List your all-time favorite recorded guitar tones?

One of my all-time favourite songs, but Be Quiet & Drive by Deftones has an amazing dirt tone, still a great reference of mine.

Fugazi has an amazing trick of making their guitar tones just sound RIGHT for the song. Bed for the Scraping has some great guitar sounds and work! Lead @ 0.29 is great!

I'd also like to doff the cap to Christian Hayes of Levitation & laterly Dark Star, his sound is tremendous - a b-side called 'Jay' from the World Around single has my favourite lead tone ever - can't find any links to it anywhere tho!

Dark Star - Twenty Twenty Sound

Levitation - Need for Not


The Dude abides!
Pretty much anything Mike Campbell has ever recorded: for Tom Petty, for Don Henley, etc. His tone sounds deceptively simple and basic, but is fiendishly hard to reproduce. (Probably because I don't have his hands! :p)
The Edge - Unforgettable Fire and Achtung Baby (opposite ends of the spectrum, but killer tones)
Ken Bethea - Pretty much every Old 97s album. He's kind of like Campbell. Tone sounds simple, but it (a) just works, and (b) is harder to reproduce than you would think.
David Bryson/David Immergluck/Dan Vickery - Pretty much every Counting Crows album. These three guys intertwine and play off each other so well, each with killer tone and each positioning themselves in the mix that their combined playing (and respective tones) just sound like one integrated whole. Amazing!
Johnny Marr - How Soon Is Now? Because... duh!
Mick Ronson - Again. Everything. Bowie. John Mellencamp. And on and on...



These really are just random things I like... I've never been obsessed with other people's tone. My own tone yeah, but not others...


Eagles - One Of These Nights solo

Van Halen 1 album

Van Halen - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album

The Edge - Electric Co on U2 live in Chicago

The Melrose Place intro. Ha...seriously. Loved that tone.


Supporting Member
John Williams plays Barrios (1977)
David Russell ..Music of Antonio Lauro
Most Julian Bream
Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue
Any David Gilmour
Mark Knopler ..Sultans
Robben Ford w/Jimmy Witherspoon .."Going Down Slow " 1977
Any Baden Powell
Larry Carlton .Last Nite


Grandpa but...Not Yet Old!
Silver Supporting Member
Some great choices but when this question has come up before I can only name one song/tone. Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. It's been mentioned once I think but the video needs posted as well:

Also lead tone at the end jam on Too Rolling Stoned

And of course, the one I've been searching for the most....the lead break in Time



The Ramones - loco live
The Rolling Stones "love is strong"
Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing"
The Police
Pink Floyd
Jimmy Hendrix
Van Halen the first 3 albums
Incubus the first 2 albums
Korn Issues
Slipknot the last album
Metallica "One"
Red Hot Chili Peppers John Frusciante era
Tool "right in two"
Incubus "Echo"
Wes Borland clean tone
Guns n roses "You Could be Mine"
Guns n Roses Appetite for Destruction
Mudvayne "dig"
Nirvana "SMells like teen spirit"
Weezer "say it aint so"
Bruno Mars "uptown funk"
Living colours " cult of personality"
Michael Jackson "beat it" "Billie jean"
Rage against the machine the first record
Pearl Jam "even flow" video version


Silver Supporting Member
John Mayer - Continuum (The entire album is amazing)
Jet - Cold Hard Bitch ( Great riff and amazing tones!)
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (the whole album is amazing tone)

Smashing Pumkins - Porcelina if the Vast Oceans (right about 2:12 when the guita kick in big and thick, such a good high gain sound!)