what does it achieve... as apposed to just putting everything in front of the amp...

heres my current setup of pedals...

in order from amp to guitar..
peavey6505>isp decimator>maxon od808>morley wah>boss tu2>guitar (ltd ec1000vb)

what would the advantages be if i were to use the effects loop??

peavey 6505
marshall 1960av cab
esp ltd ec1000 18V M0D
schecter black hawk
prs standard 24 platinum grey
ibanez aeg10e acoustic

dual rectifier 3 channel head
prs custom 24
tremonti se (duncan p/ups)
schecter tempest (red)
No except maybe putting the Decimator in the loop
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Fender Highway One Tele
1985 Encore 335
Takamine EG523sc
Laney VC15
Vox V847
MXR M-108
EHX Q-Tron+, Big Muff Pi, POG
MI Audio Crunch Box
Yamaha DTXplorer DrumKit
The point of an effects loop is that you get to add the effects after the preamp. This is good mainly with 3 things: Noise reduction (it reduces noise that the preamp generates too, so put your Decimator in the loop (some people like it in front tho - try which one you like more)), modulating effects (the difference is whether you add chorus to a distorted tone, or distortion to a chorus-tone - well, you get the point, most people like them in the loop more) and delay/reverb (again, reverb'd signal that gets distorted sounds pretty bad).
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