Oops... no FX loops

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gasp100, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have one killer amp and I'm getting another nice one tomorrow and possibly even adding one soon after that. I just realized I bought a delay pedal from a friend (but I have yet to pick it up) and I'm not sure if delay will really sound any good at all in FRONT of the amp:
    guitar -> delay -> amp
    Maybe cleans won't be a big deal, but what about when I want to use distortion with delay "trails"? Do you find the same issue with Trem and Reverb as well? None of my amps have (or probably will have) trem or verb, but I'd like to accentuate with a pedal sometime in the future. Did I mess up buy getting amps with no FX loop?
    In some cases I will be running the amps clean, but sometimes I will want the OD from the amp itself (vs. a boost pedal).
     
  2. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Research "wet/dry rig".
     
  3. mdsmith64

    mdsmith64 Supporting Member

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    Good suggestion and in fact I thought I would do just that (even though I know what a wet/dry rig is...wanted to see what other GP readers had to say about them). Unfortunately I hit a brick wall which also represents my one complaint about this forum. That is, you can't use a search term that is less than 4 characters long. I tried a few work arounds but nothing worked. Anyone know of a work around for this?

    By the way, I agree with GuitarTone. I'd rather play with no delay at all than have it in front.

    -Mike.
     
  4. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    I was wondering the same thing a while back. I did a bit of digging and asked someone I know with lots of experience. It seems that if you want to use amp overdrive, you ideally need an amp that is set up to give you pre-amp overdrive only (or very little poweramp overdrive) and you need the delay in the loop. AND you need to use an effect unit that's designed to work with the signal levels that your effects loop is designed for. Lots of amps have effects loops that are designed for rack effects that take line level signals, rather than instrument level signals, and conversely, lots of stomp box type effects units are designed to take instrument level signals.

    I'm sure people break these rules all the time with reasonably good results and that there are workarounds, but I concluded that I shouldn't really buy an amp without a loop if I'm thinking of using delay or outboard reverb, unless I'm also going to use pedals to get my overdrive.
     
  5. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Since you already bought the amp, you might as well try the delay in front and see how it sounds. While not optimal, I was surprised how good an analog delay sounded in front of my NMV D/13 (no loop). You may find it works well enough for your needs.

    I do think time based effects sound best in a loop. Having tried a NMV amp with no loop, I finally realized that a loop is a must for me- for what I am trying to do. Some purists want a NMV amp with no loop. They say either will compromise the tone. It's a compromise I am willing to make.
     
  6. knownuthin

    knownuthin Member

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    an analog delay will sound okay in front in my experience. cheaper to swap a pedal (swap digital delay for an analog delay) than an amp(s).

    folks I know who use a delay will not buy an amp without an FX loop
     
  7. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Using delay successfully infront of an amp without an FX loop can be successful, if you stick to two basic criteria.

    1/ Only use enough drive from the amp to get light crunch. Any further OD/distortion needs to come from pedals BEFORE the delay. You cannot succeed using a fully distorted, singing lead tone from your amp.
    I have found that also using a compressor before the delay (and drive pedal(s)) helps, as it adds sustain BEFORE the delay. For lead tones, anything that you can do to add drive and/or sustain BEFORE the delay pedal will help.

    2/ Use a delay with nice dull repeats, like a tape or analog delay (or simulation). A pedal with a tone control for the repeats, like the DD-20, is ideal. You would be amazed at how more "acceptable" a delay pedal in front of a mildly distorting amp becomes if you take some treble off the repeats.

    If you cannot fulfil these two criteria, when using any amp distortion, it will generally sound like S--t, unless you are using so little delay it is not worth using it.
    Have fun !
     
  8. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, this is great info (and what I have known for most of my playing, I just didn't think I was going to go back to effects/delay anytime soon). I just keep watching that Fargen miniplex II demo over and over and over again (who knew cleans and amazing edge of breakup could come from a plexi-style?) and I love the clips where he's using a Tele with a Roland delay. I'm not sure if the mini has an FX loop, but he is only really doing clean to slight crunch with the delay and it sounds killer. This is how I would use it live.
    For singing leads I'm most likely sticking with a clean amp and the crunch box, so if I used delay behind it that won't be a big deal. Here's the clip:
    http://www.fargenamps.com/video-miniplexmk2singlecoils.html
     
  9. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Yes, Ben is using his delay very subtly in that video, especially when he starts playing much more driven sounds later in the vid (where the delay is really just adding a bit of ambience). I'd say that's about as much delay as he could get away with without it starting to sound rather bad. He's also using nice non-trebly repeats, wisely.
    I tend to either use no delay or much more delay - actually playing the effect as much as the guitar. And the more delay you want to use, the less post-delay distortion/OD you can get away with.

    It sounds like you have a good workable plan on how to use the delay with your amp, and one or two other carefully chosen pedals. Beware, though, pedal-addiction can sneak up on you and can seriously damage your wealth !
     
  10. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    That is a stupid limitation of the search feature here and it sucks bad. You can't search for "VHT" or all kinds of things. I hate it.
     
  11. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    That is perfect advice in my opinion. Very true.
     
  12. hogy

    hogy Member

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    You have to use google search. Here are the results:

    http://www.google.com/custom?cx=016...hl=en&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&client=google-coop-np
     
  13. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Unfortunately as stated if your going to use much OD then a delay pedal needs to be after it not in front. Always loved the sound of Satch or Vai with a singing OD and a bit of delay. None of my amps are without loops for this very reason. Ive got a cheap Ibanez DE7 delay thats sounds great IMO. Its got a lo fi tape setting for the repeats thats very nice.

    On a side note-I passed on a vertical input JCM 800 2x12 in decent shape for only 499$ about 3 years ago because it didnt have a loop. Im still kicking myself when I see the prices these are getting just a few years later. Bob
     
  14. Speed_Racer71

    Speed_Racer71 Member

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    just out of curiosity. what would be the cost difference to just have a loop installed instead of a wet/dry setup?
     
  15. abergdahl

    abergdahl Member

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    I found, with my EH DMMWH that rolling of bass in front of a disotring amp is even more important than rolling of treble. I actually ADD treble to get a nice shimmer on the repeats, sound a bit like a Echophlex that way.. (think EJ)
     
  16. mdsmith64

    mdsmith64 Supporting Member

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  17. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    There was a time when no amps had effects loops. We used tape delays all the time through the front end. We got along quite well. That is not to say that a properly matched effects loop usually sounds better but some prefer the sound of a delay through the front end. I thought Jimmy Page sounded AWESOME with his tape delay through the preamp.
     
  18. carbz

    carbz Supporting Member

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    Delay in front of an amp sounds like **** with heavy overdrive but is passible with a clean sound. If you have a good loop its certainly passible with heavy drive but still not like running the wet/dry setup which is much more gear involved.
     
  19. rongtr

    rongtr Member

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    Has anybody tried the Larry Carlton method- putting a mic on the amp, running the signal into a small mixer which has a delay in it's effects loop, and coming out through powered monitors? That's a lot of equipment to carry, but the results are great.
     
  20. megatonic

    megatonic Member

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    That's what I'm doing, since I play guitar and keys in my band. I just use my keyboard mixer for submixing my entire set-up: Keys, guitar amp, wet rig for guitar delay, rotary & chorus fx, and finally acoustic guitar.
     

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