Not an easy question, and not one with a definitive answer, but in "my opinion" I've just heard the best preamp for recording electric guitars. Chandler Germanium. I've been using a Neve 1272 prior to today and with fantastic results, but after using the Germanium (called "Germ" by many) I can say without a doubt that the Neve doesn't have a chance anymore. I've been using what could be considered hi-fi gear (Suhr guitars, BJF pedals, Two Rock amp into Palmer PGA-03, then into Neve) and my only complaint was that the sound was... too hi-fi. Too articulate, if that makes sense. Recording with the same chain now, but with the Germ instead of the Neve, everything I love about my setup remains, but is now just better. I'm not able to throw out a better adjective because I don't have one yet. It's very difficult to describe - sort of like warm creme poured on top of an already delicious tone. More guts. More weight without muddiness - bigger, warmer, and slices better through a track. Yes, hard to describe. It's NOT a clean preamp, but what color it does add you're bound to like, and prefer to keep. They're still pretty new, but don't be surprised if you start to hear more and more about this preamp. I have yet to use this for bass or vocals or anything else, but word on the street is that it's no slouch there either (supposed to be fantastic for bass - I can't wait). Certainly for some things all this color won't be wanted.