I just bought an all tube amp with an effects send and return for the first time. As of now I'm not using it because I need another cable to plug my guitar if I do. My question is are there any advantages to using the FX send/return ports as opposed to just chaining it in with your guitar input?
Some effects like modulation (chorus, flanger, phaser etc) and time based effects (delays and reverbs) will sound better in the FX loop, coming after your amps pre-amp gain stages. It's always best to experiment but that's the rule of thumb.
^ yeah. depending on what effects you're using they may well be far better in front of the amp. or if you're running the amp clean, again there's no point/advantage in using the loop.
Some people prefer things like phaser and flanger out front because it affects the way the amp distorts.Some effects like modulation (chorus, flanger, phaser etc) and time based effects (delays and reverbs) will sound better in the FX loop, coming after your amps pre-amp gain stages. It's always best to experiment but that's the rule of thumb.
Things like delay and reverb are the main things that benefit from being in the loop because the repeats have progressively less amplitude. Less amplitude into the preamp means less distortion. If you put delay (I picked delay because it's more obvious) in the loop then it is after where the distortion is made so every repeat has the same amount of distortion. Out front each repeat has progressively less distortion. Which is preferable depends on the application.
They actually came into existence in the 80's because people were starting to use studio rack effects units on guitar rigs and they needed a hotter signal than a guitar produces in order to drive the unit. Since then people have discovered that there are other advantages, as I described above.
correct. my delay, tremolo etc do not sound very clear running into the front.
basically, if you want your modulation to have more fidelity, chuck it in the loop. that's where a lot of my mod goes, such as chorus, flanger, tremolo, and rotary. however, i prefer some mod such as phaser and vibe before distortion. gives it more of a chewy, throbbing sound.