question about effects loops


Hero Member
I have an effects loop in my head and I also have a pod xt that I jam through as well. I am curious, I don't want to run the pod in front of the amp so could I just plug into the pod then plug the pod into the effects return? I tried it for a second and it seemed much louder than before (might be the settings) but I wasn't sure if it was bad for the preamp.
The effects loop usually works such that you plug your guitar into the amp/amp head input and run the effects thru the effects loop.  I don't know if your POD XT has an input/output or send/receive but that might be the way you would hook that up.  I have a POD XT Live, but I run it in front of my amp, infact I've always run my effects in front of my amp, but then again I don't use the distortion on my amp either.  It does change the sound/tone so it may come down to preference as to what you like.  Check the owners manual to see if this is an approved setup for your POD...last thing you want to do is fry anything.
It should work fine on most amps to plug you POD into the return on the amps effects loop.  Dependeing on your amp, you may need to plug a cable into the send side of the effects loop to switch off the signal from you preamp. 
CD My first thought is that the effects loop is intended for effects pedals right?

Most effects pedals for the most part dont boost or add power (even a booster pedal is really only a small boost) to your signal, rather they tweak it, delay it, smoothe it whatever.

I would think that whatever you put in the effects loop, shouldn't be adding very much power to the signal  ie....If your pod has a volume controll, turn it down so that it is not increasing the volume of your signal chain.

This is all just an educated guess on my part
Thanks for the replies guys.

The pod xt has one input and two outputs (for stereo or just use the right one for mono). The reason I was wanting to run it through the effects loop instead of in front of the amp is so that the amplifier preamp doesn't color the sound of the amp models. Besides that I want to use the delay on the pod and it would sound like shit in front of the amp.

Would plugging a cable into the send jack be safe? The reason I am wary of all this stuff is because I read that it can damage your head to be on without being plugged into a cabinet.
My amp has a send level and a receive level in my FX loop as well as a blend control.  Its always sending a signal out of the preamp to the send jack, switching the fx loop on only turns on the receive jack.  If i turn the blend control all the way to 10 then its just the signal coming in the receive of the FX loop with no preamp.  nothing that you do or don't plug into your fx loop should affect the transformers or anything.  just make sure your cab is plugged in and the right impedance is set. you should have no problems
CD said:
Would plugging a cable into the send jack be safe? The reason I am wary of all this stuff is because I read that it can damage your head to be on without being plugged into a cabinet.

The preamp should be fine with a cable plugged into the send jack, as long as the cable does not get shorted. 

For tube amps, the power amp has an output transformer to match the output impedance of the tubes to the speaker.  If no speaker is plugged in, the output transformer will build up energy and eventually fail usually taking out other parts of the amp, causing costly repairs.  Because the preamp output is much lower, there is no need for a transformer, so it should be fine.

In the setup you are talking about there is no input to the preamp, there should be no output on the send jack (other then some noise).  If your preamp is quite you may not need to cut it out of the circuit with a cable.  If your amp has a side chain (blender effects loop) then you may not be able to completely cut the output from the preamp, but most amps with a side chain should have pretty quit preamp. 

The power amp section is not the same as the preamp, even when there is no input there is some output (how much will very with amp design) and there maybe damage to the transformer, especially if left for a long time with no speaker load.   

Hope this helps. 
Don't put it threw the effects loop. Unless you turn off the preamp in you module which will leave you with effects only delay, chorus and what not. reverbs
I'm not running through the front of the amp, just through the pod xt and into the effects loop return so that none of the amps preamp is going into the pod.
Actually, there is no set rule here... Amp designs vary greatly, so it's best to experiment. Generally, wah & volume pedals or boost or distortion effects usually always sound better AHEAD of the amp; other effects may work better in the loop or not, depending on the amp being used.

Just play with it till you find out what works best with YOUR amp and effects chain....