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I was wondering in which order I should put my pedals to get the most out of each one. I have an overdrive, a fuzz, a delay and two boost pedals. Assuming they will all get in one single circuit, Is there some general rules or concept I should know about concerning the ordering of those pedals ?

Side-note : I have heard some people saying they put boost pedals right after their guitar when I would have put them right in front of my amp to make the tubes "spit". Am I wrong when doing that ?

  • There's no right or wrong answer here. It's up to you and what you think sounds best and what makes the sounds you want to hear. – Todd Wilcox May 13 '17 at 14:55
  • You would probably have more options available with one boost pedal before the fuzz and the other after it. It probably doesn't matter where the delay goes, so long as the signal into it isn't too high (so it's adding distortion) or too low (so it's adding too much noise). – user19146 May 13 '17 at 15:01
  • Well, the delay position really depends on whether you want the fuzz delayed or the guitar before the fuzz - it can really change the final effect; but it's still entirely a matter of personal preference. – Tetsujin May 13 '17 at 15:25
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As was already commented, there is no clear right or wrong (ever, in music), however for the effects you listed I'd say there are basically just two options that make sense:

  1. git → boostA → fuzz → OD → boostB → delay
    This will be the clearest setup: the fuzz has the straight guitar signal to work with and transform into a clear-cut square wave, with the option add boostA for extra sustain. The overdrive can be used for character and tone control, as well as volume, in connection with boostB. Either way, the delay comes last so the different signal copies won't intermodulate through the nonlinear effects. You may also put boostB after the delay, but as alephzero remarks that wouldn't make much of a difference since both boost and delay are pretty much LTI.
  2. git → boostA → fuzz → delay → OD → boostB
    Putting the overdrive after the delay will give it more of a compact, gritty, but possibly also muddy character: the echoes won't come as independent copies of the signal, but mixed, intermodulated and compressed. I rather like this effect, but it's a matter of taste.

Putting a fuzz after either of the other effects is less likely to give useful results – a fuzz shapes any signal into a more or less a square wave, so putting a delay before it tends to give just incomprehensible gargle, whereas the overdrive wouldn't be able to unfold much of its character.
But don't hesitate to give it a try nevertheless...


An important detail is the question of whether boostA has true bypass. Many fuzz pedals have a relatively low input impedance, which can substantially affect the pickups' response – but only if the guitar is plugged into the fuzz without any effects in between. A booster with true bypass is a convenient way of controlling this interaction. If neither of the boosters is true bypass, try if you like the sound better if the guitar is plugged straight into the fuzz.

  • I tried the second order and it is better than what I did before. However I'm getting a lot of noise from the fuzz. I guess it was expected so I might invest in a noise gate. I assume the best place for it would be right after the guitar. – Joulin Nicolas May 14 '17 at 10:00
  • Yes, fuzz can be quite noisy, but I reckon you're not talking about noise but hum. Before investing in a noise gate, make sure you have checked every possible cause: Cable? Guitar interior shielding? Pickups? – With single coils, a certain amount of hum is hard to avoid, I recommend only to use humbuckers (either the normal, big one, half-width-coil models or stacked humbuckers, depending on the guitar and sound you want). Only if you're sure you've adressed every cause of the hum, should you think about gating the remainder, as gating is a notoriously “choppy” process. – leftaroundabout May 14 '17 at 10:13
  • I tested the circuit with a guitar with humbuckers and it was definitely less noisy, however my main guitar is a single coil mexican telecaster. I might check the shielding but as you said I don't expect I can do much about the hums. Since I really like the sound of those pickup I'm a bit reluctant about changing them for humbuckers, unless there are similar sounding ones. I know gating might be a bit drastic of a measure, but if the hums is low enough I'm fairly confident I can gate it without affecting dynamics and sustain in a noticeable way. – Joulin Nicolas May 14 '17 at 10:47

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