but I can plainly hear tone as excellent - good - fairly good - not so good - youch and jeez.....
Take Hendrix's tone, and now take Steve Albini's tone in his old band called Big Black. The latter is one of the angriest, ear piercing out of phase bitcrushed-like distorted whatever guitar sounds... now both those players have "excellent tone" to my ears, yet their guitar sounds couldn't be further apart.
To me they have "excellent tone" because it is their own (sort of signature) sound, that suited their style, suited the atmosphere they wanted to create and the approach of existence they wanted to convey perfectly. So basically good tone was probably a very different thing for Hendrix than it is for Albini, and good tone is not a predertermined recepy or a general concept.
So if i may, do you plainly hear what i'm trying to say ?