So, I've been going nuts with this damn Ampex 351 preamp and ribbon combo. It just works so great on everything. i tend to obsess with the latest thing I know, but this is pretty smokin.
I have an extremely bright Tele and a painfully bright Pro. Slap a condenser in front of the center of the 12" Jensen P12n and your ears will bleed. The Langevin pres are thick enough to use a 414 and a ribbon for blending to achieve some remarkable tones. That's 2 mics pointing at one speaker cone (phase) through a chunky sounding pre/mixer.
Enter the Ampex, and just the ribbon covers the tonal range perfectly. Now add an amazing tube EQ like the FEARN after it and one gets some fantastic choices. THEN, add an inward connections tube limiter to the party and you've got one heck of a recording channel.
Yeah, I hear the upper distortion, that's the fuzz you get when a loud amp hits a mic that goes to a preamp that isn't designed to handle fast, spikey things well. I mean, I could just turn down or use a hotplate to attenuate and control this effect, but that fuzzy spit on top makes the guitar stand up and say "Hey!" in the mix. Dirt and fuzz are good things to have, even on "clean" sources sometimes.