Could someone explain what an Effects Loop is? Or point me in the direction of an article or something explaining it? Thanks, I'm sure its not hard to understand its just I've never even heard of it until recently...
To add a question to this: what extra equipment do you need?
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Traynor YCV 50 Custom Blue

Quote by Dee'snutz
YES! you, Dazed/confused, are a genius. my thanks to you, good friend
don't need any extra equipment, just there is an input on my new amp that says FX Loop Send and FX Loop Return and im not really sure what this is
Let's say you have a reverb pedal. If you go guitar -> pedal -> amp and are using distortion, it will sound like crap because your amp is distorting your reverb.

The effects loop places effects "after" the distortion (pre-amp I think? I dunno, I don't have a tube amp), so that's where you would want to put a reverb pedal if you are using your amp's distortion.
Ahhhh thanks, simple enough. That explains why I never needed to use it, since my amp (marshall MG100hdfx) has a real weaksauce distortion and I'm forced to distort via a pedal. :P
An amp has (basically) two sections: the preamp and the power amp. In the preamp, the instrument level signal is processed and then sent to the power amp where it is amplified and then output to a speaker.

An effects loop is (basically) a break in the signal path between the preamp and the power amp that gives you the opportunity to to further process/color the signal before it is amplified. Note that any effects before the preamp (plugged into the input of the amp) will process/color only the signal coming from the guitar, and any effects after the preamp (in the effects loop) will process/color the signal after it has been subject to the processing/coloring of the preamp.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM
If you don't ever use amp distortion, you only use it solely from pedals, is the effects loop totally irrelevant?
A guitar amp has a pre and power amp stage. The pre amp brings up the line level and generally adds a lot of color to the tone, too. What the FX loop does is allow you to apply your effects to the pre-amped signal, so that it's only getting amplified once, and the effect comes out much "cleaner." Fuzzes, OD's, and wahs sound best out in front of the pre amp, but delays, phasers, chorus, etc., all sound really nice (better, imho) in the loop.

The only extra equipment you need is a couple extra cables.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

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