In particular, the so-called ‘Factory Presets’ seem to be designed to sound good on their own… giving you that “Hey this [insert product] sounds great!” That will seldom translate well in the context of a mix. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a guitar track soloed out that sounds lousy on its own, but that sounds terrific in the mix. It can seem a bit counter-intuitive.
That being said, as a ‘bedroom guitarist’ who doesn’t have real experience with a decent amp or a variety of pedals, I do rely on presets to give me a push in the right direction. I don’t mind twiddling knobs but sometimes I’m not even sure how to get the sound I’m looking for, so the idea of being able to find something close to what I think I want, seeing how it is created and then modifying it is appealing.
I’m leaning towards just sticking with what I have for now and saving the $50. I’ve been enjoying the sounds i can get from the TH3 plugin in the free Cakewalk by Bandlab package so it should hold me for a while.
Thanks again for the input!