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Euanh91

Clean preamp model into tube amp FX loop?

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Hey guys, bit of a complicated question here but I think it makes sense..

So I've been using the Helix into an FRFR speaker exclusively for the past 3 years now, and it's been great but I'm probably gonna invest in a simple single channel tube amp (probably something like the Marshall SV20H 20 watt Plexi-style amp) and use the Helix in conjunction with it.

Having the amp set to a nice mid-gain rock rhythm tone (pushing it with drives in the Helix for more gain, and rolling back on the volume for cleans) will cover about 80% of what I do.. but every now and then I need a real clean tone, glassy Nile Rodgers-y Fender-style clean sound, and I wanna be able to switch to that with the press of one footswitch on the Helix.

Obviously no clean channel or channel switching on an amp like that, so I was wondering.. has anyone tried using a really clean pre-amp model into the FX Return (so, the power amp then into a cab ) of a cranked tube amp, completely bypassing the preamp section, and does it work? Or is there gonna be too much gain and saturation added by the power amp for it to ever be properly clean? I've seen people use preamp models in the FX loop a bunch of times, but only for heavy gain tones which obviously wouldn't have this problem.

Ordinarily I'd just try stuff out, but currently still stuck a few thousand miles away from my Helix and it's not that easy to go mess around with gear in a store right now haha.


For some extra detail, the signal path I was planning on trying is as follows:

Guitar > Helix Guitar In > Drives/Modulation > Helix Send 1 > Amp Input >>> Amp FX Send > Helix Return 1 > Preamp/Delay/Reverb > Amp FX Return > Amp Out > 2x12 Cab

Hopefully that makes sense haha

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I’m sure you know, but the signal path you described above is the four cable method (4CM). I use this with my DSL40C. Some patches I use the DSL preamp and the Helix for effects only, and others I use effects and preamp in the Helix and then route directly to the effects return so my DSL is only a power amp at that point. 
 

I have some really clean, ambient patches that I’ve downloaded and tweaked and I can get really loud without any break up. But this is on an amp where most of the gain is coming from the preamp (which is bypassed at this point).  The Helix can do it, I think the question is more can the amp your looking at do it?

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