Needs? Who "needs" an amp? It depends on what you're trying to accomplish and what you want to emphasize. David Gilmour doesn't "need" his rig to be great, but he needs it to sound a certain kind of great. Robben Ford doesn't need pedals for his Dumble tone because he plays through a freaking Dumble. If the point is that some guitars clean through some amps can sound beautiful, we knew that. If the point is that it's about notes and expression, we knew that. I'm not sure why anyone would think that their pickup is somehow not a device in the same way a pedal is, or how a certain amp with its distinct qualities is not a device in the same way a pedal is. Honestly, I don't know a player who uses pedals out of need. Even in the acoustic world, there are tonal effects. We call them D28s or L-00s, etc.