To start off, here's what I'm using to record: Crate Palomino V32 with an SM57 (bought back in 2002 or 2003) Aimed just to the right of the center of the speaker, about an inch away. I run the SM57 into a Presonus Tube Pre (with drive and gain set at around 11:00) and then into an M-Audio MobilePre (with gain set anywhere from 12:00 to 3:00 since I have keep the amp's volume to a relative minimum) bought around the same time as the SM57. I'm using a Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway or a strat with 57/62 pickups. For overdrive/distortion, I use either the amp's overdrive channel, a ZVex Box of Rock, or a Boss DS-1 (soon to be Digitech Bad Monkey later on today if UPS does their job). When I play in the living room of the apartment (about 4 or 5 feet from the amp), any of the three overdrives sounds nice, fat, and warm...if not a little bassy when using the rhythm pickup of the Les Paul. But, when I record them, it comes out extremely harsh and trebly sounding...almost cringe inducing. I used to use the same mic for my old halfstack and solid state head and the distortion, while not professional CD quality worthy, pretty much came across as intended. Now, I know a 1x12 combo amp isn't the same as a 4x12 cab, but the only thing that changed about my setup was the addition of the presonus tubepre. Take that out of the equation, and I still get the same harsh, tinny sound once it's recorded. Am I not placing the mic in an ideal place? I'd think that with a tube amp that sounds pretty good, I'd be getting a better overall sound. And I'd like to believe that the Zvex BoR is better than both the old Boss MD-2 or solid state distortion channel on my old Fender head I used to use. Any suggestions? I am trying to keep it cheap if I have to replace anything. Granted, tax time is coming up, and I can sell the two pre amps I have now, but with my current job situation, I can't go out and spend hundreds of dollars. My computer does not have firewire, so if I went in that direction, I'd have to upgrade hardware on my computer. Am I better off sticking with USB because of budget, or going with some kind of internal hardware for my computer. I do have a front panel free. I'm not looking to record drums anytime soon, so a single XLR or 1/4" jack is sufficient.