Order of your guitar effect pedals

What many guitarists don't know is that the order in which you place your guitar effects in your effects chain matters a lot. For example, an effect can suddenly sound much different (which does not always have to be negative).

Brief overview

You put the voting machine at the front of the securities chain. After this you follow wah wah, filter, phaser. Then your compressor comes. Then your distortions / overdrives / fuzzes. Finally, place a boost, chorus, delay and reverb.
The above applies to 90% of the cases. However, there are also certain fuzzes that must be at the front of the chain, because they do not tolerate buffered pedals. The impedance difference causes you to lose the dynamics when turning your volume knob. The fuzz no longer sounds as raw as you would like.

Why in that order?


Starting with the tuner seems logical. After all, you don't want your note to be slightly distorted by your effects (off).

Wah wah, filters, phaser

These are effects in which the frequencies change. Preferably this is done first, because with a previously processed signal (eg through a distortion) the effect will sound different and less clear (read: worse).


Now the compressor comes on your board. The volume peaks that often occur with wahs (or other filters) are absorbed here and brought to a smoother and more balanced sound. This benefits the drive pedals that come next.

Distortions / overdrives / fuzzes

These drive effects are without a doubt the most used by guitarists. There are many differences in this, and it has often happened that these are also stacked (stacked). One drive pedal in front of the other may sound good, but in the reverse order it is terrible. It is therefore testing which order sounds best for you. Often the internal gain (gain) of the effect plays a major role: low-gain pedals go before high-gain pedals, because the latter often introduces the most noise in your chain. And you don't want to amplify that again.
As mentioned above, certain fuzzes may sound different after buffered pedals. These should then be placed at the front of your chain. This is also testing, you notice whether the pedal responds well and sounds or not.

Flanger / chorus

These are so-called modulation effects, in which part of the effect is edited and fed back. If you use this in combination with your drive, you will keep the stereo aspect of a chorus, for example.

Delay / echo

Often these are placed reasonably at the end of the chain. However, this differs per type (analog, digital, dry-out, etc) and it is a matter of trying! Some delay pedals handle overdrive better than others.


Your reverb will come close to the rear, at least after the delay effects.


This pedal can go in a number of places: for the overdrive (for extra gain from that pedal), for the delay (if it otherwise sounds bad), but usually at the end so that your entire effects chain is strengthened.

Volume pedal

Volume pedals can be placed at the front of the chain or at the back. It just depends on what application you want: If you put the pedal in the front, your drive pedals will receive less signal and they may sound different. If you just want to change your final sound volume, you can put it on the last.