In my current search for a pedal to go into my PC I've looked at the Tech 21 California which is an amp modelling pedal but I noticed a Blackstar Dist X has a 'speaker emulated out' - what's that exactly??
Its their way of saying there's speaker as well as amp emulations in it. Common speaker cabs emulated would be Fender TR or Bassman, Marshall 1960A and Hiwatt (Fane) types.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

The emulated speaker output in the Blackstar pedals is designed to give the sound and feel of mic'd cab when recording direct to an interface. It's not too bad imo but definitely not as good as the real thing but can record a pretty decent demo. Blackstar pedals don't use modelling btw
Ah ok - that's quite useful actually - but you don't think it's too great for proper studio work? How about when combined with an amp sim
It's useable for sure, but if you're serious about your sound there's no substitute for a good cabinet. I've used Pod Farm and while it's a very good amp sim as I said you really can't beat the real thing imo, but if you're looking for a good sound on a tight budget a blackstar + pod farm will do you great
I could probably save up for a cabinet/ combo but because I'm a bedroom recordist I'm always looking at the space-saving (and of course cheaper) option of pedals and amp sims.

I've sent a Boss MD-2 into Gearbox Gold (I've got Pod Farm as well) and it's not bad but not REALLY good enough either. I might take the plunge with the Dist X
Speaker emulation eliminates harshness that comes straight from your pedals. A guitar cab has a limited frequency range that filters your sound. Speaker emulation is a filter.