The exchange between jp22 (who doesn't sound 22 yet) and McCheese in an adjacent topic caused that topic to be blocked I believe, as it was getting rather dirty (Expert suggestions on an advanced guitar recording settup). I believe our field has much better to offer. For the record McCheese was quite correct, from an electronics viewpoint, that compression is very much present in a clipped audio signal. However, one of the nice things about guitars and amps is that the distortion/overdrive is not just class B type clipping, it has a harmonic content and charactor all it's own, which varies as widely as do sunsets, from amp to amp, setting to setting, musician style to style, with purposeful feedbacks, etc., which most engineers in-the-Fourier-analysis-know, would never compress in any outboard equipment if it was at all avoidable. Amp design has stages, and overdrive is almost always initiated at the left side of the signal chain (schematically speaking), with subsequent stages left to amplify cleanly. It is at these stages that additional charactor of the amp's sound is added, as well as at the end of the chain, colorations of the speaker itself. This is an endless topic, but one that should be of utmost importance to all engineers, young and old, and as in any professional field the young should learn from the old. I believe education is key to the propagation of proper technique. I also think us older school real engineers can use help staying up to date on new technology by not "dissing" the young and naive so quickly. So, jp22, if you read this, don't be so quick to throw a compressor into a guitar chain. Also, you could benifit from a proper electronics course geared towards electronics engineering for communications systems, which has the best overall electronics cirriculum in general.