Avoiding crap guitar tones is often as easy as critically referencing your tracks to an “infallible source.” Those sources are the coolest clean, distorted, processed, and acoustic guitar sounds on your favorite albums. Simply dump the desired cut to an open track on your recording system so you can easily switch back-and-forth between your guitar sound and the reference guitar. Listen carefully to the reference to determine how it compares to your guitar sound. Check every element from tone to ambience to processing: Is your guitar track too bassy or too thin, too spiky or not punchy enough, is there too much or too little reverb? With an exceptional reference right in front of your ears, you should be able to work your sound until it approximates greatness.