The other day,I plugged my Franken Strat[S.D JB Humbucker] directly into the line in on my dell xps i7[no D.I. box-wrong impedance yes] just to get an idea down in Sonar X1.
By not having anything in the chain whatsoever,and turning the volume on the guitar "down" ever so slightly[not to clip/as well as to lose some lows]I get a very thuddy,very clean signal,then after trying Guitar Rig 5 etc[FX bin],I then got an outrageous good distortion "Rhthym" sound,just with the Free "KUASSA" amp sim.
I'm going to re-do the track with my mic'ed Marshall,but the sound I'm getting,by going direct,with this laptop,and the kuassa,is really surprising,and I'll be surprised[again] if the Marshall is better!
For leads[of any amount of gain-clean to endless sustain] I cannot[so far] use ANY amp sims AT ALL though,I have to have the pickup-speaker interaction, I can't be satisfied with ANY of the ITB sims,in THAT regard,but rhthym...amazed.
When I can work out how to post a .wav,I will,but @47 and only 12 months computer use...ever,it may be a little while[very embarrassing],nonetheless it does sound rockin!