This has sort of been covered before, but not in this exact way here at TB, so I hope this doesn't seem terribly redundant. Having said that... With every amplification setup I've ever owned, seen or heard, there is a point below or at which you get good, clean, and relatively uncolored sound - but once you go above that point, the sound starts to get "hot" and "electric" and "muddy" sounding. I've always thought of this point as the "headroom ceiling" of the particular system in question, and have noticed that each amp system has its own point where the sound starts to go to hell. With almost every amp I've ever owned, that point has been at about 12 o'clock on the Gain and Master volume controls. What I'm wondering is, which part of the signal chain is really going to hell at that point? In my case, I've got three parts: Preamp, Amp, and Speakers. It could well be that all three are getting maxed out at that point, but I suspect that either the amp or speakers get to that "overload" point first, and I'd love to know how to figure out which one it is so I could upgrade that part to something that includes more clean headroom. I play some fairly high volume gigs on DB, and since I love the music that's okay (even though it's certainly not ideal)... but when I get to the POINT OF MUD RETURN, I always simply refuse to turn up because I hate playing with $#!++y tone, and I'd like to be able to get a bit more CLEAN volume when needed. Thoughts or ideas on the issue? Which part of the signal chain do you think fails first? What are some of the high-end options for upgrading that part?