Best Guitar Player With The Worst Tone?

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by toomanycats, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Simple question here. Who, in your opinion (because the whole thing is rather subjective), most exemplifies a guitarist who plays great but has terrible tone?

    Put another way, who is the player with the greatest gulf between their ability to play well and their capacity to make good tone?

    To clarify, you can't just say, "So and so has sh*tty tone." It has to be somebody that has sh*t tone, but who is also acknowledged as an accomplished player.

    I have my own opinions on the question, though I'll withhold them for now so you folks can have the first shot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  2. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Stephen Stills acoustic tone for the last 15 years. Such a great player such great songs, his electric tone on Wooden Ships and his acoustic tone on Suite:Judy Blue Eyes were like a warm blanket and a cool breeze all at the same time but his acoustic tone now it buzzy piercing unacoustic Piezo mess. Maybe as he gets older and loses his high freq hearing it leads him there but I hate it. Just lisen to something like tree top flyer from 69 and now.
     
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  3. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Randy Rhoads and Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Both tones were appropriate for the genre, but holy hell.
     
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  4. AnotherJim

    AnotherJim Active Member

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    I was never crazy about Richie Blackmore’s tone. Love DP and all of Rainbow stuff but his tone always seemed a bit “stifled” to me.
     
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  5. 4CASTER

    4CASTER Member

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    George Harrison--I'm thinking specifically of his lead on the single version of Let It Be--so milquetoast and bland, he played plenty of tasty stuff otherwise. Then you hear John's tone on the album version of the same song and now, that's some great tone there.

    I love the playing on the lead to "Realin' In the Years", but it sounds like a kazoo to me.
     
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  6. jhull54

    jhull54 Well-Known Member

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    Kirk Hammett and Angus Young. Hammett can play, but never thought he got a great tone on any of Metallica's stuff. Just kind of meh. Always seemed pretty ordinary to me. Angus is really a blues player, but never cared for his shrill, brittle lead tone. Love AC/DC though!
     
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  7. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    HOly crap I always thought of the kazoo thing too!!
     
  8. manco53

    manco53 Well-Known Member

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    Randy for sure
     
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  9. MarkW

    MarkW Well-Known Member

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    Zakk Wylde and Batio.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  10. manco53

    manco53 Well-Known Member

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    I lied Zakk’s earlier tone. Still one of my favorite tunes.

     
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  11. Lamf77

    Lamf77 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Clapton's Tone on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"...maybe it was just his choice of gear...who knows. Always thought the solo was over-rated.
     
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  12. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    I liked some of the BLS bluesy metal I heard but when I got to see them live open for priest they were a dumpster fire. The 2nd guitarist had a wall of stacks aimed at the audience and it was a firehose of crap. Nothing the soundman could do to fix it. I had to go back 30 or more rows to get any sense of how the "band" sounded but still sucked even near back rows. Barely heard zakk singing, couldnt, tell what.
    It was like watching a band of 12 yr olds in VOLUME WAR.
     
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  13. Tsukiyomi

    Tsukiyomi Well-Known Member

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    Add me to that list. It's along similar tone lines to "Easy" by The Commodores.

    And while this doesn't qualify as 'best player with the worst tone', I have to say that all of the guitars on Layla have always sounded pretty awful to me, tone-wise. Sorryyyyyy
     
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  14. Eicca

    Eicca Well-Known Member

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    Don’t know the names or even if they qualify as “accomplished” players but whoever did the guitars on Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Lovin’ You” stand out as particularly bad because the drum mix is actually quite good.
     
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  15. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    Neal Schon HSAS disk.
     
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  16. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I've never liked Eric Johnson's tone. It's too processed for my tastes.
     
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  17. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    Steve Winwoods tone with Traffic wasnt the best, yet, to me, he quickly became a better player than Clapton. Love his playing. His tone isnt bad, but it seems a bit squelched to me at times. I wish it were more up front.

     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  18. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    I think it applies to all joan jett. I think she runs her vocals through the same processor.
     
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  19. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Zakk was at one time a great guitarist with a great sense of phrasing and tone. Then he became like a characiture of himself.

    Once, a friend and I went to see Judas Priest and they had Zakk opening. He played an 18 minute solo. The whole thing sounded the same. Literally half the audience went to the bathroom, including us, only to come back and find him still soloing the same boring thing. I mean, it was technical, but still just bad.

    I freaking love Randy's frying pan tone. Live and on the albums. He wins this thread.

    Crazy Train came on right now too. The Gods are listening.
     
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  20. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna jump in now.

    I loved Vernon Reid's playing on the first Living Colour album, though his tone was so grating to my ears.

    I hated Clapton's tone after he started playing his signature Fender with the active TBX tone control. Great player, bad tone.

    That Eddie Van Halen is a great player is beyond question, but I never liked his tone after the 5150 album.

    The guys in Def Leppard were certainly competent guitar players, but from Pyromania to Hysteria their guitar sound went from totally righteous to processed sh*t .

    Rusty Cooley can do things with a guitar that mere mortals can scarcely dream of, but his tone is so friggin' annoying.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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