I know I'm no pro, much less even a good guitarist, but I am assemblying my first pedalboard after 15 years of playing without one. Not that I haven't played with pedals. I used digital multi-FX before I got my first tube amp eight years ago. Since then, I would have at most one pedal between guitar and amp at the same time. 1. Main rule: If you have a great great amp, (Pritchard in my case) then you will get better tone by turning your amp up and guitar volume down for a standard base clean tone than by having a gain pedal as your primary gain sound without using your guitar volume. Application of rule: You probably have the gain on your pedal(s) too high and too low on your amp. 2. If you *need* to use more than one pedal at a time or event, like delay plus chorus, you might as well make a pedal board. 3. If you are going to have a pedal board, you might as well experiment with as many pedals as you can, including gain pedals. 4. If you are going to have gain pedals, you might as well develop setting to create tones you like so that you can play just through your pedalboard into any clean amp and get a predictably good tone dependent only on your pedals. And so I transition from recently straight to Pritchard amp, to guitar > modded Vox 847 wah > Throbak ODB > MI Audio BBD > Maxon Rotary Phaser > MI Audio Tube Zone > Barber DD w/ mod board > Arion SCH-Z > Digitech PDS 8000 > Pritchard I have to remember that despite 4 great gain pedals, my best base tone will be with them off and not let them take over my basic tone. Rule 1 & 4 should not be merged. Don't cross the two setting, keep them separate and you won't have any epiphanies that you can get even better tones by plugging straight into your favorite amp and end up selling all the pedals out of annoyance that they became a bad habit to hold back your tone. So any additional ideas or contrary thoughts?