Vol.pedal... Amp input vs loop?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Five Aces, Nov 20, 2020 at 1:18 PM.

  1. Five Aces

    Five Aces New Member!

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    If I have my guitar, amp (either tube or SS) and only a volume pedal, would it sound any different weather the volume pedal is at the amp input vs the effects loop of the amp?
    If so, what is the correct (prefered?) setup and why? For the most part, I'm only concerned with using a clean channel. My ears can't hear minor changes as they use to and, technically speaking, I would think it shouldn't matter.... right?
     
  2. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    Putting any pedal in front of the amp will change the sound of the whole amp.
    Putting it in loop the pedal then affects the sound after the preamp has done its job.
    It's up to you where to put the volume pedal...what sounds best to your ears
     
  3. Five Aces

    Five Aces New Member!

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    Yes, with any pedals that alter or change tone, I'd agree. But, for a volume pedal only, aren't you just reducing the overall level of the input signal either at the input or to the final amp stage? Assuming there is no other changes, there should be no direct effect to the tone... only the overall volume of the amp.... at least that is what i'm thinking.
     
  4. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    You'll be adding components to the signal chain and that will affect everything after what you've added.
    I agree a volume pedal isn't an aggressive addition but in my opinion it will make a difference either at the start or in the loop. Anything you change will make a difference. Whether that change is acceptable is down to the listener.
     
  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Using the pedal at the amp input would cut the signal everywhere in the amp. Any preamp and/or power amp distortion you were getting at full volume would be reduced or eliminated as you turn down the volume with the pedal.

    In the effects loop it will reduce signal to the power amp section of the amp only. Any preamp distortion you were getting will remain unchanged. Any power amp distortion will be reduced or eliminated.

    If you want to reduce the signal with the pedal to clean up the sound, put the pedal before the amp input. If you want to reduce the overall sound level without changing the character as much, put it in the effects loop.

    And as @s5tuart said, put the pedal where it sounds best to you, and does what you want it to.
     
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  6. Five Aces

    Five Aces New Member!

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    I agree with that. Tubes go into a gradual distortion as the drive increases above a certain level and SS amps just cross a threshold and start clipping (distortion) without the gradual change. So, technically, as I see it, if the max vol of the amp is preset and the volume setting desired (pre-distortion levels), the pedal would change nothing weather at the input or at the loop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 8:25 PM
  7. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Think of this way, the volume pedal in front of the amp will act the same as the volume control on your guitar. With the volume pedal in the loop, it will act much like an amp's Master volume. Just an alternate way of looking at it.
    HTH,
    Gene
     
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  8. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

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    I would use the amp input. One less cable to trip over.
     
  9. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    Except for the part that the level of the input signal does change the sound of the amp by driving it harder. Volume controls are also overdrive controls, particularly where high gain amps and hot pickups are involved.
     
  10. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Senior Stratmaster

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    I used my volume pedal in front and in the effects loop and didn't hear much of a difference. I bought the JHS Little Black Box Amp and it makes a huge difference. No change in tone at low volumes as was the case with the volume pedal. If you don't want to lose your amp's tone you should look into the Little Black Amp Box. Cost was under $50. Here's my Strat-Talk link...
    https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/npd-little-black-amp-box.555365/
     
  11. ajb1965

    ajb1965 Old Enough to Know Better Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    The advantage of having it in a loop would be if you are using your amp's pre-amp distortion then you would be able to fade in and out with full gain, but since you play clean that's not an issue. Personally I'd put it in front and call it a day. There's no real rules for any effect order other than what sounds good to your ears.
     
  12. joebloggs

    joebloggs Strat-O-Master

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    I have mine in front. I only use it when playing songs like Brothers In Arms, to swell in a note. Works great.
     
  13. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    whatever works best....
     
  14. Five Aces

    Five Aces New Member!

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    Sounds like the simplist and direct explaination... Input changes drive level, but the loop is more like a master volume. Because I usually play clean, it's not critical and that's why I really hear no difference, especially using a SS amp. As a master volume, it serves it's purpose for me!
    Thanks to all for your input!
     
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