to dialing in a nicely distorted, but not fuzzy tone?

I'm fine with my tone now, but when i listen to other players, most notably eric johnson and steve vai, their distorted tone seems to sound SOOOO much smoother than mine, and i'm talking about bridge pup tones as well as neck pup tones.

i want that.
i want the clarity of a clean guitar, but the power of distortion backing it up. sometimes the distortion just makes my notes mash or you can hear it fine but it's sort of being coated under the fuzz that distortion gives off (if you know what i'm trying to say)

check my sig for my gear. is there any suggestions as to what i could do to improve my tone in this fashion?
Quote by thellamaking
Oh, and don't add too much bass.

really? because on my "lead" channel, my settings are

presence 6
treble 7
mid 5
bass 8
gain 9

and those tones are smoother than my other gain channel which is EQ'd

presence 6
treble 8
mid 5
bass 6.5
gain 7

is it just my amp?
the secret is small stages of gain. eric johnson has a chandler tube driver going into his plexi, then jumping the channels and having the amp set to moderate gain.

steve vai does almost the same thing. except he uses a TS9 going into his legacy's dirty channel.

never just crank the gain on your amp. set it so you can adjust the gain with your volume knob to allow room for dynamics, then have your OD handy for a gob of gain for heavier things.
Quote by patriotplayer90
Lolz that guy is a noob.

Leave it on the press, Depress Depress Taboot Taboot.
i believe eric johnson also uses a fuzz face, which provide very smooth lead tones when your tone knob is rolled back like the others have mentioned
main rig:
MIM Tele->VP Jr.->CryBaby->Fuzz Factory->TS808->Carbon Copy->Phase 90->TU-3->Vox AC30CCH+Avatar 212 and Peavey VTM60+Marshall 1960A

Quote by necrosis1193
Fuzz...It's wonderful and horrible and beautiful and repulsive and so many things all at once.
In many cases less gain is more. Less gain more volume works good. Your looking more for OD than distortion.