Al DiMeola on "Romantic Warrior" is my favorite, but his electric tone is almost always fantastic.
I'm tired and drained from writing a research paper. I've got the rest of the night to go
But I'm takin a break.
My main gripe is ORGANIC. I need organic tone. Organic is a subjective word I guess, but I hate its opposite, "processed."
Vai is a good example of both. His tone is usually a mix of those two, but his best example of organic tone is obviously the beginning of "Blue Powder."
Andy Timmon's tone on "Resolution" is incredibly organic.
I like neck humbuckers, or single coils in Timmon's case, that sound like sponges. I like them to respond like a tube rectifier-ed amp...sag...when you have low gain, but I like them to tighten up with gain and volume. Petrucci can pull off that trick pretty well.
With bridge humbuckers, I like thick tone but also it must be crystal clear. Petrucci and Timmons both pull that off, even though they're EQ'd totally different.
Oh! Yet another great example: Richie Kotzen. Great tone.
I could go on and on, but I've got a great glass of chocolate milk to drink and a crappy b*tch of a paper to write
I've nearly started!!