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Using Drive & Preamp Pedals In Your Amp FX Loop

Published on Dec 9, 2016

In this episode Daniel and Mick explore the possibilities of using drives, boosts and preamps directly into your amplifier’s effects loop. For most amps, that means bypassing the front end (preamp) of the amplifier entirely and just hitting the power section from your pedalboard. Why would you want to do that? Well, you might not! But there are two scenarios in which we could see this working well…

First, let’s say that you have an amp that you like but don’t love. The cost of upgrading to something ‘better’ is too high, so you want to inject some new life and sounds into the old beast. This is worth trying.
Second, maybe you’re doing a lot of travelling and have to deal with rented amps. It’s very often a Fender Hot Rod, Twin or Marshall DSL, for example. By bypassing the amp’s front end in this way and just hitting the power section from your board, you maintain a little extra control of your sound. Interesting? Let’s see shall we…

Pedals In This Episode…

• TC Spark Mini Booster (loop 1)
UK & Europe:

• Kingsley Page Booster (loop 6)

• Kingsley Maiden D (loop 7)

• Kingsley Page DS (loop 8)

• Free The Tone Heat Blaster HB-2 (loop 5)
UK & Europe:

• Vemuram Jan Ray (loop 4)

• T-Rex Room Mate Reverb (loop 10)
Discontinued, only available used

• TheGigRig Three2One

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…

Intro and housekeeping – 00:00 - 2:22
• Background and context for today’s vid –: 2:23 - 5:15
• Why do you want to run drives straight into the FX loop anyway? – 5:15
• Today’s amps? – 7:25 (clean amps sound at 7:56)

Into the front of the amps…
• Kingsley Maiden into front of amps – 8:26
• Page Boost into Maiden – 10:53
• TC Spark into Maiden – 12:38
• Page DS after Maiden – 13:16 (playing at 13:58)

Into the FX loop return
• Explaining the loop return option – 18:00
• What does an electric guitar into the amp’s effects loop return sound like? – 19:41
• Guitar into Maiden into FX loop return of Two-Rock – 19:56
• Guitar into Hamstead front end, then FX loop return – 20:49
• Guitar into Maiden into FX loop return of Hamstead – 21:26
• Maiden into FX loop returns of both amps – 22:35
• Maiden into Page DS into FX loop return of both amps – 25:08
• What about ordinary pedals into the FX loop return? – 33:43
• TC Spark Booster in FX loop return of both amps – 34:40 (and with Maiden – 34:50)
• Free The Tone Heat Blaster into FX loop return – 35:20 (and with Maiden – 35:37)
• Vemuram Jan Ray as above – 35:56

Amps in this episode
• Two Rock Studio Pro 35 head through Victory V212VC cabinet (Celestion G12M 65 Creamback speakers)
• Hamstead Artist 20+RT through 1 x 12 Celestion Alnico Cream speaker

Guitars in this episode
• PRS DGT – watch Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – watch Dan’s video at
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – watch Mick’s video at
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – watch Dan’s video at
• 1961 Gibson Les Paul (SG) Junior

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