Pedal board order help!

Pedal board order help!

Hey all,

Looking for some advice on pedal board order - I've been gigging this rig for a while but i dont seem to get what I want out of the pedals, individually they sound great though, I'm just getting alot of noise and squeal when all on a board but also I lack warmth and tone out of the guitars I use. So any advice appreciated. (Maybe i should mention this is for my metallica tribute band, but I dont want that quite "thin" new metallica sound)

Guitars are all EMG loaded (EC1000, KH25,KH3, Jackson 90's custom) apart from my Fender Strat Blacktop, Rhoads RR5fr and LTD TE212)

So here is my rig:

5150Mk2 + Mode Four Marshall Cabinets

Pedal board: MXR Micro amp, KH Wah, ISP Decimator, Boss Chorus, MXR 10band EQ, Tuner.

Should I use the FX Loop on the 5150?

Give me some advice please people!



I find it best to use as few pedals before the preamp as possible but each amp is a little different. I'm not that familiar with the 5150 so you'll have to experiment. Personaly I would look at putting the tuner, micro amp and wah before the amp.  Experiment with the order to see what works best. The EQ could go before the amp or in the effects loop. I would try it both places and see which sounds best. My expereince for Metallica type sounds is in the loop but YMMV. The Decimator is another one that could go either place. I've had the best luck with these types of pedals as either the last pedal before going into the preamp or the first pedal in the effects loop, but again YMMV. The chorus would definitely be a candidate for being in the effects loop. A good starting point might be:

Tuner -> Micro Amp -> Wah -> amp in  effects send -> Decimator -> EQ -> chorus -> effects return

Then try moving a few pedals around and see how you like it.


As a 5150 mkII user, I played around alot with my pedals and the effect loop.

I posted my setup in the "Post your set up here"-post. Unfortunately the forums wont allow me to link to it, so I'll paste it again:


Boss TU2
Dunlop Crybaby Kirk Hammet signature Wah
MXR Super Comp
Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
Mesa Boogie Throttle Box
Fulltone OCD 
Pigtronix Gatekeeper
JAM Pedals A/B looper
- MXR Micro Chorus
- Boutique Phase!?
- TC Electronic Flashback Delay
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb


See where I have the A/B loop-pedal? Thats where you go through your Effect loop. The way my board is set up is that I can easilly use the effects loop in my 5150 and use the loop pedal to switch the effects on/off for when I play at home where my practice amp doesnt have an effect loop. 

A rule of thumb that I use is following:

Always have the tuner first. 
Compression, distortions, overdrives, boosts and equlizers always before the preamp. Wah-pedals aswell, however you decide if you put it in front of behind the distortion pedals. I use mine in front, Jimi had both in front and behind the distortions. 
Reverbs, delays, choruses, flangers, phasers, basically all modulators go in the effects loop. 

The Decimator (and other noise reductors) have input/output/send/return jacks. You use it both for the signal chain before the effects loop and after it.

I would suggest this for your pedals: 

Tuner (always first)
MXR 10band EQ (to EQ the base sound from the guitar)
KH Wah (Wah the clean sound from the guitar)
MXR Micro amp 
ISP Decimator Input
ISP Decimator Output to Amp input

Loop Send:
MXR Chrous
ISP Decimator Send
ISP Decimator Return to Return in the amp 

But as R2dhart says, play around with the sound. After all, an original sound is what makes us unique! 
Good luck!

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