I am split on this.
I think it depends on the type of guitarist/person you are.
For example I see guitarists are split into 2 types ( MASSIVE generalisation I know) when it comes to playing:
1) Theoretical approach - wants to know music theory, modes and techniques
2) Plays from Tabs, patterns etc.
My other analogy is wine - some people take time to really take in flavours to concentrate on the taste...others just drink it.
I think its the same for sound production. Some people want to understand the mechanics and hence many people take about frequencies ( low pass filter at 7k) and have a good grasp of all things sound wise to ultimately become a tone king. Others go by feel.
In all of those examples, I'm the latter. That could make me lazy or just its not what interests me in playing guitar/drinking wine. I don't think either is right or wrong, just different.
To follow on from the wine example, me and my wife actually went on a wine tasting to learn more about wine. After about 9 glasses, my wife turned to me and said " you know when I think about it, and I mean I really think about it, I don't really like the taste of wine"...
Well I have a very strange personal view on all of that.
For me there is no "music theory".
I always thought that only the idea of "theory" in connection with arts is very ...funny?
How can it be "theory" when we hear,feel and play it?
Steve Vai or Zappa for example use a lot of "theory" when in fact they always create certain feels which are not a really deniable in my ears. They just knew/know what they do. They don't like to be in a "dark room" hoping that "somehow" they will find the right way to express themselves.Some people say music is "the mathematics of our feelings" and if this is true(I like this idea) the modes/scales are just some variables. Like "minor=sad/major=happy"..and in most cases this is true. The modes have their own "feel" in between what we call "major/minor/". So nothing special really. No theory. It is very practical. If you know what you are doing in a split second. It has to he a natural thing.
The same thing about our guitar sounds or our work flow.
Some people try to create sound purely by gear. If the feel of the song is not "right" they will try to rectify this by changing the amp,putting more fx on the sound etc until their ears get tired and they give up.
I would try to change other things. If I have a song which has a major feel but something is not "quite right" ..yes I would try the MIXOLYDIAN mode. Just one note different. Just one note away from.the major feel,one note more minor feel. Just an example. The older we get things start to exhaust us. We want more melody instead of energy,we want more harmony instead of rage. Gear will not help with that. Gear is not the right way to "re-fresh" our ears to revitalize them. At least I think so. This is my experience. Anyway..
Humans are complicated creatures. And musicians even more so. There us no "rule" for anything in arts/music.