I have two tube amps set up side by side always on into my mixer via XLR. Laney L5 studio has XLR DI built in, analog cab sim. Mesa/Boogie Express+ 5:25 goes into a Two Notes Captor-X for load/cab sim. I wanted to add effects loop type effects (phaser, chorus, delays, reverbs) to the two amps and decided to re-buy a Line6 M9. This is a stereo unit so I can just route that to the 2 amps' mono FX loops. I had one for a number of years which I sold last year when I got my modeler, thinking I'd never need it again. But with these tube amps I do need something. Silly me! Got one used for about $200 at GC and I can return it within 45 days. The issue I'm having is that some of the patches really sound bad, as though they have a thick layer of digital fuzz on them. And others sound "ok". Now, I do understand with the M9, they are modeling some old tube and/or tape delay which sound like **** on the best of days. Maybe that's all that's going on here and my expectations are too high. However, I recall some Space Echoes in my distant past and they did not sound this bad or nobody would have used them. Initially I tried it with the Boogie, then I switched to the Laney. Seems like I get a bit more clean headroom here. However in either case I can get enough level to eventually start distorting the unit. The issue is, sometimes you want to goose the channel level because that's how you dial in the basic toanz in this thing. I realize that when playing through a DI one is no longer bound by "that's so loud my ears are bleeding" which used to be ONE way that we judged gain. And I'm thinking that it is likely possible to goose the preamp level so that the FX loop out will distort whatever's in the loop. There are no clipping indicators anywhere. The Laney DOES has a 0 dB/-10 dB level switch on the FX loop which is promising (I had it set initially on 0, will try it again on the other setting). Boogie's manual says "effects loop works best with rack units". OK so I get that I shouldn't put a Fuzz Face or wah pedal in the loop. btw I already have a separate input FX chain that is individual pedals. I just move the cable when I want to switch which amp I'm using. Now, for $200, which is less than some single pedals, if I can get a handful of OK sounds I'm not too upset. At the same time I wonder if it's possible to put that money towards something better. I've looked at HX Stomp and the TC Plethora... OK but also 2 to 3 times as much $$$$. Whattya think? Should I take up stamp collecting?