Right now I have the exact tone I want. It sounds perfect to my ears. The problem is no one else will ever hear it. I can't capture the sound on a recording. I have come extremely close, but it just doesn't sound like it does in person. It's not because I'm amatuer either. Most of the albums that I listen every day have the same problem. This is the problem for any guitarist really: When you play a show they put a dynamic mic in front of the speaker and presto! instant telephone quality sound is reaching the ears of your audience. There is no denying this. Every show I've ever seen had the guitars ruined by this. I'm guessing all of the best tone I've heard has been digital direct in gear like the axefx and the pod. Some examples of amazing tone are Bulb and Meshuggah. Another that put me in awe was someone on this forum whose band name was Pigweed IIRC. The recording sounded like I was hearing 4,000 bucks worth of tube gear in person. Some recordings that were recorded with a pod sound better than almost every recorded amp sound ever made. Veil of Maya's album was recorded with a pod and it sounds amazing. So here I am following tradition using vacuum tubes and huge speaker enclosures that weigh over a hundred pounds all so the audience can hear about 20% (live and 80% on a recording) of the actual sound that I am producing. Yes tube amps sound better, but no one will ever hear it. The whole concept of traditional gear is absurd when you think about it: speakers recorded with a microphone. Most albums that were recorded with amps and mics just sound alright, just good enough but by no means amazing. I think bands like Meshuggah, Exivious and Cynic have the right idea. They plug right into the board and everyone can hear them clearly. When they record they plug straight in and it sounds perfect every time. I think I'll be using an axefx and a powered pa speaker soon. I want my audience to experience my sound like I do: like they're sitting in front of a 4x12 cab. The technology is here so I think I'm going to take advantage of it. My concerns: Computer parts fail a lot. How long will an axefx, something that is not cheap, last? How much do they stand behind the product when it comes to them wearing out? How much is it to have it serviced and how extensively can they repair it? Any words of advice?