Yeah, I know it's pretty broad. I feel kinda dumb even asking about it to be honest. After playing guitar now almost 20 years you would think that's something I would know pretty well. I was so happy when I got my first stack, which was a Marshall MDX100w that I didn't care, I just chained some pedals and was happy, sold that and a few years later got a Line 6 because they had so many artist style channels. Now that I have kinda gotten back in the real groove of creating music I feel the Line 6 is not good for creating a sound.
As far as amps go I have had that pretty narrowed down to a couple that I think are awesome, I just really want to get a great clean sound. I have always wanted the distortion of Hetfield and the clean sounds of Synyster Gates.
To narrow down a question, What do compression and EQ pedals do to the sound exactly? I never bothered with them as a kid cause it didn't make me sound heavy, at least that was my ignorance at the time, so I never learned.
Also, preamps. I understand generally the purpose, are they usually only necessary for recording in studio though or is there benefit to using them whenever possible?