Looking for the perfect tone.
Metallicaman, I don't think there is a such thing as PERFECT tone, there's only bad tone, good tone, and YOUR perfect tone. That being said, believe it or not I can get some pretty decent tones (to my ears anyway) out of my $100 solid state practice amp.
What I would do if I were you is really work with that amp you have already, you would be surprised as to what new sounds you might be able to come up with. You said yourself that you've never used a wah-wah so I would NOT go out and buy something if you don't know that you'll ever use it (I made that mistake with a chorus pedal i received a while ago). Listen to music that you like: I know you said that you don't want to emulate anyone, but as far as effects go, if you hear a guitarist and say: "That's a cool lead/riff, I really like the sound of it" then it might not be a bad idea to figure out what they are using to make that effect.
Picking up an E.Q and compression isn't a bad idea though, but I would definitely spend some time working with the amp to see what other sounds you can get from it.
Ok, One of my Favorite Lead guitarists, TONE wise, Is zakk wylde. I tried his pedal by mxr and it sucks. Believe it or not, but I LOVE the clean warm tone through the solo of the song "On a Island" by david gilmour. A very slow solo, but AMAZINGLY Beautiful sound. I believe he plays a strat in that solo. Solos likes SIN, No more tears, Time after time, Mr.crowley, Flying High again, and Bark at the moon Give me chills at how amazingly bad A** the tone is. Thats all RR, Zakk, and Jake. But Mostly, there zakk. No disrespect to RR, but RR's tone TONE isnt my favorite. His picking techniques, classical, and the speed is what touches my soul in those certain ways in which i cant explain. Not his tone. No offense to him, he does have an excellent tone. But I think zakk has a very very very POWERFUL tone. A perfect example of how i would like my guitar to sound is the solo from no more tears. Thanks for all these replys guys
Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio
Ok, then I'd certainly recommend this modified MT-2 for a distortion pedal
...Well for rythem at least
Note: don't *ever* think you'll *ever* get any sound from an album. Any studio worth's it's money will mix tracks together to form one sound. Big fat chances that the 'tone' you're after is a combination of multiple amps and effects put together in one final stereo track. People like Gilmour are FX-masters, the ammount of pedals, rackequipment and amps that dude got is amazing.
Arjen: never too lazy for stating the obvious. Anyway, before I (and I guess others) can give some possibly helpfull advice is when we know if your amp gets a basic sound you like. If so, what part do you like and what part do you not like?
Not sure if this has already been said, but maybe a multi-effects pedal would work for you? Something like a DigiTech RP-80 or something similar. Not the best tone wise, but cheap and has a TON of tones to play with and tweak. I sold mine, but it helped me decide on the pedals I did want to get to use with my Deluxe Reverb.
"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"
definitely try a new amp. one good place to start looking is the Vox Valvetronix series. great amps with great tone for great money. then you can mess with a couple of pedals to enhance your amp. im sure if you played around enough and maybe added an EQ pedal, you could make your amp work fine.
i have found that my favorite tone, other than the tone from my Martin, is my Strat running through a Danelectro FAB Overdrive (level all the way up, gain all the way down) into the Black 2X12 model of my Vox AD30VT. it's in manual mode, with the bass at 0, the mids at 10, and the treble around 7. i set the amp gain around 9. (all on a 0-10 scale). it's a nice bluesy, gritty tone. i like it.
with this amp, im sure you can use the models to get the tone you want. it's very versatile. go give it a try at any store that has them.
Well obviously Stevie Ray Vaughn had the perfect tone.(Ok my opinion but..) Stevie didn't use alot of pedals I think he used a fuzz pedal and an ts808 tube screamer mainly. Most of his sound was his gigantic and strong hands and the massive strings he used. But that being said it is completly suggestive. I hate the tones that Vai and Satch get and other people think it is the holy grail of sound.
Generally to get the best sound you need a good tube amp, digital doesn't compare(and I hope it never does). But if you want to get a lot of sounds that are pretty damn good digital amps and FX boxes are the way to go.
I must say collecting pedals is really fun and it is one of my hobbies(a slightly expensive one). Since I stopped using digital effects my tone has gotten much better because there is so much more customization in analog pedals.