This is a rant. Period. As such, it might be full of wrong assumptions, which I don't mean to offend anyone with (starting from the title). Thing is, I'm so disappointed now, I hope you'll understand. I have this beautiful Mesa M9 Carbine head. It cost me an eye but I love it. The graphic EQ and the built-in comp are two little gems I thought I could rely on to color my sound when needed during a show, to the point I got rid of EQ and comp pedals. Saturday night we have this show booked. I set up my stuff, plug the XLR cable, I set the D.I. out to "post" (for obvious reasons), and there it is: tremendous noise floor and static. Ground switch does do nothing, changing cable routing/power cord/power plugs, using a cable instead of wireless, removing the pedalboard....nothing works. The only thing that works is setting the D.I. to "pre". Ok, that's fine, I'll do it, I have a show to play, but...what the hell...That graphic EQ, that compressor, that "voice" knob, those are all tools I am actively using to create my sound(s). I turn the graphic EQ on and off depending on the sound I'm looking for, because I NEED it, and now you're telling me I've got to skip all of them when I use a D.I. because it makes too much noise??? I play with gain at 1 o'clock, I understand that might raise the noise floor (but I could hear nothing wrong out of the cabinet), but I have a tube preamp section for a reason, right? When i switch to pre-EQ the D.I. signal is dead silent, but what do I do with such a head, with all these tools built-in, if they are unserviceable in the moment of need? I don't see honestly any point using a "pre" signal on such a head given that I'm using it to change my sounds. Similarly, I can't use an external D.I., since some of the "core" sounds I have comes from the features available on the head, and I have no parallel out or preamp out to use. It would be like having eq, comp, and effects o your board, and you have to skip all of them and go direct beacuse they're too noisy. It screws you up.