I'm curious what types of pedals (not specifics by name, but just the sort of effects) people here feel are their absolute must-haves and why. I've been a guitar-wire-amp guy for about three years now, and I'm perfectly happy with that, but for fun I've decided to poke around at pedals again (I no longer have any interest in a new guitar or amp, after all). For me, I think the basics are: Chorus - Probably my favorite effect, and I have to admit that I'm not all that picky about it. Reverb - I don't have it in my amps. Of course, both amps also have no effects loop, so I'm kinda stuck unless I add it at the board, as it tends to sound funny in front of the amp. Overdrive/Clean Boost - Preferably in one box. Volume - The expressive power of a volume pedal is one of my favorite things about the electric guitar. I need one now. Effects that I don't personally use at all: Flanger/Phaser - Everybody wanted them when I was a kid. Now I rarely see them in use. Compressor - I feel like I *ought* to want this, given what a staple it is for so many players, but I've never enjoyed having one in the signal chain. Tremolo - Again, feels sort of like an "ought to" effect, but I've never had a use for it beyond goofing off Pitch shift/harmonizer/octaver - Just "too much" for me. Some players have used them to great effect, but I just get in trouble with sonic overload when I try. Rotary speaker - Ditto. I'm on the fence about: Wah - Great in theory, fun to play with, but I seldom use one. Really annoying to the audience when overused. Distortion - I am leaning toward getting one box for just over the top grind, but I know I'll use it pretty rarely. Delay - Lots of fun, but again, not sure about its utility to me. So what are your essential effects and why?