Alrighty, so this may not be your typical advice thread, and I'm sorry it's so blasted big, I just have to get this out of my head and written down. Plus, what better way to talk about this issue than to propose the issue to my fellow pedal nuts here on TB (my girlfriend can only take some much gear babble)? My board has really been finalizing itself for the last few months, as I have gotten a more clear picture of what I need to have at hand for the type of music my band plays (link in sig). I have a pretty solid idea of what the remaining space on my board will consist of. First off, here is what I am currently running: [sFx] Micro Thumpinator American Loopers 2-Loop switcher ss/Bs Gated TAFM Catlinbread Teaser Stallion (just got it, more on that in a bit) IE Nimbus EBS Stanley Clarke Wah/Volume MXR Carbon Copy MythFx Triton Wren & Cuff Phat Phuk B MXR Bass Compressor So I have a lot of "ground" covered so far. I am pretty satisfied or in love with everything that I have on the board presently, with the possible exception of the Teaser Stallion. Still searching for the perfect Distortion, and it comes pretty close....more on that in a bit. Here are the pedals that I hope to fill in the spots on my board: Empress Multidrive (...wait for it..) Strymon El Capistan BYOC Phase Royale Aguilar Octamizer Right, so between some PayPal funds and some gear that I have lying unused at the moment, I should be able to acquire the four pedals that are listed above. Everything sounds rad right? Maybe. Here is where the dilemma begins. My band is recording in less than two weeks (again, link in sig), so I really don't have time to get in all of the pieces of this puzzle before we record. That being said, I'm going to have to choose where to apply the cash that I have for now. With me so far? There are a few considerations. Firstly, if the Teaser Stallion continues to perform they way it did at practice last night (no loss of low end, in fact it actually added some low-end girth) then I can keep the Stallion and focus my potential buying power on the other pedals on my list. If not, then I will finally get to scratch the itch in the back of my mind that is the Multidrive. The MultiDrive seems like a pedal that I could engross myself with. I really like the option of having two different presets. I love the smaller form factor of the Stallion, but at the end of the day it may actually take up about the same amount of room on the board (mine is the two button one with the feedback switch). Money wise, if I decide to sell the Stallion, I can make up some of the cost of the Empress. On the other hand, if I decide to keep the Stallion, I'll be one step closer to the Strymon. I honestly think that I'll really dig the Empress, but money is a big concern, and it is expensive. If I do opt out of the Empress (I'll get it someday for sure), or I decide that my dirt needs are more or less settled for now, I can hopefully snag a Strymon El Capistan for about the same price. I really want and will use both the Strymon and the MXR Carbon Copy on my board (delay at both ends of the modulation and phasing). The main catch to this path is that while the Carbon Copy is obviously not as fully featured as the Strymon, I can get a lot of those kinds of analog delay echo sounds from the Carbon Copy in a studio setting. From a live perspective, having the two different delay sounds is the most logical choice, but in the studio I have as much time for knob twiddling as I want. Main point here is that the Strymon doesn't necessarily have to come before the Empress, or even the phaser (but I want). And of course, since I have *a* dirt pedal that I at least can live with and *a* delay that I'm in love with, I could skip both those steps for now and grab the BYOC Phase Royale and an Octamizer to thicken up my synth tones. These two pedals, as much as I want them and will love to have them once they arrive, will get used substantially less frequently than the rest of the board, just by the nature of the music we play. Lastly, there is the bigger matter of paying for the pressing of the record and all of the other financial woes that are associated with being in a band full time for the first time. The extra PayPal cash/gear money would definitely help out then, perhaps more than a tricked out pedalboard. It is honestly hard to ignore this fact, as much as I would like. So what are everyone's thoughts on this? Which path should I pursue first, if any? Again, I'm sorry about the LONG post, but I just had to get this stuff out of my head. Thanks in advance!