How and where should I place/connect my FX pedals?
Proper connection and placement of external FX is somewhat subjective and depends greatly upon the type of FX and the player. Generally speaking time-based/ambient FX (i.e. delay and reverb) sound best when run through an FX loop. Distortion, overdrive, boosters, wah, and compressors tend to sound best when connected directly to the amplifier’s input. Modulation effects (chorus, flange, phaser, etc.) fall into somewhat of a grey area; some players prefer them through the amp’s input, other through the FX loop. Use your own ears to decide.
Where should I place my Multi-FX unit?
Multi FX units tend to cover all of the aforementioned FX, so when deciding where to make connections, you must isolate which effects you plan to use most frequently. If you plan to use a bit of everything, test-drive the multi-FX unit through both the guitar input and FX loop to see which best suits your application.
What order should I connect my effect units?
When using multiple FX units, you’ll find that the order in which they are connected can significantly affect their voicing. While we’d suggest you experiment, ultimately finding which works best for you, here’s a generalized guideline to the FX chain to get you started; Guitar > Wah > Compressor > Overdrive (including Distortions and Boosters) > Modulation > Delay > Reverb.
How do I connect my FX units to the amps input?
If using distortion, overdrive, booster, compressor, wah, etc, and/or if your amp does not feature an FX loop, connection to the amp’s Input would be appropriate. To do so, simply use a good quality, screened (shielded) instrument cable to connect your guitar to the FX input (Fig. 1.1). Use another instrument cable to connect the FX output (Fig. 1.2) to the amplifier’s Input (Fig. 1.3).
How do I connect my FX pedals using the FX Loop?
As mentioned before, when time-based or ambient FX are used, the FX Loop would be the logical place for connection. (Note: you should feel free to experiment with testing all FX types through the loop). To connect FX to the Loop, using a good quality, screened (shielded) instrument cable, connect your FX Input (Fig. 2.1) to the FX Loop Send jack (Fig. 2.2). Use another instrument cable to connect the FX Output (Fig. 2.3) to the amplifier’s FX Loop Return jack (Fig. 2.4).
WHAT DOES THE LOOP LEVEL SWITCH DO?
Some Marshall amplifiers are equipped with a Loop Level switch located on the rear panel (Fig. 3.1); normally right next to the FX Loop jacks. This switch provides a +4dB or -10dB (db = decibel) compensation for the various FX that can be run through the loop. The general suggestion is that the -10db setting should be used for stomp box type FX. The +4dB setting should be used for rack/floor processors. However, as FX manufacturer specifications tend to vary greatly, we suggest trying both positions regardless of the FX unit. Feel free to experiment and decide which yields the strongest and cleanest tone.
What does the FX Mix/FX Loop Mix Knob do?
If your Marshall is equipped with a front panel FX Mix/FX Loop Mix knob (Fig. 4.1 & 4.2), this indicates that the amp has a Parallel or Series/Parallel FX Loop. This means that you can adjust the FX level via this knob. If your amp does not have this knob, you have a Series Loop. In this instance you can adjust the FX level via the FX unit itself.
This section applies to UK customers only. International customers please contact your local Marshall distributor for more information. Contact details can be found here. If you purchase an amplifier abroad it is covered by warranty in the country it was purchased from; different countries have different warranty policies. If you purchase an amplifier abroad and bring it into the UK it is not covered by any warranty in the UK.