“But what makes Marshall amplifiers great is their distortion sound. “
I grew up with Hi-Fi and Stereo systems where you did everything possible to eliminate distortion to reproduce the sound of the original instruments.
There were a bunch of dope smokin hippys who equated distortion with very high decibels as that is what you got when you ran the gain up higher than the amp/speaker could handle.
A lot of money was and continues to be spent on questionable music with almost unlimited distortion and the sound of real instruments is completely lost.
Fortunately in our society we can choose what we spend our money on, (at least until Odumbo tells us what music to buy) and there is enough choices for all of us.
Distortion??? No thanks it is like pencils in my ears. I like the occasional very loud music, which the pipe organ or orchestra, or band can deliver in almost unlimited db Levels with no distortion whatsoever.
Distortion just changes the roughly sinusoidal output of a guitar to a square or triangle wave. These are the same waveforms created by reed instruments and bowed strings. The original fuzzboxes were incredibly harsh and primitive sounding but modern distortion devices are extremely musical and give the guitar a nice sustaining quality, allowing the player to play the same lines that a horn or strings player can play. You mentioned that a pipe organ can replicate the sounds of some other instruments. In principle this seems to be same thing that guitarists are doing with distortion.
You may be surprised to find out how many metal bands there are who want their sound to be heavy enough, but crisp and clear with top-notch production.
Here’s something from Brazil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gxH05P-aRM
The album is a concept album about the creation of the Earth and humanity.