I have a Hughes & Kettner Statesman Quad EL84 tube amp, and one of the nice features it has is an FX send and return. From what I understand, this feature allows me to add effects to the end of the chain, after the amp has processed the signal (EQ, reverb, gain/dist?), but before actually being amplified. I know it's very popular to use this feature for delay pedal effects.

I'm setting up a pedal board and some of the pedals will be used in the chain between the guitar and the input of the amplifier (lets call this section 1), while some will be used in the FX send and return (section 2). I'm wondering which effects are typically used in section 1, and section 2?

For the sake of this question, let's assume the following pedals are being used:

  • Volume pedal
  • Tuner pedal
  • Overdrive pedal
  • Delay pedal
  • Reverb pedal
  • Octave pedal
  • Chorus pedal
  • EQ pedal
  • Fuzz pedal
  • Some kind of synth effect pedal
  • Any other pedals that you might use

Not saying I use all of these, but how would you order them? Which section would you put them in? Why?

I realize answers are subjective, but I'm looking more for "why" a pedal might go here in the chain rather than just a list without explanation.

  • Will anyone weigh in on this question? I suppose it's a given that the tuner will go first in the chain so that it gets the clean signal from the guitar, but how about any of the others?
    – Johannes
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


As far as my knowledge go, this would be the "right" setup for you:


Guitar --> Wah (you did not mention it, but it needs to be first in line, because wah, along with fuzz, is "tone sucking", and putting them last in line would not be good, since the signal has already been deteriorated passing trough lots of pedals) --> volume --> tuner --> overdrive --> Octave --> synth --> chorus

  1. FX LOOP

literally everything else, in the order you like. My personal choice would be: EQ --> Delay --> Reverb (I like EQ in send/return, but some people prefer it in front of the amp)

I would consider putting a buffer between Wah and fuzz, so that the signal can be restored. The main rule for choosing what goes where can be summed up this way:

Everything that can be considered modulation goes in the FX LOOP, because you want to process a signal that has already most of the "personality" it's gonna get, and you are just adding ambient to it

Everything that builds up your tone goes in front of the amp

Hope it helps,


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