Line level vs. instrument level efx in amp efx loop...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by imjustadrummer, May 28, 2008.

  1. imjustadrummer

    imjustadrummer Member

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    If the amp is designed to run line level effects in the loop, will my stomp box delay/modulation effects work? What is line level? Rack mount stuff? Any floor models line level? EHX SMMH???
     
  2. OrangeAD30TC

    OrangeAD30TC The venerable H.W.

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    It is my understanding that Line level is a higher output than instrument level. Some effects like the DD-20 and some higher end stuff will work at line level but not your everyday stompbox. There are units that can covert your line level down to instrument level and then back up to line level.
     
  3. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    most FX loops will either be stompbox level, or they will allow you to choose between line and instrument level. Some stompboxes do the same.
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    It can be a real problem. So far I know the TC electronics Nova Delay and reverb have input calibration and can handle line level. Some other ones can as well. Had no problems so far with my Deep Blue Delay either, but my H20 doesn't handle line level.

    You can buy a effects loop-line level volume pedal and turn it down, the only thing is you lose volume (or limit it) that way. It might not be loud enough. You can make up levels, and it might be possible to get a amp tech to make a loop switchable between +4 and -10db. The problem really is, if you lower the level in, it is lower than designed OUT again.

    I did buy a little Nobels box that is made for this (you can make up gain) but I haven't tried it out. I had problems with a Prosonic, but it was before I bought the Nova delay and reverb.

    you could list what you have here and see if others know if they work in line level effects loops (mention the amp too!). Other than that, can contact pedal makers and ask.
     
  5. amp_surgeon

    amp_surgeon Member

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    Line level for pro audio (not consumer audio) gear is usually a maximum of 1.2V RMS. A guitar pickup at full volume and playing loud will typically output about 1/4 this much signal. If the amp doesn't have either a switch or trim knob to compensate for the lower instrument level signal, you can usually still increase the gain to make up for it.

    Most people usually don't have problems using instrument level effects in an amp effects loop. On the other hand, you could run into problems if you mix line level and instrument level effects in the same chain. For example, a line level output running into an instrument level input might overdrive that input. Again, you can often just back off the gain on the line output box to compensate.

    If you run into problems just break the path and patch the output of each box into a monitor amp one at a time until you find the box that's causing the problem, then adjust the gain of that box as needed.

    As a last resort, to kick up an instrument level output to line level use a DI box. To reduce a line level output to instrument level use an attenuator adapter.
     
  6. carbz

    carbz Supporting Member

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    I had been a die hard loop user for many years and my buddy for the longest time insisted I try a wet dry setup. Clearly after using the wet/dry I'd never use a loop again unless I had to. I have an Aiken Intruder which with a loop which is supposedly set up for line level effects and I've used my Nova Delay in it and it sounded pretty decent as long I didn't clip the Master volume that much. I find most effects sound better through the front of an amp with the exception of echo which IMO needs to be used in a wet/dry set up unless your playing clean.
     
  7. imjustadrummer

    imjustadrummer Member

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    Amps:
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    EHX SMMH works in the loop, DMM overloads
    chorus/phase pedal not so good... overload issues

    THD Bivalve loop I think is line level which probably means that pedal modulation won't be a good idea, but the SMMH or TC nova series should work?!?
     

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