The art of Pedal Stacking?

Yea, this is about pedal stacking and all of it's glory.

For the longest period of time I didn't like to use dirt boxes. Something always sound cheap or fake you could say. Playing with poweramp gain is sometimes hard for me to do because of volume issues, so the whole idea of pedals has came back to me.
I am a guy who has been relying on the beautiful Poweramp distortion, but after talking with Ed at THD, I thought I would give stacking a go. At the moment I'm using an Ac Booster and a Timmy pedal for medium volume situations. I was curious if you guys could give tips on stacking two or more pedals to achieve a decent lead tone? I'm not ashamed to speak out and ask questions in an area that I'm not familuar with. I'm really wanting to learn some of the common things to look for, and maybe some options to try. I really like what I have, but I know it will take a lot of fiddleing with to really master this style of gain. My tone isn't where I want it to be while using these two pedals, but I'm hoping it can get there.

I'm hoping that the new Mi Audio Crunch Box with the AC and the Timmy will be able to create a great sonic evolution in tone for me.

Thanx for the help guys!:)


I've been pedal stacking for the last few years , very happy w/ the tone , I need to get off my butt and record our next original CD, I'll really let the stacked tone fly! I started using a Maxon OD808 in front of a RAT II, the RAT is now a Barber Direct Drive. The biggest thing you have to watch is the output balance,but it is all fairly intuitive when your setting em up

Dr Rico

HHB said:
I need to get off my butt and record our next original CD

Darn right, Bill! Sign me up for a copy, too.

And for them of your that haven't heard Bil play, click on his links and do so. Then thank me.

Back to you, Chet!

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
My entire experience with stacking pedals is completely trial and error.

It depends on the music, the song, the pedals, the settings on the pedals, the amps, the guitars, etc, etc.

Generally what I have learned for me on this topic is that a little gain goes a LONG way when stacking.

Combos I dig are: Tim/Timmy with any of the Xotic pedals; the AC comes alive with a Timmy in front of it. Add other flavors to the mix, but for me I almost always reach for the Timmy with other pedals.


Gold Supporting Member
It's very much trial an error. I've got about 20 OD/Gain boxes of various sorts and I've been looking for a combination that works with my AC30. I'd been using a chain for a Reverend or Fender BF amps that was: SHO-Dredgetone-Sparkledrive-Burn Unit. That sounded awful with the vox-way too noisy and kind of harsh. After trying out a lot of combinations I've settled on Dynaross-FDII-Timmy-Burn Unit, but Klon-Sansamp-Timmy was a close second. The DFTB setup sounds wierd into a blond Bandmaster (which loves Tubescreamers), but the Klon first improves it a lot. Basically, you gotta try all the combinations... It helps to have some good sounding pedals to work with.


I dunno how it happened but I reversed my signal chain yesterday after playing with it a specific way for over a year, and Im actually satisfied.


I started using a TS in front of an early RAT but lately I've been using a Nobels overdrive into the Tech21 doubledrive (using just gain A). Cheers. L


Disgruntled Optimist
Silver Supporting Member
I find that I leave the Zendrive on most of the time; it stacks very well. Really dig that pedal; it adds a fatness to the signal that is hard to turn off.



I like Timmy, OCD and SHO. You can put the SHO after just about anything, and it sounds great. OCD is crunchier where Timmy is smoother. I've been running OCD into timmy, both with drive/gain a little past halfway, no volume boost, and it's really thick, but retained definition. Kick on SHO after for a boost and it's killer. And if you're into that sort of thing, even with all three of those pedals going, it cleans up really well. It may work other ways, but I tried this first and liked it a lot.


Silver Supporting Member
Blues Wail said:
i love pushing the eternity with the COT 50:)

+1 on the COT-50 -> Eternity combo :dude

The COT-50 souonds great pushing the CJOD and Fulltone OCD as well.


waxnsteel said:
You can put the SHO after just about anything, and it sounds great. .


I always use an SHO after an overdrive. It makes any overdrive sound better.


I recently discovered that when the 1st pedal is used to push its follower, the volume of the "pusher" has to be quite high... (ex : Fuzz Factory pushing a mild OD pedal) :jo

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