My live rig for the past couple of years has been a custom pedalboard straight to the board and using an IEM system for monitoring It's been working good so far but I want a little more "hair" to my tone and without going to a traditional amp setup. I took my IEM transmitter out of the rack and have it at my feet so I can adjust my levels without having to cross the stage in the middle of a song and I'm looking for something that can be rackmounted and preferably something with tubes or tube-sounding. I'm after that elusive warm and punchy tone and I'm thinking these are my options: Separate preamp. More flexibility for tone and I can put the effects in the loop. Nice tube DI/mic pre. A decent one not the lower end ART or Presonus ones. Not as flexible with the tone but nice signal path. Heard good things about the older Ampeg and Aguilar tube DI's. Speaker simulator. Seen a few guys using these but they tend to be voiced for a 4X12 guitar cabinet and I'm not sure if that's the tone I want and they're hard to come by to check one out. Hate to order one and have it not be what I'm looking for. Anyone have any similar experiences? I had the Sansamp BDDI for years and got rid of it because of the mid-scoop issue for the MXR and wasn't happy with that either. Budget is an issue too just can't justify dropping the $$$ on a REDDI or something similar for a cover band that plays clubs.