Captures sound terrible, cannot replicate demos. Please help!

I got a Quad Cortex about a week ago and it sounds really bad, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

I eventually found a YouTube Video demoing a Plexi stock patch vs a real Plexi. I’d link it, but I’m only allowed one link, so if you’re interested, you can just search “Plexi VS Quad Cortex Studio Rats” on YouTube.

The guy gets it to sound almost identical, so I followed his steps precisely. He started from scratch and so did I, but his results are vastly superior.

The end result of his patch is at 7:06 for those interested.

I recorded my result with 3 different guitars and put them up against his, this is the outcome (his comes first, then mine second):

The first guitar I used is a custom shop Les Paul, second is a Superstrat with a Seymour Duncan JB-1, and just to be sure it wasn’t the output of his guitar’s pickups, the third guitar I used is an LP-style with a Seymour Duncan Screamin’ Demon, which is a seriously hot pickup.

Volume wheel is at max, my inputs/outputs are the same as his, my input/output levels are hot but not clipping, I tried switching cables, messing with impedence, using input 2 instead of 1, but nothing changes the sound.

It was recorded through an RME Babyface Pro into Cubase 12, although it sounds the same through the cortex’s headphones too.

Is there anything obvious that I’m doing wrong? Thanks a lot.

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Hmm it sounds like there’s not nearly enough gain going into the amplifier to drive it. How hot are your input settings on the QC? What db are you peaking at roughly?