gear suggestion - matching tones from a recording


making guitars wish they were still trees
This may've been covered in a past session, but here's a gear-ish suggestion if it hasn't. Say I hear a killer tone somewhere and I'd like to cop it. What is your process to follow to try and get it matched? For instance, I was walking through the room where my wife was listening to something the other day, and I had to stop and listen because the band had what I told her was the best 70s guitar rock sound I had heard in a long time. Just the right amount of growl while retaining some cleanness. A little bit aggressive without being brash. Where would you start to try and match that tone? Do you start with the amp or pedals and do you work your chain from guitar to amp or backwards from amp to guitar? Or do you pick whatever amp/pedals you think you might need and start twisting knobs until something sounds right?


Comparison is the thief of joy
I start with the guitar itself.
I generally rotate between 2 PRS's and my Epi LP'59. They each have distinct tonal characteristics that will generally get me in the ballpark.
After that it's pedals. My distortion/ overdrive are usually my DS-1 and my EP Boost respectively and I use them along with the usual Chorus, Reverb, Compression and EQ and somewhere in all of that Ican usually find what I'm looking for.
Oddly, the amp plays little role in any of this. I have a Blackstar Artist 15 and I keep it on the gain channel which is a mild gain that I generally keep at around 12 to 1o'clock and the EQ is pretty neutral as well.
If I shut down all of the distortion/overdrive pedals I can get a really clean tone with some pick bite. But when I add either the DS-1/EP or a few others, I can dial up everything short of Djent.