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I believe a lot in the fact that tone is mostly in the fingers and style, but at the same time you can't deny the difference in some amps.

I wonder sometimes if certain guitar tones have changed music and what we all listen to. For example, what if Van Halen 1 was recorded using a Mark IV and Metallica's Black album was recorded with Plexis? Sure they probably would have been successes to the main stream, but in the same way to us guitar players? Sure it's not that important, but maybe something to discuss or debate for fun.

What players or bands tone has such an impact on the guitar industry that maybe and just maybe they wouldn't be where they are now because of it. Or if they would have used different gear, they'd be better off.

It's easy to pick great players or bands/albums, but I don't think they would have to be.

My quick list of those who would maybe not be where they are if their tone wasn't so unique at the time.

Early VH
Metallica's Mesa years (basically Master on up)
George Lynch / Dokken - Under Lock and Key
AC/DC anything.
Hendrix
Anything from Boston (simply a unique sound)

Sure my list if a bit dated, but it's a bit early to list new bands since only time will tell how influencial they are to guitar tones. Except some of the new metal stuff like Lamb Of God.

What's on your list or who should have changed their tone?
 

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Dude, awesome topic.

One of my favorite bands (and tones) was Kings of Leon. I saw them tons of times when they were rocking shows with less than 50 people. They used AC30s for awesome chimey rock tones...now they are making not so rock music...but that aside their first 2 albums were amazing...I couldn't imagine it (and their shows) without the AC30 sound.

Imagine if the Beatles had used Marshall instead of Vox??

What if Jimmy Page switched to Boogie in 1969??
 

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I do not think it is about the tone itself.

A really good guitarist is not trying to copy a tone, but creates his own sound, searches for it until he is satisfied and then evolves his sound over the years. Like those mentioned in your list and many more.

It is hard to tell how much is style, fingers, intonation, amp, effects....
It surely varies from player to player. The Edge is unique in his way, doing lots with effects, angus young is SG and Marshall in his pure form. Sure those are extremes.
However in then end the tone, the player and most importantly his band members are what enables them to create unique kinds of music that may appeal to some or the masses...

Take Vai. I am sure 90%+ of the people at one of his conecerts would not hear the difference if he played a song with Evo or a stock new 7vwh. However he does hear and feel the difference, so the experience would not be as unique for the listeners if he could not play said song with his preferred guitar... people would notice, but they would not hear the difference....
 

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I totally agree with you Tank, but I have a saying; "heavy is as heavy does".

After Page, Hendrix and Iommi (and the psychadelic sound) the fuzz era was undoable. You can't unhear heavy sounds. It's totally something you feel. Someone who pioneers new ground in sound has to do just that. Touch and untouched emotion. Just like the people who came up with synth music. Be it a new song, or a new tone or a new approach altogether.

Even Page used a danelectro with a junky silvertone amp for "White summer/black mountain side"! What killer sound...
 

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I totally agree with you Tank, but I have a saying; "heavy is as heavy does".

After Page, Hendrix and Iommi (and the psychadelic sound) the fuzz era was undoable. You can't unhear heavy sounds. It's totally something you feel. Someone who pioneers new ground in sound has to do just that. Touch and untouched emotion. Just like the people who came up with synth music. Be it a new song, or a new tone or a new approach altogether.

Even Page used a danelectro with a junky silvertone amp for "White summer/black mountain side"! What killer sound...
+1 to that, you are absolutely right. some songs just call for, let's say special tools. but mostly this also comes from your hearts inspiration and you know what to use beacause of the search for your tone...
 
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