We should declare a moratorium on speaker emulators. They hurt the ears of any guitarist who takes tone seriously. I've experimented with many of these workarounds. The more components you fake, the less authentic your tone is. Stevie awakened us to the sound of *real* guitar amps.
People try to substitute equalization for a speaker. They eliminate power tubes and their saturation. They eliminate everything between the distortion stage and the recording tape and replace it by various workarounds. You're free to take these convenient shortcuts, but don't broadcast this mediocre tone into my life and claim that it's "nearly as good as" a genuine guitar amp tone.
This is fairly obvious to those in the guitar.amps newsgroup, but the more guitar-oriented gear fetishists may think they can get away with amp "emulators". It's good that some people are trying, but we need to get real.
The only shortcuts that don't ruin the sound are the very moderate volume reducers such as speaker isolation cabinets and inductive power soaks going into a real guitar speaker in a real cabinet, with a real microphone.
If you play jazz or clean surf or Rolandesque "shimmering chorus" (ptuii), maybe you can get away with it. But it's not Rock Guitar Tone unless it travels through saturated power tubes, transformer, guitar speaker, and microphone.
DEATH TO ALL EMULATORS, SIMULATORS, AND DIRECT-TO-CONSOLE HOOKUPS! Admittedly they do have certain advantages and potential.
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