Delay Pedal in a Passive Effects Loop?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by steelerboy329, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. steelerboy329

    steelerboy329 Member

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    I'm thinking about getting an amp that has a passive effects loop, but I'm not too familiar with the different types of effects loop (active/passive or buffered/non-buffered). I tried doing some research on it and I kept seeing something about tone loss with ones that are passive (non-buffered?).

    I know what the purpose of the loop is I just to make sure it will work like I want it to. The amp is a Two Rock Gain Master 22 and the delay will be an El Cap or a Timeline. Does it make a difference if I use the buffer on the delay? Should I expect any issues?

    Not sure if this should go here or in the amp forum, but I figured I would try here since I'm sure someone uses delay with a passive loop.
     
  2. windwalke9649

    windwalke9649 Member

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    I don't understand what you mean by passive, you mean parallel? If you mean non buffered, I've never used one.
    they come in series or parallel; in a series the whole signal comes out after your pre amp , the entire signal passes through whatever pedals are plugged into the effects loop.
    in parallel loops however, the signal gets split with part of the signal going straight on to the power amp and the other part of the signal passing through the pedals and then into the power amp

    There are benefits and drawbacks to both, parallel usually have mix knobs the lets you to choose how much of the signal passes through your effects. So for instance if you use a particularly strong chorus pedal you can set the mix so that less of the wet signal goes to the power amp.

    On a series with the entire signal going through, you can do different things with the effects pedals that you can't do to a parallel one. You can put volume pedals in the loop, and use it to raise/lower the volume at the power amp instead of the preamp. If you put a volume pedal into the front of an amp that you use the tubes to get your dirt, rocking the volume pedal down will lower the signal into the amp, like rolling your guitar volume back. If you stick it in the loop, when you back off the volume pedal it will drop the amp volume, but it will retain the dirt because you still have the same amount of signal going into the preamp.

    But with series loops, I've had certain analog delays it didn't really work well in there; if I was using a lot of preamp gain, the pedal just couldn't handle the load coming out of the preamp, when I hit the front of the amp to get it to breakup, I'd lose some of the top end treble it would lose definition. If it was a parallel line I would have been able to adjust the signal leve, and I wouldnt lose the top end.
    With series loops I've also been able to take certain preamps, like the Ethos; run it into the "return" in the loop, and my guitar would completely bypass the amplifiers preamp, and I'd be running the Ethos preamp right into the amplifier's tube driven power amp. Once in a while I would put a MXR 10-band EQ I used to have right in the series loop. Id set all the sliders flat, and bump the volume slider up a bit (that eq pedal had separate sliders for Vol and gain). When I would turn it on, it would push the power amp just a little bit, not enough to make it start breaking up, but it seems to lower the sweet spot of the power ramp was somewhat more manageable volume. It was almost like giving the power amp its own gain & volume control. I've even seen people put wahs in series loops.

    I don't think I would ever use an effects loop that wasn't at least buffered, I imagine the problem that I experienced with the analog delay pedals in this series effects loop would be even worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  3. steelerboy329

    steelerboy329 Member

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  4. Billion81

    Billion81 It'd be a whole lot cooler if you did.

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    Great info- thanks for taking the time to write this.

    and yes OP- that TR is a passive loop!!
     
  5. Tonemeister69

    Tonemeister69 Member

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    I think it depends on the amp.
    The passive loop in my Fargen loves delays. I get great results running the Timeline or Skreddy Echo. It sounds a little darker than when I run those into the front of the amp, but sounds WAY better when I'm running the amp gained up a bit.
     
  6. markszabo

    markszabo Member

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    I run all my time based effects in the fx loop, be it active/buffered or passive. My Rivera M100 has level controls for both the send and receive, but my Dr Z Maz 18 Jr does not. Works the same regardless.
     
  7. windwalke9649

    windwalke9649 Member

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    I guess they mean non-active?? I have no idea. I wonder if the loops in the older Gen Hot Rod deluxe was buffered or not. I owned 2 @ one point (and hopefully never again) and I recall never using the loop, even though I use them usually if an amp has one, at the very least for reverb/delay, but I recall thinking they sounded like garbage through it.
    (sorry if I offend any DHR lovers, but these two were terrible, both needed repair within months of buying them)
     

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