ok im new at this..i have been playing guitar for about 6 years (im 15 years old) i am upgrading to a marshall half stack soon (JCM2000- TSL TRIPLE SUPER LEAD) and i am planning on getting some pedals like a phase 90 and a crybaby....now playing on a line 6 spider III the past few years im used to having different effects built in like delay, wah, chorus, flanger, and phaser so im not used to this...but i noticed you have to put your different pedals in a certain order or something because the order you have your pedals in effects the sound? im new to this so i also don't know what "preamp" and "effects loop" are......if someone could explain all this for me if would be greatly appreciated
One way to plug in effect pedals is between your guitar and amp. The effects will obviously take place in the order you put them, ending at the amp.

But what if you want an effect to happen after your amp affects the signal? Then you can place them in the effect loop, which is after the preamp (gain and equalization).

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Okay, generally you put filters like wahs and pitch shifters at the beginning of your signal path, because they need to pick up the dynamics of your guitar signal. Compressors amplify the noise of everything before them and can provide a good boost in front of distortion, so put them next. Then distortion, for a lot of the same reasons. Then modulation and other "color" effects, like chorus, phase, and tremolo. Delay and reverb should be in your effects loop--they're supposed to affect the entire tone, just like if you were in an echoing room.


Pitch shifter
Overdrive/distortion/fuzz (usually from lowest to highest gain)
Tuner/Volume pedal/etc.


FX send:
FX return

Of course, that's just a vague guideline--sometimes you'll want to do things differently. F'rinstance, Santana used to put fuzz pedals before wah. Lots of people put phaser and chorus pedals before distortion. I'm pretty sure one of the guys in Grinderman once put a tremolo pedal before his fuzz. And so on. And...so forth.

Oh, and your bypass type can complicate the order. For example, you never want to put a Fuzz Face after a buffered-bypass pedal, but it's a good idea to put a Big Muff after one.
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Last edited by AeolianSeventh at Jul 27, 2011,