I'm not entirely sure if this question is fit for this Stack, so please inform me if so!

So I have a guitar, an amp with an FX loop, several pedals and one power supply.

Most of the pedals are put before the amp (i.e a boost, compressor, etc) but there are a couple that need to be in the FX loop (a delay and a chorus).

I only have one power supply to power the whole lot with (it's a brick with multiple power outputs, but the power cables are only about 2 - 3 inches long).

What's the best way to wire this up? Should I put all the pedals on my pedal board and have loads of cabling across the floor to my amp? Or should I simply buy a seperate power supply for the FX loop pedals and keep them near the amp, thus saving on cable and trip hazards?


2 Answers 2


Having the effect pedals that go in the FX loop near the amp is no option for your current setup, because you want to be able to switch them on or off, and you don't want to always be forced to stand very close to your amp.

The cables are no problem, and it's a very common setup, called the 4-cable method (guess why ...). On stage you would usually have the 3 cables that run to the amp close to each other taped to the ground, so nobody trips over them.

Using a switcher/looper and a midi-pedal will allow you to have all effects somewhere close to the amp, and the only thing you'll have at your feet is a midi-pedal controlling everything (i.e., putting the effects in or out of the different loops). But that's a more advanced and more expensive solution, and even a lot of professional guitarists use the setup you described.

  • I forgot to mention, my amp has a pedal to switch channels and the FX loop on and off :) Nov 8, 2016 at 16:13
  • @JamieBrace: OK, but don't you have different effects in the loop? You might not just want to switch all of them on or off at the same time.
    – Matt L.
    Nov 8, 2016 at 16:14
  • Ah sorry, I get you now - yes I do and a looper would absolutely be the solution! I thought this method would be the answer, but I was curious if there were any other ways, but if it's tried and true then it's the way I shall go! Nov 8, 2016 at 16:15
  • @JamieBrace: Yes, a looper is great, but as mentioned in my answer, the 4-cable method is perfectly feasible, and many guitar players use it.
    – Matt L.
    Nov 8, 2016 at 16:16

I had similar problems, but different. I had sets of pedals - 9v and 12v, and needed to get the correct voltage to my pedal flightcase on stage. I used a 4 pin XLR plug/socket arrangement, two pins for 9v, other two for 12v. From memory, I also needed some pedals in series, some in parallel, so made up a snake with everything inside. The two psus were plugged into a double 220v socket inside the amp., so there was never any AC power at the part of the stage where I was - a good point for me. Integral with this lot were the send and return for the wireless for guitar, which stayed on the amp. A little complicated to wire it all up initially, but on stage, a couple of plugs (marked, of course) and we're all set to go.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.