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gibsonsj

Helix LT to effects loop return issue

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I have an old solid state crate amp that has a stereo effects loop.  I'd like to play my helix through it by plugging into the return of the effects loop.  I'm having issues making it work correctly and am at my wits end troubleshooting it, maybe I'm overlooking something simple and someone here can point it out.

 

The effects loop on the amp are:  Left (mono) send and return        and        Right (stereo) send and return.  When I plug the helix 1/4" output into the the left (mono) return, I do not get any sound when I play.  When I plug the helix output into the right (stereo) return, I do get sound but only out of the right speaker (the amp is a 2x12).  Switching the cable to left or right helix output makes no change.  Guitar into helix in both examples.

 

If I plug the helix output into the input of the amp, I get sound out of both speakers (lower quality).  I'd rather not do this because the amp colors the sound of the helix.

 

I have tested the left f/x loop of the amp with another pedal and plugging guitar directly into amp input and it works as it should, so I know the effects loop is working.  Why can't I get the helix to play through the left effects loop?  Why when I use the right one is only one speaker getting signal?

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Have you tried putting a dummy cable in the amp's FX send?

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So have you actually tried connecting two cables from the Helix to the stereo return? Like one from the Helix's left 1/4" out to the left return and another one from the Helix's right 1/4" out to the right return?

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Just tried using both helix outputs as suggested.  Still only getting sound out of right speaker.

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What if you reverse those connections (plug the Helix's left out into the amp's right return, and vice versa)? Do you still only get sound out of the right speaker?

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Yes.  No matter which helix output i use, I only get sound out of right speaker.  And, only if i plug into the R effects return do I get sound.  Either output going into left return of amp yields no sound.

 

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1 minute ago, gibsonsj said:

Yes.  No matter which helix output i use, I only get sound out of right speaker.  And, only if i plug into the R effects return do I get sound.  Either output going into left return of amp yields no sound.

 

 

That seems to suggest it's something with the amp's loop then, because it seems you're getting output from both the left and right outs from the Helix.

 

One more idea - have you tried putting a dummy plug in the amp's input while plugging into the loop?

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33 minutes ago, phil_m said:

 

One more idea - have you tried putting a dummy plug in the amp's input while plugging into the loop?

 

OK!  So dummy plug into the amp input changes things.  Now, the left effects return works!  And it appears that both speakers are playing, but they are getting the same signal.  Panning left and right does nothing.

 

Weirdly, with dummy plug in amp input, now the right effects return doesn't work.  I also tried.  Both effects returns with both helix outputs and dummy in amp input.  Seems to still be same mono signal going to both speakers.  

 

I'm way better than I was, nice work!  Still I'd like to have a stereo signal going to the amp to really let ping pong delays and panning features shine.  If you have any more insight, it's much appreciated.

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54 minutes ago, gibsonsj said:

I also tried.  Both effects returns with both helix outputs and dummy in amp input.  Seems to still be same mono signal going to both speakers.  

 

The L/R will output the same signal unless you are using "stereo specific" effects. When inserting a delay/reverb/chorus, etc.... make sure you choose the stereo version. Also worth noting.... if you put a MONO effect after the stereo effects the entire signal will collapse back to mono unless you use a parallel path. 

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

The L/R will output the same signal unless you are using "stereo specific" effects. When inserting a delay/reverb/chorus, etc.... make sure you choose the stereo version. Also worth noting.... if you put a MONO effect after the stereo effects the entire signal will collapse back to mono unless you use a parallel path. 

 

Thanks.  I'll give this a try.

 

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Still not getting stereo to this amp.  Tried using only "stereo specific" effects as suggested.  Stereo to headphones no problem.  Must be something with this particular amp.

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I may have some more insight.  Posting in case someone else has this issue.  Reading through the manual of my amp it specifies that to use the Right (stereo) effects return, you must use a TRS cable.  The left (mono) only needs a standard TS.  Perhaps this is why I'm, having the results I am.  Can't check for sure because I don't have a TRS cable, but this seems to shed a little light on things.

 

Thanks again for everyone that chimed in offering help!

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