As a well-established bass player (yes I can say that), I have recently been freed from my guitarist's $200 combo amp and Metal Zone pedal (thank you Blackstar Series One).
For 5 years I have been subjected to heavily saturated distortion, overdrive like... , and clean tones elastic bands jest at.
Abuse of gain and scooped mids are bad for 3 major reasons:
1. You are mutilating the frequency spectrum thereby destroying the audio experience;2. It is difficult for a metal guitarist to realise their imperfections in playing with all that saturation;3. You lose dynamics and freedom in your tone.
To illustrate point 2, jam to your favourite solo or rhythm section on a clean tone... Scary hey. I leave you to think about the other points.
There are plenty guitarists who have used distortion and gain properly. To name a few I mention Dime, Eric Johnson, Vivian Campbell on Holy Diver, Billy Gibbons, Mark and Willie from LoG (mostly on live sets). These are artists from bands where you can sit down and enjoy all the instruments.
What is the solution? Unfortunately getting a professional tone is not cheap (some may argue about that though). Avoid simulation amps, rather aim for simple amps with EQ and gain controls. Avoid large mainstream companies cheap range of amplifiers, since you pay a premium for their name on your amp (the analogy of the fat ugly girl tries harder). Learn to set your EQ so that the overall sounds creates a sonic balance when the band jams. Scott Grove has a YouTube channel (called "groovydjs") that provides these explanations with zero sugar-coating, they are long but extremely useful. For a quick audio visual experience, please check out. And yes, its not all guitarists of course.