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Using Effects Pedals With Multi Channel Guitar Amps [And A Bit On FX Loops]

Published on 23 Feb 2020

Many amps have separate clean and overdrive channels. We discuss how the sounds differ when you use your pedals with them, including using the effects loops.

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Hello folks, sorry this one is late – we had some gremlins in the system that made the edit corrupted, so it had to be fixed. We got there in the end.

Welcome to the show! In this episode, Dan and I demonstrate what happens when you use common effects pedal types – boost, overdrive, modulation, delay/reverb – into the clean and dirty channels of your guitar amplifier. We also touch on the effects loop section of your amp and why you may or may not want to use that.

Now, clearly there’s quite a bit of latitude in what we might call ‘overdrive’. In this case we’re using a mid-gained overdrive texture for our 'dirty' channel. The more gained you go, the more marked differences you will hear between clean and dirty channels in terms of how your effects react.

For anyone wanting more on FX loops in general including stuff like the Four Cable Method (that Dan is basically using to patch the amp's preamp into G2), that is for another day - we'll dedicate a whole show to it.

Meantime, there are on-screen graphics to explain what's going on, but if you're still confused…
The effects order is as follows: Guitar, Boost, D&M Drive, Jam Ripply Fall, Maxon AD-9, Source Audio Collider, Amp

Now look at the top row of G2. The four labels that start with ‘Preamp…’ refer to where the amp’s FX loop is sitting in the signal chain. When the red light is lit under…

• Preamp After Drives: this means the boost and D&M Drive are hitting the amp preamp. ALL other effects are in the amp effects loop.

• Preamp After Ripply Fall: Boost, D&M, Ripply Fall in the front, Delays in the amp effects loop

• Preamp After Analogue Delay: Boost, D&M, Ripply Fall and Maxon AD-9 in the front of the amp, Source Audio Collider in the amp effects loop

• Preamp After Everything: Everything in the front of the amp, nothing in the effects loop.

We hope that helps!

Enjoy the episode.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Peterson Strobo Stomp HD
UK & Europe:

• Metropoulos Supa-Boost

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Jam Pedals Ripply Fall
UK & Europe:

• Maxon AD-9 Pro
No longer available new

• Source Audio Collider Delay & Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

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

- Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- Hello and what are we doing today? 1:26
- The Mesa Lone Star is back! 2:34
- Most of our amps are single channel: 3:24
- Why have a channel-switching amp? 4:20
- Today’s actual question: 7:25
- Lone Star clean and dirty channels: 8:00
- Channels or modes? 11:15
- Boost pedals: 12:25
- …into clean channel: 13:28
- …into overdrive channel: 15:42
- …and with humbuckers: 17:10
- …and more gain: 18:15
- OD pedals into clean and dirty channels: 19:10
- The boost and overdrive summary so far: 23:18
- Juicing up the OD channel: 24:15
- Signal chain: amp front end and amp FX loop: 28:15
- Delay and reverb into front of clean amp: 29:30
- …and overdrive channel: 30:13
- …and in the amp FX loop: 31:05
- Substituting an overdrive pedal for amp overdrive channel, loop and no loop: 32:15
- Line level? 35:47
- Analogue delay in the front of amp and in FX loop: 37:20
- Modulation, clean channel: 39:40 (40:55)
- Dirty channel: 41:42
- Why Mick stopped using two-channel amps: 46:16
- A final point on amp channels and phase: 47:55

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 - Mick’s video at

Amps in this episode
• Mesa Boogie Lone Star Classic 1x12 with Mesa/Celestion C90 speaker

We hope you enjoy this episode. Please subscribe to our channel.

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