I've had my Constable since October and have been playing it direct-in. I got my greenback installed today and heard the constable through a speaker (instead of headphones) for the first time. My signal chain is Tele->Constable->3w el84 power amp->8ohm 12" greenback in open back pine cab. Holy crap the Constable is loud! It has way more volume and clean headroom on tap than my amp's built-in preamp. Like, a lot. The Constable with the 3w power amp seems to get a good deal louder than my AC15c1 did, and while I wouldn't call it clean at these volumes I'm getting a very focused, touch sensitive sound. It sounds huge. This setup could definitely hang with a drummer for playing rock. I will re-iterate what someone said earlier that this is not a MIAB effect-type distortion effect for playing at lower volumes. It really only starts to break up in that way at pretty high volumes, when the controls are nearing the max. I suspect a lot of that is speaker distortion. Placing a gain stage before the Constable is definitely the way to go IMO, which reminds me it's time to get back on the list.. I knew that the Constable was going to sound good, so that wasn't really surprising, but I'm floored by the headroom in this thing. The sound has that kind of smoky jangly quality to it. I'm sure those aren't the right adjectives, but you get the idea.