I have a buddy who ribs me all the time about using a "real tube amp" when I play out. Of course I poke fun back at him with cracks about unobtanium and unicorn farts etc etc. I switched over full time to 100% digital direct for gigs (Helix) to PA a few months ago. I'm very happy with it and so are the patrons and my other band members. I told him I was going to be playing through my Mark V Combo at a gig this past weekend because I had my brother in-law coming with me and he'd carry it for me. I set it all up and even put a 57 on it. Ran a cable from the input to the back of the amp where no one could see where the cable was going and made it look 100% like I was playing through it. All turned on and all that. In between sets he was telling me how much richer it sounds and how he can "feel the harmonic content" jumping out of the amp and how beefier sounding in general it was from my direct system. He said some other positive stuff which I cant recall. I let him know just before 3rd set that I hadnt been playing through it at all and I just set it up to look that way. He didn't believe me so I brought him up on stage and showed him. He had nothing to say but looked like he just saw a ghost and just threw his hands up LOL. Thing is he only comes to see live music at this particular room because it's close and he can walk there and back without worrying about a DUI. So it wasn't like anything changed at all. I made no changes to anything. It was the same set up and patch I use for that room every time I play there. Sounded and felt the exact same to me and my bandmates. I just had to get him LOL. He ribs me so much about how fake my Helix sounds. It was worth the extra couple minutes setting up to see the look on Mr. Boutique amp's face. We usually talk just about every day. Haven't heard from him since Saturday night..