Lately, I have been noticing a recurrance of a point that I think is an excellent trend in guitarists way of thinking. I think of them as a new breed of pedals, recent threads on specifically MI Audio pedals, Zen pedals, and Xotic... The recurring comment is "you might not get blown away just playing with it at home, but with your band or along with a CD...you cut through and it is responsive and transparent" (I know some are tired of that last phrase, but...) I think this is a good trend, and smart. Most of us know about the ME pedal syndrome. You try a multi-effect, some even with dynamite factory presets, and are blown away by the sound. You play and play with them, getting godlike sounds. You take it to band practice or a gig, and....what the??? Where is my wonderful tones? My lush delay, my prefect OD? Buried in the mix. I've worked a lot with this. Won't relate the whole story, but once heard a thing I had done, perfect guitar sound for the song...I had adjusted and EQ'ed it only playing along with the mix...months later I solo'ed it and it sounded TERRIBLE. Brought up the mix and it dovetailed in and sounded fantastic. Now, this wouldn't do live. I mean, there are times when you do an intro, or where there's only guitar, light bass, light drums, and this sound alone was so terrible people in the audience would be making faces. It ONLY sounded good middle of the mix. But some medium point is needed. My Visual Sound (silver) J & H amazes me, but I have a Zendrive and MI Blues Pro on order and expect good things because of those comments here. But just a suggestion, I intend to do, next time you do play in a band setting and you hear that that is where say...the Zendrive or BP shine, stick around after practice when the band has gone home, don't touch the settings, and try playing a little then. I'm going to make an effort to do that to try and get my ears and mind trained as to what it is that makes it cut through so well...get used to what it sounds like alone. There must be a happy medium point, or with switching some pedals on/off...for example, if I don't use the Zendrive ALL the time, maybe I can hone in on those freq's with my EQ pedal as well, so when I am totally clean I can also cut through but not be ice-picky or shrill.