I'm just generally interested what good tone sounds like to different people
I can sum it up by saying i like only certain tones, i really like clean tones with slight overdrive, but i have exceptions such as Daron Malakians tone from SOAD.

My favourite tone is Peter Greens, i have yet to get a similiar tone. His tone gives me goosebumps (If anyone has any tips to get this tone, bring em on please

(Solo starts at 2:55)
Last edited by Rensa at Jul 31, 2014,
Definitely this for a smooth distortion tone and ambient clean tone working in harmony, the production is also top notch, not too sure if the youtube vid does it justice but the CD quality is very good.


This is also good tone and production wise


The clean tone and the gradual build up of the distortion is good here, production also top notch


As far as lead tone goes, I challenge anyone to find a smoother tone than this, this is live too (the vid quality is awful though)

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The first song was awesome, the tone sounded great with just the right amount of bass.
I'm going to start listening to that band
Bo Madsen from Mew. He nails some pretty sweet twangy tones. Check clips from 'Live in Copenhagen'
Scenes-era Marty Friedman and Trilogy-era Malmsteen.
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This is kind of impossible for me to answer. I like a very large variety of tones. While I listen to and play mostly metal of the extreme genres (black, death), I appreciate lots of other tones as well. To say one tone is my favorite is pretty limiting.

For example, one of my favorite black metal artists, Abbath of Immortal has a very thick and distorted, but harmonic tone (for black metal) that just sounds awesome in his music. But if he tried to use that tone on an R & B album it would sound ridiculous.

Also, I very much enjoy the standard, HM-2 driven Swedish death metal tone. That tone is actually candy to my ears. But most people would say it sounds like complete garbage. Tonal preferences ought to be determined within the bounds of the genre, in my opinion.

As for more accessible music -- I feel like Eric Clapton has/has had some of the best tones of any guitarist in history, no matter what era of his music.
Last edited by KailM at Jul 31, 2014,
Joe Bonamassa for me. Excellent Blues & Rock tones.
Moving on.....
John Petrucci's guitar tone in Systematic Chaos.
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Tough question.


I've been trying to get that clean tone for the last two days and still haven't quite found it.


There's something about that kinda fuzzy(?) tone on that album that I really like.


I just really like Ben Moody's tone on the entire album.

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Andy Summers' tone on Every Breath You Take
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Steve Morse's tone on High Tension Wires and Coast to Coast.
From the blues Roy Buchanan and bit more modern Joe Bonamassa.
Gary Moore's tone was for me one of the best in the world.
Metal world.. Gotta be Mikael Åkerfeldt or Daniel Gildenlöw.
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Last edited by Sakke at Jul 31, 2014,
This tone is all I could ever want. Love this album SOOOO much, I can listen to it every day (I do) and I never ever get sick of it ever. It kills me that I will never see them play this live, or at least how its meant to be played... Still, nothing touches this album imo, and I like a million different bands.
Last edited by JGM258 at Jul 31, 2014,
Another one here in the boat of "this is hard"....I like so much stuff....

Paul Dean (Loverboy, Streetheart), always liked his guitar sound, especially the late 70's/early 80's. I went through great lengths to isolate his guitar sound back in high school, best tones would be on "Pressure" with streetheart, "Turn Me Loose", I have a live bootleg of "Gangs in the Street" that sounds just sick, probably the only time in Loverboy the guitar buried the synthesizers in a wall of power

Edward Van-Halen, I don't need to say too much. The Frist Album, Fair Warning, Unlawful, and Balance have the best tones to me, though they are very different. The first album still remains my favorite because it's so crisp but still fat and has a certain edginess that was lost on the later records.

Billy Gibbons on "Dust Mah' Boom" (Dust My Broom) of Deguello is hilarious and awesome at the same time with that wacky little single-pickup Danelectro - which is pretty much ZZ Top in a nutshell. I also like the cleans on Esther Be the One and I Thank You - very Jazzmastery, wondering if that's him with the Moving Sidewalks Billy-Bo-Tele-Master.

James on And Justice For All...., in particular, the song "Shortest Straw", the way that thing kicks off is totally Apocalyptic...sort of like being trapped in an elevator and the cable breaks, brakes work for a few seconds, stop working, work again, and next thing you know, you don't realize your dead and on an elevator to hell.

An obscure band I like the sound of is a Mineral Wells Texas southern rock band called Blackhorse I found on Youtube awhile back. They sound sort of like an amped up mix of Mountain and Molly Hatchet with a light ZZ Top-ish vibe. The guitar sound on their album is almost impossible for me to identify....is it a Strat into a distortion pedal and a chorus? Is it a Gibson RD triple tracked through a Mesa Boogie?

Dimebag Darrell's sound on the Cemetary Gates solo, that is yet another perfect Lead Tone in my opinion.

I could keep going all day but I don't have time nor want to do that so I'll leave it at that...
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Jari Maenpaa's tone from the first Wintersun album. Holy shit. I was completely blown away the first time I heard Sleeping Stars. The rhythm tone is so gritty. I think it was recorded with an Ibanez Jem and a Mesa Triaxis. You can hear the guitar isolated at 2:47:


I'm also a big fan of Vildhjarta and Kalma's more "sterile" tone, but that definitely isn't for everybody.
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Last edited by gorgthemeatpile at Jul 31, 2014,
This isn't best, but it is the most interesting tone I have heard for electric slide guitar;


If anyone has any idea how Sonny Landreth does this, I would really like to know. I've wondered and asked about it for years, and never got a convincing answer. That red thing behind him would be a Pod of some kind.
Album tones are double/triple/quad tracked, EQed, reamped, etc etc. That tone is impossible to achieve live, normally.

Deftones - Swerve City is great.
John Frusicante has awesome tone.
Pearl Jam - Alive, I love the intro.
Mick Taylor on Sway.
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Kk downings tone specifically on the screening for vengeance album has always been one of my favorite.
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He's never really sounded this good since then. His tone now has this kind of 'squeaky' quality to it that I hate, it's hard to explain...

It's gotten a lot more synthetic sounding over the years, I definitely agree he sounded better on Passion And Warfare than he did any other time.

I can't believe no one else has said this yet but... Eric Johnson. Specifically on Ah Via Musicom. Just... so good.

Also Guthrie Govan's tone on the Erotic Cakes album; that Cornford sexiness is pretty hard to beat.

In terms of metal tones (because METALZ) I think it's got to be Jon Schaffer's tone on Demons And Wizards 'Touched By The Crimson King'. His playing is tight as anything anyway but that tone to go with it is just so sweet.

Finally... Killswitch Engage's rhythm tones on any album past End Of Heartache. Adam D is a hell of a producer.
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Stephen Malkmus' tone, specifically on "Witch Mountain Bridge". Its not hard to get with p90s or single coils but its just beautiful tone to my ears.
The Jicks - Witch Mountain Bridge: http://youtu.be/PjvRTO-Sfjo

Also, Doug Marsch from Built to Spill has the quintessential Fender tone for me.
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Last edited by lucky1978 at Aug 1, 2014,
Oh man, I just soiled myself over that Trucks-Tedeschi youtube vid. What a great groove and everyone in the band is just totally in it. The tone was pretty good too.

"best tone" is surely tough because there are so many great ones. You know it when you hear it. That vocal quality like a familiar voice telling a story.
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Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
John Frusciante or Jeff Beck.. not sure. I'm probably just biased to guitarists I like Guthrie also has some unique sounding stuff IMO.

Side note: some of my favorite Jazz players have TERRIBLE tone
If you mean live, then I'd have to say John Petrucci.
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(...) Also Guthrie Govan's tone on the Erotic Cakes album; (...)

Came here just to say that. I love every guitar tone on that album, even the rhythm guitars sound awesome.

Also, the guitar tones on Opeth's "Damnation" and "Ghost Reveries" albums, and on More Than A Thousand's "Vol.5: Lost At Home" come to mind.
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Well, my first answer to this question is Gary Moore's tone. With a Les Paul or a Charvel, his guitar is screaming and crying beautifully. Then, I love Dave Gilmour, Matthias Jabs (Scorpions) and Mark Knopfler's tones. I will not forget to mention Eric Johnson and SRV.
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If you mean live, then I'd have to say John Petrucci.

Just saw Dream Theater earlier this summer. I agree. Amazing guitar tone. Ridiculously loud, yet still clear and dynamic. Awesome show.

Anyway, I've been tripping balls on Jeff Loomis's tone on the Conquering Dystopia album recently. I mean...
Alex Skolnick w/Modern version of Testament
Michael Keene The Faceless (EMG LOL)
Marty Friedman - RIP era
Me - Bedroom Era
Still one of my favourite tones

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My favorites are...

Dave Navarro (he is always spot on in recordings but his live shows can some times be awfully trebly)

John Frusciante

Peter DiStefano (I'm sure most of you never heard of him.... Maybe it's because I grew up with him... But I love some Porno For Pyros.... Especially their debut album)


there is this Dutch band called Black Box Revelation. They are a 2 man piece that I saw open for Jane's Addiction one time and they blew the crowd away. Anyone who never heard of them should YouTube them now, listen to a few songs, and be blown away
Gary Moore on "Cold Day In Hell"
Carlos Santana on "Europa"
Eric Johnson on "Cliffs of Dover" I know he uses two different guitars (Strat and Es-335)
Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes "Journey to Center of Your Mind" Best sustain on record.
Jeff beck on almost anything. It's all about tone with Beck.

That's it off the top of head.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 6, 2014,
So many that I love but if I had to pick one then it would be Frank Zappa's tone.
I like James hetfields super tight rythyms and he knows when to use a palm mute, kirk hammet needs to get off the freaking wah! John frusciante is killer, the intro to dead skin mask was an amazing tone I can not even almost replicate it. Its like clean but not clean but not distorted idk maybe I'm just a moron. And every once in a blue moon dimebag managed to squeeze some tone out of that Randall like on a new level that was good tone some time the solid state buzz can be cool. And my tone of course! I use a walnut strat and it has a tone like no other