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AW: RME Firewire 800 and Guitar Amp Sim - Preamps

[about plugging a passive guitar into a mixer line input]

> But what will be the real audible result to the output? 
> Better frequency range?
> Less noise? Better dynamic range? More clarity? Essentially, 
> enhancing the tone that I don't like to begin with. :)  

A magnetic pickup is essentially an inductance with complex impedance which
functions as a current source. Then, you usually have a combination of
wanted Rs and Cs (for level and high-end rolloff), and then the parasitic
effects of your guitar cable before hitting your input which can be
approximated as having a strictly real impedance of ~200Ohm (or whatever is

Use Berkeley SPICE and do some AC and transient runs to see what happens

The most pronounced effect is usually a high-frequency roll-off. Then
there's added noise of different coulors and some extremely low-pronounced
effects of non-linearity.

> Now 
> if that little DI is adding a nice Fender Tweed or Boogie 
> tube tone, with some subtle breakup, a variable response to 
> how hard I pick, etc. then now we're talking....more like fantasizing.

For your quest for perfect guitar tone, I'd say you should focus on
in-computer processing more than on the ins and outs. A typical Hi-Z in (or
the variant with an active DI into a micpre) should suffice in all cases.
But you should try to work in your signal processing environment of choice
(MAX) with lots of parametric EQs pre and post nonlinear stages.

For any nonlinear stage (read: tube, staturator, diode etc.), the law that
the order of processing stages is irrelevant does not count. That means 
it always make sense to have detailed EQ before and after each such stage.
Just some more .02 to help you in your quest for the best guitar tone.

Speaking about amp sims (computer-based and outboard). In all the time, 
found two sounds which I really liked:
1st, the Line6 ClassA algorithm of the PodXT series for this almost clean
sound which starts to crack up when you pick really hard.
2nd, the Roland VBass's Metal Zone distortion pedal algorithm (with pre EQ
added) into the Metal Stack amp model (with both pre and post EQ). This is
great for that range between slightly heavy up to fully cranked where the
saturation of the distortion pedal and of the amp interact very nicely with
each other.
In my laptop rig, I use the v1 Amplitube, simply because it gives me lots 
effects and a few different sounds with minimum CPU load. The fact that in
addition to the preamp's EQ section of choice you also have a parametric
outboard-style EQ really helps in tone shaping.
Here, I tend to use the British Crunch pre with the Tube EQ, the EQ set to
something like 5 8 1 3 for low/mid/hi/presence.