Do you care if a recording is analog or digital?

I thought this was settled a decade ago, but there are places around town that only sell tube amp systems.

It depends on what you want. One CD I worked on was recorded on 24-track analog with a Les Paul straight through a Marshall Jubilee half-stack (turned up to 11 to overdrive the tubes). We had a classic-rock sound, and getting the roundness and tape hiss off the analog medium as well as that “woman tone” that EC used to use filled it out well. The next project I was on was more of a contemporary “alternative” rock sound, and I played my Ibanez through an RP-12 floor processor–this is before Digitech started putting tubes in–and miked the amp. We recorded on digital equipment because we got a crisper high-end and could compress the hell out of the lows. It was also a lot quicker both in the recording and the post-production stages.

As to guitar amps, again it depends on what you want. Since I usually play through a pre-amp processor, I bypass the preamp on my Ampeg solid-state combo. Tubes wouldn’t do much for my sound there. But if I were plugging straight in, I’d want tubes. I like the smoother distortion and overdrive in them.