You don't need a tube rig to have an "open" guitar tone, just less compression. Generally that means less gain. Except for all the times where it's not a cold lifeless digital music computer, right? C'mon. The teams at Fractal and Kemper (and by the sounds of it now line 6) have figured out how to make technology work to the musician's advantage. It's just that those same musicians are steeped in tradition and by and large unwilling to actually embrace new things. Rack rigs were the must-have once before, too. Things are cyclical. If you don't physically see what an album was recorded with in 2016, you don't actually know. That "holy grail marshall plexi tone" may not be the Friedman the band said they used . In my limited experience the III's are a little touchy on the volume between 0 and 2 (IIRC) but they do actually get a tone at a quiet volume.