Getting first amp w/ effects loop, help a noob out

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by JDaniels, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

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    For 15 years I've always had a KISS approach when it came to amps effects. Les Paul > small board (tuner, wah, comp/sustain, TS, delay) > JCM800 (or similar). Long story short I'm broadening my horizons (musically and gear wise) by picking up a DSL50 next week and I started a thread a couple days ago asking opinions about multi effects units (and possibly ditching my pedals completely) I almost bought a POD HD500 (and run it 4CM), but the more I researched the more I heard about all the tone sucking issues with that unit, especially since I would never use the amp modelling, but only the effects, and that is not OK.

    I'm starting to play in church and will need a volume pedal and reverb for swells and ambient stuff. I've read that delays and reverb sound better in the effects loop, however the stage I'll be playing on doesn't allow me to be particularly close to my amp, so now I'm worried about the tone suck of a second longish set of cables from board to amp.

    The effects/pedals I will need: (I'm dropping the wah for now because I rarely use it and it another culprit in tone sucking) Tuner, Volume (I realize another culprit, I've strongly considered getting better at using my volume knob, so I'm not sold on volume yet, they do make swells much easier though), comp/sustain, one OD, Reverb and Delay. That's all I need. What setup would give me the least amount of tone suck? A couple pedals out front and a couple in the loop (I'll grab some EQ for the loop too if I decide to put stuff in the loop) or all pedals out front, or some pedals out front and a little multi effects (like the TC Nova System) in the loop. Or JUST a little multi effects unit out front, or one of each out front and in the loop?

    I apologize for the long post, as you can see I'm pretty confused. I want to keep my Les Paul > Marshall sound pretty intact but I want to simply be able to add some flair to the P&W stuff as well. Thanks for all your help fellas, this place is a wealth of info.
     
  2. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    The first thing to decide is if you're going to use the amp's distortion channel(s) or not. If not, you can run all pedals in line in front of the amp. If you want to use the amp distortion (which I suspect you'll want to do - it's a multi channel Marshall, after all), the delay and reverb will probably be happier in the fx loop.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the cable length in the fx loop - the loop send is low impedance, and should handle long cables just fine.
     
  3. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

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    O yes, I'm sorry for not making that clear. I will definitely being using the amp for most of the distortion. I will keep one OD on the board for a bit of layering when I'm playing on a cleaner amp setting. That being said pretty much anytime I would be using the Reverb I would using a very clean amp signal, however the delay will be used for both clean and distorted sounds.

    I guess I'll have to try it, but I've always had delay in front of the amp because I'm had no other choice and it's sounded alright. It would seem silly to run all that cable just to put delay in the loop, although I'd likely toss some EQ in there as well. Then again if I was to put everything out front I'd look at one of those Nova Systems anyway. Thanks for clarifying that the cable shouldn't be an issue.

    What are those multi-effectors like the Nova System like for transparency? I wouldn't mind having one of those in my loop if I ever wanted to experiment with other sounds, but not at the expense of my tone. I wouldn't use half the stuff probably, and another good portion of the stuff in those units would be better out front anyway.
     
  4. NielsM

    NielsM Member

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    +1.

    And if you have tone loss in the front of your amp, get a nice buffered pedal, or even just a buffer pedal. This will reduce tone loss by a mile when using long cables.

    EQ'ing the FX loop isn't really necessary because it's just been EQ'd by the amp. FX loop is nothing more than a loop between the Pre Gain and the Post Gain.

    This is how I would set up

    Guitar - Tuner - (Wah) - Compressor - (EQ) - Front of the amp
    FX loop send - Delay - Reverb - FX loop return.

    How this helped.
     
  5. NielsM

    NielsM Member

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    And I'm not really a fan of multi effects, so I wouldn't recommend it.
     
  6. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    Cable tone suck is mostly a problem from guitar to first active device (pedal or amp), due to the high output impedance. A quality pedal with low output impedance can drive any cable any reasonable length without tone suck. Just put a buffer or always-on pedal as the first link in your chain, at your feet.
     

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