schismatic wrote:I usually use the built-in preamps when micing up, then apply PCS in the box.
Would this not be applying sampled preamp colouration to a real preamp, with any colouration it has already imparted to your signal? You're basically stacking characteristics here (not that this would be bad per se, it might sound great).
schismatic wrote:I recently however found out that I could bypass the UX2's pres, and go directly into the line level inputs of the UX2 to get my signal into my DAW.
This scenario would seem to make more sense to me since you are going straight into your interface, hence you are not getting the colour of a mic pre amplifying your mic level.
schismatic wrote:I should add that I use a DI box in front of the interface before the line input when recording guitars.
Why are you doing this? Isn't this like running from a DI into a DI? Unless of course, the DI box you are talking about is something like the Tube MP, which imparts it's own character (which is either a good or bad thing depending on who you ask) to the signal.
schismatic wrote:My question was therefore whether I could simply use PCS applied to my line level signal to get an acceptable sound, or whether I would get any mileage from having a dedicated external hardware preamp in between my mic and my interface line inputs.
Do you dislike the pres on the UX2? If you are just looking for better pres, there are other interfaces with potentially better pres that you could purchase that will replace the UX2, and still leave you with an all in one box. That is, unless you like/need the UX2 because it is a dongle for the Line6 modeling software. I'm guessing you don't use that though, since it wouldn't make any sense to mic something and then apply a software amp to the signal.
To your question, it would seem that you already have PCS, and you already have the UX2 and know how to record using line in, so why are you asking anyone if this can get you an acceptable sound? You have everything you need to evaluate it for yourself. Try it, and determine for yourself whether or not it is acceptable.
More likely, what you are actually asking is whether or not getting a better mic pre would get you a better sound than what you can get with a line in and PCS.
This I don't know, but I am also interested in hearing opinions on this from those who may have experience with both.