Trivia question: What extremely famous guitarist said the following: "We put my Les Paul through a direct box, and from there into a mic channel. We used the mic amp of the mixing board to get distortion. Then we ran it through two Urei 1176 Universal compressors in series. Then each line was triple-tracked. Curiously, I was listening to that track when we were reviewing the tapes and the guitars almost sound like an analog synthesizer."
Give up? Okay, it was Jimmy Page, who gave the quote in a Guitar World interview about recording the song "Black Dog." Tone Fiend blogger Joe Gore recently cited this and other examples to point out that recording guitar directly into the mixing board without any regard for making them sound "amped," can yield amazing tones.
You can read Joe's blog at http://www.seymourduncan.com/tonefiend/recording/adventures-in-direct-recording/#more-7599