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I have an Orange Rocker 15 amplifier that has a buffered effects loop. I also have a TC Electronics Ditto looper pedal.

When I have the looper pedal in the effects loop and have it playing the recorded loop, the volume of the loop as it comes out of the speaker is unaffected by any of the volume controls on the amplifier itself. The only way I can turn the loop volume up or down is by using the volume control on the pedal.

I don't think my amp is defective, as it's working perfectly in all other aspects. Is this because of the actual path of signal processing in the amplifier itself?

The amp has a "natural" channel which only has a volume control (and is meant to be a "non-master volume" and a "dirty" channel which has a gain control, EQ controls and a volume control. In either channel when I am playing the loop and playing guitar if I change the volume control then the volume of my guitar changes but the volume of the loop remains the same.

I thought that the effects loop was between the pre-amp and the power amp, and that the volume controls were connected to the power amp section. This doesn't explain the behaviour I'm seeing though.

How is the volume of the output of a looper pedal in an effects loop determined/controlled?

Edit: I've now read about phase inverter tubes and pre- and post-phase inverter volume controls on master volume amps. Is this happening because the effects loops is after the volume control but before the phase inverter?

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I couldn't quickly find a schematic of your amp, but from your observations it seems clear that the effects loop is after the volume control. That's in fact not an uncommon design choice. Two of my amps (Koch and Laney) also have their volume controls before the effects loop.

  • Interesting, I had never considered where the volume controls actually affected the signal until I had an effects loop. I think I'm starting on the path to going full amp nerd! – Matt Jones Mar 8 '18 at 8:48
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    @MattJones: If you want to geek out on tube amps, this is a great source. – Matt L. Mar 8 '18 at 11:00

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