I would like to thank this forum and all the people who have provided insight. Since I discovered this forum, the level of my recordings has improved exponentially. I'm amaised at how a good pre-amp (Sebatron VMP-2000E) and a good microphone (Sanken CU-44X) can provide such an amazingly better sounding, more dimensionial sounding recording. Just this weekend I sat down in my makeshift basement studio after getting the kids to bed. Stuck the Sanken as close to my amp speaker as possible, hit record and was floored with the outcome. Then after layering with other guitars and bass, all using the Sebatron and Sanken or DI in different arrangements,wow! I'm in sonic heaven. I would have never thought a mic pre to be so important until taking your word for it. Whats next? I need a good compressor and I need to get a new singing voice, or a mic. that will help hide my current one (problem with tone character, not pitch) my CAD E-200, Rode NT2 or Sanken is not cutting the vocal mustard.