had rehearsal with a band i just put together last night...our first rehearsal with everyone there, and the first where the other guitarist brought his own rig. i was playing my EJ strat thru a dr. z maz18 (w reverb) and 2x10" cab and a benson preamp. between this and my vox ac15, ive always been satisfied with a relatively stripped down rig...never found myself wanting anything. that is, until last night. other guitarist brought his helix and went thru the PA (playing an EBMM cutlass). i couldnt keep up with him sonically, period. it wasn't a volume thing, it was just an...i dont even know how to describe it...everything, thing. his sound was polished and professional sounding. it was ME who got lost in the mix, not his digital amp. i rolled back my volume to clean up nicely, so did he. it was the polish thing...all his tones sounded legitimately refined and 3-dimensonal while i sounded flat and rough-around-the-edges in comparison. where i was like "i can get by with a single OD pedal" before, going up against (or with, i guess) the helix made me realize how much of those extras i was missing. i was a digital hater...putting it lightly, given im neck deep in a tweed kick...until last night. it was hard to have the proof slap you in the face over and over and over. how could i argue that tubes are a no brainer when i didn't have a single answer for what the helix was pumping out? and with a decent rig? dont want this to be a tubes vs. digital argument again...both tube and digital have their own unique benefits and issues. i was just really, really impressed with the helix last night. the 'snob' was full on, and yet all of my potential critiques were answered emphatically.