delay to mimic a mild on-board tremolo and just leave it on anyway.

Yet, IMHO reverb, especially from an 6G15-like outboard spring reverb unit, just doesn’t sound good into an effects loop. Maybe that’s because I’ve been playing with that sound for 50+ years and expect a certain sound and behavior. But, into the effects loop, I think it sounds like …. well, bad. [Yes, I know the BF/SF amps have the reverb after the preamp, but whatever.] So, I put my reverb unit in front where Leo and Dick intended.

In the past decade or so, I’ve also tried a few amp emulator pedals (Tech21, Joyo, Vox, and so on) with solid state amps and I’ve come to the conclusion that they sound better in front as well.

So, how do I use the effects loop? I don’t
 
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Tyuk

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I use my FX loop for 4 cable-method with my board on all my amps. All OD’s/boosts hit the pre-amp and all time-based effects are after/still in the FX loop. A Boss MS-3 is the nexus of my board and everything, including channel switching and patches/presets, can be controlled from it.
FEC62384-C76D-4B3E-A00B-106B94329BDD.jpeg
 

Maguchi

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I'm curious about the various creative ways some of you make use of the Send/Return on your amp (assuming your amp possesses the send/return). Like many people, I rarely use mine (I play mostly clean stuff), yet last night I was pondering ways I might get a drum machine that has no midi clock to potentially sync with my looper...which is how I started wondering what clever things some of you might be doing with the send/return and your reasons for doing so.

I prefer my eq and modulation pedals in the loop. To my ears, this works better with the amp distortion.
I use the effects loops in my amps to plug in any chorus, delay, phaser or modulation and time based effects. Most of my amps with effects loops have built in reverb, so I don't have a reverb pedal. I agree bigtime with northernguitar that modulation in the loop "works better with amp distortion." Also works great with pedal distortion into the front of the amp and modulation effects in the loop. IMHO it just sounds like a crisper more defined sound that way.
 

Guitarteach

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Got rack delays abd a lexicon reverb unit in my boogie’s loop most of the time. Common use, but I take the stereo side out of the reverb to a second amp sometimes, giving me a absolutely huge sounding stereo boogie tone!

My Boss GT fx into the return is also a quick, killer solution for an easy fx heavy gig.
 

Blackie1956

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Got rack delays abd a lexicon reverb unit in my boogie’s loop most of the time. Common use, but I take the stereo side out of the reverb to a second amp sometimes, giving me a absolutely huge sounding stereo boogie tone!

My Boss GT fx into the return is also a quick, killer solution for an easy fx heavy gig.
Wow. That's great!
 

Mowgli

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In several amps that lacked an effects loop, I had a “passive” (“unbuffered”) loop installed. Why unbuffered?

I use a “Fuchs Verbrator” (a tube-based buffer with a wonderful sounding digital reverb) which is basically an affordable options-rich “Dumblator.” It can be set to series or parallel, has send and return level controls, level and depth reverb controls and adds some warmth to my hybrid and solid state amps.

I, too, run time-based effects and EQ in the loop.
 

naveed211

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Usually just for time based effects, but I have at times plugged preamps into the return and used the amp’s power amp.
 

Cyberi4n

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Years ago I ran a Bugera 6262 head on high gain, and a Boss NS in the loop dealt VERY nicely with amp hiss, which meant that i had a very saturated tone with no noticeable decay issues but was deathly quiet from a hiss POV
 
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Festofish

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There are amps without a loop?!? :) I’m an effects nerd so yeah. I run my pedals that need a clean signal(Whammy, Wah, POG etc.) and drives into the front. Mods/time based through the loop with a volume knob(JHS little black amp top box) at the return. I like to put a delay in each stream for funzies. Listening to the delay get overdriven can be wild.
 




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