Boy I'm sure learning a lot here. Very good and honest input. Good points all over. I'll try to boil it down now, with all of your input considered. The DI (Cheap focusrite scarlett 2i2) sounds more open and glassy/breathy sustain with a nice "punchy temperature" and little noise. My ac15c1 with stock greenback and new JJ's sound more harsh and brittle, icepicky. Not to mention the horrible blowtorchy hiss. The Bill Frisell video linked above sounds warm, clean, punchy and airy. So now instead of thinking JC I'm thinking a big Fender with "airy headroom" and full body sound. I'm also a huge fan of this tone, if anyone can spot the fender model: Do you think the compression of that taped footage has a big effect on the sound? If so I love compression, hehe. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 soundcard. Pretty beginner.