This question comes up reasonably often enough, here on TB as well as in my own thoughts, so as far as my research has led me to understand, it boils down to understanding gain stages, and which pedals represent a gain stage. Bear in mind I’ve been playing for a long time but am a novice when it comes to effects. Do I have this right? The way I understand it is that the order in which things appear in an amplifier. First, there’s the whole pre-amp section, which includes Gain (overdrive), bass/mids/treble, maybe a contour knob of some kind or a vintage EQ knob, then an effects loop for modulation effects, maybe a tuner loop, maybe a built in reverb for guitar amps, then the power amp stage (Master volume). Except for modulation effects like chorus, reverb, delay, etc, most other effects are based on boosting or cutting parts of the signal. Boosting or cutting the signal is controlling gain, so these pedals are gain stages. The order in which you place them is *typically* similar to the order in which those same gain stages would appear in your amp, so overdrive, EQ/compression, modulation. But it really depends on what gain stage you want to send into overdrive and with what frequency ranges. So your pedals may consist of a 7-band EQ, a fuzz, an auto wah or envelope filter, an OD, an octaver, and a preamp-style pedal an Ampeg Classic or a VT Bass, a compressor, and a chorus. The *typical* order *I think* would be auto wah, octaver, fuzz, OD, EQ, compressor, preamp, your amp’s preamp, then the chorus. In this order, the wah and octaver are just getting the clean signal so they’re not messed up, then the fuzz drives the OD gain stage, the OD signal is cleaned up by the EQ, the whole thing is managed by the compressor, then into your amp. Your amp then introduces its own gain/OD (depending on how hard you’ve now boosted your signal going into it) and it’s own EQ and whatever voicing it naturally has. However, understanding that several of these are gain stages and therefore boost or cut signal at different frequencies helps you understand where a tone problem resides, how to fix it, and how to mix up the order of your pedals to get gain at different stages. So you could use your EQ pedal to drive a more bottom heavy signal into your overdrive pedal, or place your fuzz last so it is being overdriven by the gain stages before it, and you can also skip your amp’s entire gain/EQ stage by plugging into your amp’s effects return input. Just want to validate my understand with the experts here, and if I have it correct, maybe this explanation will help future searchers.