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Fender 75 effects loop

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  • Fender 75 effects loop

    Does anyone know why any pedal, chorus and/or delay for instance, put through this amps single TRS loop is completely distorted? Sounds like an impedance mismatch or the out level is too hot. I've heard of some people having issues with this amps loop, is there a fix or? Funny thing is I can plug the Y cord in and short the tips, the signal cleans up and sounds normal, but when any pedal is put in the loop the level drops and it sounds distorted. Using standard Boss chorus and delay pedals that work perfectly into the front of the amp. Poked around the circuit a bit and compared some components measurements to the schematic and nothing seems out of spec. Is there something wrong with this loop by design or am I missing something? Any help appreciated.

  • #2
    The design is bad, the signal level is ridiculously high at any normal control setting; regular pedals in the loop will tend to clip the signal.
    There's nothing much that can be done about it without a total re-design of the pre-amp.
    http://schems.com/schematicheaven.ne...r_75_schem.pdf
    My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JMMP View Post
      Does anyone know why any pedal, chorus and/or delay for instance, put through this amps single TRS loop is completely distorted? Sounds like an impedance mismatch or the out level is too hot. I've heard of some people having issues with this amps loop, is there a fix or? Funny thing is I can plug the Y cord in and short the tips, the signal cleans up and sounds normal, but when any pedal is put in the loop the level drops and it sounds distorted. Using standard Boss chorus and delay pedals that work perfectly into the front of the amp. Poked around the circuit a bit and compared some components measurements to the schematic and nothing seems out of spec. Is there something wrong with this loop by design or am I missing something? Any help appreciated.
      That loop was intended for use with studio level devices, not guitar pedals. Easy solution? Use guitar pedals with guitar inputs. If you have studio effects, generally rack mount, handle nominal +4 dB signals, they belong in that 1970's era Fender loop. "How do I know?" Read the owner's manuals. Just about everything's on the interwebs these days, so "I lost it" and "Didn't get one when I bought it" is no excuse.

      Since then some amps have been released with optional +4/-20 switches, or level controls that make it easier for the loop to work with pedals but often at the cost of increased noise because it typically takes a large signal on the return side to drive the amp's power amp input. And mixing guitar pedals with line level effects always makes for a mess, you have to have a collection of attenuators and buffer/booster preamps. Those who have a lot of $$$ can spend it on Bradshaw, Cornish or similar FX switchers that can handle anything.
      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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      • #4
        As the loop is taken without attenuation from the CF buffered output of a CC plate 3 stages in, I think that the signal level at the fx loop insert point can reach >60Vrms; so more like +40dB than +4!
        My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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        • #5
          Yea, that would explain it. Thank you guys for explaining it, I don't want to re-engineer this guys amp. What a useless feature, no?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pdf64 View Post
            As the loop is taken without attenuation from the CF buffered output of a CC plate 3 stages in, I think that the signal level at the fx loop insert point can reach >60Vrms; so more like +40dB than +4!
            Unless there's something magic about that cathode follower, it can't deliver every volt the plate can. When I was doing a lot of adding FX loops, I found the CF would start clipping hard, furthermore one side of the waveform, at a fairly low level still safe to run +4 effects. If you hear distortion, that's it, and back off the drive from the FX loop output. OTOH it often took a good +11 signal to drive an amp's output to clip. Most +4 rated effects can actually deliver well in excess of that nominal rating. +20 is common and some run to +26. It was still tricky to get FX loops to work well without some attenuators & boosters so it was a good thing to see some 80's-90's manufacturers build in loops that are friendly to pedal fx. My rule of all-thumbs is, use guitar pedals with guitars and run 'em into the amp input as intended, and use (most) effects loops with studio level effects.
            Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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            • #7
              " Funny thing is I can plug the Y cord in and short the tips, the signal cleans up and sounds normal,"

              This is confusing.

              Have you set up a test of V4A?
              A: do you have +62Vdc on the cathode test point?
              B: do you measure 600mv ac signal at the Grid test point?
              C: do you measure 500mv ac at Ring test point?

              fender_75 FX Jack.pdf

              fender_75.zip

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              • #8
                "What a useless feature, no?"

                Actually no. There was a time when rack effects were all the rage and many units had +4/-10 switches. Pedals are designed to see input from a guitar pick up which is tiny compared to a pre-amplified line level signal that is coming out of a FX out jack. And guitar pedal outputs are designed to feed the input of a preamp tube, which again is tiny compared to the line level signal that FX return jack is looking for. So really, this is apples and oranges.
                It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

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                • #9
                  I think that the max output signal from the CF would get limited, asymmetrically clipped if something with a medium input impedance was connected, eg 10k - 20k typical of studio gear.
                  Whereas if only loaded by a 500k - 1M input impedance of a typical fx pedal, the max available signal swing should be pretty close to that at the preceding stage's plate.
                  My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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