26 Toxophilite 2 weeks ago bold of you to assume that the only purpose of equipment is to "hear what your guitar/amp really sounds like." maybe folks want something different from their kit? This is strange . This is not at all what I said.Being a fellow who listens to a lot of music with heavily effected guitar and loves it I am not an sort of purist.I never said or assumed anything about the 'only purpose of equipment' or anything like that in anyway. Not sure how that happened.Here is what I actually said ,have fun with it, please though, note the 'At least In my opinion part'"*You have to know how to play, and how to get a good basic sound out of your guitar through your amp. If you can establish both of those, then when you add the effects they sound that much better. At least in my opinion.I can't say I've mastered any of it. I guess that's what makes it still interesting. *I think you can hide behind effects (including distortion). That's my opinion too, and I like using effects and hearing others creative use of them.I've always thought a good basic clean sound is a good place to start. Like how one often learns on an acoustic, which to me is a more demanding instrument than an electric guitar.